A Much Larger Greenhouse Effect – But Temperatures Dominated by Cooling

Guest post by Wim Röst

Abstract

The Earth’s greenhouse effect is much larger than suggested so far. If surface radiation and the greenhouse effect set surface temperatures, our oceans would be boiling. Fortunately, they don’t. Water Earth has a strong water-vapor-based evaporative surface cooling mechanism that effectively sets and stabilizes surface temperatures at a much lower level than cooling by surface radiation emissions can do. Thanks to water vapor our temperature system is far more stable than admitted by the consensus, and thanks to water, water vapor, and clouds surface temperatures are favorable for present life.

Introduction

Early Earth consisted of hot molten lava covered by an extreme greenhouse atmosphere: hardly any surface radiation could reach space, if any. Nevertheless, its surface cooled. Upward convection brought sensible and latent heat from hot surfaces to elevations on the very edge of the atmosphere from where energy effectively could be radiated into space. Despite the near maximal greenhouse effect the surface of Early Earth cooled down and at a certain moment the first oceans developed. Those boiling oceans still resulted in a huge upward convective transport of energy, further cooling the surface. Until now, convective upward transport of energy plays the main role in surface cooling. Convection sets and regulates surface temperatures at actual level. Without evaporative-convective-cloud-cooling, our actual greenhouse atmosphere would theoretically result in a surface temperature of 202.3°C. On the real Earth the greenhouse effect warms the surface, but greenhouse warming does not set and control final surface temperatures. Earth’s H2O-based cooling system does.

Theoretical greenhouse effect

We can calculate the warming effect of present greenhouse atmosphere for a theoretical planet[1] in the case where its surface is cooled just by radiation. Without a greenhouse atmosphere and if optimally cooled by radiation[2] the temperature of such a theoretical planet is minus 42.3 degrees Celsius. But a greenhouse atmosphere makes a huge difference. Initially.

Present Earth’s greenhouse atmosphere is still ‘a near perfect’ greenhouse atmosphere. As shown in Figure 1, only 22 W/m2 of surface radiated energy (396 W/m2) can reach space without being absorbed. A surface cooling efficiency of only 5.556%.

Figure 1: The Earth’s radiation budget. Of all 396 W/m2 surface radiated energy 22 W/m2 reaches space without being absorbed (Added: red oval). Source Trenberth and Fasullo 2011[3]

The efficiency of cooling by surface radiation is very low: after absorption, nearly all surface emitted energy returns to the surface as downwelling radiation or (without convection) and stays as sensible heat in the lower atmosphere. Knowing the cooling efficiency of the Earth’s surface radiation, we can calculate the greenhouse surface temperature in the case where the surface of our imaginary planet is only cooled by radiation, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Surface temperature for a theoretical planet, calculated for the case of surface cooling by radiation only. Input: solar radiation absorbed by the surface and surface emitted longwave radiation of 161 W/m2, the effective emissivity is 5.556% (‘Emissivity 0.05556’). Calculation by Stefan-Boltzmann Law calculator.

With Earth’s present greenhouse effect, the surface of our imaginary planet would have had a temperature of 202.3 degrees Celsius, if only cooled by surface radiation. Total initial greenhouse warming is huge, see Table 1.

Table 1: The greenhouse warming effect per Stefan-Boltzmann for a theoretical planet only cooled by radiation. Calculated for a planet without greenhouse atmosphere and for a planet with Earth’s present greenhouse atmosphere. Radiated power equal to solar absorption 161 W/m2.

Given the high initial greenhouse warming effect, on our relatively cool Earth other factors than surface radiation must control the level of surface temperatures; probably H2O-related surface cooling.

The level of Earth’s surface temperatures

Where in the range of ‘greenhouse temperatures’ do we find Earth’s surface temperatures? On Earth, surface temperatures are best indicated by the surface temperature of ocean water, covering 71% of the Earth’s surface. The maximum average yearly temperature is 30°C while the minimum temperature is minus 1.8°C, shown in green in Figure 3.

Figure 3: The level of the Earth’s actual surface temperatures shown within the range for theoretical greenhouse warming as calculated for the theoretical situation of cooling only by surface radiation in the case of a theoretical planet. The greenhouse effect would warm the surface from – 42.3°C to + 202.3°C. Earth’s actual ocean temperatures are shown in green: from + 30°C to – 1.8°C. Blue shows the temperature range that is too cold for life, red shows the temperature range too hot for life.

‘Radiation only’ would have stopped cooling the planet’s surface at 202.3°C. Actual Earth yearly average surface temperatures are much lower, about 15°C. On real Earth, additional cooling by evaporation, conduction, convection and clouds has lowered surface temperatures far below the level ‘radiation only cooling’ would have resulted in. Why? The answer is that H2O-related cooling (evaporative, convective and tropical cloud cooling) is very strong, very dynamic, and very effective in the temperature range above 15°C.

Evaporation

Evaporation rises by 6-7% (Clausius-Clapeyron) per degree of temperature rise, a huge percentage. In the higher temperature range evaporative cooling cools extremely: think about boiling water of 100°C. In case of temperatures lower than 15 degrees Celsius, evaporative cooling diminishes by the same high percentage of 6-7%. At some point H2O related surface cooling and warming resulting from surface solar absorption came into balance at 15°C.

Convection

Convection in the atmosphere is the upward transport of latent and sensible heat from the surface to higher elevations. Convective removal of surface heat effectively cools the surface and brings energy to elevations lacking most of the main greenhouse gas, water vapor. At these elevations emission to space is more effective than surface emission. Convection is highly stimulated by the low-density water vapor molecules resulting from evaporation. Evaporative-convective cooling is huge in the higher temperature range and produces large quantities of solar reflecting tropical clouds. When tropical clouds develop, evaporative surface cooling is combined with diminished surface solar warming: very effective.

Conduction

Strong convection firmly enhances wind over the surface and brings in drier and colder air from elsewhere, resulting in higher conductive surface heat loss.

Diminishing H2O-based cooling

The whole evaporation-based cooling machine is very dynamic. All H2O-based surface cooling is fueled by rising evaporation, as temperatures rise. But evaporation also strongly diminishes when temperatures fall, even by just one degree, ending further cooling of the surface. At present, the Earth’s[4] total surface cooling and total surface warming are balanced at a yearly average of 15 degrees Celsius.

Solar radiation

The oceanic uptake of solar energy is very dependent on the presence/absence of tropical clouds. As temperatures go down, lower-level tropical clouds diminish strongly, and more solar energy is able to reach and warm the surface. Surface warming causes a rise in evaporation. Rising evaporation, thunderstorms, and related processes ending in tropical clouds soon end the extra solar warming. Hence the incredible stability of the Earth’s surface temperatures.

Balance

At 15°C there is a balance between surface warming by solar uptake and surface cooling. Any further surface cooling results in higher solar uptake, neutralizing initial cooling. And any surface warming results in higher evaporative-convective-cloud cooling, neutralizing any initial surface warming.

Initial warming by extra greenhouse gases is fully neutralized like all other surface warming. Neutralizing warming happens at different time scales, sometimes seconds (radiation) or hours, a day, or by season, but often over decades (by longer-term ocean oscillations) and sometimes over even longer periods like the recovery from the cold Little Ice Age which might take centuries.

Why 15°C and why not 202.3°C?

Radiative cooling is less dynamic than H2O based cooling. For one degree of difference in surface temperature, radiative cooling goes up or down by only 1.4%, but H2O- based cooling by 6-7%. Early Earth started hot and then cooled down after its creation. At a current surface temperature of only 15°C (the temperature level for this geological period and for this orbital setting) the H2O related surface cooling has balanced surface solar absorption.

Early Earth

Early Earth was hot and steamy. Heat of accretion did melt all the colliding material coming from space that formed the Earth. A nearly perfect sphere formed and its atmosphere was the perfect greenhouse atmosphere: an atmosphere with a superhigh water vapor content, very rich in carbon dioxide, and a sky covered by clouds. Hardly any surface radiation could reach space without being absorbed. Convection had to transport surface energy to the edge of the steamy atmosphere where spaceward emission could take place. For early Earth surface cooling depended on the strength of convection. As temperatures fell, convective cooling continued but continuously diminished in strength. Tropical cloud coverage also diminished, allowing the Sun to warm the tropical oceans. Despite Earth’s huge greenhouse effect, surface temperatures have never been dependent on the strength of the greenhouse effect but on the temperature set by where H2O-related surface cooling balances warming by rising surface solar uptake.

Intrinsic properties

The fascinating H2O molecule has many intrinsic properties. One of its properties gives the molecules a strong cohesion resulting in a strong surface tension which creates ‘tight’ surfaces some insects can even walk on. Strong surface tension makes it difficult for a surface molecule to escape into the atmosphere, which raises the temperature at which enough water vapor will be released to cause ‘super-convection’. Another intrinsic property sets the freezing temperature at zero degrees Celsius and not at +10, +20 or minus 20 degrees. Binding one oxygen atom to two low-density hydrogen atoms results in a low-density water molecule, so very humid, low density, air easily rises. H2O’s intrinsic properties determine all essential elements of Earth’s main cooling system, which is dominated by H2O. The properties are intrinsic to the molecule itself: they don’t change over time. Therefore, the surface temperature of the Earth could have remained at the same level over billions of years if Earth’s orbital settings and the distribution of oceans and continents over its surface hadn’t changed. H2O’s intrinsic properties set the level of Earth’s surface temperatures for every specific orientation and surface arrangement of the Earth. The H2O molecule, nothing else.

Faint young Sun paradox

During the first years of early Earth, the Sun’s output must have been about 30 percent less intense as nowadays. Less solar energy reached the Earth. Nevertheless, the surface of the Earth has never been much colder than present Earth. This is called the faint young Sun paradox. Knowing the role of H2O-related surface cooling, that paradox is solved. As total insolation reaching the surface is controlled by tropical clouds and the Earth’s surface temperatures are controlled by H2O-related surface cooling, the Earth’s surface temperatures don’t simply depend on the intensity of solar irradiation reaching the Earth. In the case of a faint Sun, evaporation diminishes, less tropical clouds cover tropical oceans and enable more (but weaker) solar rays to reach and warm a larger surface area. End result for tropical oceans: about the same.

No Snowball Earth

Because the quantity of insolation reaching the surface is controlled by tropical clouds and because of H2O-controlled surface cooling, no complete snowball Earth has probably existed. A slightly colder surface strongly diminishes H2O related surface cooling. Diminishing tropical clouds result in a higher uptake of solar energy by tropical oceans. The final result is tropical oceans still remaining warm. On water Earth no full snowball Earth is possible. Even when all present land (29% of the total surface) is concentrated on both poles, the result is just a partial snow- and ice-covered surface. Most of the other 71% of the surface will be covered by relatively warm oceans, oceans that are redistributing tropical absorbed solar energy over mid-latitudes, not hindered by any continent.

Conclusions

The Earth’s greenhouse effect is huge, much higher than normally assumed. If cooled by ‘surface radiation only’ the surface of a theoretical planet would have had a surface temperature of 202.3°C. But the Earth’s surface temperatures are not set by the strength of Earth’s greenhouse effect. Additional H2O-based cooling systems keep the surface at a much lower temperature, balancing rising surface radiation uptake. At present, that balance is reached at a yearly average of 15 degrees Celsius.

Thanks to H2O-related surface cooling the Earth’s surface temperatures are bound to a narrow range, at a temperature level well suited for life on Earth. Due to its stability, life developed over many hundreds of millions of years.

Temperature regulates the cooling system; the cooling system regulates temperature.

####

With regards to commenting, please adhere to the rules known for this site: quote and react, not personal. And when commenting, please don’t use abbreviations but words

About the author: Wim Röst studied geography in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The above is his personal view. He is not connected to firms or NGO’s or funded by government(s).

Andy May was so kind to correct and improve the English text where necessary or helpful. Thanks!

Footnotes

  1. Calculations are for a theoretical planet fully responding to Stefan-Boltzmann Law. The theoretical planet is a perfect absorber/emitter (blackbody) and consists of an ‘infinitely thin shell’ not able to store any energy. Its surface is superconducting, resulting in the lowest emission temperature possible.

  2. Calculated for actual solar surface absorbed (161 W/m2) assuming maximal absorption and maximal emission and assuming all surface radiation is directly radiated to space, meaning: without being absorbed. Efficiency of surface emission is 100% or an effective emissivity of ‘1’. Calculation by Stefan-Boltzmann calculator.

  3. This 2011 version of the graphic is the corrected one. The caption on the image: “The global annual mean earth’s energy budget for 2000–2005 (W m−2). The broad arrows indicate the schematic flow of energy in proportion to their importance. Adapted from Trenberth et al. (2009) with changes noted in the text”. 
  4. The present state of the Earth includes the Earth’s orbital configuration and the location, size, and topography of continents and oceans. The total state results in a specific distribution and redistribution of solar energy over latitudes. Weather patterns depend on the distribution and redistribution of solar energy. Climate by definition is the average of 30 years of weather. Changes in climate are the result of changes in the distribution and redistribution of solar energy over the Earth’s surface.
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Jason S.
September 9, 2022 10:26 am

Thank you Wim and Andy. For the chemical engineer here and not climate scientist this really helped my understanding of the terms and mechanics that I read a lot in all of these articles. It was very digestible for the non-scientist and extremely informative.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Jason S.
September 9, 2022 10:30 am

Thank you Jason. I hope the message will reach many people.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 9, 2022 11:05 am

The greenhouse effect is -66C not 202.4C
Compressions heating and surface radiation makes up the surface.
Not even the moon is 202.4C
Total solar irradiance is 120C.
When you write a more realistic article, then I will thank you.
Below are the coldest temperatures at 250hpa, 70hpa and 10hpa.
At 10hpa over dark Antarctic is -90C
And over sunlight arctic -50C.
Solar heating.

tropopausetemperatures.png
Janice Moore
Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
September 9, 2022 12:28 pm

You need to re-read the article.

Without evaporative-convective-cloud-cooling, our actual greenhouse atmosphere would theoretically result in a surface temperature of 202.3°C. 

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Janice Moore
September 9, 2022 2:41 pm

No, it wouldn’t. We don’t receive 2838 watts of solar power. That is what 202.3C is. One thing he said I did agree with was his 202.3C was a “imaginary planet”. Seems that you didn’t read that part.
The moon is “radiation only” planet and heats to 127C. That’s because one side is heated by the sun for 13 days.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
September 9, 2022 5:15 pm

1. “Theoretically” = “imaginary planet”

2. the greenhouse effect would warm the surface from – 42.3°C to + 202.3°C.

(from the author’s Figure 3)

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Janice Moore
September 10, 2022 5:01 am

1. Theoretically wrong.
2 Apart from water trace gases are ultra cool gases at low pressure.
These are the maximum temperaturese of greenhouse gases. The sun heats surface and pressure speeds up all the molecules and collisions which results in 70C in temperature.

n2hc9j.jpg
Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Janice Moore
September 10, 2022 5:33 am

In order to solve this disagreement. Name a planet of low pressure and high concentration of carbon dioxide. The temperature of the planet. If the temperature is -58C then greenhouse gases are of similar temperature.
If you guess Mars then you are correct.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
September 10, 2022 2:13 am

All calculations for this use an imaginary planet. It’s a hypothetical starting point.

Secondly, “Without evaporative-convective-cloud-cooling, our actual greenhouse atmosphere would theoretically result in a surface temperature of 202.3°C”

You are comparing the moon without an atmosphere, to the above, a theoretical earth with GHG atmosphere but NO hydrology.

Apples to oranges comparison, your criticism isn’t valid

We have an example of this in the real world, a GHG atmosphere and no hydrology, its called Venus. Primer: Its HOT

Last edited 16 days ago by Mark - Helsinki
Wim Röst
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
September 10, 2022 4:05 am

Mark – Helsinki: “You are comparing the moon without an atmosphere, to the above, a theoretical earth with GHG atmosphere but NO hydrology”

WR: I use a theoretical planet to show the huge greenhouse warming effect initially present on Earth. And I point to H2O-related systems cooling the Earth’s surface far below the surface temperature reached for the theoretical planet without hydrology. I point to the Earth’s surface temperatures kept within a very narrow range during hundreds of millions of years, far from the temperature level surface cooling by ‘surface radiation only’ would have resulted in.

And I mention the independency of the H2O molecule in ‘doing its cooling work’, fully dependent on its own intrinsic properties that haven’t changed since the Earth’s very existence. Activated and de-activated independent of the quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere but activated/de-activated by surface temperatures. An independent system, setting the level of surface temperatures on Earth.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
September 10, 2022 8:47 am

Sorry Mark, when I replied to your comment here I didn’t see you were commenting on Stephen-Lindsay Yule. I should have directed the comment to him.

Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
September 9, 2022 7:05 pm

My big disagreement is that colder gases in the atmosphere are supposed to heat the planet’s surface, which is always warmer.

Furthermore, global climate model do not do night-time, which is why the surface is always warmer in the models, during which the planet radiates hordes of radiation to space.

Actually, looking at the radiative wavelengths of CO2, this gas is always and constantly trying to lower Earth’s temperature to -80 deg C. It’s a coolant of the highest order.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Charles Higley
September 9, 2022 10:05 pm

Charles Higley: “Actually, looking at the radiative wavelengths of CO2, this gas is always and constantly trying to lower Earth’s temperature to -80 deg C. It’s a coolant of the highest order.”

WR: I wonder why there is no attention for the cooling of the stratosphere. As higher CO2 enhances downwelling radiation from TOA, it also produces the same quantity of from TOA upwelling radiation that easily disappears into space: extra cooling. The global temperature trend for the lower stratosphere UAH is minus 0.27 degrees Celsius/decade. https://www.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tls/uahncdc_ls_6.0.txt

With a cooling stratosphere, the gradient with the (warming) surface rises and this has to enhance energy transport. Cooling. Which air is descending in high-pressure areas? Colder and drier air from the upper troposphere / lower stratosphere? Must often be colder than before. Over the poles, the stratosphere is found at low elevations. Descending air over Antarctica probably is colder by stratospheric cooling – my guess. This could be a reason the southern hemisphere is lagging behind in warming / partly cooling.

comment image
(graphic by Willis Eschenbach https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/07/21/the-charney-report-revisited/)

Trick
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 9, 2022 5:06 pm

Wim – top post reads to me like you at first discuss having invented a shiny planet that somehow absorbs 161 with 1.0 absorptivity (BB) but has “surface emitted longwave radiation of 161” at  “Emissivity 0.05556” at about 476K.

There is no transmissivity of your ‘infinitely thin shell’ I assume, but then you later write in footnotes something which seems to be changing the properties of your formerly shiny ‘infinitely thin shell’:

“Efficiency of surface emission is 100% or an effective emissivity of ‘1’.

Hard to follow your logic. 

Wim Röst
Reply to  Trick
September 9, 2022 5:54 pm

Trick: “Wim – top post reads to me like you at first discuss having invented a shiny planet that somehow absorbs 161 with 1.0 absorptivity (BB) but has “surface emitted longwave radiation of 161” at “Emissivity 0.05556” at about 476K.”

WR: Figure 1: the Earth’s surface absorbs 161 W/m2 of solar. Surface emission 396 W/m2, emission reaching space 22 W/m2: 5.556%.

Reply to  Trick
September 9, 2022 7:12 pm

What I do not hear from anybody is that no atmosphere would result in -100 deg C at night and 200 deg C in daylight. The atmosphere slows down the cooling at night and slows the heating in day.

The atmosphere acts like a huge heat engine, distributing the energy during the day, removing it from the surface to altitude, and letting energy leave at night. There is no greenhouse effect, per se, except this ameliorating effect in both directions.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Charles Higley
September 9, 2022 10:16 pm

Charles Higley: “There is no greenhouse effect, per se, except this ameliorating effect in both directions.”

WR: as stated in this post, there is an initial greenhouse effect that for a theoretical planet can be calculated at 244.6 degrees. But that is before the H2O-cooling machine starts doing its work as initiated and limited by intrinsic properties of the H2O molecule.

Another Joe
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 11, 2022 1:38 am

You can also argue that there is almost no heat flowing through the atmosphere by conduction. So the temperature at the surface would be how high? There is not such thing as an initial effect to explain another effect.

Dave Yaussy
Reply to  Jason S.
September 9, 2022 11:38 am

Yes, thank you. I can’t say this lawyer understood it completely, but I think I have the gist of it and it was helpful for my understanding of the earth’s climate. Seems to mesh well with what Willis has been saying.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Dave Yaussy
September 9, 2022 11:56 am

Dave: “Seems to mesh well with what Willis has been saying.”

WR: Willis already published in 2010 his thermostat hypothesis:
https://scholar.google.com/citations?view_op=view_citation&hl=en&user=XSUSPO0AAAAJ&citation_for_view=XSUSPO0AAAAJ:d1gkVwhDpl0C

What perhaps is new, is the other way here presented to measure the (theoretical) strength of the Earth’s greenhouse atmosphere / the theoretical greenhouse warming effect.
The theoretical temperature rise:

  1. is so huge that something else than surface emission has to cool the surface down to actual low temperature level
  2. that a bit more or less greenhouse gas doesn’t really matter, because something else sets and regulates temperatures at the Earth’s surface: H2O-related surface cooling.

That ‘something else’ sets and regulates temperatures to a level as ‘prescribed’ by its intrinsic properties, meaning: a temperature level not dependent on the quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but dependent on its own properties: the intrinsic properties of the H2O molecule.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Dave Yaussy
September 9, 2022 12:54 pm

Jason, Do you ever take observations from both (surface and either 250hpa, 70hpa or 10hpa (depending on how low the temperature is) starting from the north pole and ending at the south pole every week.

With over two years of observations.

If you did then you that in December 10hpa would be -6C over Antarctic.

You do know that absolute zero is -273K(Kelvin).

Heat from the sun (24hrs in Antarctic) in December would be responsible for that temperature increase.

While in December over the dark arctic at 10hpa the temperature is -70C.

And when the observations (90N to 90S and 0W to 180W to 45E for each 10th latitude) are averaged, then using the Stefan Boltzmann equation the peak energy 351wm2 (July) and the minimum 323.1wm2(March).

When someone hypothesis the greenhouse effect could be 202C. You either switch off or show how foolish the hypothesis is.

As it doesn’t show earth’s climate at all.
The reason deserts are hot is because water is endothermic over oceans.

Endothermic means removes heat from the surrounding. Both desert and ocean receive same solar energy, but water removes heat.
How hot does the desert get at 5cm. Answer 67C not 203C.
At zenith earth receives 1004 watts of sunlight.
202C is 2838 watts.

This is why the article assumes the ridiculous.

Greenhouse gases make up 106 watts that’s all.

When you compress air the temperature of the air heats up. At 70hpa typical temperature in long winter darkness over the arctic is -80C, compression heating brings temperature to -23C. At 50°N -65C at 70hpa both compression heating coupled with surface heat radiation has temperature at 6.3C(winter).

Compression heating adds 211 watts and surface radiation 23 watts.
23 watts is because TSI 1407w (July)-1316w (Jan)=91w/4=22.75w.

With height, adiabatic cooling is uncompressing air (decrease in temperature) and expanding surface radiation.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
September 10, 2022 3:35 am

“Endothermic means removes heat from the surrounding. Both desert and ocean receive same solar energy, but water removes heat.
How hot does the desert get at 5cm. Answer 67C not 203C.
At zenith earth receives 1004 watts of sunlight.
202C is 2838 watts.”

interesting point.

the 2838 watts are a hypothetical result of an imaginary world with GHG but no hydrology cycle cooling, rather than a claim of what watts from solar.

That is, the effect of GHG including water vapor, but without the transport of evaporation. Its just a new way to look at the issue.

To tease out the impact of evaporation cooling from the rest of the signal is useful because we know the impact is immense and overrides all other warming cooling factors, no hydrology could and would lead to the runaway scenarios the alarmist types tell us are already here. Venus is a perfect example of what happens when you have no hydrology, so Venus rains lead.

Last edited 16 days ago by Mark - Helsinki
Tim Gorman
Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
September 10, 2022 4:03 am

compression heating”
“cooling is uncompressing air “

PV = nRT, correct?

September 9, 2022 10:37 am

I’m having trouble explaining to myself why you can assume that the emissivity is 22/396. That seems to assume that the only radiation that gets to space comes directly from the surface, whereas it seems to me that even without convection the greenhouse-gas-carrying atmosphere would be radiating into space, too.

What am I missing?

Wim Röst
Reply to  Joe Born
September 9, 2022 10:55 am

Joe: “What am I missing?”

WR: A good question. Not to gain energy and to keep the planet at the lowest possible temperature, our theoretical planet should lose the absorbed energy in the same moment of absorption. If not, that planet heats up above its minimally necessary surface temperature, until it reaches the temperature at which its surface loses the same quantity it absorbs (here: 161 W/m2). When direct emission to space is low or, as in the case of the Earth’s greenhouse atmosphere, when it is very low, the delay in heat loss is high. Hence the high greenhouse warming effect calculated for the theoretical planet cooled by surface emission only.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 9, 2022 4:51 pm

Wim Rost. You really do not know how the atmosphere works.160 is 1/4th of total energy not only escaping to space. But also is 640w-m² excess above 340w-m².
340 340 340 340 340 340 340 340 340 340 340 340 340 340 340
200 240 280 320 380 400 440 460 460 440 400 380 320 280 240 200
-140 -100 -60 -20 +20 +80 +100 +120 +120 +100 +80 +20 -20 -60 -100-140
+640 excess and -640 out to space

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 9, 2022 5:29 pm

You really don’t understand motion and energy possessed through motion. And heat transfer through collisions. Molecules gain energy through collisions which increases velocity. Molecules lose the absorbed energy in the same moment of absorption (radiative gases only). Velocity is increased and so is the energy. Main gases gain heat through collisions with surface and compression (molecules closer to other molecules and increased collisions with other molecules). In the stratosphere molecules velocity is 800,000 km/hour. At the surface over 1.2 million km/hour.
Motion is heat and molecules sustain motion after transition with photon.
Earth’s atmosphere heat is part due to constant motion.

This why molecules lose absorbed energy in the moment of absorption they don’t lose that boost in velocity. Faster the velocity the more energy and heat being emitted.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
September 10, 2022 3:44 am

Velocity is sensible heat, correct? It’s what you measure using a thermometer, it’s kinetic energy. Sensible heat can be lost through radiation or collision. That should mean that the boost in velocity can be lost as well. If it wasn’t lost then nothing would ever cool, it’s temperature would just keep climbing.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
September 9, 2022 10:44 am

Earth isn’t 15C, that is the northern hemisphere. Greenhouse gases absorb solar heat to 140 watts and reflected cools to just over 100 watts. 644 (5 x 161) is solar heat and 200 watts is compression heating. 644 escapes to space. Average temperature is 5.4C.

20220903_121441.jpg
Wim Röst
Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
September 9, 2022 10:57 am

This is not a thread about compression heating

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 10, 2022 7:28 am

That is what you will need to get greenhouse gases above 200C. Only need to look at the planet Venus. Carbon dioxide is a popular supercritical fluid and has a critical temperature of 31.1° C and a critical pressure of 73.8 bar.
As CO2 pressure is 0.04 bar the temperature is -78.5C.

co2pressuretemperature.png
Stephen Wilde
September 9, 2022 10:50 am

The baseline is that the phase changes of water make it easier for the system to expel energy to space from within the atmosphere.
The consequence of that is that convective overturning of atmospheric mass can run slower than would otherwise be the case.
The Earth is thus made much more equable for life.
In the absence of water that overturning would have to be much faster in order to deliver energy back to the surface within descending air quickly enough to balance energy in from space with energy out to space from the surface.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
September 9, 2022 11:05 am

Stephen: “In the absence of water that overturning would have to be much faster in order to deliver energy back to the surface”

WR: Correct. But to reach that high overturning the surface should heat up much more than under humid circumstances. Those who take a look at the pre-monsoon temperatures for India will see that dry India gets much hotter than when the rains start falling, cooling the land and enabling evaporative cooling. Normally July and August are warmer months in the northern hemisphere, but not for New Delhi after the monsoon rains started:
https://www.buienradar.nl/weer/new%20delhi/in/1261481/klimaat

Stephen Wilde
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 9, 2022 11:26 am

Interesting point but to get faster overturning you only need a change in the lapse rate slopes on both the lit and unlit sides to an equal and opposite extent. You don’t need to change the average global surface temperature.
Energy gets removed from the lit side faster and delivered to the unlit side faster for earlier loss to space with a net zero thermal effect overall.
The phase changes of water make the process more efficient so that the system can run more slowly.
Check out the articles by me and Philip Mulholland which show that the greenhouse effect is a product of atmospheric mass motion and not radiative gases.

Rud Istvan
September 9, 2022 11:00 am

Nice post WR. A different take of the same basic mechanisms WE discusses as thermoregulation.

A side note to your figure 1 (Trenberth 2011). I prefer the version Stephens et al produced in their paper ‘An update…’ in Nat GeoS 5:691-696 (2012). What they did was add in to the figure all the observational uncertainties Trenberth ignored. Their net result was 0.6+/-17w/m^2. So actually the figure is not very helpful, unlike your discussion about observationally necessary near balance over long time scales.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 9, 2022 11:21 am

Rud: “What they did was add in to the figure all the observational uncertainties Trenberth ignored.”

WR: Martin Wild also gave the uncertainties which are large. But he did not give any data for the atmospheric window, a reason to use (the widely accepted) Trenberth figure.
A nice example of Martin Wilde’s Energy Budgets:
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00382-014-2430-z/figures/2

Gives a good idea about the role evaporation plays over Land and over Oceans

Crisp
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 13, 2022 9:33 pm

I would not trust anything by Trenberth. He was very much at the heart of cabal of scientists exposed by Climategate.

Trick
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 9, 2022 11:22 am

L’Ecuyer et. al. 2015 energy budget explicitly adds in the water cycle. In the two papers Rud mentions, the precipitation return of the water cycle is lumped into the all-sky emission to surface amount.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
September 9, 2022 11:13 am

What Wim hasn’t told you absolute zero is -273C 0 watts -66C is 105 watts. A difference of 207K.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
September 9, 2022 11:24 am

There are many things I didn’t tell you. It is interesting to play with the calculator mentioned for very low numbers of W/m2

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 10, 2022 8:54 am

Low numbers of w/m2 starts at 500cm-1 or 20 micrometers and gets to 714cm-1 14 micrometers (105w-m2). No absorption of any molecules happens until 1250cm-1 8 micrometers (973w-m²). This due to the atmospheric window or infrared window. Only solid objects can absorb. Hottest temperature ever recorded 57C 131F (1139cm-1 or 8.78 micrometers). Sunlight 1004 w-m2 7.95 micrometers 1257cm-1.
1639cm-1 or 6.1 micrometers solar intensity is only 1% 28.38w-m2.

brandongraph2error.jpg
Michael Hammer
September 9, 2022 11:41 am

I find this post frustrating. Little is really explained, numbers seem to be more or less plucked from the air and its really difficult to understand what the point is. For example; it states surface emission to space is 22 watts/sqM yet the atmospheric window is widely accepted as 8-13microns. From Planks law the emission at 14C over this wavelength range is 123 watts/sqM. So where does the 101 watts/sqM go? Cant be GHG absorption because GHG’s dont absorb over this wavelength range. Clouds? probably. If so clouds are impeding just about as much surface radiation as GHG’s.

Then it talks about -41C as Earth’s temperature without GHG’s. Earth receives 343 watts/sqM from the sun but only 234 watts/sqM is absorbed due to albedo most of which is due to clouds. Without GHG’s (of which water vapour is the most dominant) there would be no clouds so Earth would receive closer to the 343 watts/sqM and the surface would be free to radiate to space giving a temperature of about +5C not -41C or +200C.

But then most importantly; radiation to space other than radiation from the surface (ie: radiation from the atmosphere) relies on a non zero emissivity in the thermal IR but any gas with a non zero emissivity in the thermal IR is by definition a GHG. Without GHG’s the atmosphere could not radiate to space and thus could not cool!!!! But the Hadley cell which drives all of earth’s weather is a heat heat engine, it converts thermal energy to mechanical energy. Heat engines require a hot junction where energy is injected into the working fluid and a cold junction where energy is removed from the working fluid. !00% conversion efficiency is impossible (carnot). The surface is the hot junction, the cold junction is the tropopause where GHG in the atmosphere radiate energy to space. No GHG, no cold junction = no heat engine= no weather. The atmosphere would become vertically isothermal and there would be no wind no rain no net evaporation (the atmosphere would be saturated wrt water vapour) so no clouds. This would give a low albedo and an average temperature close to +5C. However, the thermal time constant of the land is quite short an hour or less in many cases (think of how fast dry soil heats up on a summers day) so with only radiative loss the land temperature would track insolation quite closely. This peaks at 1340 watts/sqM in the tropics at noon giving a surface temperature of 100+C. Of course at night it would be far below zero – basically a temperature closer to what occurs on the moon which is the same distance from the sun.

The author seems to be saying the GHG sensitivity is even greater than warmists are claiming. I dont agree. GHG’s create the necessary conditions for a heat engine which is what allows water evaporation to occur but weather, water evaporation and clouds exert such huge negative feedback that the incremental sensitivity to change in CO2 is almost zero.

Reply to  Michael Hammer
September 9, 2022 12:12 pm

the cold junction is the tropopause
====
The surface at the poles and the night side of earth are also the cold junction.

The atmosphere is not isothermal even without ghg because of the earths spin and orbit continually varies surface heating and surface radiation.

Isothermal is the fallacy of averages.

Last edited 17 days ago by ferdberple
Michael Hammer
Reply to  ferdberple
September 10, 2022 2:37 am

Ferdberple; several other people have made exactly the same comments to me. Two problems with the pole or the night side of the planet as cold junctions. The cold junction must be at a significantly lower pressure than the hot junction and the pressure at the poles and equator are similar. The Earth has 3 interlocked atmospheric heat engines, the Hadley cell the Ferrel cell and the Polar cell. Of these the Hadley cell is BY FAR the dominant one, indeed it more or less drives the other 2 but the Hadley cell only extends to latitude +-30 degrees, nowhere near the pole.

As to the cold side of the planet being the cold jn. Again no pressure difference but worse, the cold only occurs at the surface while the air to be cooled is at the tropopause and it needs to cool to be able to descend again completing the convective loop but the cold surface represent a massive temperature inversion which precludes convective energy transfer (radiation being impossible since there are no GHG to emit or absorb). That by the way is another dequalifier for the poles.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  ferdberple
September 10, 2022 9:42 am

The cold junction in the tropopause, a mix of adiabatic cooling (pressure reducing temperature at the same time solar heating trying to increase the temperature). I have 35 weeks of tropopause temperatures (computer algorithm controlled) and averaging at a coordinate seemed close to isothermal. Greenhouse gases are solar heated. Slows the adiabatic cooling. Most prominent at 10hpa by up to 30C above 70hpa, (most frequent coldest level) below 60, latitude north and south.10hpa is the coldest at coordinates with no sunlight at all.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Michael Hammer
September 9, 2022 12:40 pm

Michael “where does the 101 watts go ?”
I’ll try to explain this, probably at risk of being pilloried by commenters due to oversimplification, emissivities of 1, no view factors, etc.
Say you are staring at the wall of your room. Say your face temperature is 32 C and the wall temperature is 20 C……then according to SB equation, your face is radiating to the wall 490 watts per square meter, and the wall is radiating back to your face 418 watts per square meter.
The net is 72 watts per square meter.
This 72 watts difference is supplied by your metabolism to keep your face at 32C. Your body does NOT have to produce 490 watts/sq.M., only 72….the rest is being supplied to your body by your surroundings, NOT your cells burning sugars….
Think about that for a while….the answer to your question is there….

bill
Reply to  DMacKenzie
September 9, 2022 1:27 pm

This is an article, and a good one that discusses the unique qualities of water and we all need to be thankful they exist within the physical world we are in.
Namely the bouncy of the humid air with the water molecule, and the bouncy of the water crystal when frozen, not mentioned here, and the ridiculous characterization of the planet’s climate around a modest but also important greenhouse effect.

All part of the WE story.

Michael Hammer
Reply to  DMacKenzie
September 10, 2022 2:37 am

DMacKenzie; I 100% agree with your comments above. Indeed i have tried to present exactly the same argument many times usually resulting in pillorie. However that was not my point. The thing is that the surface emits about 123 wats/sqm at 15C between 8 and 13 microns. If 22 watts/sqM makes it out to space the rest must be intercepted. Sure some or all of that is returned to the surface but that is not the point. The point is the presence of the atmosphere is blocking about 101 watts/sqM of energy emitted by the surface reaching space. But this blocking cannot be due to GHG because they dont absorb in that region. The only significant atmospheric component that can absorb in that wavelength range is liquid water ie: clouds. OK so clouds absorb 101 watts/sqM of surface radiation between 8 and 13microns but liquid water is a broad band absorber. If it absorbs between 8 and 13 it also will absorb over the entire thermal IR range. But the surface at +15C emits 390 watts/sqM. That means either clouds are absorbing 101/123 * 390 = 320 watts/sqM or some of the energy is absorbed by GHG before it reaches the altitude of clouds. In the latter case, it hardly matters whether the energy is absorbed by GHG or by clouds, either way it is absorbed. Yes of course much of that energy is re radiated back to the surface but so what. Also, the cloud tops will radiate to space but since they are cooler than the surface the intensity will be lower and some of the cloud top radiation will be re absorbed by GHG above the cloud tops. My point was that based on your data, clouds impede radiation to space as much if not more than GHG’s. And cloud feedback is very likely to be negative.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  DMacKenzie
September 10, 2022 5:26 am

I’ll disagree with you. Your bodies metabolism must maintain the 490 W/m^2 in order for the 72 W/M^2 to be maintained.

My big beef is that all of this is at one infinitely small point in time. If you do the gradients properly, the cold body doesn’t stay at 20C and the warm body doesn’t stay at 32C. They move toward equilibrium at some point in the middle. The gradients are controlled by mass, conductivity, etc., which have an effect on where and when equilibrium will occur.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Jim Gorman
September 10, 2022 9:25 am

With that logic, if your face was only a fraction of a degree warmer than the wall, your metabolism would still have to produce 490 watts. I don’t think so.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  DMacKenzie
September 10, 2022 9:35 am

It isn’t based on logic. Think about it. Either a body radiates at its temperature or it doesn’t. If it does, then it just keeps on radiating at 490 watts. You can’t get a net toward the cold body if the “previously” hot body begins radiating at only 72 watts.

Planck calls this “compensation”. As radiation is absorbed, it is immediately subsumed into the radiation already being sent. This means though that less net heat is radiated. That’s where the net comes in.

I like to think of it like the incoming radiation “replaces” part of the radiation outgoing, thereby reheating the hot body to some point. This means the body cools slower than the radiation it is giving off. That is why gradients are important.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Jim Gorman
September 10, 2022 12:59 pm

Sure, technically your 32 C face is radiating 490 Watts, but since the surroundings were radiating at 20 C, 418 of the 490 was supplied by the surroundings….the poorly named “back radiation”….

Michael Hammer
Reply to  DMacKenzie
September 10, 2022 3:35 pm

DMacKenzie; I sympathise, I have had this argument sooooo often and never yet was able to convive non believers. I have now given up and save myself the heartache.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Michael Hammer
September 9, 2022 1:15 pm

Michael Hammer: “The author seems to be saying the GHG sensitivity is even greater than warmists are claiming.”

WR: What is said is: “With Earth’s present greenhouse effect, the surface of our imaginary planet would have had a temperature of 202.3 degrees Celsius, if only cooled by surface radiation. Total initial greenhouse warming is huge, see Table 1.”

The total greenhouse warming initially is huge. Only the actions of the evaporative-convective-cloud cooling system bring back surface temperatures to the actual level. And the strength of their actions depends on their own intrinsic properties, not on the quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 9, 2022 4:34 pm

Where I think some people are confused is the layering of the atmosphere.

The very top of the atmosphere – outer Thermosphere – is a few thousand degrees. The thermosphere absorbs a huge amount of light for the little amount of gas it has due to photoreaction. It’s primarily composed of atomic oxygen and nitrogen that have a large spectral absorption for IR.

Then the atmosphere gets cooler until the stratosphere where it suddenly gets warmer from UVC photoreaction with oxygen to create ozone. The ozone also absorbs much of the outgoing LWR like gas in the thermosphere does. Then it again gets cooler until you reach the lower tropospheric boundary layer.

Those two outer layers absorb much of the outgoing LWR that does not reach the surface. I think the one variable several people disagree with is the idea that an average of 333 W/m2 of LWR from the atmosphere warms the surface.

In your hypothetical, of an atmosphere comprised of stationary molecules radiating as a black body but not in contact with the surface, this would actually be the case. Which is funny, since that is what it takes to get the mainstream hypothesis to work. The point people are missing is that you’re saying the temperature of the surface is almost entirely due to convection and the water cycle in the lower atmosphere regardless of how much LWR reaches the surface.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 10, 2022 11:12 am

Michael is saying that the infrared window is there so earth absorbs 219.75×4 879 (60N to 40S latitude) excess heat that is then radiated out (161.8w-m2 (647w-m2) of infrared radiation (90N to 60N and 40S to 90S)) at the polar regions.
879-647=232w-m2
1.4x(101325/(287*279.3) x (SQRT(1.4*287*279.3)^2=110895J/854.4=232w-m2 (compression heating) is a closed system energy of the atmosphere.
232(compression heating +113(solar heating (105w) in stratosphere and at surface(6w) gives earth at an average 345 watts.

DMacKenzie
September 9, 2022 11:42 am

“…..produces large quantities of solar reflecting tropical clouds…..”

There are clouds randomly over about 65% of the planet reflecting incoming sunlight back into space and we shouldn’t forget them. At high latitudes even more clouds…fortunately shielding the surface from cold outer space more than they reflect sunlight at those high latitudes.
Water vapor causing cloud formation is the primary control of the planet’s temperature.
The summation of these local cloud albedos and IR emissions control the Earth’s temperature much the same way that tens of thousands of Blackjack and poker hands control a Casino’s profits.

https://epic.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Last edited 17 days ago by DMacKenzie
JCM
September 9, 2022 11:53 am

The vast desiccated terrestrial surface, perhaps now 50% desertified, sealed, and drained by humanity, has diminished the cooling mechanisms and biologically mediated cloud nucleation process. This has become a persistent problem since the advent of industrial machinery and booming population over the past century or two. It is conceivable this has diminished cooling mechanisms by a few watts per square metre.

Thanks.

Wim Röst
Reply to  JCM
September 9, 2022 12:07 pm

JCM: “The vast desiccated terrestrial surface, perhaps now 50% desertified, sealed, and drained by humanity, has diminished the cooling mechanisms and biologically mediated cloud nucleation process.”

WR: Good point. Land warms more than oceans and the drainage of Land and deforestation must play a role: once the winter and spring water is drained and has reached the sea, summer heat over Land can’t be lost by evaporation (as before) and this surely will result in some ‘climate change’ temperature records. Man-made, but it is not radiation by extra greenhouse gases which is the cause of these Summer heat records, but the lack of water and the lack of evaporation of ‘greenhouse gas water vapor’ that causes the summer heat over dried areas.

JCM
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 9, 2022 12:37 pm

What’s more is that the Clausius-Clapeyron assumptions as they relate to the earth system are far too simple. Transpiration dominates latent heat fluxes from land. This is dependent on soil moisture transmittance available via leafy veg far more than temperature. This transpired energy then must be condensed into precipitation to be released as full spectrum IR from liquid and solid water phases aloft. The condensed water further opens IR windows for surface radiative losses. Today transpired water tends to humid haze micro drops that persist instead of rapidly raining out. Fine dust particles from the eroded lands are far less effective precipitation nuclei than giant ccn sourced from microflora. Visit the aegean sea to witness the humid hazes sourced from the drylands. Less obvious but also present everywhere else. Further, bacterial ifn have a higher freezing temperature. altogether increasing the rate of water cycling, forming ice at lower altitude and higher temperature to incease atmospheric emmittance. Further, increasing the duration and quality of IR windows available from the surface as the atmosphere is dehydrated daily. Data on such matters has never been collected so hindcast model paradigms and quantification are not suitable. Water cycles are by no means a simple feedback to radiative forcing. Surface properties play an enormous role. CO2 sensitivity might appear near zero had the surface not undergone such disturbance, such that unlimited soil moisture and rich ecosystems could easily compensate. Today it is no longer the case.

Last edited 17 days ago by JCM
Wim Röst
Reply to  JCM
September 9, 2022 1:40 pm

JCM: “What’s more is that the Clausius-Clapeyron assumptions as they relate to the earth system are far too simple”

WR: This post hasn’t the pretension to be complete. It has the pretension to explain what really is setting temperatures on Earth: not the strength of the greenhouse effect. Or: it makes no sense to try to influence the strength of the greenhouse effect because that strength does not matter, it is already far too high to result in surface temperatures at a level acceptable for present forms of life.

Something else has to bring back surface temperatures to their actual level. And that ‘something else’ (H2O) does do so independently from the quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

JCM
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 9, 2022 1:55 pm

Agreed. In simple terms the best course to limit temperature rise and hydrological extremes (runoff and drought) is to restore a more stable soil moisture regime in the man made deserts. Nature supplies all the tools. Focusing on that alone is likely sufficient to appease climate anxieties. The dividends to striving for that end are bountiful. It mustn’t all be so complicated (from political standpoint).

Wim Röst
Reply to  JCM
September 9, 2022 2:27 pm

JCM: “Agreed. In simple terms the best course to limit temperature rise and hydrological extremes (runoff and drought) is to restore a more stable soil moisture regime”

WR: The considerable greening of the Earth by the rising quantity of atmospheric CO2 is helpful in restoring the quantity of water over Land. Because plants lose less water vapor when the air is richer in CO2, more plants are possible at the same area with the same precipitation, improving soils where they grow and so are enhancing the storage of water. Possibly a higher quantity of CO2 could – by its effects on the quantity of water in soils and air – prevent some heat loss. And help the Earth to prevent a next glacial. Which would be a big present.


JCM
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 10, 2022 4:26 am

Agreed. The increasing CO2 provides an excellent environment to restore soils. What is observed by satellite vegetation indices is vast plantations of Scots pine and crops fertilized with synthetics. What is often overlooked is the ongoing erosion of soils beneath the canopy I.e. loss of stable soil organics, in spite of the apparent greening above the surface. It is the soils where 10x the carbon should reside, along with several grams of water for each gram organics. Limiting ourselves to the easily observable does not necessarily reveal reality. I suggest soils are reaching peak degradation at this time. However, until this is recognized more broadly the soil sponge will never recover. The Scots Pine exported broadly from europe is not conducive to build soils globally. It was used in the early 20th century to reduce erosion on marginal farm lands which quickly became unprofitable after the soils were turned by tractor. The Pine now limits succession of natural systems. In my work we are removing the Pine and replacing with native prairie in parts of Canada. The invasive Pine is absolutely everywhere across Northern mid latitudes. A good stop gap to stabilize slopes and such 100 years ago. But arguably an environmental disaster today. These plants are limiting total transpiration.

Last edited 16 days ago by JCM
Wim Röst
Reply to  JCM
September 10, 2022 8:27 am

I remember pines do acidify the soils and free minerals that disappear with the runoff. Scotch pine is a nordic tree and may be no improvement. But if replaced by more indigenous vegetation, this also will grow better.

Most of the global map shows a higher leaf area index and without invasive species, this probably implies an improvement of the soils that get most times more spongy by the roots of all those extra plants.

comment image?itok=PBkrdDz-

ASTONERII
September 9, 2022 11:54 am

Why is the atmosphere always disregarded when calculating the temperature of the Earth without a greenhouse effect?

If the Earth surface is warmed, the atmosphere will be warmed through conduction at the surface, then by convection. This has to raise the base temperature of the Earth’s surface by some amount.

Wim Röst
Reply to  ASTONERII
September 9, 2022 12:21 pm

Astoner||: “Why is the atmosphere always disregarded when calculating the temperature of the Earth without a greenhouse effect”

WR: One problem with ‘climate science’ is that it is so complicated that a layman gets lost in its complexity. This approach for ‘surface only’ and ‘cooling by radiation only’ gives a simple image of the huge greenhouse effect already present in the Earth’s atmosphere and points to ‘other factors’ that independently from the quantity of greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere are regulating the Earth’s surface temperatures. It doesn’t matter whether the surface would heat up by the greenhouse effect to 202.3 degrees Celsius, to 225 degrees, or to 175 degrees, or even to ‘only’ 150 degrees Celsius: something else has to set surface temperatures at the actual level. And does do so. And the temperature level resulting is dependent on its intrinsic properties, the intrinsic properties of the H2O molecule.

Last edited 17 days ago by Wim Röst
Allen Stoner
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 9, 2022 2:39 pm

Thanks for the reply. I think it is important to know this value, because without it, you cannot really know the other values. If you are going off the wrong starting values, any calculations based on those values will be off.

As to respect to the surface temperature setting mechanism, as evidenced throughout history, there are upper and lower limits, but those limits are pretty extreme with respect to the water cycle. We go from ice ball earth to hothouse and are currently in an ice age with intermittent interglacial. Just 18,000 years ago, where I live now was under a mile of ice.

If the water cycle was the control knob, I would think that would mean that we would be on a purely maintain. There are many more factors than just water freezing, evaporating and condensing. But I will not disregard how strong that knob is. I am convinced it is pretty strong.

I personally do not think there is any greenhouse effect. Any amount of back radiation by the greenhouse gasses will be offset by the greenhouse gases simply being present and radiating atmospheric energy out to space that otherwise would not be radiated away, which is another reason why there should be a calculation of what happens in a non condensing atmosphere with no greenhouse gases present.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Allen Stoner
September 9, 2022 3:16 pm

Allen Stoner: “We go from ice ball earth to hothouse and are currently in an ice age with intermittent interglacial.”

WR: A large role is played by the temperature of the deep oceans: cold water surfaces at many places. When the temperatures of the deep oceans are some ten degrees lower than during a Hothouse period, ice and snow can form over large areas during the less favorable periods of the Earth’s orbit and will reflect large quantities of solar energy.

When less energy is absorbed by the high latitudes and more by the tropics (when the Earth’s axis is relatively ‘upright’) the high latitudes cool but the tropics don’t warm, because the Hadley Cells transport all ‘excess energy’ to the Intertropical Convergence Zone which transports the excess upward to have (most of it) radiated to space from elevations lacking water vapor. The higher latitudes cool, but the tropics don’t warm: average temperatures go down and when oceans are cold, a glacial looms.

Again: H2O

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
Reply to  ASTONERII
September 10, 2022 11:30 am

Wim Rost data 396w x 4 1594w-m2 includes compression heating. Take 1594-234=1360w-m2 solar recycled energy.
1.4x(101325/(287*279.3) x (SQRT(1.4*287*279.3)^2=110895J/854.4=232w-m2.

1.75(1.4*1.28kg of matter) x velocity (333 meters per second). Kinetic energy theory.
This why his high sensitivity greenhouse effect is nonexistent.

papijo
September 9, 2022 11:55 am

I agree with the conclusion, but not with the calculation …
The earth has not an emissivity of 5.5%, but rather 90 or 95% … An emissivity of 5% is the emissivity of a “miror surface” such as polished aluminium or stainless steel !

Wim Röst
Reply to  papijo
September 9, 2022 12:30 pm

papijo:”The earth has not an emissivity of 5.5%, but rather 90 or 95%”

WR: A lot of confusion is from the use of ‘the Earth’. One can get all kinds of results by making a choice for ‘another part or other parts of the Earth’. Here is chosen for the surface of the Earth and for the share of surface emission reaching space. That is clear and unequivocal. Only 22 W/m2 out of 396 emitted by the surface is able to reach space uninterrupted. 5.556%. The reason: the Earth’s greenhouse atmosphere. And its temperature effect is calculated.

Reply to  Wim Röst
September 9, 2022 1:01 pm

Apart from these figures being incorrect, how much surface radiation goes directly into space is completely, utterly, totally irrelevant. You have not the slightest clue what the GHE is!

Mark BLR
Reply to  papijo
September 10, 2022 3:17 am

I agree with the conclusion, but not with the calculation …

Instinctively I agree with you, but I’m not sure (as I start typing this) where I’ll end up with my “train of thought”.

Knowing the cooling efficiency of the Earth’s surface radiation, we can calculate the greenhouse surface temperature in the case where the surface of our imaginary planet is only cooled by radiation, as shown in Figure 2.

My “gut” reaction is that “only” is maybe a bit of an over-simplification ?

… only 22 W/m2 of surface radiated energy (396 W/m2) can reach space without being absorbed …

But according to Figure 2’s numbers 239 (or 238.5 ?) W/m² of energy eventually “reaches space”, even if it’s via the “absorbed and then re-radiated upwards” route.

What about if we use the numbers in Figure 2 to show how hot a “theoretical planet, but this time including the net GHG effect” would be using your S-B calculator …

239 (or 238.5) W/m² of “Outgoing Longwave Radiation” / 396 W/m² of “Surface Radiation” gives an emissivity of roughly 60% (0.6).

NB : This assumes that all of the 78 W/m² of “Incoming Solar Radiation … Absorbed by Atmosphere”, plus all of the 17 W/m² of “Thermals” and 80 W/m² of “Evapotranspiration” from he surface, gets transformed and dumped into the 333 W/m² of “Downwelling (longwave) Radiation… Absorbed by Surface”.
This is also a massive over-simplification !

The results are shown in the screenshot attached at the end of this post, and give a surface temperature for “S-B including net GHG effect” of just over 55°C.

Theoretical “S-B + GHG effect” delta = 55 – (-33) = 88°C.
Net “H2O (negative) feedback” = 55 (“pure” GHG result) – 15 (measured) = 40°C.

NB : Assigning 100% of the measured difference to one physical mechanism ignores the “unknown unknowns” (Rumsfeld, 2002) of science in general, and physics in particular.

On real Earth, additional cooling by evaporation, conduction, convection and clouds has lowered surface temperatures far below the level ‘radiation only cooling’ would have resulted in.

While that “additional cooling” doesn’t go as “far” as from 202°C to 15°C, the numbers are still significant even using (a more realistic variant of ?) my “S-B plus net GHG effect” approach.

Stefan-Boltzmann_1.png
Last edited 16 days ago by Mark BLR
Wim Röst
Reply to  Mark BLR
September 10, 2022 6:09 am

Mark BLR: “My “gut” reaction is that “only” is maybe a bit of an over-simplification?”
 
WR: most climate science is overly complex: that shouldn’t be the norm. Complexity might be used to confuse people. If well analyzed, the end result of the research might be simple and telling, something like E=MC2. Nobody says: too simple.
 
Mark BLR: ” But according to Figure 2’s numbers 239 (or 238.5 ?) W/m² of energy eventually “reaches space”, even if it’s via the “absorbed and then re-radiated upwards” route.”
 
WR: in order not to remain on the planet and enhance the temperature of the surface all ever-absorbed energy should have been emitted immediately to space. Any delay results in warming and to get the lowest temperature possible all energy should have departed immediately and straight to space. The S-B equation searches for the lowest temperature possible to get rid of absorbed heat. 100% Emissivity is the standard and all deviations result in a higher surface temperature. If only 5% departs immediately the calculator shows the warming effect, assuming it is the only radiation that reaches space.

(Note: Re-radiation takes place on Earth but often after convective transport brought latent and sensible heat to elevations from where emission is much more successful – while a certain greenhouse warming effect still results, a warming effect which would have been way higher when no other system ‘is helping’ re-radiation. Re-radiation must be very slow through a greenhouse atmosphere like the Earth’s given the presence of clouds and the presence of a dense and thick layer of greenhouse molecules absorbing at the same wavelengths as re-emitted by equal molecules. It is convection that hugely diminishes the delay in heat loss by presenting an ‘elevator’ to water vapor-poor elevations from where emission is efficient and delay in reaching space firmly is diminished – diminishing final greenhouse warming to the surface temperatures we know. Using a high-speed elevator to the 80th store works better than taking 80 stairs. But on Earth the high-speed convection elevator only works from 26 degrees surface temperature, because the speed and the number of the elevator(s) are temperature dependent).
 
To keep ‘the model’ as simple as possible, only surface radiation and the efficiency of surface emission are used.
 
Fortunately, we anyway get close to the end of your ‘train of thought’; your last calculation shows that in any case, we need H2O-based cooling to be able to survive, an average of 55 degrees Celsius still is much too high for life on Earth:

comment image

Mark BLR
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 10, 2022 10:18 am

… your last calculation shows that in any case, we need H2O-based cooling to be able to survive …

Yes, which is why my initial reaction to your 202°C number was along the lines of “That’s overkill !”.

… an average of 55 degrees Celsius still is much too high for life on Earth …

Please enter “extremophiles” into your favourite Internet search engine …

Wim Röst
Reply to  Mark BLR
September 10, 2022 1:59 pm

Mark BLR: Yes, which is why my initial reaction to your 202°C number was along the lines of “That’s overkill !”

WR: I agree it is simplified and the result is theoretically correct (based on the model) but will in reality be less extreme. Before I had a look at the matter from different viewpoints (and for different numbers, a bit like you did). But the result was always the same: the greenhouse effect is huge and without H2O-based cooling, our planet is not only overheated but also very unstable.

I also checked about extreme forms of Life, I knew about the life near ‘vents’ in the deep oceans. And I visited shortly a page about abiogenesis. Having had a look at ‘extremophiles’, I came to the conclusion that that is ‘not us’. So let’s be happy with the H2O control of surface temperatures. And with the intrinsic properties of the H2O molecule.

Gordon A. Dressler
September 9, 2022 11:57 am

From the abstract in the above article:
“Water Earth has a strong water-vapor-based evaporative surface cooling mechanism that effectively sets and stabilizes surface temperatures at a much lower level than cooling by surface radiation emissions can do.”

Actually, that statement is highly misleading. All the hydrological cycle (i.e., “water-vapor-based evaporative surface cooling”) does when considering the essentially long-term equilibrium conditions of Earth is to serve as a moderator of short-term variations, say on the order of a year or less.

The hydrological cycle, in long-term steady state mode only serves as a mechanism for transferring thermal energy from Earth’s surface (in particular over open waters) to the mid- and upper-troposphere. It does not function as a long-term reservoir of significant heat energy.

Also, it is a known fact that Earth’s radiation balance is set by the combination of radiation-to-space from both the surface and the atmosphere.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 9, 2022 12:58 pm

Gordon A. Dressler: “The hydrological cycle, in long-term steady state mode only serves as a mechanism for transferring thermal energy from Earth’s surface (in particular over open waters) to the mid- and upper-troposphere.”

WR: The word ‘only’ raises a question. This one: What would be the surface temperature without the hydrological cycle?

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 9, 2022 2:40 pm

“The word ‘only’ raises a question. This one: What would be the surface temperature without the hydrological cycle?”

Well, on first blush, I would expect it to be higher because the efficiency of thermal transfer by convection in a wet atmosphere (i.e., one having benefit of using the latent heats of evaporation and condensation of water) would be missing, and only dry air convection would be left.

However, thermal radiation from the surface to the atmosphere (via LWIR absorption by GHG’s and thence thermalization of that energy to all atmospheric constituents via molecular collisional exchanges) and gas convection of surface energy that is then distributed throughout the atmosphere will still be occurring as physical processes.

The Earth’s average surface temperature might get a little hotter (maybe by 10 C?) and the Earth’s atmosphere might get a little colder (maybe by 5 C?). It’s pure speculation on my part.

For sure, the absence of clouds (water vapor condensation in the atmosphere) would have effect, but that could be additional cooling OR additional warming, depending on the surface temperature as a function of latitude and season (see Willis Eschenbach’s Figure 2 in his most excellent article “A Serious Question” at this link: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/09/05/a-serious-question/ ).

But also consider this: the general absence of significant water vapor concentration in a dry atmosphere would result in significantly less greenhouse gas absorption of surface LWIR (and thus reduction in atmospheric radiation back to Earth’s surface), which could significantly “cool” the Earth (i.e., eliminate “back radiation” and enhance surface-to-deep space direct LWIR radiation).

As the saying goes: it’s complicated.

I do not have the capability or desire to try to accurately model such a change; even in doing so, I would not have much confidence in my model’s output.

Last edited 17 days ago by Gordon A. Dressler
Wim Röst
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 9, 2022 4:10 pm

Thank you for the reply. It sounds reasonable. Some more thoughts: the atmosphere absorbs a large quantity of energy (in figure 1: 78 /W/m2) absorption mainly by water vapor. Without the water cycle the quantity of water vapor will diminish, simply by raining out on the coldest places: less solar will be absorbed by the atmosphere, and more solar will reach and warm the surface. Clouds will mostly disappear and so reflection diminishes by most of the actual 79 W/m2. Oceans will absorb much more solar energy and heat up, while Land temperatures will be more extreme when humidity is way lower.

What will be important is, that even with very low quantities of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect will remain considerable thanks to the logarithmic warming effect. This means that oceans that have to lose the (lots of) absorbed heat by radiation still are disabled: but a small part of that radiated energy will reach space. What will happen with the absorbed heat without convection?

My guess is that without the hydrological cycle (but still with oceans) and with a diminished but still important greenhouse effect oceans will become hot because of rising solar absorption on the one hand and because of the loss of ways of heat loss (evaporation, convection) on the other hand.

I can’t oversee it either. But my guess is that without a water cycle we will be in big trouble. We know that with that water cycle climate is stable to a high degree. And that the level of temperatures is reasonable.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 9, 2022 6:52 pm

“. . . without a water cycle we will be in big trouble.”

Amen to that! Independent of surface temperatures, without a hydrological cycle on Earth most of the land vegetation would die off for lack of moisture on/around foliage and for lack of water for root intake (i.e., lack of rain).

There is actually not that much total land area that gets soil wet directly by percolation from adjacent freshwater lakes, rives and streams.

Without grains and other food crops (including those supporting farmed animals) civilization would almost certainly collapse.

Also, consider what would happen to both poles of Earth without precipitation of water (as snow) to replace all the ice that is constantly responding to gravity and slowly moving into the sea (ice supported by land) or just slowly melting during summer heat (Arctic sea ice).

Bye-bye climate as we know it!

Wim Röst
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 9, 2022 9:38 pm

The present hyping of weather and climate has brought us far from reality. Weather is seen as ‘bringing disasters’ caused by climate change. Not as bringing necessary rain. ‘Reversal’ is one of the tricks to confuse people. By definition, the climate is the average of thirty years of weather. When weather patterns change, climate changes. But now it is said that ‘climate change’ changes the weather….

Ever-changing weather is needed as a reaction to ever-changing circumstances. No day has the same insolation, the same winds, the same start temperature, etc. Weather constantly adapts to changing circumstances. Where and when it becomes too cold, stratified clouds will be found. When it becomes too warm, high rising cumulus will form over humid areas. Stratified clouds have a net radiative warming effect, high rising cumuli are part of huge surface cooling systems. Weather constantly adapts and has (often) contrary reactions to contrary circumstances.

Of course, changing weather patterns over longer periods cause other currents in the oceans and those will bring …. changing weather patterns. If measured over thirty years, people will say that the climate has changed. But there never has been a period climate did not change.

We know for sure that during a glacial temperatures and weather patterns changed four to five times more than during warmer periods like the present one (see Dansgaard-Oeschger events). But now it is told that greenhouse warming is causing more extremes.

It is time we get back with our feet on the ground.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 10, 2022 7:58 am

Wim,

Very well said! I am in full agreement with your post.

And let me take this opportunity to also thank you for your above article, which I consider to be excellent overall, despite my single nit-pick. 🙂

Wim Röst
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
September 10, 2022 8:53 am

Thank you, Gordon

September 9, 2022 12:22 pm

“As shown in Figure 1, only 22 W/m2 of surface radiated energy (396 W/m2) can reach space without being absorbed. A surface cooling efficiency of only 5.556%.”

The fallacy here, which underlies the whole post, is the assumption that absorbed means extinguished. It doesn’t, for thermal IR. Radiant energy that is absorbed heats the air, which then re-radiates (via GHG). That gives loss of efficiency, hence the real greenhouse effect. But the arithmetic here implies total loss, which isn’t the case. 

Wim Röst
Reply to  Nick Stokes
September 9, 2022 12:51 pm

Nick: “The fallacy here, which underlies the whole post, is the assumption that absorbed means extinguished.”

WR: Another fallacy could be the assumption that because heated air is able to re-radiate, the loss of efficiency of surface emission is canceled. Anyhow there is a delay in heat loss, causing a greenhouse effect. Then there is the problem that re-radiation by gases is at specific wavelengths, exactly the wavelengths that are absorbed by the nearest-by molecule of that specific gas. Then there is absorption by clouds. How to transport radiation through clouds? Anyhow there is a huge delay, a huge greenhouse warming effect.

My question to you: what would be the surface temperature of the Earth, assuming no evaporative-convective-cloud cooling and taking into account the effect of re-radiation?

Reply to  Nick Stokes
September 9, 2022 12:59 pm

The fallacy is in the just invented term “surface cooling efficiency”, lol. I wonder if the author himself knows what it is meant to be.

Editor
Reply to  Nick Stokes
September 9, 2022 2:07 pm

Nick,
No one disagrees that Wim’s explanation is a simplification of the real world. All greenhouse effect explanations are. His point is that the only greenhouse gas that matters, as far as setting the global average surface temperature of the Earth, is water vapor, and its solid and liquid forms and the huge amount of latent heat they all contain. This is obviously true, and too often ignored.

Minor changes in the distribution of water vapor or clouds or ice can easily compensate for other climatic factors and forcings.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Nick Stokes
September 9, 2022 3:00 pm

One can also make a reasonably good argument that the Net IR is 396 – 333= 63 of which 22 escapes through the atmospheric window directly to outer space….so 35% “cooling efficiency” that has a fairly large range locally depending on cloud cover…..

Reply to  DMacKenzie
September 9, 2022 4:45 pm

That gives some unwarranted special status to escaping photons that come directly from the surface. In fact, most come from the air (via GHG). The source has been relocated, but that doesn’t change much.

Wim Röst
Reply to  DMacKenzie
September 9, 2022 5:25 pm

DMacKenzie: “396 – 333= 63 of which 22 escapes through the atmospheric window directly to outer space….so 35% “cooling efficiency”

WR: the 22 W/m2 consists of wavelengths that are not absorbed by clouds nor by greenhouse gases (mainly H2O and CO2). The full load of 396 W/m2 of surface emission is used to get 22 W/m2 in space: the rest is absorbed. Only about 5% of surface-emitted energy reaches space. While 100% should reach space directly to cool the surface to its lowest temperature possible: 100% “cooling efficiency”.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 10, 2022 2:10 pm

Using a “staring at the wall analogy”, if your 32 C face is emitting 490 W/m^2 and the 20C wall is emitting 418 W/m^2 thereby cooling your face and requiring your metabolism to produce 72 watts/m^2 to keep your face at 32C…..do you say that the wall is 72/490 efficient at cooling your face? I don’t think so.
So your 5% of surface emitted IR energy reaching space is OK. However, that 22 watts was still 35% of the energy that could possibly be emitted to space given 333 watts of back radiation, equivalent to an average “sky” temperature of 4C (using sky emissivity of 1, so pillory me)…..

September 9, 2022 12:24 pm

Why is the atmosphere always disregarded when calculating the temperature of the Earth
======
The is a generally believed fallacy that the earth would be isothermal with a non ghg atmosphere and thus have no net warming ecfect.

This is the fallacy of averages because it would require south polar winter temperatures to equal daytime and nighttime equatorial temperatures, which is quite a bit different than what we see on an airless moon for example.

Reply to  ferdberple
September 9, 2022 4:46 pm

The is a generally believed fallacy that the earth would be isothermal”
Who believes that?

Reply to  Nick Stokes
September 10, 2022 1:44 am

I’m not going to bother searching the WUWT archives for you. Look for isothermal. You might just be surprised.

Edim
September 9, 2022 12:33 pm

Nice, but there’s no conduction between surface and atmosphere – it’s all convection. Heat transfer from a bounding surface to a fluid is called convection. I don’t know where this idea comes from that it’s conduction. Even if there’s some (extremely little) heat transfer by diffusion (conduction), it’s all included in convection.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Edim
September 9, 2022 1:25 pm

Edim: “there’s no conduction between surface and atmosphere”

WR: Definition van Oxford Languages: Conduction is “the process by which heat or electricity is directly transmitted through the material of a substance when there is a difference of temperature or of electrical potential between adjoining regions, without movement of the material.”

Convection moves the air containing latent heat of evaporation and sensible heat of conduction (and sensible heat of absorption).

Edim
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 9, 2022 1:34 pm

“Convection (or convective heat transfer) is the transfer of heat from one place to another due to the movement of fluid. Although often discussed as a distinct method of heat transfer, convective heat transfer involves the combined processes of conduction (heat diffusion) and advection (heat transfer by bulk fluid flow). Convection is usually the dominant form of heat transfer in liquids and gases.”
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convection_(heat_transfer)

You can also look up any Heat Transfer textbook. Again, heat transfer from a bounding surface to a fluid is called convection.
Still air is a very good insulator. All good insulating materials are trapped air.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Edim
September 9, 2022 2:15 pm

Edim: “convective heat transfer involves the combined processes of conduction (heat diffusion) and advection (heat transfer by bulk fluid flow).”

WR: ” convective heat transfer involves combined processes”. And one of the processes is conduction (heat diffusion).

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Edim
September 9, 2022 4:51 pm

You’re only half right though. Convection and conduction are still separate properties of heat transfer when convection takes place – which is why you don’t use air for radiator fluid.

Reply to  Edim
September 9, 2022 5:54 pm

Nice, but there’s no conduction between surface and atmosphere – it’s all convection. “
It’s more complicated than that, and there is very little direct role for what people normally think of as convection – warm air rising. The canonical heat transport in a boundary layer is Taylor-Aris dispersion. This is conduction augmented by motion, but not really convection, since the heat flows orthogonal to the shear velocity.

Once beyond the shear zone, but near the surface, much heat transport is by turbulent heat transfer. This again is conduction augmented by motion, but doesn’t correspond to what people normally think of as convection because there need not be an identifiable mean flow velocity. Both modes follow the heat conduction principle of flow proportional to the temperature gradient, but with enhanced conductivity.

September 9, 2022 12:37 pm

theoretically result in a surface temperature of 202.3°C.
=======
Venus temps are maybe not so surprising.

Last edited 17 days ago by ferdberple
Reply to  ferdberple
September 9, 2022 12:56 pm

Well, if you assume surface emissivity was the fraction of surface emissions passing through the atmosphere. Regrettably it is totally wrong. Surface emissivity is rather about 0.91, and the atmosphere has nothing to do with it.

gbaikie
Reply to  ferdberple
September 10, 2022 1:20 am

What would Venus temperature be if it was at Earth’s distance from the Sun?

Reply to  gbaikie
September 10, 2022 2:14 am

Might be an interesting exercise as it would answer one of the main points raised in this article.

Wim Röst
Reply to  gbaikie
September 10, 2022 3:34 am

Gbaikie: “What would Venus temperature be if it was at Earth’s distance from the Sun?”

WR: Not for now to study, but what would Venus’ or Mars’ temperature have been as they would have had as much H2O on their surface as we have (and the same tectonic movements)? Mars misses our surface’s cooling machine, Venus the ocean warming and the greenhouse effects. But let us first try to understand our own climate system.

Ulric Lyons
September 9, 2022 12:46 pm

Fresh *dry* asphalt at midday could reach maybe 100°C tops at lower latitudes, but the Lunar equator reaches a maximum of 120°C. Atmospheric water vapour is a moderator of surface temperatures, that’s what thermal reservoirs do.

September 9, 2022 12:54 pm

OMG! While I do my best to sort out the biggest mistakes in the science, WUWT keeps pulling out “alternative science” from the very bottom. I am speechless. There is such a lack of basic understanding, I would not know where to start.

https://greenhousedefect.com/

comment image

Javier
Reply to  E. Schaffer
September 9, 2022 3:16 pm

It is obvious that water is a cooling agent in Earth’s climate system, because latent heat flux at the ocean-atmosphere boundary is about twice longwave net radiative flux. Therefore water vapor transports heat towards higher emission altitudes strongly cooling the sea surface. In that sense it acts the opposite of a GHG by getting rid of heat instead of conserving it. Usually, that role (latent heat transport) is not considered a water-vapor feedback, but it should.

I guess that is the essence of Wim Röst article, so even if the numbers turn out not to be correct, the idea behind the article is.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Javier
September 9, 2022 4:21 pm

Javier: “Therefore water vapor transports heat towards higher emission altitudes strongly cooling the sea surface. In that sense it acts the opposite of a GHG by getting rid of heat instead of conserving it. Usually, that role (latent heat transport) is not considered a water-vapor feedback, but it should.”

WR: You know how to say it well: “Usually, that role (latent heat transport) is not considered a water-vapor feedback, but it should.”

Reply to  Javier
September 9, 2022 9:07 pm

You are right, water vapor is indeed cooling Earth, or rather the surface. And if I put it simple, it is similar to us humans sweating. But to get a handle on this, you need carefully weight the “GHE” of vapor vs. the latent heat issue. And the latter is best considered by looking at how latent heat affects the lapse rate.

You can not make such assessments based on not even understanding the basics, like the GHE and other stuff. And then such articles are simply discrediting the whole “critical side”, which I find to have less and less in common.

Frank from NoVA
September 9, 2022 12:56 pm

I had a hard time cutting through the the frequent reliance on ‘conditional’ reasoning, which is too often (successfully) used by alarmists to exaggerate the ‘danger’ of the so-called greenhouse effect (GHE). At the end of the day, we are fortunate to live on a ‘water world’, whose physical properties, including radiative, have maintained a stable environment for life over geologic time. In short, I don’t see any advantage in defining the GHE as the difference (using the numbers in Figure 1) between 396 W/m^2 and 22 W/m^2 versus the difference between 396 W/m^2 and 239 W/m^2.

Peta of Newark
September 9, 2022 12:58 pm

Simply go outside, take a look around, go exploring maybe, buy a pair (one for the soil, one for the air) of data-loggers (Elitech are nice, 0.1°C resolution and batteries last forever)

Everywhere you see water ‘on the move’, evaporating, raining, snowing, floating in clouds, sliding down hills in glaciers, everywhere you see water doing anything:

It Is Always Having A Cooling Effect

What ‘gets’ me was Stefan;s experiment to measure the temperature of the sun, using very thin metal discs (Lamella)
In his experiment where the were heated by exposure to sunlight (only) they got to a temp approaching 2,000°C and from that he worked out the temp of El Sol

How does anyone reconcile that, also with the ‘everyday’ water observations, with the Super Settled All-Singing & Dancing Scientific Green House Gas Effect?

Somebody’s ‘havin’ a laff‘ aren’t they – somebody is taking the piss.

RickWill
Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 9, 2022 7:35 pm

Somebody’s ‘havin’ a laff‘ aren’t they – somebody is taking the piss.

I do wonder if that person is still living.

Suki Manabe held a straight face when he accepted the Nobel Prize in physics last year for his models that connect CO2 to global warming. So I figure he is just the useful idiot. I wonder who planted the idea. Some say Margaret Thatched but that was after Manabe did his stuff.

September 9, 2022 2:13 pm

Take all the ghg out of the atmosphere. Take away all water. This is supposed to result in an isothermal atmosphere, without wind, without convection.

As such it is believed the atmosphere has no effect. However to be isothermal the temps at the equator must equal the poles. The temps on the side in sunlight must equal the side in darkness.

Or heat is not being exchanged between the surface and the atmosphere Otherwise how can it be isothermal?

So once you have an atmosphere without ghg or water, that is not isothermal then there will be an affect on temperature not yet accounted for by climate science.

Bob boder
Reply to  ferdberple
September 9, 2022 5:46 pm

Agreed

RickWill
Reply to  ferdberple
September 9, 2022 7:41 pm

The water is the important component in stabilising the temperature. Remove the water and Earth begins to look like the moon. Much wider range of temperature.

Julian Flood
September 9, 2022 2:23 pm

Now reduce evaporation by polluting the marine/atmosphere interface with a thin coating of light oil and/or surfactant. Benjamin Franklin showed how this could be done in 1770.

By how much would ocean evaporation have to be reduced to induce warming on the scale of AGW? And if albedo was lowered at the same time?

See Ruf and Evans Cygnss paper on microplastic pollution which touches on this. To see an extreme example of surface pollution induced warming look at the data from the Sea of Marmora and the Black Sea.

Franklin smoothed Mount Pond on Clapham Common. Using his calculation we can get a rough estimate for how much oil./surfactant would be needed to smooth an appreciable proportion of the world ocean.

I have seen an ocean smooth extending over tens of thousands of square miles. It suppressed wave breaking up to Force 4.

Anthony has my email.

JF

Wim Röst
Reply to  Julian Flood
September 9, 2022 2:41 pm

An interesting thought experiment showing the cooling role of the evaporative-convective system is the following. It is called ‘Oily Oceans’. Tomorrow we wake up and the above ten meters of all ocean water have been replaced by ten meters of fully transparent oil. The quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere remains unchanged. What is the effect on the Earth’s temperatures?

My take: without evaporation and without conductive cooling the oceans will become bloody hot. While the quantity of greenhouse gases is kept unchanged surface temperatures will rise tremendously.

So what is setting actual surface temperatures: greenhouse gases or the evaporative-convective system? The greenhouse atmosphere or Water Earth?

jprw
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 9, 2022 4:37 pm

[invalid email address -mod]

Julian Flood
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 9, 2022 7:45 pm

It’s not a thought experiment – in the real world a molecule-thick layer of oil/surfactant will lower albedo, reduce evaporation and suppress the production of cloud condensation nuclei. Where this happens the ocean surface will warm. No need for a thick oil coating.

So if the extent of smoothing is measured – Evans and Ruf show how – we should get some idea of how much global warming is caused by that. The actual detail is not important, industry, industrial farming,, synthetic surfactants etc etc, but I’d guess that oleaginous phytoplankton fed by high nutrient run-off plays a part.

Tom Wigley at UEA asked ‘why the blip?’ Marine/atmosphere pollution could explain it.

Many enclosed and polluted water bodies are warming faster than can be explained by the greenhouse theory. Pollution smoothing is a possible explanation.

JF
The warming signature predicted by AGW science, the hot-spot, is absent. Would anthropogenic local warming via smooths match the data better?

Wim Röst
Reply to  Julian Flood
September 9, 2022 9:08 pm

Julian Flood: “Many enclosed and polluted water bodies are warming faster than can be explained by the greenhouse theory.

WR: Another explanation can be a different pressure. High-pressure areas are characterized by less wind and more ‘oily’ conditions require no mixing by strong winds. I observed ‘oily conditions’ on warm canals in the Netherlands as well, when there was hardly any wind. Since 2015 we often had high-pressure areas in spring and summer, causing dryness and super sunny seasons. And low wind speeds. Such could happen elsewhere as well and should be excluded as a cause.

Julian Flood
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 10, 2022 12:19 am

We might speculate about the result of a high pressure area altering albedo and reducing stratocumulus amounts. In a nutrient rich situation you will first get a plankton bloom and then the suppressed mixing (smoothed ocean surface) means the plankton run out of food and the bloom dies. If diatoms are involved – up to 40% lipids by weight – then the smooth is amplified.

How great is Anthropogenic Local Warming caused by surface pollution? I don’t know but someone should do the research. I’ve seen smooths in the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean, the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, the Baltic, on the Great Lakes, the Atlantic. The coincidence of Arctic warming with the development of Alaskan oilfields and Russian oilfields which run-off onto the various Arctic seas might repay investigation.

Contact me and I’ll send you a fuller explanation of what I believe is going on, or look for my public Facebook post. I keep nagging Willis to do a quick and dirty number crunch on the undoubted anomalous warming of closed or semi-enclosed seas, but he’s shy about getting a Nobel. .

JF

Wim Röst
Reply to  Julian Flood
September 10, 2022 3:27 am

Julian Flood:”or look for my public Facebook post”

WR: I had a quick search but did not find the facebook post, but found this one:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/08/09/open-thread-34/#comment-3573431

The subject is interesting, and the reactions to the above mentioned comment also.

Some questions / remarks that come up:

  • what has been the role of detergents / removal of detergents?
  • what has been the role of ‘stilling’? Several papers write about wind speed that has been going down in recent decades. COADS (long-term ship observations) suggested cycles in wind speed (different for different oceans and seas) of up to a century or more.
  • Is there any seasonality in effects (by temperature, algae blooms, upwelling patterns, wind speed and wind direction, wave height etc.)
  • what are the countereffects that diminish the first effects which might be local or regional. Countereffects may happen elsewhere: different temperature gradients, different pressure patterns etc.

There is much more, but anyway, the subject is interesting. The bottom line for me is that it could be one of the ‘antropogenic influences’ like building cities (UHI effect), cutting woods, performing agriculture, draining large surface areas, irrigation somewhere else, constructing large windmill parks and large areas of solar panel changing the local surfaces and atmospheric movements etc. etc.

Yes, man influences. But does it basically changes climate? No, I don’t think so but it may have local / regional effects that we should know. But countereffects will occur and the powers of nature are beyond imagination. Last 40 years’ climate hype has specialized in not publicly discussing the real powers of nature. You can’t find any chapters about natural forces in the main reports, natural variation is excluded from the models (as far as I know). Who discussed the effect of the seasonal change in orbit (winter, summer inclination of the Sun) weather? And the long-term effects of changes in season that occur because of orbital changes? On this site, at Judith Curry’s site, and elsewhere Javier did but that is (not yet) mainstream. We don’t know about the effect of changes in salinity in the oceans, this is ‘not a sexy subject’ either. But after ten years of intense following weather and climate, I am convinced about the many (most times H2O related) mechanisms continuously resetting elements of the total system resulting in what Willis mentions ‘the incredible stability of the system’. My take is that this has all to do with the intrinsic properties of the dominant and dominantly present H2O molecules: they arrange continuously all systems by their own properties, not influenced by the quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere: the molecules do what they do, not aware of the quantities of greenhouse gases, hardly influenced by them and primarily activated/de-activated by their own intrinsic properties. Setting surface temperatures far beyond any greenhouse effect induced theoretical surface temperature and stabilizing them to a large degree.

Anyway, Julian, you made me interested in the subject, time is lacking now, but it will have my attention.

GregK
Reply to  Julian Flood
September 9, 2022 6:51 pm

There must already be a “natural” oil coating, albeit rather thin, from the decay of marine organisms. Not enough to smooth troubled waters perhaps but enough to influence surface evaporation.

Julian Flood
Reply to  GregK
September 9, 2022 7:54 pm

Yes. And that biological coating will be greatly increased by feeding the oceans with sewage, nutrients washed from overfed fields.

Look up Marmora and see the end result – sea snot!

I’d guess that smoothing and evaporation reduction go together, but I don’t know. I doubt that anyone has done that science.

If you’d like a really off the wall theory then consider the effect of erosion breaching a large oil reservoir.

JF

September 9, 2022 2:38 pm

24 hours a day, massive amounts of energy are transferred from the sunlit side of the earth to the dark side without any ghg or water vapor required.

Because s-b is a 4th power relationship, this reduces outgoing radiation by changing the temperature variance.

And according ghg theory,
a reduction in outgoing radiation leads to an energy imbalance. Surface temps must rise ro restore the balance.

Thus, the atmosphere warms the planet without ghg or water vapor and solves the missing energy problem.

Last edited 17 days ago by ferdberple
Wim Röst
Reply to  ferdberple
September 9, 2022 2:59 pm

In fact the superconductive ‘infinitely thin shell’ of the theoretical planet assumes equal temperatures. An ‘All Ocean World’ would also result in very equal temperatures (forgetting the atmosphere). Daytime absorbed energy is taken to the nightside and poles by heat storing oceans, equalizing temperatures. A 100% ‘Rock Earth’ on the other hand would cool tremendously on the night side and at the winter pole and would bring down average temperatures. Water has a lot of functions affecting temperatures. And ‘Land’ does its best to cool the surface and to destabilize surface temperatures and climates. Change the position of continents and look at the result. Climates will change.

Temperatures and Climate depend on the H2O molecule in many ways. Most chapters of the main reports on Climate should have been written about the role of the H2O molecule. Is there any chapter about H2O?

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  ferdberple
September 9, 2022 3:25 pm

“24 hours a day, massive amounts of energy are transferred from the sunlit side of the earth to the dark side without any ghg or water vapor required.”

Yes in the oceans, their surfaces barely cool at night.

Reply to  Ulric Lyons
September 10, 2022 2:26 am

The rotation of the earth carries the heat added to the sunlit oceans to the oceans in darkness in approximately 12 hours.

A similar effect happens in the air where water vapor rises and falls on a daily cycle in monsoon and tropical arras.

September 9, 2022 2:47 pm

Why does the energy balance diagram only show the sunlit side of the earth?

The energy balance diagram is fatally flawed because it fails to consider that the earth’s surface has significant periods without incoming solar energy.

The correct approach would be a dark and light energy balance side by side with flows between the two recognized.

This would help reveal flaws in current theory.

Reply to  ferdberple
September 9, 2022 3:27 pm

Oops. I see the energy balance sort of tries to show day and night but assumes surface temps are uniform.

September 9, 2022 3:06 pm

Now reduce evaporation by polluting the marine/atmosphere interface with a thin coating of light oil and/or surfactant.
=======
Don’t we make oil and surfactants out of marine algae? Algae have been around a long time. How would that be possible if they had not spent the first billion years evolving to control the ocean temps.

Ocean gets hot, algae release surfactants. Too cold, algae release oil. By controlling marine evaporation algae control the earths temp.

Human hubris to think evolution hasn’t already been their done that.

Julian Flood
Reply to  ferdberple
September 9, 2022 8:05 pm

I’m sure you’re right about biological manipulation of the ocean surface.

Oil and surfactant have the same effect. I was surprised to find that both smooth. But I there are warming and cooling mechanisms which phytoplankton use to modify temperatures – see the pale blooms of Emeliania huxleyi.

JF
Lovelock was wrong. Oceana rules our planet, not Gaia.

RickWill
September 9, 2022 4:27 pm

Because the quantity of insolation reaching the surface is controlled by tropical clouds and because of H2O-controlled surface cooling, no complete snowball Earth has probably existed. 

The critical insolation level is around 395W/m^2 to avoid snowball with the existing atmospheric mass. It presently peaks around 440W/m^2 in the tropics.

The reason Earth is not a snowball is the ability of the atmosphere to partition.

Can you estimate the water surface temperature in the photo below.

Cloud_14C.jpg
Wim Röst
Reply to  RickWill
September 9, 2022 4:45 pm

Rick Will: “Can you estimate the water surface temperature in the photo below.”

WR: That is a funny question. I would like to know a lot of things: the latitude, is there a continent nearby, is it the east side or the west side of an ocean (upwelling or downwelling water), is it the start of the day or the end of the day etc. I saw clouds like the high one in the middle, diminishing in height some two and a half hours before Sunset. It was 20 kilometers from the sea, and temperatures on land were going down to 23, 24 degrees. Clouds flattened out.

RickWill
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 9, 2022 6:30 pm

Why are there the rising fluffy clouds in the photo above a bed of cloud?

That is the important observation to understand.

The clouds are over water. The temperature of the water surface can be determined within a couple of degrees by the appearance of the clouds. They are just in the transition zone to cumulus.

Wim Röst
Reply to  RickWill
September 9, 2022 8:43 pm

If they are rising: surface temperatures should be 25, 26 degrees or higher.

Wim Röst
Reply to  RickWill
September 9, 2022 5:11 pm

The reason I think Earth was never a snowball has to do with the lowest cloud area fraction. As the following graphic shows, the cloud area fraction is lowest around 25 degrees of sea surface temperatures. My idea: this probably has to do with the Hadley cells: large high-pressure cells over the subtropics result in descending air and as usual in high-pressure cells: clouds are lacking. Average yearly sea surface temperatures: around 25 degrees (my guess). This confirms more or less what I see in summertime over the mid-latitudes: morning clouds disappear at least partly when temperatures rise above 20 degrees and above 26 degrees enhance in case the air is humid.

comment image

My guess is that around temperatures of 24-26 degrees a lot of Sunshine always is able to penetrate the oceans. Because of high evaporation salinity will be high. With ice over the poles, seawater around the poles will be relatively fresh: just a bit of evaporation, considerable rainfall, and desalinization by the formation of ice. Not much deep cold water will be formed Over the subtropical gyres I expect highly saline water to descend during wintertime at the poleward side. Considerable quantities of deep relatively warm water will be found between 40N and 40S and some warm water will be transported poleward over the surface. I expect no snowball Earth can be formed over the mid-latitudes, let alone over the tropics.

RickWill
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 9, 2022 6:44 pm

My guess is that around temperatures of 24-26 degrees a lot of Sunshine always is able to penetrate the oceans. 

The plot is the result solely of atmospheric conditions over the water surface. It has nothing to do with sunlight penetration into the water.

The plot would be more instructive if it was showing relative humidity. It is quite evident by the constant presence of clouds around 0C. That means the relative humidity is very high.

So why isn’t the relative humidity high over most of the ocean. The troposphere is only 10km or so high but oceans can be thousands of kilometres from significant land masses. Why aren’t all atmospheres over oceans saturated?

RickWill
Reply to  RickWill
September 9, 2022 7:20 pm

This is the RH plot in global ocean atmosphere for a month. An important feature are the outliers that exceed 100%. Note there are none above 13C.

Not all the outliers are necessarily real because this is based on satellite sensing of precipitable water and that deteriorates with cloud cover. There is also a timing issue between what the atmosphere is doing relative to the surface temperature so there is potential for the RH to exceed 100% due to time lags and air movement. While supersaturated conditions do occur, it is unlikely that persists for a month because that would mean precipitation for a good part of the month.

It is also reasonably well known that the satellite data can have significant error to the low side over dense cloud. So the shallow minimum around 23C is less pronounced than what actually occurs.

RH.png
Wim Röst
Reply to  RickWill
September 9, 2022 8:53 pm

About the graphic: which part of the air column is measured? The whole air column? And because the time period is a month, both ascending (humid) and descending (dry) columns will be measured. Only constant ascending columns will reach 100% or more. We need more information to be able to interpret the graphic well.

Reply to  RickWill
September 10, 2022 2:09 am

Why aren’t all atmospheres over oceans saturated?
===[[
At a guess. The water vapor either rises because it is lighter than air or is wrung out of the air by falling temps at night..

Last edited 16 days ago by ferdberple
RickWill
Reply to  ferdberple
September 10, 2022 3:28 pm

Ocean surfaces temperature changes very little over night.

All rising air will eventually form cloud that insulates the surface from sunlight. And high humidity prevents further evaporation.

Alasdair
September 9, 2022 6:14 pm

Wim Rost:

The answer is that H2O-related cooling (evaporative, convective and tropical cloud cooling) is very strong, very dynamic, and very effective in the temperature range above 15°C.”

CORRECT: The reason why this is so is because the evaporation RATE of Water is a function of the Difference between the Vapour and Partial pressures prevailing at the water/atmosphere interface. A plot of these pressures at various temperatures reveals that at circa 30degC a rapid increase in this Rate occurs but WITHOUT increase in temperature.
The Enthalpy involved being converted to Latent Heat with a large increase in volume.
The volume increase renders the Vapor buoyant wrt. dry air resulting in rapid movement UP through the atmosphere for dissipation in the clouds with some to space.
At some 694 Watts/kg evaporated this swamps any incoming radiation which gets absorbed; rendering the Water unable to go much above this maximum 30degC value.
Statically this would result in a figure of around 15degC as an average or mean sea surface temperature, depending on how screwed the histogram was of the observed data.

This all occurs alongside any energy movements due to radiation alone and should not be confused with convective movement, being independent of temperature difference.

References:
1) The engineering Toolbox website.
2) The standard Phase Change graph.
3) The Steam Tables.

Reply to  Alasdair
September 10, 2022 2:39 am

should not be confused with convective movement, being independent of temperature difference.
=====
Is convection not a result of density differences? Less dense air rises?

Wim Röst
Reply to  ferdberple
September 10, 2022 5:09 am

As far as I know, density differences are the driver of convective movements in oceans and in the atmosphere (if convective movement is defined as upward/downward movement of air resp. water). In the air, density differences occur because of temperature differences and/or differences in the quantity of water vapor in the air, in oceans (downward) convection results from lower temperatures and/or higher salinity. When temperatures in the oceans are more equal (when poles are warmer as in a Hothouse situation) salinity differences become more important and it becomes easier for the warm saline water of the subtropical gyres or from enclosed basins and/or from broad shallow coastal subtropical areas to form warm deep water – welling up again at the poles (by Ekman forces) and keeping the poles ice-free.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Alasdair
September 10, 2022 4:58 am

Alasdair: “A plot of these pressures at various temperatures reveals that at circa 30degC a rapid increase in this Rate occurs but WITHOUT increase in temperature.”

WR: Interesting. Do you have an example of such a plot? What exactly causes the rapid increase in the rate?

dh-mtl
September 9, 2022 6:26 pm

‘Evaporation rises by 6-7% (Clausius-Clapeyron) per degree of temperature rise, a huge percentage.’

This statement is correct, but at the same time it greatly underestimates the effect of water temperature on the rate of evaporation over the oceans. In addition to the direct affect of temperature on the rate of evaporation, the increased evaporation results in increased concentrations of water vapor, resulting in increased air density differences and thus increased wind. As the rate of evaporation increases linearly with the wind speed, the increased wind speed causes even more evaporation, resulting in a self-reinforcing feed-back mechanism. In addition when wind speeds become strong enough to cause waves with broken surface, the surface area available for evaporation can increase by orders of magnitude. Thus for a narrow range of temperatures, for example from 25C to 30C the rate of evaporative cooling from a given ocean surface can increase by orders of magnitude. This mechanism is what drives tropical storms.

In a recent post(1), Javier Vinós & Andy May presented – ‘6.3 ENSO: The tropical ocean control center’. I agree with this but would take it a step further. ENSO is the control center for the climate of the entire planet.

One must take into account that there are essentially 3 sources of energy input into the tropical Pacific :

  1. Direct solar input (time constant of a few months)
  2. Pacific Ocean circulation (time constant of a few years)
  3. ‘Global Conveyor Belt’ ocean circulation (time constant of a few decade

ENSO balances the heat input from these three sources by oscillating between a low heat extraction phase (La Nina) and a high heat extraction phase (El Nino) in order to ensure a relatively stable climate in spite of the significant variability of various climate drivers.

And how does ENSO do this? Through the mechanism of Water Evaporation.

In fact ENSO is a natural oscillation between two unstable states :

  • When the water is cool and there is no wind, there is not enough evaporative cooling to off set the heat that is coming in to the tropical Pacific. The water will warm.
  • As the water warms, evaporation increases, wind increases, evaporation further increases, wind further increases, wave action increases, and soon the rate of evaporative cooling greatly exceeds the rate of energy input. The water will then begin to cool.
  • The system will always overshoot in each direction because of system inertia. It takes time (months) to get the winds would up, or slowed down. Indeed it is the system inertia that dictates they typical 3 – 4 year ENSO cycle.
  • It is this oscillation between these two unstable states, low evaporative cooling and high evaporative cooling, that ensures that the tropical Pacific ocean never gets much below 25 C, and never much above 30 C.

1The Sun-Climate Effect: The Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis (VI). Meridional transport is the main climate change driver, WUWT, 2022-09-04

Reply to  dh-mtl
September 10, 2022 2:51 am

And why do the trades bunch up into squall lines as you approach the itcz?

Editor
Reply to  ferdberple
September 10, 2022 4:04 am

Mostly because the Sun is directly overhead and circulation there is nearly vertical, as the humid air rises to form storms.

A Ireland
Reply to  Andy May
September 11, 2022 3:24 pm

Andy: Kudos to you and Javier for proposing a thought provoking Hypothesis of Meridonal Transport (MT) to the poles in winter as a major driving force of climate. The WUWT and JudithCurry websites provide a lot of interesting technical viewpoints, and many contribute valuable climate insights, like; yourself, Javier Vinos, Rick Will, CmoB, David Middleton, Wim Rost, Charles Rotter, Anthony Watts, Rud Istvan, and too many others to name.
The metaphor of the great climate discussion (unlike Koonin vs Dessler debate) being the “elephant analyzed by blind men” is totally appropriate for the myriad voices debating minutiae of obscure possible geophysics of the climate system.
Javier and you provide an excellent overview of related peer reviewed papers over the decades, that buttress and provide context for your MT hypothesis so as to deserve serious consideration.

The real clincher to consider is the correlation of delta Length of Day (dLOD) of about 2mS you identify during the 97CS, shown in your figure 4.5(g) plot. This appears to be a fully independent confirmation of a significant change of planetary angular momentum/energy. There are few other mechanisms that could produce this magnitude of energy change, other than gravitational effects or most plausibly gigatons of H2O migrating from low latitudes over time. By comparison the December 2004 Indian Ocean quake released about 40ZJ of energy and changed the LOD by only about 2.6 microseconds, or about 2.6 parts in 8.6 x10exp13.
Who knew that the Earth’s rotation might be interpreted as a signal of climate effects – a proxy or diagnostic of changes.

One kg of water vapor/ice crystals locally surface stationary at midday at about the Equator at ~12km high at the anvil head of a fully developed cumulonimbus cloud has a planetary tangential velocity of about 1,666 km/hr. If this 1 kg is transported towards e.g. the N pole then it will intercept the Polar Vortex effects at about ~50 deg N, so the angular momentum change is close to the square of the 1/cosine of the PV latitude (distance from earth’s axis), where this 1kg merges with the new longitudinal PV flow velocity. This is a rough estimate of Coriolis and mass flow effects. Integrating over the real mass flows and velocities provide huge angular momentum/energy changes that reasonably could modify planetary angular momentum around a mean value of LOD. Water and snow do not dead end at the poles, so conservation of mass requires some reverse effect over some cyclical time period to reverse this energy flow to balance the system- maybe climate?

The MT time constants are in the range of seasonal and climate effects that bedevil the clear analysis of so many overlapped; diurnal, lunar, solar, orbital effects that make it tough to order or prioritize the influence of different physical effects, to clearly predict or accurately model climate systems. Static TSI/TOA OLR energy balances are simply not realistic.

Your figure 4.2 plot of oscillation/periodicity modes of AMO, and the figure 4.3 Stadium Wave suggest that there is a clear set of interacting modes that correlate with Fourier components and phases and are not really random.
Following your and Javier’s hypothesis, may it finally be possible to better order climate science and energy flows with testable models, that properly include; clouds, water and latent heat transport, and so develop a truly useful and falsifiable “Grand Unified Theory of Climate” (GUToC) ?

I am not on any “side” of this issue. I simply have some formal training in physics, so follow Feynman’s effective admonishment that ‘anything that does not provide predictions that are not falsifiable by verifiable measurements is not a real theory’.

Editor
Reply to  dh-mtl
September 10, 2022 4:00 am

Thanks, good comment.

Philip CM
September 9, 2022 7:04 pm

Doesn’t this bring us all back to… weather changes?

n.n
September 9, 2022 8:09 pm

There is a probable mistranslation from radiative to thermal effect in an environment that emitted excess radiation after the first wave,

Wim Röst
Reply to  n.n
September 9, 2022 10:25 pm

n.n. “a probable mistranslation”

WR: Where?

MuskOx12
September 9, 2022 10:21 pm

WR, thank you for such an interesting post. Well done!

Wim Röst
Reply to  MuskOx12
September 9, 2022 10:23 pm

Thanks! My pleasure!

gbaikie
September 10, 2022 2:29 am

“The Earth’s greenhouse effect is huge, much higher than normally assumed. If cooled by ‘surface radiation only’ the surface of a theoretical planet would have had a surface temperature of 202.3°C.”

Well, I would agree Earth greenhouse effect is huge, but mainly because some people might claim Venus greenhouse is huge- and I tend to think it is smaller than Earth’s greenhouse effect.
It seems we need comparison to get any meaning to the hugeness of Earth greenhouse effect.

I think Venus at Earth distance, would be quite cold compare to Earth as Earth has bigger greenhouse effect.
But it seems if Earth was at Venus distance, Venus would be hotter.
It is imagined the Venus ocean boil away {and it was very small ocean] and it seems rather unrealistic to expect Earth ocean to boil away, but one might expect Earth to have lot more clouds. And if have clouds, you one has cooling not of “surface radiation only” but mostly from all these clouds.
Or if gave Venus our ocean it would the cooling effect because had our ocean- And Venus would unable to boil way this vast ocean in billions of years.

Wim Röst
Reply to  gbaikie
September 10, 2022 4:45 am

Gbaikie, I prefer to focus on trying to understand the Earth’s cooling/warming system, but imagining Venus at the distance of the Earth from the Sun and with a comparable quantity of H2O molecules at its surface I guess that the huge convective H2O-based cooling system would rapidly cool its surface, probably to about the Earth’s temperatures, assuming no other clouds than H2O clouds would cover the sky. Venus now has clouds:

“Venus’ thick cloud layer forms at about 50 kilometres (km) from the planet’s surface, when sulphur dioxide from volcanoes combines with water to form sulphuric acid, one of the most corrosive substances in the natural world. Any remaining sulphur dioxide is rapidly destroyed by solar radiation above 70 km.” Source

In case huge H2O-induced convection would expose the sulphur dioxide clouds to solar radiation, that type of cloud could disappear. If not, the quantity of H2O clouds compared to Earth’s quantity probably would diminish, to enable more sunshine to reach the surface until the quantity of H2O clouds finally would be settled somewhere below the Earth’s quantity of H2O clouds. At a slightly lower surface temperature.

(just my first thoughts – not being a Venus specialist)

gbaikie
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 10, 2022 9:48 am

–Gbaikie, I prefer to focus on trying to understand the Earth’s cooling/warming system, but imagining Venus at the distance of the Earth from the Sun and with a comparable quantity of H2O molecules at its surface I guess that the huge convective H2O-based cooling system would rapidly cool its surface, probably to about the Earth’s temperatures, assuming no other clouds than H2O clouds would cover the sky. Venus now has clouds:–

And Venus rocky surface has very long day. And not much tilt.
Venus currently has 4 to 5 day rotation in the upper atmosphere, but it’s rocky surface has very long day. If Venus had same spin as Earth, it would like Earth at Earth distance with Earth ocean.
Or I assume, Venus atmosphere rotates because it’s heated in it’s upper atmosphere
[roughly 50 Km elevation] and it’s due to the intense sunlight at Venus distance.

Another way to look at it, is Venus absorbs 170 watt on average at Venus distance and it should absorb less sunlight at Earth distance.

Though Earth at Venus distance could absorb about as much or absorb less than Venus does.

Wim Röst
Reply to  gbaikie
September 10, 2022 1:44 pm

Good points I think. I know, it is very complicated to compare planets. That is why the theoretical planet with the infinitely thin and superconducting shell is developed. As soon as we start making assumptions at only one point – let alone at two or more points – simplicity and ‘the simple view’ are gone and the result is susceptible to manipulation in the direction of the ‘wished result’, which does not say that by everyone ‘a wished result’ is at his/hers center of attention. But it becomes a path of ‘glissy ice’, especially for relatively laymen like me. So I tried to avoid complexity while still staying near the core of the system.

About other planets: I will be careful.

gbaikie
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 10, 2022 2:19 pm

Some say Earth could become like Venus.
And one can assume they mean much hotter.

Maybe they mean colder. I don’t like idea of this Ice Age, become a lot colder. Though it seems it’s destined to become a bit cooler, as we a bit late into this interglacial period

Wim Röst
Reply to  gbaikie
September 10, 2022 3:37 pm

gbaikie: “Though it seems it’s destined to become a bit cooler, as we a bit late into this interglacial period”

WR: I think so. Intermediate waters in the oceans show a long-term cooling trend, suggesting we are on our way to the next glacial. See for example:

Source

Rosenthal et. al 2017.png
September 10, 2022 3:36 am

The lapse rate of the atmosphere is well known and all planetoids with an atmosphere thick enough have convective cooling which produces a lapse rate. So, to claim that the earths convective cooling is somehow unique is ridiculous. Venus has much the same processes, with a convective cooling up to clouds.

The problem is that the “greenhouse model” is a total load of useless twaddle and totally ignored the fact that in the majority of the atmosphere the rate of change as we leave the atmosphere, isn’t set by how much IR active gases are present, but simply that there is convection present.

Tim Gorman
September 10, 2022 3:59 am

nearly all surface emitted energy returns to the surface as downwelling radiation or (without convection) and stays as sensible heat in the lower atmosphere.”

I’ve read a part of this post and agree with much of what I’ve read so far. This I don’t agree with. If sensible heat *stays* in the lower atmosphere then the atmosphere would continue to heat over time and the temperature would just keep rising. That doesn’t happen so that sensible heat is lost in some fashion or another; convection, conduction, or radiation; until an equilibrium point is reached.

This is probably just a nitpick but it could lead to misinterpretation by some.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 10, 2022 7:47 am

Tim Gorman: “If sensible heat *stays* in the lower atmosphere then the atmosphere would continue to heat over time and the temperature would just keep rising”

WR: Correct, without convection the temperature keeps rising, if necessary to 202.3 degrees. Convection is the shortcut to elevations from where radiation can be radiated to space with a high efficiency: from where the main greenhouse gas water vapor is lacking. By evaporation, convection and clouds, the 202.3 degrees goes down to just 15 degrees.

Bloke down the pub
September 10, 2022 4:07 am

I’ve wondered in the past as to what impact there would be on global temps if pollution or biolgical growth such as algal blooms caused the Earth’s oceans to be covered in a liquid that didn’t so rapidly evaporate.Wouldn’t his single process lead to a rise in the temperature?

Tim Gorman
September 10, 2022 4:48 am

Why is the contribution of nitrogen and oxygen to radiative heat loss never included? Neither may absorb LWIR but they both can gain energy from collisions with GHG’s. That energy *is* radiated by nitrogen and oxygen.. Is the amount just considered to be small enough to ignore?

The atmosphere, including nitrogen and oxygen, does absorb light energy. It’s why the sky looks blue, much of the other light frequencies are absorbed in the atmosphere. Is this all from water vapor? Or does nitrogen and oxygen play a part? This represents a gain in energy. Something happens to that energy. Doesn’t a portion of it get radiated back to space? Is that subsumed into the albedo factor?

It just seems that there are lots of other factors than just water vapor and GHG’s involved in the overall process and they never get discussed.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Tim Gorman
September 10, 2022 8:07 am

Tim Gorman: “Why is the contribution of nitrogen and oxygen to radiative heat loss never included?”

WR: Their contribution is but low, somewhere below one percent or so:
https://qph.cf2.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-1c0fe875a2200e4f68014292488a6f2d-lq

As you can see water vapor also absorbs shortwave energy: it must be an important factor in warming the atmosphere and in stimulating humid convective flows to rise faster. In the early morning when some cloud tops get the first Sunlight, those places are probably the first to form convective columns. Clouds and water vapor both absorb shortwave, part of it.

Nelson
September 10, 2022 8:36 am

So water vapor is a coolant! This is consistent with the data from the tropics presented by Maria Hakuba from the JPL shown in the attached slide.

Is it any wonder why the hotspot in the troposphere predicted by climate models is missing?

H20CO2TYropics.png
September 10, 2022 10:33 am

Regarding “The efficiency of cooling by surface radiation is very low: after absorption, nearly all surface emitted energy returns to the surface as downwelling radiation or (without convection) and stays as sensible heat in the lower atmosphere”: The thermal radiation from the surface that is absorbed by greenhouse gases and clouds does not actually have 84.5% of itself (333/394) being returned to the surface by reradiation in the form of “back radiation”, and does not have only 5.556% of its outgoing radiation (22/396) escaping to space because the 22 W/m^2 figure is the non-stop subset of escape. The greenhouse gases and clouds have energy budget of 549-550 W/m^2, with about 39.5% of the 550 W/m^2 that they radiate being outward and about 60.5% being towards the surface. This means that about 51.1% (60.5% * 84.5%) of the thermal radiation from the surface gets reradiated back to the surface, and about 48.9% of the radiation from the surface either escapes into space unabsorbed (5.556% 22/394) or gets absorbed and reradiated into space by greenhouse gases and clouds (the other ~43.3 of this ~48.9%).

Warming of the surface by having 51.1% of its outgoing thermal radiation being returned to it would cause its temperature in Kelvin to increase by a factor of (1/.489)^.25, which is 1.196. Using the Stephan Boltzman radiation law, 161 W/m^2 with 100% emissivity means 230.84 degrees K -42.3 C, and with 48.9% emissivity means 276.04 K 2.89 C. (161 W/m^2 with 48.9% emissivity results in temperature same as about 329 W/m^2 with 100% emissivity.)

Add to this: Thermal radiation to the surface from greenhouse gases has not only about 60.5% of the 333 W/m^2 of radiation they receive from the surface, but also 60.5% of the 78 W/m^2 they absorb from sunlight. (This is oversimplified, the figure is slightly over 60.5% of radiation absorbed from below, somewhat less than 60.5% of radiation absorbed from above.) 60.5% of 78 W/m^2 is about 47 W/m^2, that plus 329 W/m^2 is 376 W/m^2. This is still oversimplified because I omitted non-radiant heat flows, some of which result in heating clouds and greenhouse gases and adding a few W/m^2 of radiation that the surface is receiving.

For a simpler calculation indicating a lower figure of effective surface emissivity: The surface is radiating 396 W/m^2 while receiving 161 W/m^2 of sunlight reaching it directly nonstop. This would indicate surface temperature of (396/161)^.25 times 230.84 K, which is 289.09 K / 15.9 C if the surface emissivity is 100% (a little more if the surface emissivity is less than 100%), and the according effective surface emissivity being about 40.65% of actual surface emissivity (161/396).

Wim Röst
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
September 10, 2022 3:04 pm

The strength of the greenhouse effect is shown by the share of surface emission reaching space uninterrupted: 22/396 = 5.556%. Any delay causes warming: 94.444% of surface emission has a delay which will be huge in case no evaporative-convective-cloud cooling exists.
 
Additional problem: dynamic evaporative-convective-cloud cooling is activated and de-activated according to the intrinsic properties of the H2O molecule. Not by the quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Reply to  Wim Röst
September 11, 2022 11:56 am

The delay from outgoing radiation being absorbed and re-radiated by greenhouse gases on its way from the surface on its way to space (for the ~39.5% of this absorbed/reradiated radiant heat that goes outward into space rather than being returned to the surface) is mostly microseconds or milliseconds. Meanwhile, evaporative and convective cooling of the surface combined are 97 W/m^2 (of 493 W/m^2 going out from the surface), while the surface receives 161 W/m^2 of sunlight. And, the 22 W/m^2 direct nonstop radiation route (13.66% of 161 W/m^2) indicates 58.55% warming from 230.84 K before accounting for indirect radiation routes, and the indirect heat escape routes mostly involve entirely radiation although a minority of this escape involves nonradiative heat transfer along the way.

At least 160 of this 161 W/m^2 received directly by the surface from the sun is leaving the planet/atmosphere and going into space by means of radiation, and the surface energy budget (including convection and evaporation) is 493 W/m^2. Even a calculation using these figures, with the 97 W/m^2 non-radiation surface cooling eliminated (and replaced by radiation from a warmer surface) but with the subset of the non-radiative surface cooling which gets radiated towards the surface by greenhouse gases and clouds not being eliminated, only results in an absolute temperature increase by 32.3% from 230.84 K to 305.36 K.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Donald L. Kipstein
September 12, 2022 3:15 am

Donald L. Kipstein: The delay from outgoing radiation being absorbed and re-radiated (…) is mostly microseconds or milliseconds. 
 
WR: Surface radiation by definition is upward and in case it reaches space cools the Earth and the surface. But only 5.556% of surface radiation reaches space. The rest is absorbed by full spectrum absorbing clouds covering 60% of the sky or at specific wavelengths absorbed by greenhouse gases abundantly present in the lowest atmosphere.
 
Re-radiation by the bottom of a cloud is directed upward and downward. The upward-directed half meets an opaque cloud environment and
will be absorbed. The downwelling half is warming and not cooling the atmosphere and the surface below. Instead of cooling, this half of re-radiation is doing the opposite. Re-radiation by water vapor and carbon dioxide is only at specific wavelengths, missing the wavelengths that are able to reach space through the ‘open window’. Re-absorption by one of the surrounding water vapor or carbon dioxide molecules is what we can expect. And in the same way as for clouds: upward re-radiation is hardly or not effectively cooling and downward re-radiation is not cooling the surface but keeping it warm. The total delay in cooling must be huge, if not helped by some natural solution.
 
To overcome the problem of non-cooling in the lower troposphere, it is needed that re-radiation takes place from higher elevations lacking water vapor. A shortcut is needed: convective upward transport. But large-scale convective transport first happens when evaporation is firmly activated (happening at higher surface temperatures) and/or when sensible heat reaches a high level. For convection to take place at relatively low surface temperatures, cooperation with a lot of lightweight H2O molecules is needed. But intrinsic properties of the H2O molecule restrict evaporation at the lowest temperature levels. Consequently, considerable upward convective transport does not take place at low temperature levels but first in the higher range found on our surface. In humid circumstances, convection is huge from 26 degrees Celsius.
 
Because of the Earth’s high greenhouse effect (which has been high ever since the creation of Water Earth) the level of the Earth’s surface temperatures always has been dependent on the very dynamic and temperature-dependent strength of convection. Without convection, it would not have been possible to get surface temperatures down to the present level. Given Earth’s natural greenhouse atmosphere, surface radiation alone simply cannot do the job and never could. Re-radiation without preceding convective upward transport can’t do the job either. Convection is the bottleneck and because of the intrinsic properties of the H2O molecule, the quantity of convection that is needed to result in present temperatures first takes place at present temperatures. Higher temperatures speed up evaporative-convective-cloud cooling dynamically, lower temperatures diminish evaporative-convective-cloud surface cooling dynamically. Intrinsic properties of the H2O molecule determine final surface temperatures (for every specific state of the Earth’s surface and position of the planet) and its intrinsic properties never change(d).

Greenhouse gases don’t change the intrinsic properties of the H2O molecule either. And the quantity of greenhouse gases doesn’t play a role: without evaporative-convective-cloud cooling, surface temperatures of Water Earth always would have been too high for present life. Too high, simply by the natural system which is evaporating the main greenhouse gas water vapor in quantities determined by the intrinsic properties of the H2O molecule. The stimulating effect on convective cooling by the extra water vapor is high, but the (logarithmic) warming effect of the same rise in water vapor is only very low. High surface cooling by water vapor neutralizes (low) initial surface warming by water vapor.
 
To prevent overheating by the natural greenhouse effect, the solution came from the natural system itself: evaporative-convective-cloud cooling, setting and stabilizing surface temperatures at a life-friendly temperature level. Whether extra greenhouse gases have an initial warming effect (and they have) is not of any importance: the surface-cooling convective system immediately reacts to the slight rise in surface temperatures by cooling strongly and in doing so, prevents a final rise in temperatures. Temperatures above present temperatures highly activate evaporative-convective-cloud cooling, temperatures below present temperatures deactivate.
 
What brings some variation (1-2 degrees) over centuries is natural variation by a dynamic (and unpredictable) oceanic-atmospheric climate system, variations happening in super-imposed cycles of different cause and magnitude and altogether behaving up and down. All on the timescale(s) of the Earth.

P.S. I suppose Donald L. Klipstein and Donald L. Kipstein are one and the same person.

Reply to  Wim Röst
September 12, 2022 11:17 am

I repeat, eliminating all non-radiative cooling of the surface only removes 97 of the 493 W/m^2 that is leaving the surface. And, for an extreme calculation, warming the surface enough to have this replaced by radiation outgo even with 60.5% of that extra radiation being returned to the surface by clouds and greenhouse gases means increasing the surface temperature to have 100/39.5 times 97 W/m^2 radiation increase, from 493 to 739 W/m^2. Even that would only increase surface temperature in Kelvin by 10.65% of what it is now, from 289.09 K / 15.9 C to 319.99 K / 46.73 C.

As for delay of outgoing heat because most of it is other than the 5.556% of radiation from the surface that escapes to space non-stop: Some of the remainder escapes with only absorptions and reradiations by greenhouse gas molecules along the way, which mostly happens in a matter of milliseconds. But if you want a thermal time constant of outward radiational cooling of the atmosphere (including the at least 99% of its molecules that are not of greenhouse gases): A square meter column of Earth’s atmosphere has mass of about 10,100 kg/m^2 as averaged over Earth’s surface, with average figure at sea level being 10,323 kg/m^2. Using 10,323 and the R Universal Gas Law Constant of 8.31446 J/mole-K and atmospheric average molar mass rounded down to .0289 kg/mole and using the diatomic molecule figure for specific heat at constant pressure being 7/2 of R, a square meter column of Earth’s atmosphere, I figure it takes 10.4 megajoules per square meter to change the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere by 1 degree C/K. Divide this by the 217 W/m^2 outgoing longwave radiation from the atmosphere and multiply this by the average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere as weighted by density (which I estimate as 260 K, even though 249 K radiates 217 W/m^2), I figure thermal time constant as 12.46 million seconds, which is slightly less than 40% of a year. Because heat flows in the atmosphere are changing slowly over multiple decades, storage time of 40% of a year while things are changing over multiple decades means that delay as calculatable by storage time has negligible effect.
BTW, I don’t have a spell checker running on how I type my surname.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
September 13, 2022 1:55 am

Donald L. Klipstein: “Even that would only increase surface temperature in Kelvin by 10.65% of what it is now, from 289.09 K / 15.9 C to 319.99 K / 46.73 C.”
 
WR: Final temperatures on Real Earth are set at about 288K (15°C), 31.73 degrees lower than calculated above for ‘radiation cooling only’. The same conclusion remains: ‘something else’ than radiation is setting surface temperatures on Earth. And the only option for that ‘something else’ is the H2O-related cooling system.
 
The question is, whether (1) the strength of an independently operating (by its intrinsic properties activated and de-activated) evaporative-convective-cloud-cooling system sets surface temperatures independently from the strength of the greenhouse effect, or (2) the strength of the greenhouse effect still can play a role while radiation-only is not able to bring back surface temperature to actual level but the independently operating H2O-related surface temperature system does (by cooling being strongly activated and de-activated respectively above and below actual average surface temperature)*.
 
*Note that another important role is played by the intrinsic property of the H2O molecule to freeze at 0 degrees Celsius (freshwater) or minus 1.8 degrees Celsius for seawater, adding to H2O-control of surface temperatures. This intrinsic property puts a cap on temperatures for ocean water below sea ice, keeping ocean temperatures between a yearly 30°C and -1.8°C.
 

Reply to  Wim Röst
September 13, 2022 3:52 pm

I agree with you that if the only effect of water is its vapor being a greenhouse gas, Earth would be warmer than it is now. But I disagree with your calculation methodology & your claim that Earth’s surface temperature would be anywhere near 202.3 C. I showed my work indicating less than 47 C with oversimplifications in the direction of higher temperature. Meanwhile, ability of water to freeze or melt does not change the numbers of the Figure 1 energy budget of the surface and of the atmosphere (except by surface albedo positive feedback if surface temperature is changed, which neither of us is considering so far), while both of us are using the numbers in Figure 1 in our calculations. There is still the matter that change of greenhouse gases is changing these numbers slowly over decades, while you argued (including on basis of a delay that I showed a calculation of) that because most of the subset of surface radiation that makes it out to space is other than the 5.556% of surface radiation that goes there nonstop without even being re-emitted towards space after absorption by a greenhouse gas molecule, the surface has no radiational cooling other than that 5.556%.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
September 15, 2022 4:16 am

Donald L. Klipstein: ” I agree with you that if the only effect of water is its vapor being a greenhouse gas, Earth would be warmer than it is now. But I disagree with your calculation methodology & your claim that Earth’s surface temperature would be anywhere near 202.3 C.”
 
WR: The calculation is for the theoretical planet described (about the standard theoretical planet used to compare planets) and the calculation is by the S-B calculator. The claim is that the Greenhouse effect is huge and that on Real Earth ‘something else’ than surface radiation has to bring down surface temperatures to the low level of 15 degrees Celsius. Because of the greenhouse effect caused by the low efficiency of surface radiation in reaching space, surface radiation can’t bring down surface temperatures to the actual level. That ‘something else’ that sets the actual level is H2O-related surface cooling, there simply is no other option. As indicated, the intrinsic properties of the H2O molecule activate and de-activate surface cooling by H2O in a way that 15 degrees Celsius for the present state results.
 
Donald L. Klipstein: “Meanwhile, ability of water to freeze or melt does not change the numbers of the Figure 1 energy budget of the surface and of the atmosphere (except by surface albedo positive feedback if surface temperature is changed, which neither of us is considering so far), while both of us are using the numbers in Figure 1 in our calculations.”
 
WR: You are correct. Freeze or melt does not change the numbers of the energy budget used. Freezing or melting depend on the specific intrinsic property of the H2O molecule to do so at the temperature prescribed. But the numbers for minimum and maximum temperatures of the oceans also show the dominance of H2O in setting surface temperatures at actual level, far from the ‘radiation only cooling’ for the surface of the theoretical planet. I added the numbers to further show the overall dominance of the H2O-molecule over surface temperatures.
 
Donald L. Klipstein: “There is still the matter that change of greenhouse gases is changing these numbers slowly over decades, (…)”
 
WR: That greenhouse gases are changing numbers over decades is an assumption. We know numbers are changing over decades, but they always did: the history of weather and weather events and of climate change over geological periods shows. Even in periods with nearly stable CO2, global climates have been changing enormously, as the enormous jump in temperatures from the Last Glacial Maximum to our warm Holocene shows. Science requires that ‘all other options have to be refuted’. My option is that warmer subsurface inflows into the Arctic of warmer than usual Atlantic waters have resulted in ice melt over decades, changing the quantity of water vapor in the air above, resulting in changing weather patterns. A near endless flow of low-pressure systems was drawn to the Arctic, taking warm and humid air with them, resulting in high turbulence also in the upper layers of the ocean (by the storms), enhancing surface mixing (warming, because the lower water in the Arctic is warmer), resulting in more ice melt etc. How the change in weather patterns affected the weather in Western Europe is well described here: https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/joc.7763
 
As all happens in cycles, this multidecadal pattern will reverse at some moment. Because all happens against the background of the recovery from the cold Little Ice Age, the net effect for the near future cannot be predicted: a multitude of natural factors are playing a role. But the influence of the warming of the Arctic by the subsurface inflow of warmer than usual Atlantic Water has been huge. We know ‘Global Warming’ is not global, as it should be in case a well-mixed greenhouse gas would cause a change in temperatures. The Northern Hemisphere warms much more than the Southern Hemisphere that even partly cools (close to the Antarctic). Within the Northern Hemisphere, it is especially the Northern Atlantic and the Arctic that warms, influencing weather changes in Europe. See the study above.
 
Donald L. Klipstein: “while you argued (…) the surface has no radiational cooling other than that 5.556%.”
 
WR: I agree that I left out cooling by re-radiation, but that is different from ‘[arguing]… the surface has no radiational cooling other than that 5.556%’. Because all surface radiation (100%) has to reach space to get the lowest temperatures, warming is the result when they don’t. Shown is the result for 5.556% which gives the maximum temperatures this greenhouse atmosphere would result in. This is an unequivocal measure for the strength of the greenhouse effect, a standardized one.
 
Bottom line is that when re-radiation would be able to set surface temperatures at present low level, the surface of the Earth would not show 80 W/m2 (or 50%) cooling by evaporation nor dynamic convective cooling around actual temperatures. H2O sets surface temperatures, nothing else.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Wim Röst
September 12, 2022 12:41 pm

What you are describing is an insulator with a given conductivity and a gradient across it. The gradient is not just due to CO2 but several things.

Reply to  Wim Röst
September 13, 2022 4:10 pm

Regarding “Re-radiation by the bottom of a cloud is directed upward and downward. The upward-directed half meets an opaque cloud environment and will be absorbed.”: Some of that is convected to cloud tops, which radiate to space heat other than the 5.556% you mention. Also, some of the clouds that absorb outgoing radiation are thin, which means some of the surface radiation they absorb becomes heat that gets radiated upward with no need for convection. Also, some of the outgoing radiation from the surface other than the 5.556% you mention has no clouds in its way and is absorbed by greenhouse gases and that gets reradiated, often but not always with more than one absorption and reradiation, but some of this eventually gets radiated upward. For every 333 watts of radiation to the surface from greenhouse gases and clouds combined, there is 217 watts of radiation by these into space.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
September 15, 2022 5:29 am

Donald L. Klipstein: “Some of that is convected to cloud tops, which radiate to space (…)”
 
WR: Agree. Even within clouds, convection plays its role. Cloud tops are very good emitters: they emit full spectrum and above clouds the water vapor content of the atmosphere is low enough to get a much more efficient radiative cooling.  

Will Wallace
September 10, 2022 11:11 am

The more I learn about Earth and its climate, the less important CO2 becomes.

n.n
Reply to  Will Wallace
September 10, 2022 2:26 pm

All but the greening effect, which has a reciprocal benefit.

Maxbert
September 10, 2022 8:31 pm

Your body is cooled mostly by evaporation of sweat– not by radiation.
It’s basically the same for the planet.
Roest nails it.

September 12, 2022 1:39 pm

Thanks to water vapor our temperature system is far more stable than admitted by the consensus,

far MORE?

I FORGET WHAT ARE THE UNITS FOR STABILITY?

WHAT CLAIMS OF STABILITY DOES THE CONENSUS MAKE? ipCC PAGE
NUMBER WILL SUFFICE

HOW MUCH MORE STABLE DO YOU THINK IT IS?
HOW DID YOU MEASURE THIS

LET ME GIVE YOU A CLUE

Lyapunov exponents

CALCULATE IT FOR THE CLIMATE TIME SERIES.
THAT WOUL BE Data you dont trust
good luck

Wim Röst
Reply to  Steven M Mosher
September 13, 2022 1:58 am

Steven M. Mosher: “What claims of stability does the consensus make?
 
WR: The consensus accepts the instability as expressed in scenarios 1-5 of Climate Report AR6 IPCC 2021:
SSP1-1.9: 1.5°C by 2050
SSP1-2.6: 1.8°C by 2100
SSP2-4.5: 2.7°C by 2100
SSP3-7.0: 3.6°C by 2100
SSP5-8.5: 4.4°C by 2100

Source

Last edited 13 days ago by Wim Röst
Crisp
September 13, 2022 9:52 pm

Apparently the Second Law of Thermodynamics does not apply to climate science.
Apparently, the fact that absorption and re-emission of IR and higher is quantum mechanical and has nothing to do with statistical mechanics (i.e. the SB law) is irrelevant.
Apparently, the empirical evidence that shows that taking CO2 concentrations up to 100% has virtually no measurable effect on temperature is also irrelevant.
Neither are convection, albedo, adiabatic heating, the magnetosphere, and a host of other factors considered by other researchers too numerous to mention.

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