Sunday, August 8, 2010

Earth Energy Budgets without 'Greenhouse Gases' or 'Back Radiation'

        The foundation of the greenhouse theory is that 'greenhouse' gases absorb infrared radiation from the earth and then 'back-radiate' this energy to the earth to cause global warming. Several prior posts have illustrated that the concepts of greenhouse gas 'back-radiation,' 'heat-trapping,' 'heat capture,' and 'radiative forcing' are essentially all referring to the same unphysical, fundamental error of the greenhouse theory that cannot be found in textbooks of physics. Several commenters have indicated that they think it is impossible to explain the temperatures of the earth and atmosphere without incorporating 'greenhouse gases' and  'back-radiation' in diagrams of the Earth's energy budget, such as the famous Kiehl/Trenberth/IPCC Energy Budget, which shows 'back-radiation' to be a very significant 324 W/m2 (95% of the average solar input!) at all times 24/7/365.
        However, the earth-atmosphere system can be much more simply described (see Occam's Razor) with real physics without using 'greenhouse gases' or 'back-radiation' at all. Here are five Earth Energy Budgets which completely explain the earth-atmosphere system without 'greenhouse gases' or 'back-radiation,' in stark contrast to the IPCC alarmist & unphysical Energy Budget:

1. Vaclav Smil, Energies: An Illustrated Guide to the Biosphere and Civilization, The MIT Press, 2000: 
2. Richard M. Goody, Principles of Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry, The Oxford University Press, 1995:
3. EOS-Web, NASA Langley Research Center, which is the same as Smil 1999 (who copied who?)
4. Lettau, 1954

5. Source Pending

Without the foundations of 'back-radiation,' 'heat-trapping,' 'heat capture,' and 'radiative forcing,' the 'greenhouse gas' theory collapses like a house of cards, and adding additional trace CO2 has no measurable effect upon the climate.


  1. Thank you for that. People at EPA apparently can't understand common, simple heat transfer theory that many of us were taught in college (I know I was an as engineer). It just goes right over their heads and instead they cling to some kind of new strange theory that has colder objects radiating heat to warmer objects. Politics and global agenda seem to be the only explanation for this unexcusable behavior. Their "science" is all wrong!

    1. Sad but true. It is amazing the contortions climate scientists go through trying to overturn the 2nd law of thermodynamics [and the 1st law]

    2. Well, the science is NOT "all wrong". Sure, the Kiehl/Trenberth/IPCC Energy Budget shows 'back-radiation' to be 324 W/m2 ("95% of the average solar input!"). But the same model shows radiation emitted from the surface to atmosphere of 350 W/m2 - this is just a case of energy cycling between atmosphere and surface (including oceans), with no direct link to global input or output. It's easy to deny climate change if you ignore some parts of the system. Truly sad.

    3. "this is just a case of energy cycling between atmosphere and surface"

      Energy cannot be recycled, entropy must always increase. AGW disproven in a nutshell. Sad.

    4. @Anonymous

      Erm, the science as you know actually is ALL wrong.

      Kiehl/Trenberth/IPCC Energy Budget fails on 3 main points:
      a) Outgoing IR window is about 29% of incoming, see or indeed any spectrum of outgoing radiation and look for the area under the graph where temp ~ surface temp;
      b) Misses out competely what happens between night and day (which as it turns out is very important);
      c) Includes a non-existant back-radiation component.

      Because they've under-represented the amount that goes out via the surface-space IR window, all the other numbers are but frigged.
      There's no real 'back-radiation'.

      Actually it is all pretty-much and irretreivably wrong.


    5. @MS

      True. But irrelevent.

      Actually entropy must always increase or STAY THE SAME.

      It can never decrease, I will giveyou that.

      When a system is at equilibrium, all irreversible state changes have been exhausted, and the system cam stay at dynamic isotropic equilibrium.

      In cyclical changes, these might make slight changes (increase) to overall entropy, but is possible that these are a very minor impact of an otherwise reversible cycle.



  3. I utterly despair.

    First, the outgoing IR window is completely wrong. See diagram here ...

    How much of that diagram is clearly emitting out to space at the surface temperature of 285K? If you are stuck, just hold some transparent graph paper over the diagram ans cound the number of square in the IR window compared to the total number of squares under what would be the 285K curve.

    This isn't rocket science. Try it. You'll find that about 29% of the energy incident on the Earth's surface is emitted straight out. The rest is a 'bit' blocked.

    But gets out from:
    a) The cloud layer in a layer of 275K down to 220K corresponding to the the upper troposphere and mostly emitted by H2O
    b) The tropause, in a layer from 240K down to 220K (with a peak corresponding to the monochromatic low-pressure area in the upper tropause) emitted by CO2
    c) The lower stratosphere in a low-pressure and density layer around 245K (again with a peak corresponding to the monochromatic low-pressure area in the mid stratosphere) from O3.

    You can 'see' from satellite observations exactly how big the atmospheric window is that allows the surface to radiate out to space.

    You can also 'see' from these satellite observations, how much energy comes from the other layers. It is right there in the observable data, without any need for modelling. You don't need no expensive computer to tell you.

    So the FIRST thing these energy budgets get wrong is the size of the surace-space IR atmospheric window.

    The next thing they get wrong is the 'backradiation' component.

    There are three reasons for this:
    a) They do not model separately Night and Day;
    b) They ignore the fact that heat RISES and that hor air EXPANDS;
    c) Electromagnetic radiation cannot travel though an absorbing medium.

    During the day, the heat that cannot escape from the surface through the atmospheric window (about 71% of the incident energy from the Sun) is poured into the atmosphere. The air rises and expands. Over the 10km and 10 tonnes of atmosphere, it rises about 5cm.
    For any physicists out there, thermal energy is changed to (gravitational) potential energy.

    At night the air drops back 5 cm, compressing the air near the surface (simplificaition alert!) and delivering the energy to help sustain surface temperatures (which would otherwise drop much more) during the night. The gravitational potential energy is transferred (imperfectly) back into thermal energy at the surface.

    To be repeated next day.

    That is the model for the atmosphere.

    When you see an energy budget diagram remind yourslef that 'back-radiation' does not exist. If you are in any doubt, hold a book up to a lamp. How much light gets through?
    10m of air is like a 'page' to IR radation. There are 10,000 pages between the CO2 troposphere and the earth/sea surface. How much 'back-radiation' from up there gets to the surface. NONE.

    Instead the earth is like a small pump during the day pushing energy into expanding and raising the atmosphere, which contracts,lowers and returns (some but not all) of that energy at night.

    That is real energy budget for the Earth.