Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Debunking Myths & Strawmen about the Gravito-Thermal Greenhouse Effect & Radiative Greenhouse Effect

This post will be continuously updated with a list of all posts concerning the gravito-thermal greenhouse effect, the derivation and use of the greenhouse equation of the gravito-thermal greenhouse effect, as well as numbered responses to common objections.

This is in lieu of constantly repeating information in responses to new comments here & elsewhere, to link to the numbered list below referring to a specific post which addresses the argument in question for or against the two competing 33C greenhouse effect theories (because one and only one of these greenhouse theories can be correct, otherwise Earth would be at least 33C warmer than present): 
1) The Arrhenius radiative greenhouse effect theory (the catastrophic man-made CO2 global warming theory)
2) The Maxwell gravito-thermal greenhouse effect theory

3] Why Greenhouse Gases Don't Affect the Greenhouse Equation or Lapse Rate (debunks claim that greenhouse gases are necessary for convection or a lapse rate to occur or that greenhouse gas radiative forcing can affect the lapse rate)

6] Why the atmosphere is in horizontal thermodynamic equilibrium but not vertical equilibrium (debunks claims that the gravito-thermal greenhouse effect assumes thermodynamic equilibrium in all three x, y, and z planes).

13] Why can't radiation from a cold body make a hot body hotter?

Answers these queries:

  • Can radiation from a cold body increase the temperature of a warmer body?
  • Are the Stefan-Boltzmann and Planck Laws applied correctly in calculating the greenhouse effect?
  • How can radiation from a cold body not be thermalized [cause an increase in temperature] of a warmer body?
  • How does quantum mechanics explain why a cold body can't make a warm body warmer still?
  • How do photons "know" how to do this?
  • Does water vapor warm or cool the planet?
  • Do clouds warm or cool the planet?
  • Why are cloudy nights warmer?
  • Do clouds cause 25% of the radiative greenhouse effect theory as claimed?

  • 17] New paper demonstrates climate models don't even have the 'basic physics' of the greenhouse effect correct

    Short summary of the 33C gravito-thermal greenhouse effect 

    The ~33C gravito-thermal greenhouse effect, first described by the great physicist Maxwell in 1872 by the barometric Poisson Relation, describes the temperature gradient from the 220K tropopause all the way down to the 288K Earth surface. As we have shown, the "average temperature" within the distribution of this quasi-linear [lapse rate] temperature gradient of the troposphere matches the energy input from the Sun, thus conserving energy:

    (288K + 220K)/2 = 254K ~ 255K = Equilibrium temperature with the Sun (located at center of mass of atmosphere)

    288K (at surface) - 255K (at center of mass of the atmosphere) = 33C gravito-thermal greenhouse effect

    Thus fulfilling the 1st law requirement of conservation of energy. (Before someone comments, I know you can't properly average temperatures, and that temperature is not a direct proxy for heat energy because calorimetry requires the mass, specific heats, heats of fusion and vaporization, and all phase changes be accounted, but use of temperature as a proxy of heat is done for illustrative purposes and simplification of the explanation)

    The temperature (a rough proxy for heat energy) distribution on either side of equilibrium temperature with the Sun Te = 255 is approximately an equal distribution around the center of atmospheric mass in the ~middle of the troposphere at ~5100 meters, thus conserving energy and placing Te = 255K at the center of mass (where P=1/2 of surface pressure) of the gravito-thermal greenhouse effect.

    Common myths & strawmen arguments & rebuttals:

    18] Myth: The Arrhenius radiative greenhouse theory is incontrovertible "basic physics"

    : Twenty-six years before Arrhenius devised his radiative greenhouse theory, the greatest physicist in history on the topics of heat and radiation, James Clerk Maxwell, said that the gravito-thermal greenhouse effect is what creates the atmospheric temperature gradient, not radiation from greenhouse gases. The Arrhenius radiative greenhouse theory makes at least three huge incorrect physical assumptions:

    1) cold bodies can make much hotter bodies much hotter (in violation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics which says transfer of any heat from cold to hot would cause an impossible decrease of entropy, since the second law requires total entropy to always increase),

    2) that radiation dominates over convection in the troposphere (disproven by countless papers and observations),

    3) gravitational forcing upon atmospheric mass (as described by the barometric formulae) does not create the temperature gradient in the troposphere (disproven by Maxwell, the barometric formulae, and millions of observations).

    Thus, all of the major physical assumptions of the Arrhenius radiative greenhouse effect are false. One and only one 33C greenhouse theory, either gravitational or radiative, can explain the entire 33C greenhouse effect; you cannot have it both ways and both cannot have merit, otherwise the Earth would be 33C warmer than at present. In addition the "Maxwell theory" is the only one compatible with the 18-26 year "pause" or "hiatus" of global warming along with a 20% increase in CO2 levels.

    19] Myth: “Every pressurised container would be hot if pressure increases temperature”

    Let's use a bicycle tire analogy. When you use a pump to pressurize the tire it gets hotter for awhile, but then cools to ambient room temp by the tire convecting that heat to the atmosphere.

    Second situation is we have a leaky tire that we have to keep pumping to maintain the same pressure, so that tire remains hotter as long as compression of the air is a continuous process.

    The atmosphere is only analogous to the second situation, since air packets are continuously warming at the surface then rise/expand/cool until equilibrium with surrounding air in upper atmosphere, then due to gravitational potential energy these air packets have accumulated then fall/compress/warm down to the surface.

    This is how the troposphere temperature gradient from 220K-288K is entirely controlled by these barometric processes and perfectly predicted by the barometric formula.


    1. The gravitationally induced temperature gradient is the state of thermodynamic equilibrium with maximum entropy and no unbalanced energy potentials. For there to be no unbalanced energy potentials there must be a homogeneous sum of mean molecular (kinetic energy + gravitational potential energy) and this directly implies a temperature gradient resulting from the process described in statements of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Because it is an equilibrium state, some of the new energy absorbed at the top of a planet's troposphere can and does move downwards to warmer regions, restoring thermodynamic equilibrium as it does so. This is the missing energy that they incorrectly tried to explain with back radiation.

    2. Physicist wrote;

      "This is the missing energy that they incorrectly tried to explain with back radiation."

      Yes, that does seem correct. And MS's work here seems to capture this well in a deterministic equation.

      The missing/overlooked piece is the "back radiation", boy lots and lots of "it exists we can measure it" versus "it can't exist" back and forth over the years.

      My opinion (regarding "back radiation") ; yes it exists, BUT the back radiation is simply energy making "another pass" through the system after being emitted by the surface. The surface cools when the energy is emitted (the surface (rock and water) is a accumulator/storehouse of thermal energy NOT a source of thermal energy. And then the surface warms a second time when the energy returns.

      A source of thermal energy (i.e. a light bulb/electrical heater) consumes a constant supply of electricity and emits a constant stream of radiation WITHOUT COOLING in the process. A storehouse of thermal energy (i.e. a rock) emits a constant stream of radiation while cooling in the process. Note that a rock may also be absorbing/warming (daylight) while it is also emitting/cooling at the same time. The instantaneous difference between the absorbing/emitting processes determines the current temperature.

      This is the "double counting" problem with the "classic radiative GHE" hypothesis, yes the surface emits radiation and that warms something else (GHG's) but the surface cooled in the process and there is no; "net energy gain", "additional warming", "trapped heat", "extra energy", "radiative imbalance", etc. etc.

      This is all well understood by examining how an optical integrating sphere functions, it produces what a climate scientist would term "nearly 100% radiative forcing", but the forcing has no effect on the total radiative flux. If you put a light bulb inside a reflective sphere and insert a radiometer (photodiode, bolometer, etc) facing the bulb you will measure a flux. If you turn the radiometer around and "point" it towards the interior of the sphere you will measure nearly the same flux, these cancel and do not yield any "gain" in the output flux from the sphere. Of course, there are practical considerations involved; radiometer spectral response, sphere interior reflectivity, reflections off the radiometer surface, radiometer surface area blocking radiation flow, etc. etc. But if we can ever purchase a radiometer with flat spectral response that was also; non-reflective, transparent and volume-less (like a spherical cow) we could perform this experiment and get exactly equal radiation fluxes (forwards/backwards).

      When you take this experiment out of the lab and consider real world accuracies (with respect to measuring absolute optical radiation quantities) you quickly find that the alleged "radiative imbalance" is somewhere between +/- 10-15 mW/square meter. In the world of engineering this would be considered "indistinguishable from zero" and would be discounted as a "real effect" (if you can't measure it the conservative approach is to assume it does not exist).

      The climate science community has based all of their models/projections/prognostications/entrail reading on this alleged effect.

      Believe it or not....

      Cheers, Kevin

      1. Yes, radiation between hot and cold bodies is bidirectional and so called "back radiation" can of course be measured and exists, however if back radiation is from a lower frequency/energy/temperature/colder body to a higher frequency/energy/temperature/hotter body, that low energy radiation cannot do any thermodynamic work/be thermalized/increase the quantum microstates/increase heat energy of the hotter body. Radiation transfer is definitely bidirectional, but heat/energy transfer is always one-way only from hot to cold.

        Transfer of heat/energy from cold to hot would require an impossible decrease of entropy, forbidden by the 2nd law.

      2. And likewise you'll never find any textbook on thermodynamics ever talk about "back-conduction" or "back-convection" or even "back-radiation" because such processes, even if they exist, cannot do any thermodynamic work or heat transfer from cold to hot.

      3. Yes, radiative transfer is "bi-directional" and heat flow is "uni-directional", no doubt about that.

        But, a light bulb (~3200K) in an integrating sphere does "see" heat/energy from the interior of the sphere (~ "room temperature" = ~ 30K). This is observed as "self absorption" and it does indeed change the efficiency (Photons/Electron) of the light bulb. We routinely operate precision radiometric sources with a constant current electrical supply to minimize this effect.

        I think that the "thoughts" around "higher electron" states is not so applicable for "homogenous" materials like a Tungsten filament (it is not a crystal, it has lots of available states due to the manufacturing process ?). The Tungsten does not behave like a silicon photo diode,

        The quantum micro-state part of the understanding is something we might have to politely disagree on for a while, either of us might be correct, or we may both be mistaken ?

        I do know from empirical observations that the "relatively" less energetic interior surface of an optical integrating sphere (~30K) can and will change the efficiency of a "highly energetic" Tungsten filament (at ~3200 K), This is called "self absorption" in the precision optical radiation field, and we do consider it a valid "error source" (but quite small, usually much less than 1%).

        Anyway, we got way off into the weeds regarding this discussion of your formalized "GGHE" hypothesis (which I agree with almost 99%, I reserve the other 1% in case I think of anything else).

        Great work, keep it up,

        Cheers, Kevin

      4. Radiation is really a cooling process. When an object radiates it looses energy. What is important is the net exchange of energy between objects. A cooler object cannot make a warmer object even warmer but it can slow the warmer object's rate of cooling. The net flow of energy is from the warmer object to the cooler object.

    3. MS;

      "And likewise you'll never find any textbook on thermodynamics ever talk about "back-conduction" or "back-convection" or even "back-radiation" because such processes, even if they exist, cannot do any thermodynamic work or heat transfer from cold to hot. "

      Yes indeed, but I never used a thermodynamics textbook to manufacture and calibrate (to NIST standards) the focal planes (i.e. very accurate and precise digital cameras) flying over our heads in the Digital Globe Earth Imaging Satellites,

      Great Work, can we agree to disagree (for a while, I would like to understand more about your "take" on things when time allows) about a few "little details" ?

      Keep up the good work, I'm "Loving It".

      Cheers, Kevin.

      1. Thanks Kevin, and I greatly appreciate your insights on this as well, since I know those satellites you designed work, unlike climate models lol

        Regarding the quantum microstates thingy, did you see or agree/disagree with this post?


      2. MS, yes I saw that post and I fully agree with the statement;

        "a cold body cannot make a warmer body "more warmer"/"even warmer still"/"hotter". That is totally correct, and empirically demonstrated.

        In the case of the light bulb in an optical integrating sphere the "backradiation" (it's real you can measure it) does "warm" the filament (without making it "even hotter still"). THEN the power supply (supplying a constant stream of electrons) enables a "hotter" filament to produce more photons because the "hotter" filament is more efficient (more photons per electron). It is the combination of the "body" (a incandescent tungsten filament ) WITH the power supply (as a system interacting with each other) that makes this effect; "self absorption of a lamp inside an integrating sphere" possible.

        Putting a "warmed" rock inside an optical integrating sphere will simply make it slow down more slowly (relative to a free air environment), NOT REACH A HIGHER EQUILIBRIUM TEMPERATURE.

        I agree will all of what you stated, except I am not sure that the "energy level" of a "backradiated" photon needs to exceed a "microstate" level (like a "band-gap" ?) to cause "warming" at it's destination. I think every arriving photon gets absorbed by something and converts from a photon to a "higher thermal state".

        There is a company "Labsphere" with a good website with "textbooks" about how to apply optical integrating spheres. I do not have the link at hand, but they have a very good "Application of Optical Integrating Spheres" tech note that describes this in very good detail. An optical integrating sphere is a very uncommon device, I doubt they have sold more than 10 thousand in the last several decades. But is it a very illustrative example of the "misconceptions" regarding radiative forcing.... there simply is no such thing as "radiative forcing", if there was some engineer smarter than me would have figured out a way to do something useful with it. Engineers are funny that way.

        Cheers, KevinK

      3. MS, also, I am just one small part of a team of very smart people that designed/built/tested those Earth imaging satellites. I am very lucky to work along side some very talented engineers, analysts, crafts people, and program managers, yes we need them too, dull but essential work, no point having 99% of the parts on hand when the other 1% won't be available for 10 years....

        Heck, there are even folks that have to get suited up in "super duper" protective suits to "fill it up" with Hydrazine just before the "bird" gets launched, glad I'm not "that guy". I get a nice office that does not require a HazMat suit to work in, ha ha ha.

        Cheers, KevinK.

      4. Whoops again (dang...), my sentence;

        "Putting a "warmed" rock inside an optical integrating sphere will simply make it slow down more slowly"

        Should be;

        "Putting a "warmed" rock inside an optical integrating sphere will simply make it COOL down more slowly"

        Sorry about that.

    4. It is all about warming air adiabaticaly during convective descent.

      Some of that warmth may be absorbed from the direct solar warming of ozone from the tropopause upwards as suggested above but it doesn't need to be.

      Warmed descending air is transparent because clouds dissipate beneath such a column of air as observed in surface high pressure cells around the globe.

      Warmed descending air inhibits or blocks convection by reducing or inverting the lapse rate slope.

      Inhibiting free convection allows solar energy to raise surface temperature above S-B

      Averaged over the Earth the net effect of all downward convection is an extra 33K at the surface.

      Transparency to incoming solar radiation whilst inhibiting convection is the exact same process whereby greenhouses heat up inside so the term "Greenhouse Effect" was always intended to accurately describe the thermal effect of descending adiabatically warmed air.

      It is a mass induced effect and always was.

      The radiative proposition is a negligently created duplication of a previously known phenomenon.

      Radiation does not inhibit convection, it enhances it all else being equal and so it is nothing like a greenhouse effect at all and should never have been proposed let alone accepted.

    5. Kevin and MS,

      I'll give you a very simple reason why "back radiation" doesn't exist as a flux (a transfer) of energy, why the (purely) calculated DWLWIR value does and cannot represent an actual flux of energy (this includes 'radiation', which after all is just energy).

      A standard definition of the term 'flux':
      ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flux )

      "In transport phenomena (heat transfer, mass transfer and fluid dynamics), flux is defined as the rate of flow of a property per unit area, which has the dimensions [quantity]·[time]−1·[area]−1. For example, the magnitude of a river's current, i.e. the amount of water that flows through a cross-section of the river each second, or the amount of sunlight that lands on a patch of ground each second is also a kind of flux."

      Or in the words of James Clerk Maxwell:
      "In the case of fluxes, we have to take the integral, over a surface, of the flux through every element of the surface. The result of this operation is called the surface integral of the flux. It represents the quantity which passes through the surface."

      In this sense, the flux can be considered a vector.

      Examples of such 'transport fluxes':

      "(...) 2. Heat flux, the rate of heat flow across a unit area (J·m−2·s−1).
      (...) 6. Radiative flux, the amount of energy transferred in the form of photons at a certain distance from the source per steradian per second (J·m−2·s−1). Used in astronomy to determine the magnitude and spectral class of a star. Also acts as a generalization of heat flux, which is equal to the radiative flux when restricted to the infrared spectrum.
      7. Energy flux, the rate of transfer of energy through a unit area (J·m−2·s−1). The radiative flux and heat flux are specific cases of energy flux."

      The two terms on the righthand side of the general radiative heat transfer equation:

      P/A = εσ(T_1^4 - T_2^4)

      are NOT separate 'transport fluxes'. The only real 'flux' represented in this equation is to be found on the lefthand side, the P/A, power per area, J·m−2·s−1 or W/m^2 - the 'heat flux' from object 1 to object 2.

    6. continued from previous comment ...

      The two terms on the righthand side of the equation are merely temperature POTENTIALS, together generating the flux (the 'flow', the 'current') between the two objects, spontaneously from hot to cold. They could only become real radiative (heat) fluxes if the two objects were isolated from one another and placed in surroundings much, much colder than either of them.

      Why is this an important point to make?

      Because if we don't make this point, the rGHE/AGW adherents can freely claim to be correct. We can't fault them. And since their hypothesis ultimately violates the Laws of Thermodynamics, this can't be.

      This is their basic argument:

      The mean global surface of the Earth emits 398 W/m^2, by virtue simply of its average temperature (289K); it is considered a black body, emissivity = 1. This is their claimed UWLWIR 'flux'.

      The atmosphere at the same time emits 345 W/m^2 down to the surface. This is the postulated DWLWIR 'flux', the "atmospheric back radiation".

      These two opposing 'radiation fluxes' give a mean global 'radiative heat flux' from the surface UP of:

      P/A = εσ(T_sfc^4 - T_atm^4) >> P/A = σT_sfc^4 - εσT_atm^4)

      53 W/m^2 = 398 W/m^2 - 345 W/m^2

      The rGHE/AGW proponents then go on to state that an atmosphere with NO radiatively active gases (so-called 'GHGs', gases that absorb and emit IR radiation at relatively cool temperatures), would not be able to provide a "back radiation flux" down to the surface to counter the upwelling one.

      In other words, according to their hypothesis, the 345 W/m^2 DWLWIR 'flux' is only there because there are so-called 'GHGs' in the atmosphere.

      If the atmosphere were completely transparent to LWIR, there would be no "back radiation" (atmospheric absorptivity/emissivity = 0) and the equation above would end up like this:

      P/A = εσ(T_sfc^4 - T_atm^4) >> P/A = σT_sfc^4 - 0

      398 W/m^2 = 398 W/m^2 - 0 W/m^2

      The surface would then lose energy by radiative heat loss at a much, much faster rate (if at an initial temperature of 289K) and would hence cool, eventually down to 255K (in a constant albedo scenario).

      This is a bullshit result based on crudely interpreted physical relationships and fundamentally flawed premises.

      1. Yes, and I mentioned similarly in the intro to your post #14 above:

        "In a nutshell, while physics textbooks always state the radiative heat transfer equation [based on the SB law] between a hot and cold body as:

        P/A = εσ(Th^4 – Tc^4)

        where Th = hot body temperature, Tc = cold body temperature, ε= emissivity, σ=SB constant

        climatologists assume

        P/A = εσTh^4 - εσTc^4 is also physically correct

        While equivalent algebraically, thermodynamics textbooks never state the heat transfer equation in the form εσTh^4 - εσTc^4 used by climatologists, because to do so assumes bidirectional heat transfer independent of the difference in the simultaneously changing temperatures of the two bodies, which is not true in a physical sense, since Th is simultaneously decreasing due to heat transfer to the cold body, which in-turn increases the temperature Tc of the cold body only.

        These are not independent processes as assumed by the incorrect form of the SB heat transfer equation, but rather dependent on the continuously changing difference in temperatures of the hot and cold bodies (Th^4 – Tc^4). As first demonstrated by Clausius, heat flows in one direction only from hot to cold, dependent upon the continuously changing difference in temperatures of the hot and cold bodies [i.e. radiation transfer IS bidirectional, but heat transfer is unidirectional only] i.e. radiative heat transfer = εσ(Thot^4 – Tcold^4) as stated in thermodynamics textbooks, but is not necessarily equal to εσThot^4 - εσTcold^4 in physics.

        This is how the misconcept arises that Thot [e.g. the Earth surface] increases in temperature due to alleged heat transfer from the cold body at temperature Tcold [e.g. GHGs in the atmosphere] to create the greenhouse effect, whereas in reality the temperature of the Thot body decreases due to heat transfer to the Tcold body, causing an increase in temperature of the Tcold body only."

        Here's a simple parody example of how climate science bastardizes thermodynamics:

        We have a hot body (H) with 10 units of heat energy and a cold body (C) with 5 units of heat energy

        Thermodynamics says heat only flows from hot to cold so at equilibrium both bodies will have, to conserve energy, (10+5)/2 = ~7.5 units of heat energy assuming all else is the same

        Climate science: The hot body will transfer 10 units of radiation to the cold body and the cold body will transfer 5 units of radiation to the hot body (and that that low energy radiation from cold will be thermalized by the hot body) so at equilibrium both bodies will have 15 units of heat energy → CAGW

      2. Okulaer, with respect,

        I do believe that "back radiation" exists. I have modeled/designed/built/tested many optical systems where we intentionally "reverse"/"change direction"/"backwards radiate" optical energy.

        There is an optical measurement technique known as "displacement measuring interferometry" (DMI) where a beam of collimated monochromatic (i.e. laser) light is intentionally "launched" towards a reflective target mounted on an item whose position is of interest.

        Via optical interference (constructive/destructive) it is possible to determine how much further/closer that object has moved (relative to the observing position) with sub wavelength resolution. There is a "mirror array"on the Moon (left by Apollo 11 ?) which is illuminated with a laser source from the Earth, the "back radiation" from that mirror array is used (to this day) to figure out how far away the Moon is.

        Now, the thermodynamic part of the equation is indeed a bit more complicated, As I have stated elsewhere, this "back radiation" does not "perform work" and cannot "make the emitting source warmer", that I do agree with you on.

        The "backwards" photons do not in anyway interact with the "forwards" photons, they simply pass by each other with no thermodynamic, kinetic or potential interactions at all. The "back radiation" photons do not hold up little signs (Speed Limit < 1/10 c) that the "forward radiation" photons obey.

        The laser that is used to illuminate the mirror target on the Moon does not get "warmer" from the returning radiation, but the returning radiation does indeed exist.

        Cheers, KevinK.

      3. KevinK,

        You speak of mirrors. That's 'reflected' energy, not "back radiated" energy in the rGHE sense, energy originally emitted by a warm source, absorbed by a cool receiver and then reemitted by this cool receiver, after having warming slightly from the energy absorption, back to the warm source of the energy, making this source even warmer upond a SECOND absorption, but this time around coming rather from a cooler place.

        Reflected energy hasn't done anything in the meantime, it hasn't been through an absorption/reemission cycle, it is still of the same wavelength/frequency, still the 'same' energy. And STILL it cannot (it is not allowed to) make its original source directly warmer.

        Well, we can discuss this topic to death. I hope you see the point in what I'm saying above. If "atmospheric back radiation" (DWLWIR) indeed exists as a 'counter flux' to the BB emission 'flux' of the surface (UWLWIR), then it will HAVE TO be accounted for and it WILL thus prove in the end to warm the warmer surface directly above the solar radiative equilibrium temperature. Which is an effect that is prohibited by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

        It is not about what 'signs' the photons hold up. It is about the fundamental nature of a continuous, integrated radiation field between two objects at different temperature. How does it work? We cannot physically detect two opposing streams of photons in a heat transfer. We can only speculate that they're there, based on a particular explanatory model of the quantum world. Even the old masters, like Bohr and Planck, admitted that "There is no quantum world. There is only an abstract quantum physical description."

        Arguing that 'Photons do exist, therefore there exists a separate radiative FLUX (twice as intense as the solar heat flux) flowing down from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface, courtesy of the 'GHGs', is a failed jump in reasoning.

      4. The mirror analogy reminds me of this oldie but goodie from Alan Siddons:


        Hey Kevin, maybe that's an experiment you could do with accurate measurements with your optical lab to once and for all put this back radiation question to rest with data? Let me know if you want to do this and I'll publish the data. Thanks

      5. Thanks, MS. That's a good one ...

        This is exactly what the rGHE proponents claim, that you can add the DWLWIR 'flux' as an extra INPUT of energy to the surface, in addition to the original solar heat flux, thus creating extra warming, basically out of nothing. We all know this can't be the case:


        If I get 100 pounds from my bank and then hand them all to my friend, upon which he hands 90 of them straight back, then I end up with 90 pounds.

        The rGHE "back radiation" argument then goes as follows: I get 190 pounds IN, but give away 100 pounds, so end up with 90 pounds. The 190 pounds IN are counted like this: £100 from the bank + £90 back from my friend; the 100 pounds OUT are simply the £100 I hand over to my friend.

        In their world it would thus seem that there is 190 pounds in circulation. But we all know that there is only the £100 pounds originally from the bank available.

        The rGHE "back radiation" hypothesis creates extra energy out of nothing. There is no extra radiative INPUT of energy from the atmosphere to the surface. Just as little as there is a conductive or evaporative (latent) input of energy from the atmosphere to the surface.

      6. MS, I cannot do any experiments, it is not "my" optical lab, it is owned by my employer and busy making profit for the shareholders.

        To clarify, I DO believe that "back radiation" exists in the atmosphere. I DO NOT believe it can cause any "extra warming".

        The "rGHE" merely delays the flow of energy through the system by causing any one packet/quantum/photon of energy to make multiple passes through the system (at nearly the speed of light in a vacuum) alternating forwards and backwards. This delay is too small to affect the average temperature of the Earth.

        No extra energy is created, some departs the surface, the surface cools, the energy is absorbed by the atmosphere warming a GHG molecule, some is radiated backwards towards the surface, the molecule cools, the energy then warms the surface a second time (by an amount that is less than the original cooling). No gain, no extra, no additional.

        This delay might change the response time of the gases and cause them to warm up ever so slightly faster after sunrise.

        Cheers, KevinK

      7. Ok thanks Kevin understood and thanks for the clarification.

        Best regards

    7. For me, what is missing is a clear explanation of how the Earth both gains and loses energy that effects the climate. The Earth gains energy from the sun via solar radiation. I realize there are other effects that have to be factored in such as the effect of total solar activity on cloud formation. The only way energy leaves the planet is by radiation to space. The question at hand is how does a change in atmospheric CO2, change this process. A sensible AGW hypothesis, if there is one, is that added CO2 increases the LWIR absorption band radiative thermal insulation properties of the atmosphere causing warming in the lower atmosphere but cooling in upper atmosphere beyond what it would be otherwise. To make the effect significant the hypothesis is that the warming in the lower atmosphere causes more H2O to enter the atmosphere which causes more warming because H2O is also a greenhouse gas. The AGW hypothesis argues that the positive feedback effect of H2O causes an amplification of the CO2 based warming. That is what one has to argue against if one is not sold on the AGW hypothesis. What the hypothesis seems to ignore are all the other phenomena that provide negative feedbacks. Another question is whether the greenhouse gases provide any real change in insulation at all. A good absorber is also a good radiator so that rather than "trap heat" the greenhouse gases diffuse radiation flow. It is really the non greenhouse gases that trap heat because they do not radiate it to space efficiently. Heat energy is transfered to these gases by conduction and convection so their lack of LWIR absorption bands does not disqualify them as heat trapping gasses. An increase in greenhouse gases may cause more efficient absorption of LWIR absorption band radiation from the surface but they also cause more efficient LWIR absorption band radiation to space. I think that the radiation theory needs to be attacked head on.

      1. Surely the warming of the lower atmosphere causes expansion and hence work against gravity and the cooling of the upper atmosphere causes shrinking and energy returned from gravity into thermal so enabling more radiation to space from higher up.

        son of mulder

    8. This has been a great series of posts on this issue. I congratulate you yet again. I can find nothing to disagree with --- at least not at this time.

      I would say that we have to say something about the slight variations in climate that mankind gets so obsessed about. If one looks at raw temperatures over time and plots them on a realistic scale (I saw such a graph recently someplace) then one sees that the average temperature of the planet has been remarkably stable over time. Note: I realize that the "average temperature" is not a great measure but we don't have much else to go by right now.

      I have lived in central Florida on and off since 1959. I remember the '70s which was so cold that it destroyed the commercial orange groves in a country named "Orange County". It was named that because it used to have many, many successful orange groves. The cold wiped out the groves. Then the winters warmed a bit. That was nice! I even planted a foxtail palm in my yard although I know that it will be toast if we get a 70s type winter before it is mature enough to handle it. (it is a more tropical type plant)

      We humans have been seeing natural variations and they have been very slight --- even if very important to the "monkeys with tools" trying to understand it.

    9. The greenhouse effect works via adiabatically warmed air reducing or reversing (an inversion) the lapse rate slope so as to inhibit or prevent convection.

      At any given moment 50% of the Earth's atmosphere is in descending mode and being adiabatically warmed.

      Once one inhibits or prevents convection the solar energy reaching the surface can then readily raise surface temperature above S-B.

      Just as in a real greenhouse.

      The globally averaged net effect is 33K above S-B for Earth.

      That is as simple as it gets.

      1. SW:

        You wrote: "Once one inhibits or prevents convection the solar energy reaching the surface can then readily raise surface temperature above S-B."

        You exhibit no correct understanding of radiative heat transfer and the Stefan-Boltzmann calculations. No the solar radiation cannot raise the mean surface temperature of Earth to the observed mean level which is about 50 degrees above S-B. The amount of solar radiation reaching Earth's surface is about 163W/m^2 after absorption by the atmosphere and reflection by the atmosphere, clouds and the surface.

        Planetary surface temperatures cannot be explained as being entirely due to direct solar radiation. Try your "explanation" on Venus.

        You continue to fail to explain how the necessary thermal energy gets into such planetary surfaces. The word "convection" means "convective heat transfer" and so you need to explain how thermal energy transfers from cooler to warmer regions during your downward convective heat transfer. Downward winds certainly don't warm significantly (eg above the South Pole) and nor do upward winds cool, such as when they blow up the side of a mountain forming Foehn winds that are still warm.

      2. Which 50% is descending Stephen Wilde? The surface of planets like Earth and Venus rise in temperature during the day. Is that when your 50% is descending and mysteriously helping the Sun's radiation to toss Stefan-Boltzmann calculations off the planet? Oooops! I thought the convection was upwards from the surface when the Sun was warming it.

        By the way, an "inversion" in meteorology is when the temperature at the top is above what it would normally be due to the local environmental lapse rate. It is not necessarily warmer than the temperature, say, 1Km below it. In such a situation convective heat transfer is downwards, even when the temperature at the top is less than that at the surface. Such a situation readily occurs even in calm conditions when the surface is in shadow from clouds or mountains. That's what you and others need to understand.

      3. Anonymous is Doug Cotton whose own ideas are extraordinarily perverse such that he confuses conduction with convection amongst other errors.

    10. Current temperature of the oceans.

    11. MS, if I might, I would like to offer this link from the Labsphere company;


      This appears to be “in the public domain” and does not appear to contain any copyright markings. Of course the company name; “Labsphere” is a registered trademark and should be denoted as such. (not sure how to add the little "r" with the circle around it in a blog posting)

      Starting in the very beginning of this document is this section;

      “1.2 the Integrating Sphere radiance equation”

      “Light incident on a diffuse surface creates a virtual light source by reflection.”

      A virtual light source is a concept useful for understanding what happens in this system. It is explicitly NOT A REAL light source/energy source as misunderstood by the climate science community. The concept of “virtual images” is also used to understand optical systems. The typical “mirage” seen over a desert is an example of a “virtual image”.

      Thus the “back radiation” is most like a mirage/chimera/optical illusion from a thermodynamic perspective, it does not “add energy” to the system. Note that the term “reflection” is similar to an absorption/re-emission of optical energy except; 1) there is a time delay introduced and 2) the angular distribution will (likely) change. Angular distribution is the fancy optical term for “which way is the light going” ? Some of it is going forwards, some backwards, and perhaps some is going sideways.

      Another section of interest is 1.4, again quoting from the linked document;

      “1.4 temporal response of an Integrating Sphere”

      The important “money quote” here is;

      “Time constants of typical integrating spheres range from a few nanoseconds to a few tens of nanoseconds.”

      So we simply scale this from a nominal 1 foot diameter sphere to the ~ 200,000 foot “height” of the atmosphere and get “radiative time constants” on the order of tens or (at most) hundreds of milliseconds.

      In examining equation 18 from this document we see the direct dependence of the “time constant” on the velocity of light, so indeed the speed of light does have an impact (however slight and minuscule) on the climate of the Earth. If the speed of light was many orders of magnitude less the “rGHE” effect might be able to change the average temperature.

      So, from a radiation physics perspective the “GHGs“ in the Atmosphere of the Earth simply act like a huge optical integrating sphere that is wavelength selective, it is mostly absent in the visible part of the spectrum and exists in the IR portion of the spectrum but with a “urine deprived” reflectivity. Thus the time constant is probably hundreds of microseconds or less. Any time constant that is orders of magnitude away from the length of a day (~ 86 million milliseconds) cannot change the average temperature.

      This might be overly “detail intensive” for some folks, but this is all well known stuff that has been well established for many decades, nothing “unsettled” in any of this.

      Cheers, KevinK.

    12. Why does it have to be either or? one theory or the other? why can't both theories of CO2 and other theories be contributing factors to global warming? This becomes an Us against Them fight instead of realizing that maybe multiple factors contribute to warming. It's mostly a moot point anyway - what is important is Pollution science, not global warming science. Pollution is bad for us here on earth in our lungs and we can test t his empirically. Climate science has become a gigantic multi-conspiracy theory instead of hard science. Pretend for a minute: even if there was no such thing as global warming, it would still be good to get rid of pollution.

      1. Both theories cannot be correct, because each theory predicts a 33C greenhouse effect. If both were true the greenhouse effect would be double at 66C.

        Of course, reducing *real* pollution is beneficial, but CO2 is essential plant food, not "carbon pollution."

    13. You are a star, thanks, I've been looking for this for a week.