Thursday, September 22, 2011

Climate scientists discover magical unlimited power source: The Greenhouse Effect

To hell with the 1st Law of Thermodynamics: 1 plus 0 equals 2. Climate scientists have made the remarkable discovery that the greenhouse effect is an unlimited source of free and perpetual energy, as shown in this powerpoint presentation The role of satellite data in estimating the impact of anthropogenic activity on climate change, by Jean-Louis Dufresne, Director of Research at CNRS (National Center of Scientific Research) in France.

email from Alan Siddons: 

Speaking of “heat from nowhere,” here’s a charming energy budget that tries to show that there’s no funny business going on with the greenhouse effect.
See? Half goes out to space but half goes down to earth. Then half of that and half of that and so on. It’s 50/50 all the way. What could be wrong in that? Problem is, when you extrapolate this process and add up all the OUT values and the DOWN values you get this:
In other words, a DOUBLING of energy has occurred.

Incidentally, the depiction isn’t of the atmospheric greenhouse effect per se but of what happens when “A sheet of glass opaque to infrared radiation covers a surface exposed to sunlight.” Ho ho ho. Another ignoramus.


  1. There's some bad math going on here. It doesn't make sense to add up all the numbers in each column.

    At any point in the above table, the number represents a quantity that is split into two. Half of the number moves down the table, and half moves across the table. Therefore the quantity in any cell *includes* the quantity below it.

    The real way to describe what's going on in the diagram is as follows: let E(t) be the heat in the earth at time t, and S(t) be the total heat the lost to space. At time 0, the sun puts in 100 units of heat, so E(0) = 100. At every time step, *all* the heat in the earth is radiated out to a black box in the sky that divides the heat in two, and sends half back to the earth and half to the sky. Symbolically:
    E(t+1) = E(t)/2
    S(t+1) = S(t) + E(t)/2
    The total heat in the Earth/Sky system at any time is H(t) = E(t) + S(t), and just to check, you can see:
    H(t+1) = E(t+1) + S(t+1) = E(t)/2 + S(t) + E(t/2) = E(t) + S(T).

    So this formulation clearly conserves the total heat in the earth/space system. The energy has not in any way been doubled.

  2. Adam,

    Nah, an honest eye reveals it clear enough: From 100 units of energy, 100 remain inside the box and 100 units escape. All you have to do is put a second box — transparent bottom, opaque top — on top of the first one. Then you can double the energy once again. And again and again and again.

    The greenhouse premise, that 240 W/m² radiated to a two-sided “GHG layer” will generate 240 W/m² on both sides, 240 to add heat to the earth below and 240 that goes out to space. But no, such a layer has TWICE the surface area so it would radiate only 120 W/m² on either side. Climatologists forget what watts per SQUARE METER actually means.

    Read Alan Siddons essay The Greenhouse Hustle
    which focuses on that silly fallacy.

    NASA’s Gavin Schmidt dispenses with the subterfuge and asserts it outright:

    "The factor of two for A (the radiation emitted from the atmosphere) comes in because the atmosphere radiates both up and down."

    In addition, you cannot weasel your way around this by trying to look at it as a time delayed process which is occurring almost instantaneously at the speed of light or nearly so. For CO2, for instance, Nasif Nahle estimates that the delay between absorption and emission is just a few milliseconds. Add to this a significant detail found in a US government report.

    From Alternatives to Traditional Transportation Fuels (U.S. Department of Energy):

    What happens after the GHG molecules absorb infrared radiation? The hot molecules release their energy, usually at lower energy (longer wavelength) radiation than the energy previously absorbed. The molecules cannot absorb energy emitted by other molecules of their own kind. Methane molecules, for example, cannot absorb radiation emitted by other methane molecules. This constraint limits how often GHG molecules can absorb emitted infrared radiation. Frequency of absorption also depends on how long the hot GHG molecules take to emit or otherwise release the excess energy.

    For an in depth treatment of why the GHE violates the 1st law, read G&T.

    Also read this simple analogy:

  3. MS

    Nice! You don't even need a table just add up 50 + 25 etc. You will get 100 for the top and bottom for a total of 200. Sheesh, instead of 'watts for nothing' can I get 'money for nothing', like all the fakes do? But there are more basic problems with this unphysical tripe.

    1. Some the sun's IR will be absorbed by water vapor and clouds. All 100w would not reach the ground. Also the suns energy density is constantly changing. Is that 100w at zenith?

    2. For the surface to absorb all 100w it would have to be a blackbody surface. It ignores any reflection of radiation or surface conduction (temperature gradients) of heat and the ground is not homogeneous. For the top and bottom of the shell to emit the same intensity both top and bottom would have to have the same temperature. And how thick is this layer? Abstract silliness. Absorption is an energy conversion and no process is 100% efficient. Pure nonsense.

    3. Apparently the "layer" of the atmosphere is also being treated as a blackbody surface with its perfect absorption/re-emission. Most people confuse this with reflection. Since a blackbody is solid this is conflating the properties of solids with gases. A gas is not a solid. Gases have no surface nor do they have a shape. Also is this "layer or shell" a Co2 only layer? Pure junk fantasy.

    4. Backradiation is a scientific myth perpetuated and developed since the time of Fourier. It goes against ALL energy laws.

    The prototype for this shell game can be found in Balfour Stewart's Treatise on Heat circa 1866. It is complete with the half up half down meme. It is available on google books as a free download. Co2 isn't mentioned but water vapor is. Check it out pages 228 - 230 (pdf 254 - 255). There is also an excellent section on Prevost's theory of exchanges and the experiment that brought it on.

  4. From which we learn, the author cannot add.

    Energy coming into the "atmosphere" layer in the diagram: 100 + 50 + 25 + 12.5 + 6.25 ... = 200

    Energy going out of the atmosphere layer: 200 (100 up, 100 down). Atmosphere in balance.

    Energy going into the "surface" layer in the diagram:
    100 (sun) + 100 (back radiation) = 200.
    Energy leaving the surface layer in the diagram: 100 + 50 + 25 + 12.5 ... = 200. Surface in balance.

    Energy going into the planet as a whole in the diagram: 100 (solar).

    Energy leaving planet as a whole in the diagram: 100 (IR). Planet in balance.

  5. The one and only energy source is the Sun =100%

    The atmosphere cannot have double the energy 200% "coming in" than the only energy source. That is simply impossible and a violation of the 1st law.

  6. Once again, you show you cannot add. The atmosphere has EXACTLY the same amount of energy coming out as going in. That is no violation of the 1st law. The surface has EXACTLY the same amount of energy going out as coming in. That is no violation. And the planet as a whole has EXACTLY the same amount going out as coming in. That is no violation.

    You confusion lies in your mistaken belief that only the Sun radiates energy. Which is simply untrue. Everything above absolute zero radiates energy. That's the 3rd law of thermodynamics.

  7. Of course everything above absolute zero radiates, but HEAT ONLY FLOWS ONE WAY FROM HOT TO COLD.

    The Sun is the only source of energy. If the Sun is producing 100 units of work, then 100 units of work is the maximum amount that the atmosphere can receive, not 200.

  8. This argument is flawed. Lets think of it in terms of balls. Lets say I give you 100 balls; you keep 50%, and throw away 50%. Now you have 50 balls. Now I give you another 100 balls. Once again you keep 50% of the total balls, and throw away 50%. Now you have 75, and you threw away 75. Let's keep going. I give you another 100 balls; you keep 50%, and throw away 50%. Now you have 87.5, and you threw away 87.5. Keep this up and eventually when I give you 100 balls, you will keep 100 and throw away 100 every time. There is no magic going on, just simple math. When we reach the point where you are throwing away as much as you are receiving, that's called equilibrium.

    1. No, it is not flawed as explained in the post. For a better explanation of the fictitious doubling of energy, read Joe Postma's series of posts on the GHE


  9. I just gave you a specific analogy that explains why you end up with 2 times the amount. If you don't believe me, go through the math. Can you offer a reason why my analogy is wrong?