Sunday, October 27, 2013

Huffington Post shows how anthropogenic global warming circumvents the 1st Law of Thermodynamics

A 'physicist'/blogger on the Huffington Post admits that while "The laws of physics dictate that energy is conserved," somehow the Earth/atmosphere system is exempted in the case of global warming, since "more energy is coming in than going out." His claim is directly opposed by satellite measurements, the NASA Earth Observatory site, and many, many other references clearly demonstrating that in accordance with the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, the "flow of energy into the atmosphere must be balanced by an equal flow of energy out of the atmosphere and back to space."

In addition, outgoing infrared radiation to space from greenhouse gases has increased over the past 62 years, instead of decreased as predicted by AGW theory, proving that there is no observational evidence for influence of CO2 on present or past climate.

Source: Dr. Noor van AndelThere is no observational evidence for influence of CO2 on present or past climate

From the NASA Earth Observatory:
The Atmosphere’s Energy Budget 
Just as the incoming and outgoing energy at the Earth’s surface must balance, the flow of energy into the atmosphere must be balanced by an equal flow of energy out of the atmosphere and back to space.

The Earth's Energy Budget II -- Radiation Emitted by the Earth, the Greenhouse Effect, and the Overall Energy Balance

For the entire planet, the radiation energy in equals the radiation energy out

The Amount of Energy the Earth Radiates to Space Equals the Amount Received Received from the Sun, So Energy going Out Equals Energy Coming In

and about 525,000 other references.

Global Warming, Asteroid Impacts, and the Laws of Physics

  Mark Boslough  Physicist; Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, Huffington Post

When I was a first-year graduate student at Caltech, my Ph.D. adviser published a paper called "Impact-induced energy partitioning." He asked how an asteroid's energy would change form if it collided with the Earth. He used computer models to estimate what fraction would go into lofting debris, heating, melting, vaporizing rocks, and so on.

This subject was not settled science then, and is still not. One thing is for sure, however. The laws of physics dictate that energy is conserved. If an asteroid is hurtling toward your city, you might not be concerned that scientists are not 100 percent certain about how its energy will be "partitioned."

Global warming is no different.

Another one of my professors was Richard Feynman. In his famous "Feynman Lectures" he had a chapter called "Conservation of Energy" in which he says:

"There is a fact, or if you wish, a law, governing all natural phenomena that are known to date. There is no exception to this law - it is exact so far as we know. The law is called conservation of energy."

He imagined a child with toy blocks that are indestructible and can't be divided. His mother counts the blocks every day and discovers a phenomenal law - no matter what he does with the blocks, there is always the same number at the end of the day.

One day there is a missing block, but she investigates and finds one under the rug. Another day the number comes up two short, but she discovers an open window and two blocks are outside.

Then a surplus occurs, but it turns out a friend came over and left some blocks.

After that, mom locks the window and bans visits, but eventually the count comes up short again. There's a toy box in the room but it's locked and only her son has the key. So she weighs it. The changes in weight correlate exactly to the missing blocks from day to day.

Then the weight stops changing, but the water level in the dirty bathtub starts going up and down in a way that is exactly proportional to the difference in missing blocks.

Feynman even provides the equations that mom uses, and he beats the analogy into our heads. The blocks are like energy, which is neither created nor destroyed.

His punchline is this: Energy has different forms, and there is a formula for each one. "If we total up the formulas for each of these contributions, it will not change except for energy going in and out."

Human-caused global warming is the inevitable consequence of this law of physics, because greenhouse gas pollution is causing more energy to come in than go out.

If the average surface temperature - which is only one way to measure global warming - doesn't go up every year, it's because the "blocks" are being hidden somewhere else, for now.

But energy changes forms, and sloshes back and forth between sub-systems. Ice will continue to melt and sea level will continue to rise as the water warms. A slowdown in one rate is compensated by a speedup in another until the cycle of natural variability reverses.

Scientists know that more energy is coming in than going out. We can measure it and there is no dispute. [we have measured it and energy in = energy out]

Because of carbon pollution, the Earth is gaining energy at the rate of 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs every day of every year. And that rate is going up. [nope]

Not knowing exactly how energy is "partitioned" into its various forms at any given time is like not knowing how much melting an asteroid will cause, how small the pieces will be when a boiler explodes, how the victims of a drunk driver will die, or how many minutes it will take for the Titanic to sink.

Uncertainty in exactly how something happens does not translate into uncertainty that it is happening. There is no rational basis for denial of the reality, or the risks, of global warming.

And there is no excuse for ignoring it.

This essay is reprinted from the Albuquerque Journal.


  1. Negative feedbacks act in opposition to effects that would change the value of the state (such as temperature). In real-world systems, these are all bi-directional.

    Thus, we have an automatic planetary homeostasis mechanism or thermostat to keep temperatures within a range compatible with life,” that outgoing LWIR increases if temperatures warm [or decreases if temperatures cool] to the 4th power of absolute temperatures, a homeostatic mechanism.

    1. Lindzen & Choi 2009, and updated in response to criticisms in 2010 with the same conclusions, found from ERBE and CERES satellite observations that negative feedbacks exceed positive feedbacks, that outgoing longwave [IR] radiation was increasing instead of decreasing due to alleged "heat trapping" from AGW.


    Adapting the Gas Law for planetary atmospheres.

    The usual form, PV = mRspecificT applies to a parcel of gas within an existing atmosphere. Gravitational potential energy can be ignored because such a parcel expands equally up and down. The intermolecular forces are small enough to ignore.

    For a planetary atmosphere as a whole that is not good enough because gravitational potential energy is very close to 50% of the energy in an atmosphere. I suggest the following variant:

    PV = mRspecificE

    Where E represents total atmosphere energy content (KE + PE) and the value of Rspecific determines how much of E can be in kinetic form (KE) as heat and how much in potential form (PE) as height.

    In that way we can allow factors other than mass, gravity and insolation to affect V without affecting T because T is determined only by the amount of KE needed to keep the mass of the atmosphere off the surface at a given height and in turn that is determined by mass (m) and the individual gas constant for the particular atmospheric composition (Rspecific).

    Once one has enough KE to do that job all additional factors influencing total atmospheric energy content must go to PE alone.

    more here:

    Stephen Wilde

    1. Thanks Stephen,

      see also Shattering the Greenhouse Effect:

      Professor inadvertently explains why greenhouse theory is wrong

      Why Heat Doesn't Flow from Cold to Hot and the Myth of AGW

      Why the AGW "Hot Spot" Won't Happen


    2. I am generally sympathetic towards anti AGW arguments, but I am sorry to say arguments on this page are incorrect. Energy balance only needs to hold if the system is in thermodynamic equilibrium. By default, AGW theory proposes we are not in one at this time. In disequilibrium, the temperature of the earth (planet +atmosphere) will be increasing until the equilibrium is restored. To see how it works, imagine a situation when the sun is suddenly turned off.

    3. 1. After 3.5 billion years, the Earth is still not in thermodynamic equilibrium, and will never be in equilibrium

      2. Greenhouse gases only delay passage of an average photon by a few milliseconds along the ultimate passage to space, a system which recycles every 24 hours when, as you say, "the sun is suddenly turned off" at night, thus the "not in equilibrium" argument is effectively moot.

      3. ERBE and CERES measurements show that outgoing longwave radiation [OLR] has increased, but every climate model instead predicted that OLR should have decreased within the present thermodynamic disequilibrium

      The above Figure 2 from Lindzen & Choi 2009 compares the response of the climate system (the amount of infrared and visible radiation escaping from Earth to outer space) to the increase in surface temperature, as measured by the ERBE satellite, the upper left plot (marked ERBE), to the responses of the eleven different IPCC climate models (the remaining plots, marked by abbreviations of the respective models). As we see, all of the models respond in the wrong way, opposite to the actual climate system.

      More details:

  3. Thanks MS.

    I think the additional and new insight that I have introduced is that in the process of retaining long term equilibrium an atmosphere juggles energy to and fro between PE and KE in order to apply a negative system reaction to ANY forcing element other than mass gravity or insolation.

    I have also identified for the first time how the Gas Laws should be adapted and applied to make it obvious to all.

    The rest of my climatology essays go into great detail as to how the stabilising effect of the gas constant then feeds into real world climate change via circulation adjustments.

    I have also described in detail how all observable climate changes come to be derived from top down solar and bottom up oceanic forcing elements.

    I believe I really have created a workable New Climate Model.

    Stephen Wilde.