# The test that exonerates CO2

By Javier Vinós

This post has been translated into German by Christian Freuer here.

Most people don’t have a clear understanding of the greenhouse effect (GHE). It is not complicated to understand, but it is usually not well explained. It is often described as “heat-trapping,” but that is incorrect. Greenhouse gases (GHG) do not trap heat, even if more heat resides within the climate system due to their presence in the atmosphere. The truth is that after adjusting to a change in GHG levels, the planet still returns all the energy it receives from the Sun. Otherwise, it would continue warming indefinitely. So, there is no change in the energy returned. How do GHGs produce GHE?

GHGs cause the atmosphere to be more opaque to infrared radiation. As solar radiation heats mainly the ocean and land surface of the planet, GHGs absorb thermal emission from the surface at the lower troposphere and immediately pass that energy along to other molecules (typically N2 and O2) through collisions that occur much faster than the time it would take to re-emit the radiation. This warms the lower troposphere. The density and temperature decrease rapidly through the troposphere, so molecules are colder and more separated at the upper troposphere. Now GHGs have a chance to emit IR radiation so when they finally collide with another molecule, they are colder so GHGs have a cooling effect in the upper troposphere and stratosphere.

Because GHGs make the atmosphere more opaque to IR radiation, when they are present the emission to space from the planet normally does not take place from the surface (as happens in the Moon). Part of it still takes place from the surface through the atmospheric window, but most of it takes place from higher in the atmosphere. We can define a theoretical effective emission height as the average height at which the Earth’s outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) is being emitted. The temperature at which the Earth emits is the temperature at the effective emission height in the atmosphere. That temperature, when measured from space is 250 K (-23°C), not 255 which is the calculated temperature for a theoretical blackbody Earth. That temperature corresponds to a height of about 5 km, which we call the effective emission height.

The last piece we need to understand the GHE is the lapse rate, which in the troposphere is positive, meaning that temperature decreases with height. Without a positive lapse rate, the GHE does not work. Since GHGs cause the planet to emit from a higher altitude, due to making the atmosphere more opaque to IR radiation, that altitude is colder due to the lapse rate. The Earth still needs to return all the energy received from the Sun, but colder molecules emit less. So, the planet will go through a period when it will emit less than it should, warming the surface and the lower troposphere until the new height of emission achieves the temperature necessary to return all the energy, at which point the planet stops warming.

The GHE simply states that the temperature at the surface (Ts) is just the temperature of emission (Te) plus the lapse rate (Γ) times the height of emission (Ze).

Ts = Te + ΓZe

Held & Soden (2000) illustrated it in figure 1:

This is how the GHE actually works. An increase in CO2 means an increase in the height of emission. Since the temperature of emission must remain the same, the temperature from the surface to the new height of emission must increase. The increase is small but significant. As Held and Soden say:

“The increase in opacity due to a doubling of CO2 causes Ze to rise by ≈150 meters. This results in a reduction in the effective temperature of the emission across the tropopause by ≈(6.5K/km) (150 m) ≈1 K.”

Held and Soden

So, the temperature at the surface must increase by 1K. That’s the direct warming caused by the doubling of CO2, before the feedbacks (mainly water vapor) kick in, further raising the height of emission.

This also has an interesting prediction. If the warming is due to an increase in CO2 when the increase takes place and the altitude of emission increases, the planet should emit less OLR as the new altitude is colder and a reduced OLR is the warming mechanism. Once the warming takes place, the OLR will become the same as before the GHG increase. It says so in Held and Soden’s figure 1 caption: “Note that the effective emission temperature (Te) remains unchanged.” Same Te, same OLR. So, if CO2 is responsible for the surface temperature increase, we should first expect less OLR and then the same OLR. If at any time we detect more OLR that would indicate another cause for the warming. Anything that makes the surface warmer, except GHGs, will increase the temperature of emission, increasing OLR.

So, this is the test:

– Surface warming but less or same OLR: CO2 is guilty as charged

– Surface warming and more OLR: CO2 is innocent

And the test results can be evaluated for example with Derwitte and Clerbaux 2018:

“decadal changes of the Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) as measured by the Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System from 2000 to 2018, the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment from 1985 to 1998, and the High-resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder from 1985 to 2018 are analyzed. The OLR has been rising since 1985, and correlates well with the rising global temperature.

Derwitte and Clerbaux 2018

CO2 is innocent. Its fingerprint is not found at the crime scene. Something else is warming the planet and causing the increase in OLR.

Bibliography:

Dewitte, S. and Clerbaux, N., 2018. Decadal changes of earth’s outgoing longwave radiation. Remote Sensing, 10(10), p.1539.
https://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/10/10/1539/pdf

Held, I.M. and Soden, B.J., 2000. Water vapor feedback and global warming. Annual review of energy and the environment, 25(1), pp.441-475.
https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev.energy.25.1.441

Stephens, G.L., O’Brien, D., Webster, P.J., Pilewski, P., Kato, S. and Li, J.L., 2015. The albedo of Earth. Reviews of geophysics, 53(1), pp.141-163.

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Tom Halla
February 24, 2023 2:12 pm

I would consider that the effects of GHGs are on a log curve, so doubling from current levels has an effect that is difficult to distinguish from other causes. Ocean currents and circulation effects have such an effect on weather it is quite noisy.

Javier Vinós
February 24, 2023 5:06 pm

The problem is that the way climate change has been defined and framed, we don’t have other causes. We cannot even explain the LIA, which occurred just a few centuries ago. This should indicate that climate science is not going the right way.

February 24, 2023 10:41 pm

LIA little ice age you mean it was cooler before so its warmer now?

but it cant be warmer since earth has no average temperature and we can measure it or calculate the uncertainties

Gunga Din
February 25, 2023 7:35 am

“LIA little ice age you mean it was cooler before so its warmer now?
but it cant be warmer since earth has no average temperature and we can measure it or calculate the uncertainties”

HUH?
Are you implying the Earth went straight from the “Big” Ice Age into the LIA because Man’s CO2 wasn’t there to make it warmer in-between?
Maybe, just maybe there’s more going on than even “The Settled Science” understands?

DonM
February 25, 2023 11:10 am

His logic twisting is a shot at those people that complain ‘there is no global average temperature … so quit trying to use it as an absolute metric.’

(controlled emotional outburst based on unimportant memory connection. Early onset…)

Dave Yaussy
February 25, 2023 7:56 am

Did you mean we can’t measure it? It’s hard to follow your cryptic drive-by mind-dumps sometimes.

February 25, 2023 9:21 am

Does anyone have a Mr. Masher gibberish decoder ring for sale?

Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 12:56 pm

Holy cow. For an English major, your English comes as less understandable than mine. Is your keyboard working properly?

stevekj
February 28, 2023 5:56 am

I don’t think it’s his keyboard that’s the problem 🙂

February 25, 2023 1:08 am

The IPCC was set up to “prove” manmade greenhouse gas emissions were harmful.

In 1995 the IPCC arbitrarily claimed all natural causes of climate change were “noise”

That arbitrary claim made their climate propaganda job easier.

They used the 1979 Charney Report wild guessed ECS from 1988 until a few years ago. Then arbitrarily raised the seemingly harmless lower limit from +1,5 degrees C. to +2.5 degrees C.

That was easy too.

The IPCC is a political propaganda organization that does circular reasoning:

(1) We (IPCC) assume all climate change has been manmade and dangerous

(2) Therefore we (IPCC) predict future climate change will be manmade and dangerous.

What is real climate science?
Not this claptrap from the IPCC.

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard Greene
Coeur de Lion
February 25, 2023 1:15 am

Dead right. Read Donna Laframboise’s two books. The second deals mainly with the corrupt and sexually compromised Rajendra Pachauri and harm to science

February 25, 2023 9:19 am

We might explain the global warming from 1975 to 2015, which could have been caused by CO2, or by 100% natural causes or, more likely, by a combination of natural and manmade causes,

1975 to 2015 may only be 40 years out of the past 4.5 billion years, but science has to focus on something !

I personally think climate science should focus on the year 1975, when natural causes of climate change were dying, and nade CO2 boss. At least that’s wht the IPCC claims.

This post is serious, not satire.

DMacKenzie
February 26, 2023 11:11 am

Javier’s final chart is very interesting. Increasing CO2 should decrease not increase OLR until Planck feedback (higher surface temp) catches up. Easily shown with a few U Chicago Modtran runs.
Probably Willis has looked at this with one or more of his ERBE analyses….story tip…but I don’t recall one.

RickWill
February 24, 2023 2:18 pm

Most people don’t have a clear understanding of the greenhouse effect (GHE).

Dead right. The fundamental error is the belief that such a process can alter Earth’s energy balance. It is simplistic trivia that fails to recognise the role of ice on land, on water and in the atmosphere.

The triple point of ice at 273K is fundamentally responsible for the temperature control processes that maintain Earth’s energy balance and hence climate in a narrow range despite huge disturbances over daily, annual and throughout history.

Water, its distribution and its phases are the key to understanding Earth’s energy balance.

Javier Vinós
February 24, 2023 2:22 pm

That being right doesn’t mean that a change in the greenhouse effect cannot alter Earth’s energy balance. It is obvious that it can and it should. You cannot make the atmosphere more opaque to IR and not alter the energy balance. We simply don’t know by how much.

RickWill
February 24, 2023 3:29 pm

It is obvious that it can and it should.

It appears obvious if you have no idea how the energy balance is actually achieved. Thinking it obvious demonstrates a lack of understanding of how the energy balance is controlled. The idea that a trace gas can alter the energy balance is obvious nonsense.

The energy balance is function of transformation of water to ice at the triple point of 273K. Open ocean surface temperature is limited to 30C because the persistence of ice formation high in the troposphere prevents the water surface exceeding that temperature due to the high reflectivity of the atmospheric ice and its persistence once the surface temperature hits 30C. Trace amounts of CO2 cannot alter that temperature regulating process.

Below 15C ocean surface, convective instability shuts down and the atmosphere can reach water saturation with the saturated air forming persistent condensing cloud that lowers heat loss by lowering the radiating temperature. Trace amounts of CO2 cannot alter that process. Much of the oceans in the Southern Hemisphere exhibit this condition once the sun zenith shifts to the NH. Same in the NH but to a limited extent due to the lower proportion of ocean area relative to land.

At -1.7C, sea ice forms and dramatically lowers the heat loss from ocean surface due to its insulating properties. The air above a thin layer of sea ice can be 50C cooler than the water below the ice.

Once ice becomes persistent on land, it tends to hang around because it is hard to melt due it is high reflectivity and requires a lot of sunlight to melt. However loss of surface ice results in rapidly rising temperature in that particular location.

Water in all its forms control the energy balance. The idea that CO2 can have any influence is naive nonsense.

Your evidence proves my point. Looking for a CO2 signature in temperature is a fruitless exercise. The single contribution of climate models to understanding is proof of that reality. Surface temperatures are not warming everywhere at an accelerating rate. In fact most warming is occurring on the Greenland plateau in January. Even more than the models predicted.

Javier Vinós
February 24, 2023 3:42 pm

The energy balance is function of transformation of water to ice at the triple point of 273K.

You are inventing things as you go. The energy balance at the top of the atmosphere cannot depend mainly on water changes of state. Nobody says that but you. You defend a different science from everybody else. It is up to you to find evidence supporting your views. Good luck in building your own climate science, quite a task.

RickWill
February 24, 2023 4:36 pm

The energy balance at the top of the atmosphere cannot depend mainly on water changes of state.

Have you ever seen monsoonal cloud? What is it and how does it form? What are clouds made of? What causes convective instability that can create updrafts in excess of 300kph? Why can’t open ocean temperature exceed 30C?

All explained in detail here:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/07/23/ocean-atmosphere-response-to-solar-emr-at-top-of-the-atmosphere/

I have shown the process in great detail. I have not been blinded by the “common wisdom” that is plainly wrong. You have just demonstrated that CO2 does nothing. Your error is simply thinking that there is some magical process where it can alter Earth’s energy balance in the face of overwhelming power of water and its phase changes. 1kg/m^2 of ice in the atmospheric column can absorb 95% of the incident OLR. Globally the average is 23kg/m^2. Over tropical warm pools the water mass often exceeds 80kg/m^2. About 1% of that as ice will reflect most of the incident sunlight and absorb most of the outgoing OLR; releasing it to solidify more water.

Nobody says that but you.

I am in good company when I point out a reality as opposed to the common wisdom.

You have shown CO2 is not doing what it is supposed to do and yet you still believe that some magical GHE alters Earth’s energy balance. All you have done is demonstrated you were ignorant in thinking it can. It cannot. It is a fairy tale that has somehow become common wisdom.

Javier Vinós
February 24, 2023 5:03 pm

and yet you still believe that some magical GHE alters Earth’s energy balance.

You don’t know what I believe or what I don’t unless you read it in my book.

The rule is: You cannot change climate without altering the radiative incoming and outgoing energy fluxes.

That rule admits very few exceptions. Unless your proposed mechanism includes an explanation for how those fluxes are changed nobody will give it a second look, and there is a very good reason for it. Nothing happens in the Universe without the energy for it to happen.

RickWill
February 24, 2023 5:35 pm

The rule is: You cannot change climate without altering the radiative incoming and outgoing energy fluxes.

You clearly did not look at my link. Monsoonal cloud turns the ground below dark when the sun is at its zenith . Only a small proportion of the incident solar power gets thermalised. A good proportion of what gets thermalised does not make it to the ground. On average only 200W/m^2 makes it to the ground and all of that goes into evaporation. There is NO OLR released from the surface of a warm pool and the temperature is steady; minor fluctuations caused by cooling rain and the occasional clear sky sunlight. .

On average, 30% of all incoming available EMR is not thermalised. The reason is ice in the atmosphere.

So 30% is gone due to ICE IN THE ATMOSPHERE before the energy does anything below that cloud. And here you are suggesting ice in the atmosphere is not involved in the radiative balance.

You have been sucked into dismissing the 30% that ice contributes to unthermalised EMR as a fixed quantity. That 30% is highly responsive to surface temperature. Unthermalsed EMR gets in excess of 50% over ocean warm pools and the remainder does nothing but drive the heat engines that circulate air throughout the globe. There is no surface warming beyond 30C in open ocean water. You can triple the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and warm pools will never be warmer than 30C. CO2 has no impact on the processs.

Last edited 1 month ago by RickWill
February 25, 2023 1:30 am

A desire to balme everything but CO2 for global warming leads to many unusual theories. This seems more common among “Climate Realists” than in the past 25 years.

I don’t understand why CO2 can’t be recognized as a weak greenhouse gas above 400ppm and recognized as impeding Earth’s ability to cool itself by a small amount. AGW does exist. But has been harmless, obviously. What percentage of the 1975 to 2015 warming did CO2 cause? No one knows. Lab experiments suggest some of thagt warming. So what? Warming is good news on our planet.

We do know the largest 8-year period of CO2 emissions, from 2015 to 2023. caused no net warming of our planet. So much for CO2 as the climate control knob. CO2 is just one of many climate change variables,

Even with rising CO2, and falling SO2 emissions, in the past eight years, both of which do cause global warming, the net effect of all climate change variables has been no change in the global average temperature (UAH data). If the Climate Howler Global Whiners could “revise” the 2015 to 2023 UAH numbers to show warming, they would have by now.

mkelly
February 25, 2023 6:36 am

Why should anyone accept what they think is incorrect?

February 25, 2023 9:24 am

So people will take them seriously about related subjects.

mkelly
February 25, 2023 10:57 am

CO2 cannot do what you claim so why should I just accept it.

Erik Magnuson
February 25, 2023 10:40 am

I think what Rick is trying to say is that water vapor plays a very important role in convective heat transfer from the surface to the upper atmosphere. What makes water vapor especially important with convective heat transfer is that it can change phase in the process. The change in effective top of atmosphere should lead to an increase in altitude where convective heat transfer is still effective.

One other indication of the importance of water vapor is the temperature record of the last million years. During a glacial period, there appears to be a robust positive feedback driving the temperatures lower until a combination of dust and orbital changes end the glacial period. During the inter-glacials, there appears to be a very robust temperature limiting mechanism which I would think is related to the 26ºC SST required to sustain tropical cyclones.

You are correct in asserting that an increase in CO2 will have some effect.

I very much liked your going into detail about how CO2 affects radiative heat transfer – remembering how my eyes were opened by Roy Spencer’s mention of a delay between a CO2 molecule absorbing an IR photon and re-emitting that photon. This led to thinking the CO2 molecule makes for a lousy transmission antenna, with radiation being a quantum tunneling process related to gamma ray emission. After some further thought, the light dawned on me about stimulated emission and why CO2 lasers worked as well as they did.

Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 1:07 pm

I am the first to defend the importance of latent heat transport in Earth’s climate system. But to understand each other we have to speak the same language, and evaporation and latent heat transport are not considered a part of convection in climate analysis. Convection is considered the ascent of warm air due to thermal buoyancy, regardless of its humidity. That is a small part of vertical energy transport, although an important part of horizontal energy transport.

RickWill
February 25, 2023 2:24 pm

driving the temperatures lower until a combination of dust and orbital changes

I postulate glaciation is self limiting. It is a true positive feedback in climate. Glaciation eventually gets to the point where calving and overhanging ice shelves break away and cool large areas of ocean surface. That causes a dramatic reduction in the water cycle and snowfall.

Once the water level begins to rise, the ice shelves come under increasing stress and formation of large ice bergs accelerates.

There is evidence in the Arctic Ocean and North Atlantic of glacier keels draging across ocean floor that is now 700m deep. That means there were some very large icebergs.

The big berg in Baffin Bay that grounded at Davis Strait caused Greenland to go cold again after it started to warm up.

William Howard
February 25, 2023 5:57 am

Not to mention that the vast majority of the CO2 in the atmosphere – something like 95-97% is naturally occurring so removing the minuscule amount related to transportation Nd industry doesn’t change the composition of the atmosphere in any meaningful way – it defies all common sense to believe a minuscule amount,of CO2 somehow magically controls the earth’s temperature or its climate

February 25, 2023 9:26 am

About 33% of the 420ppm CO2 is from manmade CO2 emissions, not 3% to 5%

The 3% to 5% claim is claptrap and will cause people to ignore everything else you say about the climate,

That 3% to 5% claim seems to have come from two science frauds, Ed Berry and Murray Salby.

CO2 emissions added something in the range of +200ppm to _300ppm CO2 to the atmosphere since 1850. The actual CO2 level rose about +140ppm

Please explain how the CO2 level increased +140ppm if not from manmade CO2, and then explain exactly what else did cause the +140ppm rise.

You will not be able to answer these two questions, as no one else has in the past five years I have asked them, so stop claiming manmade CO2 only accounts for 3% to 5% of CO2.

You are confusing the seasonal carbon cycle with annual emissions of additional CO2.

Although manmade output of 37 gigatons of CO2 is tiny compared to the 750 gigatons (about 5%) moving through the carbon cycle each year, it adds up because the land and ocean cannot absorb all of the extra CO2. About 60% of this additional CO2 is absorbed. The rest remains in the atmosphere, and as a consequence, atmospheric CO2 is at its highest level in 15 to 20 million years.

Human CO2 emissions upset the natural balance of the carbon cycle. Man-made CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by a third since the pre-industrial era,

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard Greene
February 25, 2023 7:37 am

C02 controls the energy balance. The idea that water can have any influence is naive nonsense.

﻿

Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 1:14 pm

Where is most warming coming from in the CO2 hypothesis?

Not CO2. It has a small effect by itself of about 1ºC per doubling.

Editor
February 25, 2023 1:18 pm

Steven Mosher February 25, 2023 7:37 am

C02 controls the energy balance. The idea that water can have any influence is naive nonsense.

The facts beg to differ …

w.

Graham
February 26, 2023 8:19 pm

I thought that you Mosher had a working brain .
I now see that you have swallowed the climate nonsense that CO2 is the climate control knob .
The three climate optimums that have occurred since the end of the major ice age 12 thousand years ago were NOT caused by rising levels of CO2 and the Little Ice Age was NOT caused by reducing levels of CO2 .
Water vapour in the atmosphere swamps any effect that increasing CO2 levels had on the climate millions of years ago .
The effect of CO2 is logarithmic and further increases will have no measurable effect on temperature .
The sun heats the sea water in the tropics which causes convection and the typhoons, hurricanes and cyclones track north or south to dispel the heat in the polar regions .
This has been happening for thousands of years and records show that the severity of these events is not increasing .

Robert B
February 24, 2023 4:56 pm

“You cannot make the atmosphere more opaque to IR and not alter the energy balance. We simply don’t know by how much.”
Except you can (theoretically). The atmosphere is almost completemy opaque at wavelengths strongly absorbed by CO2, until well above the tropopause, where the temperature gradient is positive. Any increase in CO2 should lead to increase in the temperature of the effective emitting surface and cooling to a lower equilibrium temperature at the surface.

I’m not saying that this is the case, it’s just not an obvious fact that our emissions caused any warming at all.

Javier Vinós
February 24, 2023 11:39 pm

Any increase in CO2 should lead to increase in the temperature of the effective emitting surface and cooling to a lower equilibrium temperature at the surface.

If that were the case, we would be seen an increase in temperature at the stratosphere with the increase in CO2. Just the opposite happens.

75% of the greenhouse effect is due to water vapor and clouds, and most of it does not reach the tropopause. The idea that the Earth emits from above the tropopause most of its radiation is not possible.

February 25, 2023 1:38 am

“75% of the greenhouse effect is due to water vapor and clouds”

The common estimate for water vapor is 60% to 65% of the greenhouse effect, and clouds add to that, but the percentage seems to be a guess. I assume clouds have a net cooling effect for our planet.

I do not believe much of the CHANGE in the greenhouse effect over time is due to water vapor and clouds.

Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 2:36 am

The cooling effect of clouds does not come from their greenhouse effect but from their albedo effect. Clouds do increase the GHE and there are estimations for that.

Water is responsible for about 75% of the GHE. Most GHE changes should come from water and nearly everybody agrees on that.

February 25, 2023 3:15 am

I tried to say that clouds have a net cooling effect by blocking some sunlight, even though they also have a greenhouse effect in the other direction.
I do not think that statement is controversial.

The current consensus guess is that water vapor is responsible for 60% to 65% of the total greenhouse effect, not 75%.

I believe your statement that most of greenhouse changes should come from water vapor, which is a feedback, is a controversial statement, and is wrong.

Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 9:44 am

Those numbers I cite come from a commonly cited source:

Schmidt, G.A., Ruedy, R.A., Miller, R.L. and Lacis, A.A., 2010. Attribution of the present‐day total greenhouse effect. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres115(D20).

You cannot be more consensus than Gavin Schmidt.
Water vapor 50% (all sky)
Clouds 25%.

Most of the warming and most of the GHE changes are supposed to come from water vapor + clouds. This might be wrong but it is not controversial in the least.

February 25, 2023 1:19 am

We know what CO2 does in a laboratory, with and without water vapor. Not that much above 400ppm. There is no reason to fear 800ppm CO2 and every reason to welcome 800ppm CO2 — such as better growth of C3 plants, which will support more human and animal life on our planet. And likely a more moderate climate in colder nations too,

There is no reason to claim CO2 works differently in the atmosphere than in a laboratory. The right answer: CO2 above 400ppm does not do very much even when you add a water vapor positive feedback.

We already know 10x as much CO2 in the past atmosphere never caused runaway warming because there is obviously a negative feedback that limits the water vapor positive feedback. Ny guess is more clouds as tropospheric water vapor increases.

We also know Antarctica is not melting from more CO2.

So the fear of CO2 as “pollution” is insane. But fear of CO2 is great propaganda for leftists to gain political power and control over the private sector, so it will continue because it is working for that devious purpose.

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard Greene
Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 2:39 am

There is no reason to claim CO2 works differently in the atmosphere than in a laboratory.

What a curious statement. Are you using the “argumentum ad ignorantia” fallacy? Everything works differently in the atmosphere than in a laboratory because you cannot reproduce the atmosphere in a laboratory. That’s why they are trying computers and failing.

February 25, 2023 3:19 am

CO2 is a weak greenhouse gas in a laboratory

It is a weak greenhouse gas in the atmosphere

Any claim that is not true is claptrap.

My statement was not “curious”

It was logical

Your claim implying that CO2 has a completely different effect in the atmosphere is data-free claptrap.

mkelly
February 25, 2023 6:41 am

The screen shot is from Anthony’s CO2 jar experiment. It show that in his experiment additional CO2 produces a lower temperature.

February 25, 2023 9:46 am

Then the experiment is obviously wrong

mkelly
February 25, 2023 11:06 am

So Feynman was wrong?

Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 9:46 am

CO2 is indeed a weaker IR absorber than others but is more abundant than most, so it is still responsible for 29% of the greenhouse effect, which is a lot.

Tom Abbott
February 25, 2023 4:53 am

“We simply don’t know by how much.”

But it’s all academic anyway, because, as you say, “CO2 is innocent. Its fingerprint is not found at the crime scene. Something else is warming the planet and causing the increase in OLR.”

How sweet it is!

February 24, 2023 10:42 pm

wrong wrong wrong

February 25, 2023 1:10 am

Earth’s energy balance.

There is no energy balance
Our planet is not in thermodynamic equilibrium

Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 2:45 am

No, but matter tries to reach thermal radiative equilibrium, so the concept is valid.

If you place an object at a different temperature inside a vacuum recipient it will equilibrate its temperature with the environment through net thermal radiation exchange.

The fact that equilibrium is a moving target doesn’t mean the Earth isn’t always trying to get there.

February 25, 2023 3:20 am

Trying to get there is not the same as getting there

I’ve been trying to get to a one million dollar net worth since 1977 — so far I have \$129.

Tom.1
February 24, 2023 2:33 pm

The “heat trapping” explanation may be somewhat inept with regard to physics, but it is sufficient for the average citizen. The GHE acts to make the atmosphere warmer than it would otherwise be. For most people, that is all they need to know. It is the narrative that is important, not the physics (unless you’re a physicist).

Last edited 1 month ago by Tom.1
Editor
February 24, 2023 4:43 pm

It should be simplistically explained as “slowing the cooling rate,” rather than “heat trapping.”

February 25, 2023 1:40 am

It should also be explained that global warming is a lot more pleasant than global cooling, and we have centuries of anecdotes to prove that. People tend to vacation in warmer places too.

bdgwx
February 25, 2023 6:51 am

“trap” means ΔEout < ΔEin resulting in ΔE > 0.

“cooling” means dT/dt < 0.

“slowing the cooling rate” means d2T/dt > 0 when dT/dt < 0.

Since dT/dt > 0 we cannot say the planet is “cooling” (because it is actually “warming”) and thus we cannot say “the cooling rate is slowing down”…ya know…because you cannot slow something that isn’t happening in the first place.

“trap” is the appropriate terminology for what is happening since ΔE > 0.

Editor
February 27, 2023 4:27 am

The planet doesn’t still cool at night? The greenhouse effect slows the rate of radiative cooling.

bdgwx
February 27, 2023 7:31 am

David Middleton said: “The planet doesn’t still cool at night?”

I didn’t say that it didn’t.

David Middleton said: “The greenhouse effect slows the rate of radiative cooling.”

Yep. It certainly does that especially at night.

But that is a goal post move. In the context of the article and Tom.1’s comment the GHE does not slow the rate of cooling because the planet isn’t cooling. What it does is trap heat because  ΔEout < ΔEin resulting in ΔE > 0.

And you give me all the implied facepalms you want. It does not change the fact that in this context dT/dt < 0 is false and that ΔEout < ΔEin resulting in ΔE > 0 is true.

Jim Gorman
February 27, 2023 8:13 am

Like it or not, the surface cools. CO2 will shunt some of the radiated heat into a reservoir. The surface cools!

The lower atmosphere also warms by conduction with the surface and by contact with CO2. Convection then cools the lower atmosphere. And guess what? The surface keeps on cooling.

Heat is never trapped. It is in constant movement. Its rate from here to there may change but it is never static.

Your mixed up math using Energy and Temperature is so incomplete one can’t make sense of it.

If you refuse to learn from Planck, then study this wiki page:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat

you will find entropy is an integral part of heat transfer!

Editor
February 27, 2023 10:19 am

You’re the one moving the goalposts.

The heat isn’t “trapped.” It’s return to space is delayed by greenhouse gases. It takes longer to radiate away, but it still radiates away. As I noted earlier:

It should be simplistically explained as “slowing the cooling rate,” rather than “heat trapping.”

Jim Gorman
February 27, 2023 11:05 am

I don’t think he understand the use of gradients. “Trapping” heat can only occur under very controlled conditions. Otherwise entropy is in control and under natural conditions it doesn’t go backwards. Think irreversible.

Editor
February 27, 2023 2:11 pm

I don’t think English is he primary language.

bdgwx
February 27, 2023 4:51 pm

English is my primary language. However, my grammar and spelling are subpar. If that creates an impediment to discussions then I am truly sorry. I am trying to do a better job at proof reading my posts.

bdgwx
February 27, 2023 12:37 pm

DM said: “The heat isn’t “trapped.”

Yes, it is. ΔEout < ΔEin resulting in ΔE > 0. And I stand by that statement in exact position I originally placed it. I have no interest in moving it.

BTW…a strawman argument is one in which person A creates an argument, pins it on person B even though B never advocated for it, and then criticizes it. Your person A. You created the argument that locations don’t cool at night and pinned it on me. But I never advocated for that argument. You and you alone created that argument. That’s fine. Just don’t expect me to defend it.

The two arguments I created were 1) the ΔEout < ΔEin resulting in ΔE > 0 which means heat is trapped and 2) that dT/dt < 0 is false meaning that cooling isn’t taking place let alone a reduce in the rate of it. If you want to challenge an argument I’m making then by all means. Just make sure it is one of those 2 and not one the ones you made up.

Last edited 27 days ago by bdgwx
Editor
February 27, 2023 1:57 pm

The radiative equilibrium temperature of the planet Earth (based on the amount of radiation energy that the planet emits to space) is quite a bit colder than the average temperature of the Earth’s surface. The reason this is possible is because the atmosphere plays a large role in the emission of infrared radiation out to space. In effect, it slows down the net rate at which the ground surface cools by radiation. This is known as the greenhouse effect.

bdgwx
February 27, 2023 2:33 pm

Which I think is poor wording because the ground isn’t actually cooling. It’s warming. What they actually mean and what should have been said instead is…In effect, it slows down the net rate at which the ground surface sheds energy by radiation. Reducing the energy shed rate (ΔEout < 0) does not necessarily imply that cooling is happening (dT/dt < 0) or that it has slowed down (d2T/dt > 0). That’s my beef and why I think “trapping heat” is a far better way of describing what happens.

And don’t hear what I didn’t say. I didn’t say the ground temperature does not cool with the diurnal cycle. I’m talking about the global average temperature over long periods of time. It is going up; not down.

Last edited 27 days ago by bdgwx
Tim Gorman
February 27, 2023 1:39 pm

If the temperature goes up doesn’t the amount of radiation go up as well? So isn’t more heat lost as the temperature goes up?

I’m not even sure that “slowing the cooling rate” is even an apt description. I would think that the main result of the temperature going up during the day would be increasing the beginning value of the decay function.

R(t) = R0 / e^(λt)

As R0 goes up so does R(t=0). So the hotter the daytime gets the more radiation the Earth dumps out initially. Then the question is what does CO2 do to λ? Not sure I have a good feel for what happens there. Certainly the amount of heat that gets dumped at night is the integral over time of R0/e^λt dt. So what does CO2 do to the integral?

Editor
February 27, 2023 2:10 pm

Without greenhouse gases, Earth would rapidly reradiate infrared energy back into space and the average surface temperature would be significantly cooler.

The radiative equilibrium temperature of the planet Earth (based on the amount of radiation energy that the planet emits to space) is quite a bit colder than the average temperature of the Earth’s surface. The reason this is possible is because the atmosphere plays a large role in the emission of infrared radiation out to space. In effect, it slows down the net rate at which the ground surface cools by radiation. This is known as the greenhouse effect.

Greenhouse gases slow the radiative cooling process. They effectively convert infrared.

Certain gases in the atmosphere have the property of absorbing infrared radiation. Oxygen and nitrogen the major gases in the atmosphere do not have this property. The infrared radiation strikes a molecule such as carbon dioxide and causes the bonds to bend and vibrate – this is called the absorption of IR energy. The molecule gains kinetic energy by this absorption of IR radiation. This extra kinetic energy may then be transmitted to other molecules such as oxygen and nitrogen and causes a general heating of the atmosphere.

The only real question is how much warming is caused each doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. Observation-based (instrumental) estimates indicate a low sensitivity. Model-based estimates indicate a high sensitivity.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/07/15/pat-michaels-worse-than-we-thought/

Bear in mind that those are the equilibrium climate sensitivities (ECS). The only sensitivity that matters to people is the transient climate response (TCR), which is about 1/2 to 2/3 of the ECS. The TCR occurs simultaneously with rising CO2. The difference between the ECS and TCR occurs over the next 500 years, or so, as Trenberth’s missing heat returns from the depths of the oceans.

Last edited 27 days ago by David Middleton
Jim Gorman
February 27, 2023 6:55 am

Your explanation is terribly unsophisticated to the point of being wrong. Radiation is captured by CO2 and shunted to a heat reservoir (N2/O2) whose loss of heat has a slower rate of heat loss. Heat is still not trapped, it is merely moved around to points with different gradients.

AGW is Not Science
February 25, 2023 6:57 am

And part of the explanation should always be “all other things held equal,” since that is the foundational assumption that leads to the hypothetical conclusion of an effect on temperature.

For which there is no empirical evidence in support, and a good deal of empirical evidence against.

Editor
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
February 27, 2023 4:28 am

Yep… And Earth, as a system, pretty well never allows  “all other things held equal.”

DMacKenzie
February 24, 2023 7:22 pm

My apologies to Javier in advance of declaring his normally very astute writings inadequate in this case…..But…

The “emissions height” concept is a poor way to explain GHE. It makes people believe that IR emissions are from some fixed height over the whole planet, when such is not the case at all. An IR camera on a satellite sees the ocean surface at its temperature, land at its temperature, and cloud tops at their temperature. It also sees shades of gray in certain IR bands where water vapour and CO2 have absorbed the surface emission of IR and re-emitted at their new temperature at higher altitude.

What the camera sees depends on what bandwidth pass filters are in front of the lens.
In the 8 to 14 micron band, the atmosphere is nearly transparent to IR. About 80% of IR photons in those frequencies get directly to outer space, other than that blocked by dust and O3. Also, if low and mid-cloud cover is 65%, then 65% more IR photons will be blocked from reaching outer space. This IR range represents Wein’s law temperature from +90 C to -65 C, which pretty well covers all Earthly surface temperatures. Of course I’m referring to the “atmospheric window”.
And the black body curves for those +90 to -65 temperatures shows about 40% of their total emissions are in that 8-14 micron IR band.

So Earth as viewed by an IR camera from outer space is mostly a mosaic of surface and cloud top temperatures. It is not an emission from a certain height as one might expect for a thick atmosphere like Venus.

The emission height concept is a mathematical construct no different than calculating the average depth of snow in North America…not really useful for explaiming anything about the climate.

The best treatment of this topic is Happer and van Wijngaardens 3 watt widening of the 15 micron CO2 valley in their Figure 10 of the following article.

Last edited 1 month ago by DMacKenzie
Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 12:23 am

So Earth as viewed by an IR camera from outer space is mostly a mosaic of surface and cloud top temperatures.

Not really. Only 17% of IR emissions come from the surface. When the camera is looking at a point in the Earth it is adding all the IR emissions from the surface and the atmosphere.

Earth’s IR emissions to space are coming at all sorts of temperatures that when added give a spectrum very similar to what a blackbody at 255 K would give. This is the emission temperature of a planet. It matches the energy received from the Sun minus the albedo.

The effective emission height is a concept simplification that helps understand something a lot more complex. If all the radiation from the Earth was coming from that height it would have the same emission temperature. Nothing more, nothing less.

DMacKenzie
February 25, 2023 9:39 am

If all the radiation from the Earth was coming from that height it would have the same emission temperature.

Yes, I agree, unfortunately that means your description is an oversimplification of what is going on….to the point of being an incorrect thing to teach laypersons.

Only 17% of IR emissions come from the surface

You need a rethink on that, you are confused by the “back-radiation” watt numbers that can’t actually exist without “fore-radiation” from a warmer source.
It is a common error, even amongst physics Ph.D.s to invoke the [minus Tcold^4] term in Planck’s equation when the pertinent number is [Thot^4 minus Tcold ^4] which must be a positive number.
About 165 watts of 240 is absorbed by the surface and must be reradiated, from down here where “climate” is located. That’s 70%.
And check latest NASA radiation budget. Upwelling IR this 398 as a result of Tsurf, downwelling 340 as a result of Tsky, IR to outer space 40…..40/(398-340) equals 70%.
Circular reasoning you might be inclined to say, but it shows that watts/sw.m. due to extra surface temp will be 70% sent to outer space through the atmospheric window.

Sorry a comment here can’t adequately cover that which needs study of atmospheric thermo, and radiative heat transfer…..You obviously have the mind and dedication to pursue the topic.

Think of it this…say you sit naked in a 20 C room. Your skin temperature is say 33 C. Your skin is radiating 497 watts per square meter. The walls of the room are radiating back to you 418 watts per square meter. Your metabolism needs only generate 497-418=81 watts/sq.M. When you can reconcile this in your mind, plus colder or warmer walls, some heat escaping through a window, and so on….reconciling with Climate radiation budget diagrams and incoming sunshine, without cognitive dissonance….you’ll be good.

stevekj
February 28, 2023 6:10 am

You are still confused, DMac. “Your skin temperature is say 33 C. Your skin is radiating 497 watts per square meter” No it isn’t. That would only be true if you were in outer space. In a room temperature room, the actual power you emit is less than 100 W/m^2. The wall is not “radiating back to you 418 watts per square meter”, because you are warmer than the wall. Power doesn’t develop in that direction, entropy won’t allow it.

I am not sure how you managed to write this statement in the same post where you wrote “It is a common error, even amongst physics Ph.D.s to invoke the [minus Tcold^4]” That’s exactly the error you just committed… you left out the target temperature, you assumed it was 0. Don’t do that.

bdgwx
February 28, 2023 7:22 am

DMackenzie is right. sblaw(33) = 498 W/m2. sblaw(20) = 419 W/m2. The flow of heat is thus sblaw(33) – sblaw(20) = 79 W/m2 from you to the wall. If you were only radiating at 100 W/m2 you’d frozen solid and dead.

Last edited 27 days ago by bdgwx
stevekj
February 28, 2023 8:00 am

He’s not right. The S-B law with a reference temperature of 0 is only applicable in outer space. If you were only radiating at 100 W/m^2 in outer space, then yes, that would correspond to a cold and dead temperature.

bdgwx
February 28, 2023 9:47 am

No one is using a reference temperature of 0 K. The temperatures are 306 K (33 C) for his body and 20 C (293 K) for the room.

If you were radiating at 100 W/m2 then his body temperature is -68 C (205 K) regardless of whether his is in the room or in space.

And we can use the 1LOT to show that his metabolism has to contribute 79 W/m2. Because F = E/(A*t) where t is time and A is area and because A and t are the same for the system and period being analyzed we can restate the 1LOT as ΔF = (Fin_room + Fin_metabolism) – Fout. At 306 K (33C) we know Fout is 498 W/m2. And because his body is in steady-state (no temperature change) we know that ΔF = 0 which means Fin_room + Fin_metabolism = Fout. Solving for Fin_metabolism we have Fin_metabolism = Fout – Fin_room. And we know Fin_room = 419 W/m2. So Fin_metabolism = 498 W/m2 – 419 W/m2 = 79 W/m2. The 1LOT does not allow it to be any other way.

Last edited 26 days ago by bdgwx
stevekj
February 28, 2023 10:10 am

“No one is using a reference temperature of 0K.” Yes, you are absolutely using a reference temperature of 0K. If your body is at 306 K, the only way it can produce 497 W/m^2 is if you plug 0 into the “Tcold” part of the general S-B equation. That gives you a specialized S-B equation, which is only applicable in outer space, but a lot of non-physicists don’t seem to have grasped that part.

Naturally, if you are in outer space and emitting that much power to your surroundings, which are close to 0K, you will rapidly freeze to death, but that’s beside the point.

bdgwx
February 28, 2023 10:36 am

The Stefan-Boltmann Law says I = σT^4. For his body it would be I = 5.67e-8 W/m2.K4 * (306 K)^4 = 498 W/m2. 0 K isn’t used at all.

The radiative heat transfer equation Q/t = σ(Th^4 – Tc^4) is derived from the SB equation above and the 1LOT equation ΔE = Ein – Eout. For his body and the room it would be Q/t = 5.67e-8 W/m2.K4 * ((306 K)^4 – (293 K)^4) = 79 W/m2. 0 K isn’t used at all here either.

Note that I in the SB equation is radiant exitance while Q/t in the heat transfer equation is the rate at which heat is transferred. They are different, albeit related, concepts that happen to have the same units.

Last edited 26 days ago by bdgwx
stevekj
February 28, 2023 11:27 am

“Radiant exitance” is an energy unit, not a power unit. It isn’t “an energy unit that happens to be measured in Watts”. Radiation is energy, not power. The first form of the S-B law that you showed is a specialized case where Tc = 0. Converting energy (Joules) to power (Watts) is done by (among other means) the general “S-B radiative heat transfer equation”, which you also showed above. It requires an entropy (temperature) gradient. So you can’t just ignore the Tc term. Setting that to 0 requires some sort of justification, such as “being in outer space”. You can’t just convert temperature (energy) into Watts (power) willy-nilly and hope that no one notices… Stefan and Boltzmann certainly knew the difference. It doesn’t sound like you do, though.

Here’s a quick quiz: how much power do you think is developed by an object at equilibrium with its surroundings? Say, at room temperature or so? And if your answer isn’t “zero”, just what exactly do you think the word “power” means?

bdgwx
February 28, 2023 1:19 pm

Radiant exitance is a flux. The units are W/m2. Radiation is electromagnetic energy in transit. It can be expressed in joules, watts, or W/m2 depending on how you want to analyze it. The first equation I posted is a special case of the SB law only in that it is for a blackbody with emissivity ε = 1. There is no Tc in the SB law because the SB law only relates a blackbody’s temperature to its radiant exitance. The SB law says blackbodies emit radiation and thus energy all of the time and anywhere they happen to be. There is no requirement that there be an entropy gradient between the blackbody and its surroundings for the blackbody to emit radiation. A body at temperature T has the same radiant exitance regardless of whether it is in outer space, on Earth, or even a room that is also at temperature T.

Power is the amount of energy converted/transferred per unit time. The units are joules/second or watts (W). An object X and its surroundings Y has a radiant exitance Ix = σTx^4 and Iy = σTy^4 respectively. The heat transfer between the two is given by the 1LOT and is Q = tA*(Ix – Iy) = tA*[(σTx^4) – (σTy^4)] = tA*σ(Tx^4 – Ty^4). The power of the transfer is thus P = Q/t = Aσ(Tx^4 – Ty^4). And then by letting T = Tx = Ty since they are in equilibrium we see that P = Aσ(T^4 – T^4) = Aσ*0 = 0 W. Notice for a moment that the 1LOT and SBLAW combine to produce the familiar radiant heat transfer equation. Anyway, that’s your answer…P = 0 W. Repeating the math for DMacKenzie’s scenario we see that P = 79*A W.

stevekj
February 28, 2023 2:25 pm

You seem to be very confused. But at least partly on the right track.

“Radiation is electromagnetic energy in transit. It can be expressed in joules, watts, or W/m2” No, energy cannot be expressed in Watts. Who told you that? It can be expressed in Joules, degrees, height (for potential energy), etc. But not Watts. Perhaps you got confused by the “in transit” part and assumed that energy that is moving must be producing power. But that is not the case.

“The SB law says blackbodies emit radiation and thus energy” This is a mis-statement. Planck’s law says that blackbodies above absolute 0 emit radiation, which is energy, and describes the spectral distribution. Energy is not the same as power, though. The S-B law, meanwhile, allows you to take objects at two temperatures and derive the power being transferred between them. It does not say anything else.

This statement is false: “An object X has a radiant exitance Ix = σTx^4” That statement is equivalent to converting temperature directly into power. That isn’t how energy and power work. I can tell that you know that. So if you stop making this particular statement, everything else you wrote will be basically correct. In particular, a correct statement would be “An object X has a radiant exitance E, or T, in joules, or degrees, based on its temperature”.

You did correctly calculate that an object in equilibrium with its surroundings produces 0 W of power, and DMac’s scenario for a human being in a room is around 79 W. These numbers are correct. Values greater than 400 W are not. Not even as intermediary terms that are going to cancel out. Those are false and imaginary. For example, you wouldn’t be able to measure them if you tried, because they don’t exist. Your understanding of the world will be much improved if you drop the imaginary intermediate values. Just plug the two temperatures you are looking at directly into the general S-B equation and you will get your answer, with a lot less faffing around, and no imaginary values.

bdgwx
February 28, 2023 3:40 pm

stevekj said: “No, energy cannot be expressed in Watts”

Sure it can. A watt is joules/second. It is the rate of energy conversion or transfer.

stevekj said: “Who told you that?”

Thermodynamics.

stevekj said: “Perhaps you got confused by the “in transit” part and assumed that energy that is moving must be producing power. But that is not the case.”

I don’t think so. If energy is being converted or transmitted then it is doing so with a rate. I’m not sure I’d describe that as “producing power” though. It’s really more of it just doing so with a power.

stevekj said: ““The SB law says blackbodies emit radiation and thus energy” This is a mis-statement.”

I don’t think so. Q = tAσT^4. It certainly looks like blackbodies emit radiation and thus energy according to the math.

stevekj said: “Energy is not the same as power, though.”

Yeah. I know. But they are related. P = Q*t. Just so we’re clear…when I say [it] can be expressed in joules, watts, or W/m2 I’m talking about [electromagnetic radiation in transit]. For example, radiant exitance is electromagnetic energy in transmit from a blackbody and is expressed as a flux in units of W/m2.

stevekj said: “The S-B law, meanwhile, allows you to take objects at two temperatures and derive the power being transferred between them.”

No. That’s not right. The SBLAW allows you to relate the temperature and radiant exitance of a single body. I and T in the equation are for the same one and only one body. It’s the derivation of the radiant heat transfer equation from the SBLAW and 1LOT that allows you to calculate the power of the heat being transferred between two bodies. The SBLAW itself does not do that.

stevekj said: “This statement is false: “An object X has a radiant exitance Ix = σTx^4””

It’s true. The SBLAW says Ix = σTx^4.

stevekj said: “That statement is equivalent to converting temperature directly into power.”

It’s actually equivalent to saying that radiant exitance for a blackbody is proportional to the 4th power of temperature.

stevekj said: “So if you stop making this particular statement, everything else you wrote will be basically correct.”

Sorry. I’m not going to stop saying that Ix = σTx^4. If I stopped saying that then I would be implicitly rejecting the SBLAW.

stevekj said: ““An object X has a radiant exitance E, or T, in joules, or degrees, based on its temperature”.

That’s not right. Radiant exitance is the flux exiting a surface per unit area and has units of W/m2. It obviously can’t be energy (E) or temperature (T).

stevekj said: “You did correctly calculate that an object in equilibrium with its surroundings produces 0 W of power, and DMac’s scenario for a human being in a room is around 79 W.”

Thanks.

stevekj said: “Values greater than 400 W are not.”

It’s a good thing neither I nor DMacKenzie said the transfer was greater than 400 W.

stevekj said: “Not even as intermediary terms that are going to cancel out. Those are false and imaginary. For example, you wouldn’t be able to measure them if you tried, because they don’t exist. Your understanding of the world will be much improved if you drop the imaginary intermediate values.”

I have no idea what you’re trying to say here. What intermediate value?

stevekj said: “Just plug the two temperatures you are looking at directly into the general S-B equation and you will get your answer”

The SBLAW (assuming ε = 1 anyway) only accepts one free parameter. It’s T. It does not have two T terms.

stevekj said: “with a lot less faffing around, and no imaginary values.”

Say what? Imaginary values? What are you talking about?

Jim Gorman
March 1, 2023 8:13 am

There is a lot missing in this back and forth. Equilibrium is one. It means that at some point in time, an infinitely small point, these equations hold. You can not even assume they hold as an averageumpnless you make very specific assumptions about objects, which is what Planck did in his research. The exponentials involved make this a requirement.

Unless a body is a true source with a constant rate of flux and temperature, gradients are necessary to describe the heat loss/gain. The gradients must be integrated with respect to time in order to evaluate the bodies condition. The bodies involved are entirely different in measurable quantities. H2O has a higher specific heat than CO2. Land has a higher mass than air. These all cause different gradient equations.

Insolation is an example. Insolation follows a sine wave as the sun traverses the sky. Additionally, there is a cosine function based on latitude. Trying to use an average value for insolation doesn’t tell you that Miami gets much more sunshine in winter than Ottawa, Canada. That wouldn’t be a big deal if everything was linear but it isn’t. Lots of exponentials involved. Lots different gradients. Ask yourself if this variation can cause a difference in temperature growth, i.e., anomalies.

Don’t expect that simple equations tell you the whole story.

stevekj
March 2, 2023 5:26 pm

You sure are confused, bdgwx… let’s just take one of your incorrect statements:

“radiant exitance is electromagnetic energy in transmit from a blackbody and is expressed as a flux in units of W/m2.”

The basic error here is your usual one, namely “energy” is not the same as “W/m^2”. In one sentence you appear to know this, and in the next sentence you forget it again. Try to pay attention.

In a bit more detail, you cannot develop Watts from a single body. That’s not how Watts work. If you had a hypothetical universe consisting of a single object at room temperature floating in a vacuum, with no surrounding matter or energy of any kind, you would have no Watts, because there is nowhere for the energy to go.

Who taught you your theoretical physics? I’d like to have a chat with him, because he didn’t do a very good job. Did you pass your exams? Or are you just finding equations here and there on the Internet and trying to jam them together to get the result you want?

Remember, power is not just “energy in motion”, it is “energy in the process of doing work, i.e. rearranging matter so as to increase entropy” (at a particular rate). If entropy is not increasing, no power is being developed. A single uniform body sitting isolated by itself will not experience any change in entropy, and no power can be developed. No “Watts” anywhere. Just Joules, waiting patiently.

What you call the “S-B Law” is a specialization of the actual S-B law, which is a heat transfer calculation involving two bodies at different temperatures. The specialized one has set the second temperature to 0 K, which is not physically realistic. Even in outer space it is only an approximation, and Tc should really be around 3 K.

I know you can find lots of pages on the Internet claiming that the “S-B law” defines the amount of power produced by a blackbody at temperature T. But that only happens in outer space… You can tell that none of the pages that make this claim have studied their theoretical physics very carefully either. Most of them go on to write “energy” and “power” interchangeably, which tells you that they are not written by actual physicists. Black bodies emit energy, while power requires work, which requires two objects – a high-entropy one and a low-entropy one… it’s a tough concept, I know, but if you study hard I know you will get it.

If all of the preceding confused you, let me try another approach. In our example of an object in a room at equilibrium, you wrote:”Ix = σTx^4″, and you interpret I as a power measurement, apparently totally independently of any surroundings. So this gives you upwards of 400 W/m^2 emitted by the object at room temperature. (That’s the “fake power” that I talked about.) But next, you wrote “P = 0 W”. Now, bizarrely, you have concluded that one object is emitting both 0 W and also upwards of 400 W/m^2, at the same time. How much sense does that make in your head? Because it makes none at all in mine…

Jim Gorman
March 1, 2023 8:57 am

“””””No, energy cannot be expressed in Watts.”””””

It can and is. AM radio is not as popular as it used to be, but the stations were rated as to their output power expressed as Watts.

EM waves do carry energy, expressed as Joules. However Watts or Joules/second is used to designate how much energy is moved over a unit of time. It allows one to determine the amplitude of the electric and magnetic fields in a given EM wave. A 1000 Watt EM wave carries more power than a 100 Watt EM wave.

Remember power is work (Joules) divided by time (seconds). With an EM wave, it is the ability to do work divided by time. Higher amplitudes (more Joules) of the E and M fields can do more work. Thus more power is available.

stevekj
March 2, 2023 4:58 pm

You have some strange ideas, Jim… I said:

“Energy cannot be expressed in Watts.”

Then you said:

“It can and is.”

Then you said:

“EM waves do carry energy, expressed as Joules.”

You should probably make up your mind, because you made two contradictory statements. The second one is my point, and is the correct one.

Note that I never said “energy cannot develop power”. That is different, and of course it can, and that requires an entropy gradient. Every form of energy can develop power, given an entropy gradient, including EM radiation.

Jim Gorman
February 28, 2023 9:01 am

“””””Your metabolism needs only generate 497-418=81 watts/sq.M.”””””

You have a slight misconception. SB @33° = 497 and SB@20° =418.You have two bodies. At only an instant in time you radiate 497 to the wall while at the same time the wall radiates 418 to you.The net radiation is 79 towards the wall. Your metabolism must continue supplying the energy to remain at 33° for this scenario to remain constant. That is, you must manufacture 497 W/m^2.

Far to many people fail to realize that most of these laws and equations are good for just an infinitely small period of time. You have an internal fire, so you can be a constant source. Without this, as you radiate, you cool (or warm) if you are the hot body (if you are the cold body). The rates of warming and cooling are determined by gradients which are made up of several other factors. Most of the equations are for black body’s which simplifies the overall use of radiation without gradients.

DMacKenzie
February 25, 2023 12:03 pm

I also forgot Andy May’s write-up, his fig. 8 dispels the “emissions height of CO2” concept and his Fig 10 explains the GHE by widening of the 15 micron CO2 band. It’s at:
https://andymaypetrophysicist.files.wordpress.com/2021/09/happer_major_statement.pdf
which is very readable for the average climate rationalist.

Editor
February 25, 2023 5:48 pm

DMacKnzie,
You are confused. The link you provide is to Professor Happer’s Major Statement. I did not write that, he did, I only preserved it. He agrees with what Javier is saying, this is from his statement:

“At the “emission altitude,” which depends on frequency ν, there are not enough greenhouse molecules left overhead to block the escape of radiation. The thermal emission cross section of CO2 molecules at band center is so large that the few molecules in the relatively warm upper stratosphere (see Fig. 5) produce the sharp spikes in the center of the bands of Fig. 8.”

There is no inconsistency between what Happer wrote and what Vinós wrote.

DMacKenzie
February 26, 2023 9:27 am

Andy,

I thought it was your evaluation of Happer’s papers, sorry. It is one of the best write-ups on GHE around.

Anyway, you left off Happer’s lead in statement on the same page 15 comments that you use…..

“Although the surface radiation is completely blocked in the bands of the greenhouse gases, as one would expect…”. (Italics mine)

The inconsistency is that Javier’s explanation implies that the “emissions altitude” effect IS across the whole IR spectrum when it is not, and that emissions altitude explains the GHE when it does not….It is simply a mathematical construct, like the average depth of snow in North America…not very useful…

I am not trying to denigrate anyone’s work here, only give readers with the desire to investigate more fully the GHE, and a sound basis for doing so.
Of which Professor Happer’s Major Statement is a very good synopsis.

Javier Vinós
February 27, 2023 2:53 am

The inconsistency is that Javier’s explanation implies that the “emissions altitude” effect IS across the whole IR spectrum

It doesn’t imply that. There’s the atmospheric window that is not affected, and a change in CO2 affects only the frequencies absorbed by CO2. Since the height of emission at those frequencies is increased, the average comes higher. All averages are mathematical constructs. That doesn’t mean they are not useful.

Rud Istvan
February 24, 2023 2:39 pm

Javier, I would make two points.

First, the simplest way to think about the GHE has nothing to do with the oft misunderstood ‘backradiation’ (which is but one indicator of the physics actually involved). It is most simply an absence of sufficient radiative IR cooling.

Second, there obviously must be some CO2 GHE effect. Tyndall experimentally proved CO2 was a GHG in 1859. But its ‘fingerprint’ signal gets largely lost in the noise of all else also going on—natural variation, aerosols, land use change, contrail cirrus. And the sole alarmist claimed CO2 model ‘fingerprint’—the tropical troposphere hotspot—does not in fact exist. The only CMIP6 model without a tropical troposphere hotspot is INM CM5. And CM5 has an ECS of 1.8, meaning no alarm. (CM5 accomplished this mainly by incorporating observational ARGO ocean rainfall in its parameterization, thereby significantly reducing its water vapor feedback.)

Rick C
February 24, 2023 3:44 pm

I think the majority of skeptics have a sound understanding of how the green house effect actually works and that “green house” is not a very good analogy. A better analogy may be the often used blanket effect. A blanket does not warm a persons body at all as it contains no source of energy. It simply slows the rate of cooling allowing the energy produced by the body to maintain a normal temperature. If a person dies in bed under a heavy blanket they will still eventually reach “room temperature”. How long it takes is dependent on how well the blanket insulates. As far as the climate goes, the effect of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use is like adding a very thin sheet to a very heavy thick wool (or H2O) blanket.

I do like Javier’s test in that it follows the scientific method of making a prediction based on the hypothesis and then evaluating empirical evidence to see if the prediction is falsified or not. Way too little of this in Climatology.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rick C
Robert B
February 24, 2023 5:21 pm

The temperature, and other properties, of the outer surface of the topmost blanket will determine the loss of energy. So the insulating physics of a wool blanket is very different to that of a thin foil space blanket.

Neither is a good analogy. There is a temperature gradient in a wool blanket, so increasing the height of the TOA is like putting on another layer, but the reasons for the temperature gradients are very different. GHG are not responsible for the gradient, but for the assumption of an adiabatic movement of packets of air being incorrect (Good enough for fast flow of air over mountains).

February 25, 2023 1:49 am

We just had a 35 hour blackout here in Michigan along with perhaps a one million other people. It was 55 degrees in the house. I slept under three blankets fully dressed with a wool cap on. The wife couldn’t sleep at all. The cat stayed on top of a floor heat vent waiting in vain for the furnace to turn on. Three cheers for blankets!

Tom Abbott
February 25, 2023 5:29 am

It sounds like you need an alternate source of energy.

Generac and propane would keep you cozy.

Dave Andrews
February 25, 2023 7:23 am

So do cats 🙂

February 25, 2023 9:53 am

Our next door neighbor ran a 100 foot extension cord from his gasoline generator over to our house so we could turn on a small heater in the bedroom. Nice guy, After an hour of getting some heat, five DTE Energy linemen showed up in my yard and the electricity was on 30 minutes later. We were lucky this time — some people are still without power until Sunday. A transformer exploded in the back yard — the wife almost hit the ceiling — I thought a nearby home blew up — I was not expecting such fast service from DTE.

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard Greene
johchi7
February 25, 2023 9:00 am

Or a “Three dog night.”

johchi7
February 25, 2023 9:16 am

I should have said ‘large’ dogs.

Tom.1
February 25, 2023 8:25 am

There are a great many “skeptics” and many readers of this blog whose understanding of science is warped by their political views, which is exactly the same problem with people in the alarmist camp. You have people claiming there is no such thing as the average temperature of the atmosphere (or anything), or people claiming that hydrogen as a fuel is “suicidally dangerous”.

Tom Abbott
February 25, 2023 2:05 pm

“You have people claiming there is no such thing as the average temperature of the atmosphere (or anything), or people claiming that hydrogen as a fuel is “suicidally dangerous”.”

There are people making such claims. WUWT allows such claims to be made. But WUWT usually requests that such claims be backed up by supporting facts. And then we get to sort out which claims are valid and which claims are not.

A wild claim on WUWT will be challenged. Count on it.

Tom.1
February 25, 2023 2:58 pm

People make all kinds of bogus claims on this blog all the time and they are rarely disputed, except by me when I happen to know the claims are unsupported by facts or evidence. So, as it happens, you are wrong.

Tom.1
February 25, 2023 3:31 pm

Further to my point, there was a very recent post here by a Mr. Eric Worall in which he referred to hydrogen as a “suicidally dangerous” substance. He never cited anything to back this up except an OSHA data sheet that carried a warning that could apply to just about any gaseous combustible. There is a weath of industrial experience to demonstrate that this is factually incorrect. Yet, not only did he author an article here, but no one took issue what his nonsense excpet me.

Editor
February 25, 2023 4:22 pm

Here’s what Eric said:

The plan is, vehicles containing 10s of litres of compressed gas which is capable of leaking through the tiniest crack, has no smell, cannot be reliably odourised to warn people of leaks, burns with a flame so hot that it is invisible, ignites and explodes violently with a very low activation threshold, over a wide range of hydrogen / air mixtures, will be parked adjacent to and sometimes inside the builtin carports in people’s homes.

Also, as Eric pointed out, hydrogen

1. Can escape through the very tiniest crack
2. Burns with an invisible flame
3. Has no odor and cannot be successfully odorized
4. Burns at the widest range of concentrations of most gaseous fuels and vapors:
• Hydrogen 4-74% flammability range
• Propane 2.1-10.1%
• Butane 1.9-8.5%
• Methane (natural gas) 4.4-16.4%
• Kerosene vapor 0.7-5%
• Gasoline vapor 1.4-7.6%

None of those “apply to just about any gaseous combustible” as you incorrectly claim. Not one.

Me, I wouldn’t park a hydrogen car in an attached garage. Too suicidal for my taste.

You may think hydrogen is a brilliant plan.

Me, not so much.

w.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/01/drilling-for-hydrogen/

Tom.1
February 25, 2023 8:11 pm

Willis- Sorry to see you weighing in on the side on nonsense, but there you are. He also used the words “suicidally dangerous.” The fact is the world has a vast amount of experience using hydrogen in many different applications. It is used widely, and safely. Every space shuttle was launched with hydrogen, and it caused no accidents. Many, many NASA space vehicles have used hydrogen fuel cells safely. The US has hundreds of miles of hydrogen pipelines already in service. Virtually every refinery and chemical plant in the world uses hydrogen, Toyota, one of, if not the biggest auto manufacture in the world believes that fuel cell powered cars with hydrogen as fuel are going be future of automotive power and already has a commercial product in the form of the Marai. Siemans, this small technology company in Europe, is getting ready to ramp up their industrial scale hydrogen electrolyzers. You don’t have to take my word for any of this because these things are easily verified.

Editor
February 25, 2023 11:47 pm

Tom, you’re right that highly trained people have “a vast amount of experience using hydrogen in many different applications”.

But your average car owner has exactly zero experience in handling hydrogen. And automobiles are often used continuously for decades by people with no knowledge of machinery, with little in the way of maintenance … you don’t find NASA or refineries or chemical plants doing that.

Yes, you are right that there are 1,600 miles of hydrogen pipelines in the US, once again maintained by professionals … but again, that’s very, very different from having tanks of pressurized hydrogen at every one of the 150,000 gas stations in the US, and pressurized hydrogen in every car in every garage.

Next, even with professionals at the helm we get things like this:

# “Explosion at hydrogen fuel plant damages 60 nearby homes in Catawba County”

Finally, hydrogen is not an energy source. There are no hydrogen mines. It’s generally made from natural gas … so hey, why not just power your car on natural gas and avoid the waste and danger?

Hydrogen gas was first produced commercially two centuries ago. And it was first used to power a vehicle in 1826. There are a number of very valid reasons why in all that time our economy hasn’t adopted it as a widespread fuel source.

Best regards,

w.

Phil.
February 26, 2023 7:49 pm

Actually for a long time hydrogen gas was supplied as a fuel source, known as town gas. In the UK it was supplied to houses until the late 1960s, the natural gas that replaced it turned out to be more of an explosion risk.

Editor
February 26, 2023 8:22 pm

Town gas is a mixture of roughly equal parts of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. It is not more explosive than natural gas, with a flammability range of 4.5 ～ 44.3%, versus 5 ～ 15% for natural gas. The use of town gas was discontinued because the carbon monoxide made it very poisonous.

w.

Phil.
February 28, 2023 2:58 pm

It had become less popular because of the smell, but in the 60s they discovered Natural gas reservoirs under the North Sea and decided to make the switch. The explosion risk of Hydrogen is less than you might think because it diffuses very rapidly and becomes too lean to ignite. The problem when they introduced natural gas was that the flames on burners can ‘blow off’ and thereby produce an inflammable mixture in the house. Because hydrogen has a much higher flame speed that doesn’t happen. If hydrogen powered vehicles are introduced I think it’s most likely that the H2 will be stored in low pressure metal hydrides. About 20 years ago I was at a DoE meeting which was discussing the possibility of Hydrogen powered vehicles. The fuel manufacturers said that they were able to supply and distribute it if there was a sufficient demand and the auto companies said that they could design and make the cars if there was a adequate fuel supply network! Neither wanted to be the ones to make the first move.

DMacKenzie
February 26, 2023 10:37 am

I have some experience with ignition energies. H2 in air will ignite if you drop a bolt on the concrete floor, and flash back to the leak source, which becomes a barely visible blowtorch…..All industrial facilities that use hydrogen take extreme precautions to avoid leaks, heat detectors, etc, much beyond that of the average attached garage.

Last edited 1 month ago by DMacKenzie
Editor
February 26, 2023 8:30 pm

Thanks, D. Yes, hydrogen can be handled safely.

But as you point out, that’s handled by trained professionals with proper procedures and leak and heat detectors, etc. … not by shade tree mechanics or your average humanoid.

w.

Frank from NoVA
February 24, 2023 3:48 pm

‘Second, there obviously must be some CO2 GHE effect.’

Some folks would say it already happened, meaning additional CO2 should have very little effect, and per Javier’s D&C graphic, is being swamped by something else? Just asking…

Editor
February 24, 2023 4:57 pm

It’s a diminishing returns function. Each doubling of the CO2 concentration yields a linear increase in temperature (ignoring feedback effects).

Example:

If going from 290 to 580 ppmv yields 1K of warming, 580 to 1160 ppmv would yield an additional 1K, 1160 to 2320 ppmv would yield an additional 1K, ad nauseum.

So the 1.5K (or C) doomsday CO2 concentration would be out around 870 ppmv.

Of course the actual sensitivity is unknown (possibly unknowable) and the net feedback effects are even more unknowable, but appear to be fairly neutral over geologic time, where CO2 effects seem to fall within the noise level.

Frank from NoVA
February 24, 2023 6:20 pm

Yes (to you and Rud). My statement was that we’re already pretty far along the curve given that there’s little evidence from the paleo that CO2 is the ‘control knob’.

Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 12:26 am

The evidence from paleo is pretty shaky, but it does not support the CO2 control knob conjecture.

February 25, 2023 1:52 am

There’s no evidence natural CO2 was ever a control nob — it seemed to be mainly a feedback to changes in ocean temperatures in the ice core era. per Henry’s Law. The CO2 rise from 2015 to 2023 did not control anything, nor did the CO2 rise from 1940 to 1975.

Tom Abbott
February 25, 2023 5:34 am

“Of course the actual sensitivity is unknown (possibly unknowable) and the net feedback effects are even more unknowable, but appear to be fairly neutral over geologic time, where CO2 effects seem to fall within the noise level.”

Excellent!

That bears repeating.

Rud Istvan
February 24, 2023 5:02 pm

The GHE effect is logarithmic, Is enabled by more CO2 raising the ERL at a lapse rate ever inefficient ERL. First shown by Guy Callendar in 1927.

Javier Vinós
February 24, 2023 4:55 pm

I agree, Rud. The back radiation idea is stoopid. For radiative-caused temperature changes the only thing that matters is the net flux.

The problem with INM CM5 is that even if it gives the correct answer it will be for the wrong reasons. Models have too many holes to be able to represent climate in any credible way even by approximation.

February 25, 2023 1:55 am

Models are programmed to scare people and support the 1979 Charney Report wild guessed ECS, revised a few years ago to the new IPCC wild guessed EPS. The Russian INM model may be the one exception. And they DO scare people.

They are actually climate confuser games — propaganda — not meaningful models of climate of this planet.

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard Greene
February 25, 2023 1:45 am

The only CMIP6 model without a tropical troposphere hotspot is INM CM5. And CM5 has an ECS of 1.8, meaning no alarm

The INM ECS of +1.8 degrees C. is now below the +2.5 degree C. lower (arbitrary) limit of the IPCC’s wild guessed ECS. And no one likes Russia. So maybe the INM model will get sanctioned and thrown out of the CMIP7 models? Stranger thing have happened.

Due Diligence: My ancestors are from Russia,

Tom Abbott
February 25, 2023 5:37 am

I like Russia and Russians.

I don’t like Putin.

Mark Luhman
February 25, 2023 8:51 am

I think the Russian people have been screwed by their leadership for far to long. Yet it the Russian people who pick their leaders and their choice have been bad almost always. It also true Russia is a very dicey place to live, the climate stinks and little access to the oceans that are not frozen most of the time. In the end the Russian people are always dealt, a poor hand.

February 25, 2023 9:57 am

My family left as soon as the Communists showed up.

Frank from NoVA
February 25, 2023 5:49 pm

I’m always amazed by the number of people in the US who would like to play Commissars and Kulaks, though I suppose most of them have the former role in mind for themselves.

Last edited 1 month ago by Frank from NoVA
Richard M
February 25, 2023 12:15 pm

Nope, CO2 warms the atmosphere by absorbing energy from the surface and transferring it to other molecules just as JV stated. End of story. There is no “absence of sufficient radiative IR cooling“. That is fake science that I also believed at one time until I finally understood the process. It took me years. Sadly, JV doesn’t seem to understand the process either.

The atmosphere does not cool somewhere high in the atmosphere. It cools from all altitudes all the time. It is driven by the changes in density and not the concentration of CO2. You are not applying Kirchhoff’s Law to the process.

At equilibrium, all layers of the atmosphere exist in radiation exchange equilibrium with all other layers. No energy is exchanged. When you increase CO2, all layers of the atmosphere increase their CO2 content proportionally. Hence, radiation exchange equilibrium still holds.

What this structure implies is that higher layers can never absorb all the energy directed towards them by lower layers. There’s fewer CO2 molecules at each higher layer. Hence, some percentage of the energy radiated upwards by the lower layers has nothing to stop them from passing through and leaving the atmosphere. As a result, all altitudes radiate energy to space fairly equally.

If you disagree with this statement, then you still haven’t understood the process.

The warming in the stratosphere affects this a little, but again in a structured manner. In addition, this is an equilibrium statement. The atmosphere is almost never in equilibrium so there will always be variations due to day/night, seasons, weather, etc. However, the variations will average out and the absorption/emission of energy from CO2 molecules is always attempting to return every layer to its equilibrium state.

Most people look at the absorption of energy only and base their views on opacity without understanding how reemission affects the process. The equality of absorption and emission as required by Kirchhoff’s Law changes everything.

Richard M
February 25, 2023 1:15 pm

I stopped above because a base understanding is required to then understand the rest of the story. There cannot be any increase in the ERL. The only thing that occurs as CO2 levels increase is absorption of more energy in the wings of the near 15 mm frequency bands. How much warming this can produce is very complex.

Almost everyone that looks at it gets a different answer. However, from 60+ years of historic NOAA radiosonde data it appears the answer is … it doesn’t matter… the energy level is exactly what is needed to balance the cooling effect of CO2 increases.

Yes, increases in CO2 also have a cooling effect. As CO2 increases, the emissivity of the boundary layer increases. This means more low energy photons will be directed towards the surface. This does not cause any warming due to the surface and boundary layer being in thermodynamic equilibrium. However, it will lead to increases in evaporation. About 80% of the photons will strike an H2O molecule.

As many know, evaporation is a cooling effect. It takes energy from the surface and turns it into a very light weight water vapor molecule. This reduces the air density and increases convection. The water vapor is transferred by convective currents high into the atmosphere. Whenever convective currents are increased the air will be taken higher into atmosphere. Higher is colder meaning more water vapor is condensed out of the air. The end result is less water vapor is left over.

Since the water vapor greenhouse effect is saturated at low levels of the atmosphere, the only area that makes a difference is at high altitudes which is exactly where the decreases in water vapor will occur. This reduces the water vapor greenhouse effect.

The end result is that the additional energy from the wings of the CO2 absorption bands compensates for the cooling effect from CO2 increases. The overall greenhouse effect stays constant.

Tim Gorman
February 26, 2023 2:58 pm

What this structure implies is that higher layers can never absorb all the energy directed towards them by lower layers. There’s fewer CO2 molecules at each higher layer. Hence, some percentage of the energy radiated upwards by the lower layers has nothing to stop them from passing through and leaving the atmosphere. As a result, all altitudes radiate energy to space fairly equally.”

I would also add that all of this is a time function. The time function is sinusoidal during the day and exponential decay at night. Trying to find an “average” amount coming in and an “average” amount going out just doesn’t work very well.

More insolation from the sun (e.g. no clouds) means the exponential decay at night starts from a higher temperature than when there are clouds (or whatever) in the atmosphere. So the amount of heat radiated away is an integral of the exponential decay and sometimes it’s greater and sometimes it’s less.

The higher the temperature when the sun is no longer driving the situation the more radiation there is (T^4) headed skyward. The lower the temperature the less radiation there is. It’s really difficult to find an “average” which can be used for this process.

If you are determining the “temperature” at some point in the atmosphere based on the amount of radiation being measured it isn’t going to be some fixed amount, it isn’t even going to be some “average” amount. Parameterizing all this in a climate model just isn’t going to work very well.

RickWill
February 24, 2023 2:42 pm

Something else is warming the planet and causing the increase in OLR.

The failure here is using “averages” and “departures” or anomalies.

Is “the planet” warming when the largest increasing trend is occurring on the Greenland plateau in January?

This is NASA’s headline image for the warming from 2017 to 2021:
?itok=aBc7u715

Is the Arctic really on fire as the image suggests? An increase from minus 30C to minus 20C is warming but what does it really mean?

The something else is orbital precession. It has been shifting peak solar northward for hundreds of years and the oceans are starting to respond. Arctic Ocean surface warming rapidly as the sea ice trends downward to expose more water and Southern Ocean slowly cooling as the sea ice trends upward. These are slow, long term changes in the surface condition that have a large impact on surface temperature. Particularly winter advection from warm ocean water to cool land masses.

Northern hemisphere will continue to warm until the snowfall overtakes the snow melt again.

Rud Istvan
February 24, 2023 2:58 pm

A comment on anomalies. They are necessary to compare global observational stuff when altitude and ocean proximity varies greatly.
But IPCC model anomalies hide the fact that model actuals (before anomalization) vary by about +/- 3C. In other words, models are awful actual predictors. Something factually illustrated in essay ‘Models all they way down’ (with footnotes) in ebook Blowing Smoke.

RickWill
February 24, 2023 8:18 pm

They are necessary to compare global observational stuff when altitude and ocean proximity varies greatly.

No – they are there to hide reality. They just amplify the noise and hide the useful information.

If you want to look at trends to get understanding then look at a location and observe the changes over periods looking at all the data. Trends are best to look at maximum and minimum months over a period of time.

The attached is part of the Greenland plateau. Produce an anomaly for this and it shows a strong warming trend. It does not inform you that the warming is predominantly occurring in January.

Comparing temperature of different things and different locations does not provide meaning. I can happily endure air temperature above 50C. But get into water at 50C and I would not last long. Same temperature but very different heat content and heat transfer capability.

The NASA image I linked above is to keep their global warming story alive. It is highly selective and based on anomalies. But it does not even show “global” warming. Some places are colder. Some places are unchanged. Even reducing this selective image to a single “global” trend removes insight.

Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 12:30 am

Models are a way to learn about things you cannot do proper experimentation. The problem comes when people start thinking models are a good representation of reality.

As George Box said, “All models are wrong, but some are useful”.

Jim Gorman
February 25, 2023 4:24 am

Let me add that using averages from the very start hides so much information it is not funny. Energy is added to any point on the earth in a “pulse” consisting of something resembling a sine wave from 0 -> pi. And, that occurs day after day after day. At some point in the afternoon, as the sun sinks to the horizon, the sun’s insolation (incoming energy) falls below what the stored heat radiates and a decay function takes over. Think of a capacitor discharging.

If these are in balance over a long period of time. Then stored energy will occur, i.e., stored heat, and the earth will warm. When considering the combined mass of say the top six inches of soil, the ocean, and the atmosphere, how much heat needs to be “trapped” each day to raise the temperature of the entire earth 3 degrees over 36,500 days?

My last point is that H2O absorbs a goodly amount of the sun’s insolation at near IR frequencies. According to several sources, if a molecule absorbs at a given frequency, it also radiates at that frequency. Why do none of the Planck curve estimates of how the earth radiates show these frequencies being radiated by H2O? Is water a “special” molecule?

Tom Abbott
February 25, 2023 5:41 am

“The NASA image I linked above is to keep their global warming story alive.”

Yes. Temperatures are cooling globally, so NASA highlights warming in the arctic. Tricky little devils!

Javier Vinós
February 24, 2023 2:58 pm

This is NASA’s headline image for the warming from 2017 to 2021:

There hasn’t been any warming 2017-2021. That’s inside the new pause. What that image shows is heat being transported to the Arctic for its exit from Earth. As it happens during winter it is magnified by measuring it as anomaly. Nothing to do with orbital precession.

RickWill
February 24, 2023 3:39 pm

Nothing to do with orbital precession.

Again a lack of insight. Sure it is due to winter advection but that requires warmer oceans in lower latitudes.

The NH oceans are getting warming because the May and June solar intensity is increasing.

The warming trend in the Arctic has been occurring for at least 70 years.

The NASA image is selective to show that warming is still going on. But a 70 year trend shows the same thing.

Greenland plateau has increased almost 10C in January in those 70 years.

RickWill
February 24, 2023 3:51 pm

This is the change in May ToA solar power flux at 40N from the Maunder Minimum to the end of this century:
-0.400   442.409040
-0.300   442.800035
-0.200   443.197592
-0.100   443.601278
0.000   444.010670
0.100   444.426501

Up 2W/m^2 over 500 years. Now what is CO2 supposed to do over 300 years and cause Earth to burn up.

May sunlight drives peak ocean surface temperature achieved in July.

The increasing summer solar power flux in the NH has only just started to have a noticeable impact. It will rise 20W/m^2 from current levels to its peak. There is a lot more ocean warming to come.

Javier Vinós
February 24, 2023 4:05 pm

The oceans are a laggard to climate change. They warm less when the planet is warming, and cool less when the planet is cooling. They are not a driver of climate change. They provide inertia to change making the planet a lot more climatically stable.

RickWill
February 24, 2023 4:46 pm

The oceans are a laggard to climate change.

You need to take this up with Jim Hansen and the IPCC. The oceans are the poster child for global warming.
https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-ocean-heat-content

Rising amounts of greenhouse gases are preventing heat radiated from Earth’s surface from escaping into space as freely as it used to. Most of the excess atmospheric heat is passed back to the ocean. As a result, upper ocean heat content has increased significantly over the past few decades.

Note the red upticks start around 1980 and it is going to hell since then.

Bob Weber
February 24, 2023 7:28 pm

“Most of the excess atmospheric heat is passed back to the ocean. “

Rick I suspect you realize this is what is wrong with this picture.

RickWill
February 24, 2023 9:58 pm

I do but anyone who believes in the magic of the GHE altering Earth’s energy balance have demonstrated their willingness to believe in anything without the knowledge to understand it.

Editor
February 24, 2023 5:02 pm

Yep… And this is why plate tectonics are the primary geologic control on climate change. Plate tectonics, particularly its effects on oceanic circulation patterns, drive icehouse/hothouse cycles and probably atmospheric CO2 concentrations over geologic time.

Rud Istvan
February 25, 2023 1:39 pm

David, I agree. No less than famous Princeton geologist Ken Deffeyes surmised a decade ago that it was the tectonic closing of the Panama isthmus, thus altering ocean circulation, that set off the present ice ages about 2 million years ago. (The tidal rise/fall at Panama City on the Pacific side is an unbelievable 20-30 feet—I have been there and seen it.)

Bob Weber
February 24, 2023 7:05 pm

“The oceans are a laggard to climate change….They are not a driver of climate change.”

Wrong. Your framing is IPCC framing, ie, the atmosphere is the climate.

The proper framing is (1) ocean changes are climate changes, because the ocean changes first, then atmospheric changes lag the ocean by 2 months; or (2) ocean and hence climate changes lag solar changes.

The following proof is all anyone needs to know the GHG contribution to climate change is so small as to be a negligible cause. With Stefan-Boltzmann, the sole possible GHG climate effect is via changing albedo.

After seeing this there can be no doubt that solar forcing of the ocean is 100% of the cause of climate changes since the 1880’s, as the S-B equation confirms the measured ocean change exactly, using the standard value for albedo of A=0.3 and the changes in TSI over time modeled using sunspot number.

This puts an end to several inapplicable, false but popular climate theories including ECS, TCR, effective emission height, and radiative transfer.

John Shewchuk
February 24, 2023 6:10 pm

Agree. So many want ignore recent data, which clearly shows the pause — and very slight cooling — at least for now.

cilo
February 25, 2023 1:35 am

Nothing to do with orbital precession

Mr. Vinós has a pet theory, and every other consideration to hell?
Can we at least agree that there are so many periodicities in this chaotic curve we call Climate, that we have not even found them all yet?
Telling each other how wrong we are is especially ignorant, seeing as we constantly find out how wrong we all were.
The image is strong supportive evidence for the precession effect, an hypothesis that will only be dis/proven once we see the Antarctic warming faster than the arctic, once the precessional angle rolls that way. Until that experiment is complete, how can you blithely say it is not due to precession?
Of course, I have as yet no reason to drop my hypothesis regarding orbital plane anomaly…

Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 2:59 am

Mr. Vinós has a pet theory, and every other consideration to hell?

I do not claim to have discovered anything about climate, as I am not a climate scientist and I do not carry out climate research. I just apply the scientific method and point to what the evidence supports and what it doesn’t, and look for alternative explanations to the evidence.

Precession has an effect on climate, obviously. And for some things, like the position of the ITCZ and the mid-Holocene transition it is the dominant cause. For the glacial cycle Milutin Milankovitch said no, and the evidence says no. The glacial cycle is driven by obliquity and the evidence is pretty strong. It is laid out in the second chapter of my book, and it is not my contribution. Great glacial cycle researchers like Peter Huybers see the same as I see in the evidence, and they preceded me, so no claims on my part, only my agreement.

I prefer my first name, but if you are going to use my last name preceded by treatment, that would be Dr., thanks.

Jim Steele
February 25, 2023 8:20 am

Agree glacial cycles driven more by obliquity not precession. Carl Wunsch has shown this to be statistically true.

cilo
February 26, 2023 12:01 am

Once again the good doctor reads what he wants to understand? We were discussing hemispheric asymmetry, but I guess changing the subject is doctorate-level dialogue protocol…

Javier Vinós
February 27, 2023 2:46 am

Hemispheric symmetry is a problem for the precession hypothesis, as the world goes into glaciation and comes out as a whole according to benthic cores. One hemisphere might take the lead, but one hemisphere is always doing the opposite it should be doing if precession ruled the glacial cycle.

cilo
February 27, 2023 11:26 am

Ah, but good sir, I never said anything about glaciation. I have not actually spent any thought on the subject, and I have yet to hear a coherent, simple (not simplistic) and convincing theory on the subject.
None
But I bet obliquity COUPLED WITH precession sure explains most every instance of localised disastrous climatic orneriness.

Last edited 27 days ago by cilo
Stephen Wilde
February 24, 2023 2:46 pm

Convection adjusts in order to neutralise the potential thermal effect from radiative molecules in the atmosphere.
Convection itself is the cause of the greenhouse effect and not radiative molecules.
An atmosphere that has no radiative materials at all will still have a lapse rate so that convection is inevitable and overall surface warming will occur.
The surface temperature of surfaces beneath atmospheres is raised by atmospheric mass motion and not by back radiation.

Javier Vinós
February 24, 2023 3:00 pm

Convection itself is the cause of the greenhouse effect and not radiative molecules.

The greenhouse is by definition a radiative effect. You cannot redefine it and keep the same name.

Convection is a small player in the way the energy delivered by the Sun finds its way to space.

Rud Istvan
February 24, 2023 3:28 pm

A small caveat. The Lindzen adaptive iris is Convection driven (Tstorms) but most definitely affects radiative cooling via its cirrus impact. (More cirrus warms since ice crystal cirrus is transparent to incoming short wave solar but opaque to outgoing IR; less cirrus cools).

Philip Mulholland
February 24, 2023 3:37 pm

The greenhouse is by definition a radiative effect. You cannot redefine it and keep the same name.

Then call it an Atmospheric Thermal Effect instead.

Convection is a small player in the way the energy delivered by the Sun finds its way to space.

The meridional advection of energy from the tropics (surplus) to the poles (deficit) is absolutely due to convection and fundamental to all of the weather processes in the atmosphere. Advection is part of the process of convection.

Javier Vinós
February 24, 2023 3:56 pm

The meridional advection of energy from the tropics (surplus) to the poles (deficit) is absolutely due to convection

Yes, convection is very important for meridional transport, as it is latent heat transport. Both have about the same magnitude, as far as I know. And let’s not forget potential energy transport, as air parcels rise in the tropics and sink at higher latitudes. Energy is key to climate change.

Philip Mulholland
February 24, 2023 4:10 pm

Energy is key to climate change.

I agree, and the focus on thermal radiant opacity as the overarching mechanism that impedes energy flux thru the atmosphere is just nonsense. Adiabatic convection transmits energy and is a non-radiative process.

Philip Mulholland
February 25, 2023 1:39 am

Javier,
The greenhouse gas concept is a narrative based on models that are sourced in conjecture.

As with all narratives when the story fails to match the data the story adjusts, so we have the switch from “back-radiation heating” to “reduced surface cooling by insulation.” The insulation back-stop story fails to acknowledge that the primary reason for the greenhouse gas conjecture is to raise the planetary surface temperature in the first place. The Greenhouse Gas Effect (GCE) concept is based on a model that creates a low average planetary surface temperature. It is not based on primary data, it is instead based on derived data (the warm planetary surface) and so in essence the GHE concept relies on a form of inverse modelling.

Stephen Wilde and I are currently studying the atmosphere of Mars and applying our DAET modelling concept to MY29 annual atmospheric profile data.
Here is a brief synopsis of what we have found thus far:
1.     The areal weighted global annual average air temperature at the 636 Pascal average surface pressure of Mars is 211.8 Kelvin.
2.     The black body (ε =1) Vacuum Planet Equation thermal emission temperature for Mars is 209.8 Kelvin. Therefore, the Atmospheric Thermal Effect (ATE) for Mars is +2 Kelvin.
3.     The grey body (ε =0.87) Vacuum Planet Equation surface thermal emission temperature for Mars is 202.5 Kelvin. Therefore, the Greenhouse Gas Effect (GHE) for Mars is +9.3 Kelvin. (We are already deep in the weeds of moveable definitions based on parameter variations).
4.     In a comparison with the similar gas content atmosphere of Venus, we find that the thermal emission pressure level for Venus is 1,868 Pascal. This pressure is higher than the surface pressure of Mars and is in the radiatively transparent stratosphere of Venus at an elevation of 71.06 Km.
5.     Therefore the low pressure Carbon Dioxide gas  atmosphere of Mars is thermally radiatively transparent with no Greenhouse Gas Effect possible. The surface Atmospheric Widow for low pressure Mars is completely open at night.
6.     The only possible mechanisms that can explain the +2 Kelvin ATE on Mars are dust haze absorption of insolation during the day and adiabatic convection that accounts for the surface diurnal temperature change.

The model driven greenhouse gas conjecture is not based on data and therefore is not Science. It must be discarded for the moveable feast of nonsense that it so obviously is.

RickWill
February 24, 2023 4:11 pm

Convection is a small player in the way the energy delivered by the Sun finds its way to space.

The large difference between the radiating temperature and surface temperature clearly demonstrates the absurdity of that statement.

Heat transport from the surface or even the lower atmosphere to where it is released in the troposphere primarily involves mass transport. Just 1kg of ice in the entire atmospheric column will absorb 95% of incident OLR. That heat input is going to cause convection. Have you ever looked at how clouds move?

Just the 522.7E15kg of water that cycles through the atmosphere every year could hardly be claimed as “small”. And that component is only part of the convective processes.

Javier Vinós
February 24, 2023 4:26 pm

That statement I made is supported by an ample bibliography. For example, NASA gives for convection a value of 5% of the absorbed solar shortwave energy, or about 18 Wm-2
https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/features/EnergyBalance

What sort of bibliography supports your statement that “Convection itself is the cause of the greenhouse effect”?

Stephen Wilde
February 24, 2023 6:06 pm

Well, you say it is not CO2 but something else
That something else is convection.
If it isn’t CO2 then it isn’t any other radiative molecules either.
Proposing that convection is the cause accounts for your observation.
It takes time for KE to become PE during uplift and PE to become KE again in descent. Delay in the loss of solar energy to space causes warming.
The absence of a bibliography is due to the fact that it never needed to be spelled out until the radiative theory came to the fore.
You just have to consider an atmosphere that is wholly non radiative. You still have a lapse rate, convection and surface warming.
The atmosphere can never become isothermal due to the lapse rate and uneven surface temperature distribution inevitably causing convection.
Convection requires energy to drive it and that energy is locked in as PE which cannot be radiated as heat because it is not thermal energy. The process of locking that energy into convective overturning denies it to space so the temperature must rise.
Very simple really.
Also accounts for the observation that the temperature within the Venusian atmosphere at the same pressure as the pressure at the surface of Earth is much the same as that on the surface of Earth subject only to an adjustment for distance from the sun.
The radiative theory cannot account for that.

Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 12:37 am

Alternative explanations for climate change are like different religions, mutually exclusive. Proposing one means one is attacked by all the others.

Convention does not solve the problem of the change in energy fluxes taking place at the top of the atmosphere needed to drive climate change, it just moves the pieces within the climate system.

Stephen Wilde
February 25, 2023 10:41 am

When an atmosphere is forming OLR drops for as long as PE is being added to the convective overturning system. Therefore convection does solve the issue of a change in energy fluxes taking place at the top of the atmosphere.
If something were to cause an increased rate of loss of atmospheric mass to space then there would be an increase in OLR above incoming from the sun until the process stops or the atmosphere is gone.
In reality there are periods of excess OLR and periods of a deficit in OLR since convection takes a little while to neutralise destabilising influences such as a change in GHGs.
I’m not attacking your post. Just supplementing it with a mechanism that explains your observations.
Overall, convection varies in order to always match the upward pressure gradient force with the downward force of gravity.
GHGs do not change global temperature but on Earth they do have a tiny effect on the global pattern of convective overturning.
Indiscernible compared to natural variability from sun and oceans.
The same for every other planet or moon with an atmosphere.

RickWill
February 24, 2023 6:11 pm

NASA gives for convection a value of 5% of the absorbed solar shortwave energy, or about 18 Wm-2

Wow such poor understanding. You are confusing the power to drive convection with the transport of energy. It is a reasonably efficient heat engine. All that movement taking just 18W/m^2. But that has nothing to do with the heat transport that that engine achieves.

The water cycle alone corresponds to about 80W/m^2. All the atmospheric water involves mass transport of heat. All advection is mass transport of heat.

Since you are so ready to accept NASA climate phiisics, I will use their image:

They have 86.4W/m^2 as latent heat, 18.4W/m^2 as conduction 358.2W/m^2 of their surface OLR flux being reabsorbed before exiting so that component is involved in convection.

Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 12:39 am

Evaporation and latent heat transport to the place where condensation takes place is a different process from convection, that’s why each one has its arrow.

Stephen Wilde
February 25, 2023 11:07 am

Evaporation causes convection because water vapour is lighter than air and therefore involves latent heat transport (KE to PE). They have separate arrows because dry convection also creates latent heat transport (KE to PE ).
What is missing is the descent phase whereby PE gets converted back to KE.
The lapse rate for descending dry air is steeper than that for rising moist air and that compensates for moist air being lighter than dry air. It is a marvellous self balancing system.
I have long pointed out that accounting for the descent phase is a material omission.
What goes up must come down so KE from PE under descending air always matches PE from KE within rising air.
That conversion process delays energy loss to space and the surface temperature rises as a consequence.
For a non-rotating planet there would be KE to PE on the lit side and PE to KE on the dark side but for a rotating planet the Coriolis force jumbles it up across both lit and unlit sides in what we see as the Polar, Ferrel and Hadley cells which create our permanent climate zones.
In the face of that underlying balancing mechanism we would never be able to observe our contribution in the face of natural internal system variability.

RickWill
February 25, 2023 2:39 pm

Evaporation and latent heat transport to the place where condensation takes place is a different process from convection,

This makes it clear you have no idea at all. The definition of conc=vection is:

Heat transfer in a gas or liquid by the circulation of currents from one region to another.

Convection does not distinguish between latent heat and sensible heat. It is all mass transport of heat. It excludes radiation transfer. But the heat input from any radiation is redistributed by convection.

Philip Mulholland
February 24, 2023 6:13 pm

What sort of bibliography supports your statement that “Convection itself is the cause of the greenhouse effect”?

We suggest here that it is not a case of either / or, rather it is both opacity and convection that are involved.

Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 12:45 am

The atmosphere increases its temperature mainly through four processes. In order of importance, they are evaporation, solar IR absorption, surface IR absorption, and convection.

So the vast majority of atmosphere heat gain is due to water vapor and clouds, followed by CO2, and a final contribution by convection.

Bob Weber
February 25, 2023 3:41 am

“So the vast majority of atmosphere heat gain is due to water vapor and clouds, followed by CO2, and a final contribution by convection.”

Wrong again. Ocean heat itself drives the atmosphere temperature via convection; water vapor, clouds, & CO2 also due to ocean heat.

Stephen Wilde
February 25, 2023 10:55 am

Evaporation causes convection because water vapour is lighter than air.
Solar IR absorption causes convection because denser lower gases absorb more than less dense higher gases.
Surface IR absorption causes most convection of all because the surface is lower and denser than any part of the atmosphere.
So, convection is the unacknowledged link underpinning all of them.
No convection, no greenhouse effect with an isothermal static atmosphere radiating to space at the temperature of the top.
In reality that cannot happen because the topmost molecules would have KE plus PE as total energy content way in excess of the downward force of gravity so the atmoshere would be incrementally lost to space.
You have to have increasing PE with height matching a decline in KE with height to keep the downward force of gravity balanced with the upward pressure gradient force.
That is all long established basic thermodynamics but it has been completely ignored.

RickWill
February 25, 2023 2:43 pm

and a final contribution by convection.

Such poor understanding. Convection moves latent heat and sensible heat.

By what process does water go from the surface to condense in the upper atmosphere if it is not convection?

You need to get a clue.

RickWill
February 25, 2023 5:33 pm

and a final contribution by convection.

How did the water get from the surface to mid troposphere to form rain?

Do you even know what convection means?

It is difficult to convey meaning on points with someone who has so little understanding of the meaning of words.

Javier Vinós
February 27, 2023 2:41 am

There are three types of heat transport. Latent, sensible, and potential. Some people group sensible and potential into dry-static heat transport. They are completely separable in meridional transport. For example, in the Hadley cell, latent heat transport is equatorward (this creates deserts at 30º latitude) and dry-static heat transport is poleward. The correct way of analyzing heat transport is by separating these components to see their respective contribution. By mixing them you get a poorer understanding of climatic processes.

Kevin Kilty
February 24, 2023 3:08 pm

Looking for a silver-bullet that exonerates CO2 is a thesis in Willis Eschenbach’s post “A serious question” from last September. Howard Hayden’s attempt is summarized from time to time of the weekly energy and environment roundup from SEEP.

I am not sure what Javier says here works except in the case of a significant step change in CO2. A step change large enough to not be indoubt in any way.

If the change in CO2 is more like a slow ramp, which is closer to reality than an obvious step change, which is what is discussed here, then what occurs is the following:

1) At the beginning of the ramp there is an infinitesimal drop in OLR at TOA, but OLR soon begins to rise through the entire atmospheric column as its temperature adjusts to re-establish energy balance at TOA.

2)The next increment of CO2 repeats this process over and over as CO2 rises to 2x concentration. The effect is like a delayed ramp in OLR that is a bit behind the ramp in CO2 — the process is trying to achieve an energy balance but is always out of balance.

3) I doubt one could measure the OLR to the requisite accuracy to establish its ramp-like quality, and then there would be further problems with attribution of the OLR signal.

I am not saying that the actual rise in temperature, adjustments in OLR, and measurments of CO2 concentration are immaterial to the problem, but that it is exceptionally difficult to make an iron-clad argument beyond any doubt in a situation with as much noise, contribution from other factors, and auxillary assumptions.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kevin Kilty
Javier Vinós
February 24, 2023 3:22 pm

Why would OLR increase if the warming is caused by an increase in greenhouse gases? An OLR increase is contrary to warming by GHGs, and indeed it is contrary to warming, as it requires an even bigger increase in absorbed solar radiation to cause warming. And an increase in GHGs does not, cannot act through an increase in shortwave absorbed radiation.

When the evidence is contrary to the theory, it is the theory that is wrong.

Kevin Kilty
February 24, 2023 5:51 pm

Because increasing CO2 causes initially a drop in OLR, but then OLR has to rise to re-establish equilibrium through a rising atmospheric temperature. You said so yourself.

You can show this using MODTRAN.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kevin Kilty
Kevin Kilty
February 24, 2023 6:26 pm

Let me try to explain this another way. Here is what you have said.

So, if CO2 is responsible for the surface temperature increase, we should first expect less OLR and then the same OLR. If at any time we detect more OLR…

To go from less OLR to the same Ol’ OLR then OLR has to rise at the TOA. You will observe a rising OLR during the attempt to re-establish energy balance. Now, since you don’t know exactly what the “same OLR” is numerically, how can you possibly say that this rising OLR is inconsistent with CO2 being the cause? It might be part of the return to equilibrium…especially if equilibrium is established through a number of other processes over a long time.

Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 1:06 am

CO2 goes up and down in its annual cycle, so let’s consider interannual when it only goes up. We are following here IPCC reasoning as an exercise about how things work in their view.

From one year to the next CO2 increases by about 3 ppm. This causes a minute increase in atmospheric opacity to IR. This should cause some small warming that is not noticeable but adds up over the years. That small warming comes from a reduction in OLR not an increase in ASR. As soon as the warming takes place (same year) OLR goes back to where it was because increasing the opacity of the atmosphere does not increase OLR.

Now considering many years, all the internal variability is gone, CO2 has increased, the warming has accumulated, and OLR has remained the same.

In that IPCC scenario, OLR cannot increase. If it increases that increase is from warming not produced by CO2.

Imagine an Earth without an atmosphere but with the same albedo. OLR would still have the same energy, only it would come from a half surface at scorching hot temperatures and the other half at very cold temperatures as in the Moon.

You cannot change the OLR of a planet except in the short term without changing its ASR and/or its RSR (albedo). If OLR is increasing is because ASR is increasing and/or RSR is decreasing. None of those changes can be attributed to CO2. An RSR decrease could be attributed to water vapor. Perhaps we need to increase our water vapor emissions 😉

Richard M
February 25, 2023 2:25 pm

MODTRAN is only part of the picture. It doesn’t show what else is happening (water vapor and convection) which just happens to adjust keep OLR constant.

Kevin Kilty
February 25, 2023 3:14 pm

Admittedly MODTRAN has its limitations, but it is instructive to use MODTRAN with any atmosphere model available and double CO2. One will see a reduction in OLR looking down at TOA in the neighborhood of $4Wm^{-2}$ and an increase looking up near the surface. The surface increase causes surface temperature to rise.

Start looking at water vapor, convection, reduction of snow and ice, changes in albedo, etc. and the return to equilibrium might take who knows how long. Javier presents a graph with a rise in OLR of a couple of watts per square meter over a couple of decades — I don’t think this observation invalidates theory.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kevin Kilty
Richard M
February 26, 2023 5:40 pm

Yes, you will see part of the full picture. You see what looks like warming because you don’t follow the energy flow all the way. In fact, if you keep the humidity constant, you will be eliminating the actual feedback that compensates for the warming. IOW, you will only fool yourself.

Frank from NoVA
February 24, 2023 3:35 pm

‘Howard Hayden’s attempt is summarized from time to time of the weekly energy and environment roundup from SEEP.’

Here’s Hayden’s differentiation between the responses to surface heating by other sources vs. heating due to increased greenhouse effect:

http://www.sepp.org/science_papers/Climate%20Physics%2010.pdf

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

If the greenhouse effect increases, such as by increasing atmospheric CO2 or H2O, then the IR emission to outerspace is decreased. That imbalance ( Iout < Iin ) warms the surface until the equality between incoming solar heat and outgoing heat radiation is re-established. (Climate modelers take note: During this time, the warming planet radiates less IR to space than when it was cooler.) In this realistic case, the increase in the greenhouse effect occurs before the temperature increase, unlike the Pixie-Dust scenario. It is important to remember that the sole source of heat to the earth is sunlight. Importantly, when the Planetary Heat Balance is restored — that is, when Iout =Iin = (Isun/4)*(1 α) the additional greenhouse effect (“radiative forcing”) must equal the additional surface radiation unless there is a change in either Isun or albedo α.

Kevin Kilty
February 24, 2023 6:27 pm

If the greenhouse effect increases, such as by increasing atmospheric CO2 or H2O, then the IR emission to outerspace is decreased. That imbalance ( Iout < Iin ) warms the surface until the equality between incoming solar heat and outgoing heat radiation is re-established.

Exactly what I said above. There is a time period in which OLR at TOA is rising as energy equilibrium is being re-established. Thus, a disturbance in this case caused entirely by step CO2 leads to an observation of rising OLR (at TOA). Observation of a rising OLR does not exonerate CO2 in the process.

I refuse to discuss Pixie dust of the right kind or any other.

Frank from NoVA
February 24, 2023 7:46 pm

‘I refuse to discuss Pixie dust of the right kind or any other.’

Fair enough.

‘Observation of a rising OLR does not exonerate CO2 in the process.’

By itself, I don’t think so. Both Vinos and Hayden indicate there has to be surface warming. And then there’s an implicit condition of whether or not the rise in OLR to ‘equilibrium’ was first preceded by a decrease in OLR. If there was an initial decrease in OLR, then I assume it would be GHE, otherwise it would be a non-GHE, e.g. a change in albedo. At least that’s my interpretation.

Kevin Kilty
February 25, 2023 3:18 pm

What you say here is precisely my concern. In order for an observation to invalidate theory, one has to have a better grasp on what the observation implies. It’s too bad we can’t just organize a big step increase in CO2 and then observe its effect. This puny 1% per year doesn’t produce anything convincing.

real bob boder
February 26, 2023 6:51 am

Except CO2 continues to rise and equilibrium should not have been achieved and per Nick and his ilk won’t be reached for 50 years after CO2 levels have stopped increasing. So you are talking pixie dust now.

observa
February 24, 2023 3:28 pm

I suspect the doomsters are working on the problem-
The First Law of Thermodynamics Has Been Rewritten (msn.com)
You just have to contextualise these matters.

Kevin Kilty
February 24, 2023 6:32 pm

From the article:

The key is that the total amount of energy causing the balloon to expand and the gas to get hotter is the same as the amount of heat you put into the balloon.”

This is not the first law because they have left out the work that may have gone in or out. As the balloon expands it does work. I have doubts about their doubts…

February 25, 2023 2:05 am

I took a thermodynamics course in the 1970s on my way to a BS degree. But everything has changed since then — all the laws seem to have changed, due to climate change, I suppose?

This comment is serious, not satire.

Kevin Kilty
February 25, 2023 3:21 pm

Well I had been teaching thermodynamics right up my retirement recently, and it has not changed since the 1970s I assure you. However, the climate kooks seem to think it doesn’t mean much, and the topic sure produces some heated discussion here.

stevekj
March 8, 2023 5:28 pm

It sure does. If only there were a way to harness all this heated discussion… hmm…

Philip Mulholland
February 24, 2023 3:40 pm

Javier,
The thing that causes me endless bemusement is the total focus on polyatomic molecular gases in the atmospheric study of thermal radiant flux. As all competent physicists know the key linkage between energy of mass motion and electromagnetic energy is shear wave flexure. A solid has to be able to flex in order for the coupling that permits energy of motion to become radiant energy to occur. Thermal radiant opacity requires a gas molecule to have three or more atoms because it is impossible to flex diatomic molecules (oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen etc.).

But all this focus on polyatomic molecular gases completely ignores the role of solid particles (dust haze and ice fog) as efficient absorbers and emitters of thermal radiant energy throughout the body of the atmosphere. The freezing point of supercooled water and the consequent formation of cirrus ice particle clouds is a process that is governed by the environmental lapse rate.  The environmental lapse rate is not fixed and so enhanced surface temperatures tend to create convection that automatically removes energy from the surface and transmits this energy to the tropopause via an adjusted environmental lapse rate. At the tropopause radiant energy loss to space is facilitated both by the presence of ice particles with their efficient flexural coupling and by the thermal radiant transparency of the overlying stratosphere.

The simple stepwise sliding model in Figure 1 with a constant adiabatic lapse rate is just a conjecture.

Philip Mulholland
February 24, 2023 3:51 pm

The emissivity coefficient of ice ranges from 0.96 to 0.99.1 This means that ice is highly effective in emitting energy as thermal radiation, which includes both visible radiation (light) and infrared radiation.2
Sources
1
engineeringtoolbox.com
2
en.wikipedia.org

Javier Vinós
February 24, 2023 4:01 pm

The simple stepwise sliding model in Figure 1 with a constant adiabatic lapse rate is just a conjecture.

Of course. The entire CO2 hypothesis is just a conjecture based on very little evidence. The way a problem is framed limits the possible solutions to the problem that can be found.

Nevertheless, the way the problem has been solved, the warming caused by increasing the greenhouse effect should not result in an increase in OLR. Changes to the lapse rate just modify the amount of warming produced, but should not increase OLR either. From space, the warming at the surface should not be “seen.” That’s what an increase in opacity does.

Frank from NoVA
February 24, 2023 4:32 pm

Javier,

I like the way you set up the issue. The main problem I see is that the Derwitte and Clerbaux 2018 chart only shows a few W/m^2 increase over ~30 years. Of course, had it been a decrease, we’d never hear the end of it from the Alarmist camp.

Javier Vinós
February 24, 2023 4:49 pm

chart only shows a few W/m^2 increase over ~30 years.

A few Wm-2 is a lot. The radiative forcing from a doubling of CO2 is 2-4 Wm-2, so the entire radiative forcing from CO2 (including feedbacks) since preindustrial is maybe 1.5-2.5 Wm-2, and all the warming since is supposed to come from just that.

Frank from NoVA
February 24, 2023 5:58 pm

Yes, if we were rabid Alarmists, we could talk in terms of ‘Hiroshimas’.

Dave Andrews
February 25, 2023 7:48 am

No lets go full rabid alarmist and talk in terms of Castle Bravos (the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated by the US at Bikini and 1000 times more powerful than Hiroshima)

That should really make people worried. 🙂

David Dibbell
February 24, 2023 4:07 pm

Javier Vinós, thank you for the clearly stated points you have made.

“Part of it [IR radiation – dd] still takes place from the surface through the atmospheric window, but most of it takes place from higher in the atmosphere.”

It is good to have direct observations, even if not the entire planet, to assess what happens at the edge of the atmospheric window in the IR spectrum. We have such a platform: The NOAA geostationary satellite GOES East. Band 16 is centered at a wavelength of 13.3 microns. NOAA calls this the CO2 band. The full disk view provides 2 km resolution. The brightness temperature color scale used for the visualizations is such that the radiance at 30C (yellow) is 10 times the radiance at -90C (white.)

So what? The static theory of the greenhouse effect is not wrong, but the atmosphere is not static. The near-real-time animations show us that the planet is a huge array of highly variable emitter elements. The formation and dissipation of clouds has a lot to do with this, and the motion is what drives it all. The overall result is the composite of a huge range of highly variable emitter outputs. This link activates a 2-hour series of images to get the point. You can select longer time periods.

https://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/GOES/fulldisk_band.php?sat=G16&band=16&length=12

“CO2 is innocent. Its fingerprint is not found at the crime scene.”

I agree, and I can “see” from space that the atmosphere is performing far more powerfully as the compressible working fluid of its own heat engine operation, than as a static radiative absorbing and emitting layer. This is not a recent discovery. As I see it, the “fingerprint” of the incremental static warming effect of rising CO2 concentrations should never have been expected to be detected for reliable attribution by any means we have available to us. In other words, the claim that warming of land and oceans is being caused by non-condensing GHGs has been unsound from the beginning and remains so.

RickWill
February 24, 2023 4:59 pm

the claim that warming of land and oceans is being caused by non-condensing GHGs has been unsound from the beginning and remains so.

And yet the author is trying to defend that such a process does exist. Even when he concludes it does nothing to the energy balance.

The existence of a GHE having some involvement in Eartth’s energy balance is a belief system that is well entrenched. It is the common wisdom. Even sound evidence that it does nothing has not altered the view that such a process exists. If there is a defined process that is supposed to do something but the evidence shows it does nothing, does the process exist?

David Dibbell
February 25, 2023 6:15 am

“If there is a defined process that is supposed to do something but the evidence shows it does nothing, does the process exist?”

I separate this into two different questions:

1.) Does the atmosphere absorb and emit IR energy, and are the instrument-confirmed absorption and emission properties of water vapor, CO2, other GHGs, and clouds responsible for this finding?

Sure. I see no reason to dispute this concept and I am not bothered by this author’s treatment of it. But it is incomplete, if one wishes to know what to expect to “see” from space and what to expect to happen at the surface.

2.) So as the surface looks toward space, will the incrementally stronger static radiative coupling from increased concentration of CO2 and other non-condensing GHGs cause heat energy to be accumulated on land and in the oceans?

I don’t see how such a cause-and-effect claim can be supported by observations. On the contrary, both the gridded hourly CERES outgoing LW/SW data and the near-real-time GOES data show the circulating atmosphere (including clouds) to be performing as a highly active controller of emission and reflection. And if so, one cannot reliably isolate the incremental static greenhouse effect as a cause of land or ocean warming. I conclude that the incremental energy involved is readily transferred to the working fluid of the heat engine for circulation to whatever altitudes and at whatever mass flow rates result from the physical response to absorbed and stored energy.

AGW is Not Science
February 25, 2023 8:30 pm

Not according to science. But clearly what they’re doing is not science, or the hypothesis would have been heavily modified or discarded long ago.

David Dibbell
February 25, 2023 6:27 am

Let me clarify my response to the “CO2 is innocent” statement. In the U.S., the court does not declare a defendant “innocent.” Rather, a verdict of “not guilty” is returned when reasonable doubt remains after considering the evidence. In this case, the way the atmosphere operates provides reasons to doubt that CO2 is to blame for the reported warming. The verdict is Not Guilty.

Last edited 1 month ago by David Dibbell
Chris Hanley
February 24, 2023 4:15 pm

CO2 is innocent. Its fingerprint is not found at the crime scene. Something else is warming the planet and causing the increase in OLR

That is probably ‘tongue-in-cheek’ of course there is no crime scene, whether the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration is partly or mostly responsible for the global warming since 1950 as per IPCC or not there is no sound evidence that any harm has resulted quite the opposite.

Last edited 1 month ago by Chris Hanley
Nick Stokes
February 24, 2023 4:42 pm

“And the test results can be evaluated for example with Derwitte and Clerbaux 2018:”

But can that paper be relied on? It appears in a MDPI pay-to-play journal. Not much peer review:
“Received: 17 September 2018; Accepted: 21 September 2018; Published: 25 September 2018”

Here is a more recent paper in Nature, which gets plenty of re viewing.
” In particular, the increase of atmospheric CO2 and CH4 led to significant negative trends in the SOLR of −0.05 to −0.3% per year in the spectral region corresponding to the ν2 and the ν3 CO2 and in the ν4 CH4 band. Most of the trends associated with the natural variability of the OLR can be related to the El Niño/Southern Oscillation activity and its teleconnections in the studied period.”

FWIW, Dewitte et al in a more recent paper, same journal gives this plot allowing for RSR – reflected solar radiation

There is less energy outgoing than incoming, as predicted by the GHE.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nick Stokes
Frank from NoVA
February 24, 2023 6:17 pm

Reflected? I think the criteria is LW out vs SW absorbed….

Nick Stokes
February 24, 2023 9:37 pm

Well, this is Dewitte, who is the sole person cited by Javier as having exonerated CO2. And that is how he adds it up.

RickWill
February 24, 2023 6:24 pm

There is less energy outgoing than incoming, as predicted by the GHE.

The thermalised solar is calibrated from ocean heat content. So the difference on your chart is not based on accurate radiative measurement but of temperature measurements in the oceans.

Oceans are retaining more heat because the water cycle is slowing down. Less evaporation means the thermocline shoals and the oceans retain more heat. It has nothing to do with the GHE. That is a fairy tale that has fitted the political agenda and it gets reinforced by the rivers of funding to government funded enterprises. .

Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 2:10 am

There has to be less outgoing than incoming for warming to take place. You cannot have warming if outgoing is more than incoming. That has nothing to do with GHE.

bdgwx
February 25, 2023 7:19 am

True. But that also happens when ΔEout < ΔEin. Note that the GHE hypothesis is that ΔEout > 0 simultaneous with ΔEout < Ein. The Dewitte & Clerbaux 2018 publication is consistent with the GHE hypothesis. If you are wanting to challenge the GHE hypothesis I don’t recommend doing so by citing the Dewitte & Clerbaux 2018 publication.

Last edited 1 month ago by bdgwx
Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 10:01 am

Where does the ΔEin come from in the GHE?

bdgwx
February 25, 2023 11:27 am

Dewitte & Clerbaux 2018 say the OLR observations indicate “longwave cloud thinning” as described in [Cess et al. 1990]. In fact, they claim models are underestimating this feedback. The snow/ice albedo feedback would increase OLR as well though the declines as of yet would not be enough to explain the observed OLR trend.

Last edited 1 month ago by bdgwx
Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 5:45 pm

Cloud thinning is not mentioned in Cess et al. 1990. What they say is:

A roughly threefold variation in one measure of global climate sensitivity is found among the 19 models. The important conclusion is that most of this variation is attributable to differences in the models’ depiction of cloud feedback, a result that emphasizes the need for improvements in the treatment of clouds in these models if they are ultimately to be used as reliable climate predictors

Not very encouraging that we know what happens to clouds.

You keep talking about feedbacks, yet feedbacks are not part of the GHE theory. We could be discussing feedbacks for hours and never reach an agreement because even models don’t agree about feedbacks.

bdgwx
February 26, 2023 6:12 am

Dewitte & Clerbaux call it “longwave cloud thinning”. Cess et al. just call it “cloud feedback”.

I keep talking about feedbacks because that’s what scientists have been talking about since the 1800’s.

Editor
February 25, 2023 5:03 am

Nick,
Your plot starts in 2001, after global warming stopped. It isn’t that different from Javiers, for the period you plotted. Looks cherry-picked to me.

bdgwx
February 25, 2023 6:32 am

Global warming didn’t stop in 2001. [Schuckmann et al. 2020] [Cheng et al. 2023]

Editor
February 25, 2023 9:36 am

bdgwx,
Clearly a matter of opinion. Running a 5-year moving average on UAH global LT data as a poor man’s method of removing ENSO effects, shows that it certainly stopped from around 1997 to 2013 (see attached). The 2015-2016 super El Nino has raised temperatures from 2015 until 2020, but El Nino warming is temporary, since it moves heat from the ocean compartment to the atmosphere compartment where it can be more easily ejected to space. Thus, longer term, a super El Nino has a cooling effect. We will see what happens in the next few years. My prediction would flat or cooling temperatures.

bdgwx
February 25, 2023 11:34 am

I don’t know how well TLT temperatures can assess global warming in this context since it only represents 1% of the system. Assuming it can for the sake of this post and using the Monckton method we find that UAH TLT shows 0.31 C of warming (+0.14 C/decade) since 2001.

Last edited 1 month ago by bdgwx
Editor
February 25, 2023 5:51 pm

TLT represents much more than the lower 2 meters of the atmosphere, but a linear fit is completely inappropriate for this series and quite meaningless.

bdgwx
February 26, 2023 6:10 am

Everybody knows TLT represents the LT layer of the atmosphere. That’s why the product is called is called TLT and not 2mT.

Perhaps you can you tell Monckton what he is doing is inappropriate and meaningless then.

Nick Stokes
February 25, 2023 12:12 pm

Andy
It isn’t my plot. It is a plot from Javier’s hero, Dewitte, writing just a few months later. He isn’t my hero, but I include it to show that the way he does the arithmetic, there is still a net outflow of heat. It was the claimed (by Javier) absence of outflow of heat that “exonerated CO2”.
﻿

Javier Vinós
February 25, 2023 5:54 pm

I have no heroes, but if I had them you wouldn’t be one. Let’s start by interpreting graphs correctly. The graph you posted says “total outgoing.” That includes OLR and RSR (albedo) and does not say anything about their relative contribution.

What does that graph have to do with my post? I’m a bit lost here. For the warming to happen Ei > Eo. Everybody agrees on that and it is what the graph says.

Nick Stokes
February 25, 2023 11:24 pm

Everybody agrees on that and it is what the graph says.”

They don’t. Here is a post from Isaac Held titled
“How can outgoing longwave flux increase as CO2 increases?“Interestingly it was prompted by the fact that GCMs predict just that. Here is a key part

The shortwave feedback can exceed the direct effect on OLR. And that is just what Dewitte’s total result is saying.

JCM
February 26, 2023 12:10 am

Total hog wash!!

ifs, ifs, and even more ifs!

“How can outgoing longwave flux increase as CO2 increases” ???
Feedbacks on feedbacks!! audacious harebrained conjecture!!!!

It’s getting ridiculous!!

Nick Stokes
February 26, 2023 12:14 am

But it is observed. Dewitte says so.

JCM
February 26, 2023 12:25 am

But it is observed.

A total counter argument to heat trapping vernacular. Other hypotheses must be considered.

Nick Stokes
February 26, 2023 12:49 am

No, Dewitte’s graph says that heat is indeed trapped. Total heat out is less than heat in.

JCM
February 26, 2023 1:02 am

not by a diminished proportion of OLR vs surface flux!! no such effect is observed…

Decadal changes of the reflected solar radiation and the earth energy imbalance”….

It is a cognitive dissonance to dismiss alternative conjecture for such effects.

One need not limit oneself to radiative feedbacks upon feedbacks…

a diminished OLR which subsequently results in OLR exceeding the initial magnitude based on internal IR active radiative trace gas perturbation….

far fetched even for laymen!! Let’s face it.

Editor
February 26, 2023 4:54 am

It doesn’t. Give it up Nick.

bdgwx
February 26, 2023 11:36 am

That’s what Dewitte’s graph shows. EEI = ASR – OLR. ASR > OLR so EEI > 0. The astute reader will notice it is the 1st law of thermodynamics ΔE = Ein – Eout. Just because you think ASR is BS doesn’t mean that the 1LOT isn’t any less true or that scientists have been predicting the albedo feedback for at least 120 years. And the very citation in this article (Dewitte & Clerbaux 2019) even says in no uncertain terms that the increase in OLR is caused by the albedo feedback. They call it the “longwave cloud thinning effect”.

Last edited 1 month ago by bdgwx
Editor
February 26, 2023 4:54 am

No, he doesn’t say so. As Javier posted:

That includes OLR and RSR (albedo) and does not say anything about their relative contribution.

And I noted, you cherry-picked your period to coincide with the Pause.

Editor
February 25, 2023 5:54 pm

Nick,
I’m just pointing out that the plot you showed looks a lot like the one that Javier showed, it just covers a smaller period. I suspect it is the same data, you just tried to make it say something it doesn’t say.

Jim Steele