One More Time

Cloudy and humid nights are warmer than clear and dry nights, largely because of the greenhouse effect. Nights in tropical climates are warm, while nights in the desert are cold. Longwave radiation coming down from greenhouse gas molecules warms the surface.

Why some people are unable to grasp this very simple concept is beyond my comprehension.

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224 Responses to One More Time

  1. squid2112 says:

    Why some people are unable to grasp this very simple concept is beyond my comprehension.

    Because what you say is not possible.

    Longwave radiation coming down from greenhouse gas molecules warms the surface.

    IS NOT POSSIBLE … Sheesh… really Tony? … How the ground can re-heat itself… Afterall, the source of said “Longwave radiation” originated from the ground. Are you aware that an object cannot heat itself? When you look in the mirror, does your face feel warmer from your own radiation? .. No, it does not, for a very fundamental reason … 2nd Law of Thermodynamics!

    • Bangs head against desk.

      • squid2112 says:

        While I admire what you do here, and believe you have some great skill, in terms of the so-called Greenhouse Hypothesis, you are an idiot.

        • PeterMG says:

          Tony I agree with squid2112. Try as I might, I just can’t find any real science that supports the “greenhouse effect” in our Atmosphere. Your example has nothing to do with greenhouses and everything thing to do with water and its amazing properties and ability to absorb heat and then give it off as it condenses/cools. It’s why we use water in cooling systems, or in our home radiators.

          However this simple argument is the crux of the entire AGW meme. If we were to just concentrate on the real science of this argument then perhaps it would be debunked once and for all. However we will still need people like you to continuously ram home the absurdity of both what we are told is happening and its causes, and the absurd and ludicrous policy responses of our elected representatives. It’s unfortunate that few in the scientific community are prepared to play the same role you do but in the more technical aspects of this argument.

          I look at things this way. In the last century our technology has improved immeasurably, to the point that we can measure things we never thought possible. Our scientific understanding though has stagnated, so that we still invent phenomena in order to explain things that our measurements plainly show do not obey the theories of the past. Dark matter is one of the most famous of these inventions to explain why Newtonian Gravity doesn’t work at galactic scale (or any other when you looks closely enough). The greenhouse effect is a simplistic explanation for a multitude of effects that result in the earth’s temperature being what it is, but the technical explanation of back radiation caused by so called greenhouse gases is pure make believe without any foundation in measurement and proof.

        • daveburton says:

          PeterMG, Tony is right, and squid2112 is wrong (and rude).

          You don’t have to take my word for it. If you don’t believe a former physics major who was seduced by the Dark Side (computers), like me, then ask any physicist. Squid2112 is badly confused.

      • bobmaginnis says:

        Tony, I agree with you. Those who think the 2nd law is violated don’t understand that while the clouds are colder than the surface, they are warmer than the 3 K of outer space, so less temperature differential, less heat lost from the surface.

        • squid2112 says:

          You are talking about cooling, not warming. Can you slow the cooling process? .. why yes, you certainly can. But, you cannot increase the temperature of the surface. You are not producing a “warming” effect, you are simply retarding a cooling effect. You cannot make the surface warmer than it would otherwise be, no matter what gasses you implement.

        • squid2112 says:

          BTW, space does not have a temperature. Space itself is neither hot nor cold. In order to have thermal heat, one must have molecules. In space, where it is largely devoid of such molecules, you cannot have a temperature. The 3k you are talking about is the IR signature of background radiation. IR itself is not heat. Space makes an extremely good insulator, that is why some thermos type containers use a vacuum. Space is only capable of thermal transmission through radiation, a very slow process when compared to conduction or convection, but the only way our atmosphere is able to cool itself to space, is via radiation because there are no molecules in space to conduct with. Space is not cold, it isn’t anything.

      • Ernest Bush says:

        Screaming in the corner is inherently less painful. In the end neither will relieve the headache.

      • au1corsair says:

        Tony,

        I spent a lifetime in various climates–at sea level and below, on high mountains, in deserts at all latitudes and in tropical jungles. When my National Guard unit deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom I advised my brothers and sisters in arms to bring their cold weather gear. My unit was based in a desert in the American west, so we should have known better. Fortunately, that day we had a blizzard, as if Mother Nature were driving home my point–deserts get chilly.

        The “climate deniers” rarely stray from air-conditioned buildings. Real weather? They hide inside. Lack of experience makes them foolish.

    • daveburton says:

      squid2112 asked, “How the ground can re-heat itself… Afterall, the source of said “Longwave radiation” originated from the ground. Are you aware that an object cannot heat itself? When you look in the mirror, does your face feel warmer from your own radiation?”

      How do you think a space blanket works, squid2112?

      • Edmonton Al says:

        A blanket is a solid; CO2 is a gas in an open system. It heat up; expands and rises.
        No?

        • daveburton says:

          Al, the source of the warmth imparted by the space blanket is the object being warmed, itself. That falsifies squid2112’s assertion that, “an object cannot heat itself,” which was my point.

          A space blanket works two ways: it reduces both radiant and convective heat loss. The fact that it is solid blocks air movement, reducing convective heat loss. The fact that it is silvered (with aluminum) causes it to reflect longwave IR, reducing radiant heat loss.

          That’s why a space blanket is silvered. When you wrap your face in a space blanket (be sure to poke air holes!), or when you “stand in front of a mirror,” the longwave IR from your face is, indeed, reflected back to your face, and it does, indeed warm your face slightly.

          In other words, Tony is right, and squid2112 is badly confused.

      • squid2112 says:

        Does that blanket actually “heat” anything? … If you cover a dead body with that blanket, will the temperature of that body rise?

        • squid2112 says:

          Perhaps you can use your space blanket as means of cooking then? Would be a free and simply way to cook food. Just think what 3rd world countries could do with it.

        • daveburton says:

          squid2112 asked, “Does that blanket actually “heat” anything?

          No, it’s not the blanket which is doing the heating. It’s the object which is wrapped in the blanket which is the source of the heat. You said, “an object cannot heat itself,” but you were wrong. That is exactly what happens.

          squid2112 asked, “If you cover a dead body with that blanket, will the temperature of that body rise?”

          It will cool more slowly, just as nighttime surface temperatures drop more slowly on cloud-covered, humid nights than on clear, dry nights.

        • daveburton says:

          Squid wrote, “Perhaps you can use your space blanket as means of cooking then? Would be a free and simply way to cook food. Just think what 3rd world countries could do with it.”

          I know you were trying to be snarky, but it’s actually a good example. For the same amount of fuel consumed, an enclosed cookstove will will get much hotter and cook much better than an open fire. For instance, the highly efficient “Save 80” stove can cook a meal or boil a pot of water with about 20% of the wood that would be required to do the same cooking chore in a fireplace. The “extra heat” comes from surrounding the combustion zone in something like a space blanket (but stiffer, and with a much higher melting point). That technology is, indeed, a great boon for third world countries.

        • mkelly says:

          Squid2112 says: “You are not producing a “warming” effect, you are simply retarding a cooling effect.”

          daveburton says: “It will cool more slowly, just as nighttime surface temperatures drop more slowly on cloud-covered, humid nights than on clear, dry nights.”

          Squid and dave say the same thing and dave disagrees with Squid.

        • daveburton says:

          mkelly, I disagree with what squid said which was wrong. He says a lot of things, some of them very wrong, and some of them contradictory.

          Tony correctly described the reason that “Cloudy and humid nights are warmer than clear and dry nights.” He said it is, “largely because… Longwave radiation coming down from greenhouse gas molecules warms the surface.” Which is right.

          Squid2112 said that Tony is “an idiot” and “an object cannot heat itself.” Which is wrong.

          Tony is both smart and patient. Very patient, in fact. To my knowledge, no warmist blog even tolerates polite, informed dissent (though ClimateCrocks used to). But Tony hasn’t banned squid2112, despite the pseudo-scientific gibberish he’s posting, even after squid2112 called him “an idiot.”

        • mkelly says:

          daveburton says: “He said it is, “largely because… Longwave radiation coming down from greenhouse gas molecules warms the surface.” Which is right.”

          daveburton says: “It will cool more slowly, just as nighttime surface temperatures drop more slowly on cloud-covered, humid nights than on clear, dry nights.”

          Dave you say contradictory things. If Steve is correct which you say he is in the first quote then you are wrong in the second quote.

          Warming and cooling more slowly are opposite things.

        • daveburton says:

          Perhaps what I wrote was unclear, but it certainly wasn’t contradictory.

          Tony explained one of the mechanisms through which humidity and clouds moderate temperatures, reducing nighttime lows: “Longwave radiation coming down from greenhouse gas molecules warms the surface.”

          That is correct. IR absorbed by the ground from the water vapor molecules in the humid atmosphere warms the surface compared to the temperature it would have have w/o that warming, though not compared to daytime temperatures, which are normally higher than nighttime lows. Of course.

        • daveburton says:

          And, mkelly, “warming” and “cooling more slowly” are not opposite things. They are the same thing, to different degrees (so to speak).

          If you live in Minnesota, you may find that it is hard to start your car in the morning in the winter. So a time-tested precaution is to hang an incandescent trouble light (“shop light”) in the engine well, to warm the engine, in case global warming is insufficient. (Is anyone here from m4gw?)

          If you hang a trouble light with a 60W bulb in your engine well for the night, to warm your engine, so that it will start in the morning, that light bulb will be warming your engine, even though the temperature of the engine might be falling. If the engine is getting colder despite your 60W trouble light, that doesn’t mean the bulb is doing the “opposite” of what it does when the engine is getting warmer. If just means that competing factors (like the brutal Minnesota winter) are removing heat faster than your 60W bulb can add it. Even if that is the case, the 60W bulb will still cause your engine to be warmer than it otherwise would have been.

        • mkelly says:

          Dave I live in the UP of Michigan. And warming means the temperature goes from 50 to 55 F. Cooling more slowly means the temperature went from 50 to 40 F in 4 hours instead of 2 hours. They are the opposite.

        • daveburton says:

          mkelly, if you live in the U.P., then you surely know that if you’re wearing a coat, that doesn’t mean you are necessarily getting warmer. But even if you’re getting colder, the coat is not cooling you down. It might not be warming you enough, but it’s still warming you. Your coat never cools you down.

      • Rosco says:

        Your metabolism generates the heat through chemical reactions which sustain your life. The “space blanket” simply acts as a radiation shield as well as preventing convection – two powerful mechanisms of “heat” loss.

        But it cannot cause you to reach a temperature greater than what your metabolism is capable of – it simply means you lose heat slower than otherwise would be the case allowing your body temperature to stabilise. Clothes have provided this type of effect for thousands of years.

        Even Neanderthals understood you must balance heating capacity with volume and moved the fire inside the cave. But this has nothing to do with radiation trapping.

        The radiation shields in Apollo 13 actually worked against the astronauts once they had to reduce power and shut off the “central heating”. Despite travelling through a radiation field capable of boiling water they were trapped inside a cooling spacecraft which reached lows of 4 degrees C requiring them to wear their spacesuits. Why – because the very effective heat shields simply reflected most of the solar radiation away and the internal “heat” simply slowly radiated away.

        There was no “greenhouse effect” to keep them warm despite three human beings forced into a cramped volume really designed for one. 3 human beings at 37 degrees C internal temperature inside a small volume with highly effective radiation shields couldn’t cause any of the fantastic claims attributed to the “greenhouse effect” yet trace gases in an atmosphere can ?

        And don’t tell me space is cold – you only have to look at the evidence that space at Earth’s orbit is “awash” with powerful solar radiation. I suggest one considers the case of Skylab which lost some – not all – just some of its heat shielding during a launch accident.

        The internal temperature was extremely hot and it was uninhabitable till repaired – over 130 degrees F so they could only work for short periods. It took three days to cool to 70 degrees F inside – its design temperature – demonstrating how effective radiation shielding can be.

        So don’t anyone ever claim near Earth orbit space is cold – it isn’t cold nor hot just “awash” with powerful radiation and survival depends on balancing energy gain with loss.

        Besides on a hot day when the air reaches say 35 + degrees C how do Nitrogen and Oxygen cool if they have little infra-red radiation “ability” ?

        We find humid nights more uncomfortable because our prime mechanism for heat control – sweating – is suppressed.

        A night in a tropical desert shows how transparent a dry atmosphere really is and how little effect CO2 has but a humid atmosphere in no way proves any back radiative “greenhouse effect” either.

        The surface heats the air and convection removes the warmed air from the surface. Cloud cover suppresses this natural convection and warm air is trapped closer to the ground – this does not happen in clear sky conditions.

        The low radiative power of gases means the atmosphere cools slower than other surfaces but it in no way proves “back radiation heating”. Reducing the cooling rate requires sunrise to create warmth next day.

        I thought Professor Wood provided a convincing demonstration and analysis of this over a century ago.

      • Tel says:

        How do you think a space blanket works, squid2112?

        Absolutely nothing like the way clouds work. In a survival situation the blanket works by keeping the wind off when you are wet, preventing evaporative cooling … if you don’t have an expensive silver foil survival blanket, don’t worry, use a plastic tarp and get pretty much the same result.

        Clouds contain stored energy, which they gradually release (latent heat and condensation) when sufficient condensation occurs the stored heat is gone and the water falls down as rain.

        • daveburton says:

          Tel, the context that you omitted was squid2112’s erroneous claim. He wrote, “… the ground can [not] re-heat itself… the source of said “Longwave radiation” originated from the ground… an object cannot heat itself…”
          I replied, “How do you think a space blanket works, squid2112?”

          It works, in part, by reflecting IR from the body being warmed, back to the same body, which helps to warm it. I’ve already explained that space blankets work two ways. The more important mechanism is by blocking air movement (and thus convective and evaporative cooling). But the other way is by reflecting IR. That’s what they’re silvered, and that’s the feature which is somewhat analogous to the misnamed greenhouse gas effect.

          As for the water cycle, it doesn’t warm the ground, it cools the ground. When water vapor condenses into clouds, that releases the latent heat which was absorbed when the water evaporated at ground level. The process warms the air at the altitude of the clouds, while cooling the ground. It’s a classic refrigeration cycle, transporting heat away from the surface, i.e., cooling (not warming!) the surface.

          BTW, that happens to be a significant but often neglected “negative feedback” mechanism, which tends to stabilize temperatures: as surface water warms, the rate of evaporation should increase, which increases evaporative cooling and heat transport away from the earth, which cools the surface.

  2. geran says:

    You are talking local effects. The atmosphere, taken as an entire “system” cools this planet. Look outside your window. Do you see a greenhouse in the sky? Do you see Elvis in the greenhouse?

    Now back to “real science”….

    • I’m pretty sure that a thermometer 6 feet above the ground is measuring a local effect.

    • squid2112 says:

      What Tony is trying to explain is a Perpetuum Mobile .. not possible .. the ground cannot, in any way, re-heat itself.

      What he is mistaken about, is the latent heat capacity of water, that is the ONLY effect he is seeing. All be it, his example exactly refutes his own premise.

      • Ground emits a photon. It is captured by a GHG and re-emitted in a random direction. This particular photon happens to strike earth’s surface. How does the earth know where the original photon’s energy came from, and why would it care? Do you subscribe to the intelligent photon theory? How many neurons are in a photon?

        • squid2112 says:

          And that photon (from CO2 anyway) is in the 15u band … what is the thermal temperature of the 15u band? … -80C .. you are NOT going to warm the ground with -80C unless you are in the middle of the Antarctic during winter.

        • squid2112 says:

          And still you have the problem that the vibrational state of the photon emitted from the ground, and then re-emitted from your magical gasses will be equal to or lower than the originally emitted photon. The laws of thermodynamics prohibit that photon from exciting ANY photons of equal or greater vibration. Unless you can excite that photon to a higher state, it cannot heat the ground that is already the same or greater temperature than itself. And unless you add energy to that system, you cannot excite that photon to do so. None of your magical GH gasses are capable of producing this energy.

        • mkelly says:

          Michael assuming you are correct the best that can be said is the ground got its original photon back and is back to the same temperature it was before emitting that photon.

          Also Michael does the r^2 law apply to the molecules that emit photons the same as it does to the sun?

        • geran says:

          Michael, photons do not have any neurons. But, they have an associated wavelength.

          (Oh, the confusion….)

        • daveburton says:

          Michael is not confused.

        • geran says:

          davy, you have enough confusion for the both of you.

        • tom0mason says:

          Keep in mind also that there are more hotly energetic molecules on the upper surface of a cloud (radiating to space) than the molecularly jostling crowd of lower surface.
          Why?
          Clouds tend spread out at the upper levels more.
          Also simple geometry of the area of a sphere, and the fact that the upper clouds are spread over a larger diameter sphere than the cloud base which is on a smaller diameter. Admittedly the percent difference is small but then we are talking of small differences of opinion.

  3. squid2112 says:

    Furthermore, if you happen to include CO2 in your so-called “greenhouse gas molecules”, then you need to explain how you heat the ground with -80C .. I know my yard is never going to be heated with -80C .. how about yours?

    • Of course it will! It has no idea. It will capture energy from any source, from any so called “thermal temperature”, whatever that means. It isn’t that smart. Photons are photons, they’re all energy. They have no idea where they came from or where they are going.

      So you’re saying that the energy is there, it’s just that objects < -80°C DO absorb energy, but suddenly at -79.99999°C, they don't?

      Interesting… How does the object know? Maybe it's the intelligent object theory.

      • squid2112 says:

        No, I am saying an object of -80C cannot heat an object of -79C … wow .. get a grip .. better yet, get a physics book.

        • Ok then… can the -79°C object absorb photons from the -80°C one?

        • daveburton says:

          Michael asked squid, “can the -79°C object absorb photons from the -80°C one?”

          Perhaps you’ve hit on the explanation for squid’s apparent blindness. His eye is at 98°F (37°C) and his computer screen is only about 80°F (27°C), so his eye is refusing to absorb the photons from his computer screen, because they are too “cold.”

        • geran says:

          Michael and dave, please keep displaying your lack of understanding of photons.

    • Curt says:

      squid: Radiation, even of a specific wavelength, does not have a temperature. You are completely misinterpreting Wien’s Displacement Law, and displaying your utter ignorance of the topic.

      15um radiation is emitted by substances far warmer than the earth’s surface, and by substances far colder. This radiation carries no information about the temperature of the emitting substance, or even whether it was thermally emitted at all. The receiving body has no way of telling what the source of the radiation was. If it is a graybody with 0.95 absorptivity, which is a good approximation for most things on the earth’s surface, it will absorb 95% of this radiation, whether from a hotter or colder body.

      If the earth’s surface is hotter than this other body, then the earth will transfer more power to the other body than that body transfers to the earth. That is why there is no 2nd Law violation here.

      • Ernest Bush says:

        Heat is the vibration of molecules stimulated by the absorption of radiation. Air temperature thermometers are shaded from the Sun’s radiation specifically so that they measure only those vibrations. The more radiation absorbed, the more excited molecules get. I think this is what some people are trying to say, here. Thus radiation at -80C can excite air molecules to produce the much higher temperatures we are recording around the planet.

      • Jason Calley says:

        Hey Curt! “15um radiation is emitted by substances far warmer than the earth’s surface, and by substances far colder. This radiation carries no information about the temperature of the emitting substance, or even whether it was thermally emitted at all. ”

        Yes, exactly! The individual photons don’t know or care (anthropomorphizing a bit). Assuming that we are dealing with thermal emissions, any temperature information is carried in the frequency and intensity distributions of the photons taken as a group.

        • David A says:

          Yes, and influx continues at a steady mean flux. Out going is delayed, while incoming continues, thus the atmosphere has more heat capacity. Heat capacity is a function of energy residence time. David’s Law; “There are only two ways to change the energy content of a system in a radiative balance; either a change of input, or a change in the “residence time” of some aspect of the system with the system.” Two PHD scientist Ira G and RGB have accepted this. It was about a two hour conversation with Ira before he politely accepted.

          BTW, this really helps a layman like me explore disparate assertions. From this principle it is clear that not all photons are equal! A change of SW flux entering the oceans, with a far greater residence time the LWIR flux in the atmosphere, can, over time, create far more energy with the system. (In this case the land, the oceans, and the atmosphere.)

    • geran says:

      Now this is getting even funnier–Curt shows up in his “blue dress”!

    • geran says:

      And, on an earlier thread, I had to educate Curt. He was trying to imply photons had no relation to emitter temperature.

      (I not sure he understands yet?)

      • daveburton says:

        geran wrote, “I had to educate Curt.”

        You are confused, geran.

      • Curt says:

        geran: In that thread, you asked me to agree or disagree with the following meaningless statement:

        “Photons are DEPENDENT on the temperature of the emitting body!”

        I gave you the benefit of the doubt, and assumed you were trying to make a coherent statement, and responded:

        “The energy (and therefore related wavelength/frequency) distribution of thermally emitted photons is certainly dependent on the temperature of the emitting body (which is what I think you are trying to say) – and of the emissivity at the wavelengths over the relevant spectrum.”

        You accused me of misrepresenting you, and finally followed up with this re-statement that you asked me to agree or disagree with:

        “You have a “perfect” black body emitter. Does the electromagnetic energy emitted from the black body depend on the temperature of the black body?”

        I pointed out that I had already answered that question (and more), and you went silent. Not only do you misunderstand the science, but you can’t follow a simple argument!

        • geran says:

          Untrue.

          I gave you several chances to redeem yourself. You continued to obfuscate. Finally, you tried the “what is the meaning of ‘is'” defense.

          That is when you won the “blue dress”. (How does it fit?)

          You made yourself a fraud, I was only the willing bystander.

        • Curt says:

          geran: read the freaking thread! I answered your question before you got your act together enough to formulate it properly!

        • daveburton says:

          geran, if you have trouble understanding Curt, that doesn’t mean he’s “obfuscating.”

        • Curt says:

          geran: What I say is easily confirmable. From the thread:

          https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/john-holdren-competes-with-john-cleese-for-science-comedy/

          **************************

          On October 31, 2014 at 7:51 pm, you said:

          ‘Until you can respond intelligently to the following, you have lost all credibility: “Curt, photons are DEPENDENT on the temperature of the emitting body!” ‘

          On October 31, 2014 at 8:50 pm, I replied:

          ‘Geran: You state, “Curt, photons are DEPENDENT on the temperature of the emitting body!”

          I’m not exactly sure what that scientifically meaningless statement is supposed to imply, because you are showing yourself to be incapable of expressing yourself clearly. I will make an attempt to answer what I think you are trying to claim.

          The energy (and therefore related wavelength/frequency) distribution of thermally emitted photons is certainly dependent on the temperature of the emitting body (which is what I think you are trying to say) – and of the emissivity at the wavelengths over the relevant spectrum.’

          I had to ask you to make a scientifically meaningful assertion twice. Then you finally replied:

          On November 1, 2014 at 2:56 am

          ‘QUESTION: You have a “perfect” black body emitter. Does the electromagnetic energy emitted from the black body depend on the temperature of the black body?’

          *****************************

          Now, it should be obvious to any sane person that my reply on October 31,which more than answered your question, preceded your finally somewhat reasonable framing of the question on November 1.

          You are as factually challenged as you are scientifically challenged. That is the politest way I can think of putting it.

    • Neal S says:

      If a colder body cannot possibly heat up a hotter one with reflected energy,
      then how does an array of solar mirrors work. The mirrors are certainly not
      hotter than the target they are reflecting the suns energy at.

      • mkelly says:

        Neal the sun is at 6000 degrees C. The mirrors are reflecting that up to the water tank to heat the water the mirrors do not in general absorb any heat.

        • Neal S says:

          I know that.

          But the mirrors are indeed colder than either the source or the target.
          I read often the assertion that a colder body cannot ever heat up
          a hotter one with reflected energy. I am simply pointing out a
          counterexample that proves it is possible.

        • geran says:

          Neal, key word “reflect”.

          The photons do not heat a reflector.

      • nielszoo says:

        The mirrors are concentrating that energy in a smaller spot. The solar radiation intercepted by the mirror would normally hit a spot on the ground but it is redirected by the mirror. Ground under each mirror no longer gets any radiation but instead the energy from each mirror is now hitting the same place instead of being spread out. There is NO energy “made” or amplified in this process.

        Just like a rain drop on your roof is summed with it’s neighbors during a rainstorm to become a huge stream of water at the downspout. You are not making water, you are just redirecting and concentrating it.

        • Olaf Koenders says:

          A cold flat mirror can reflect sunlight to a warmer body and heat it to the maximum extent of the available radiation without concentrating that energy in a focus.

  4. Largely, yes. On cloudy nights, the IR emission is also coming from water droplets as they act as black bodies and reject the heat of vaporization in the cloud to space (and toward earth too). The clouds are giant radiators that dissipate once their work is done (energy exhausted)

    • squid2112 says:

      But the IR emissions cannot re-heat the ground (the source of the IR in the first place). Can the latent heat capacity of water slow the cooling of the ground? Perhaps. But Tony also isn’t measuring the temperature of the ground itself, he is talking about the atmosphere above the ground. The closer to the ground, the higher the temperature. The IR *could* heat any cooler atmosphere that is cooler than itself, however, again, the closer you get to the ground, the warmer the atmosphere, and a cooler object cannot heat a warmer object. The only possible answer here is, the water vapor is slowing the cooling process for that atmosphere just above the ground (and up to cloud-base). And as you indicate, above cloud-base the water is actually providing a cooling mechanism, that is exactly how clouds form, and thunderstorms are created, etc.. .you can see it happen! … the predominant effect here though, is simply the latent heat capacity of water is holding on to the thermal energy for a longer period of time.

      • Edmonton Al says:

        Also, put a pot of water on to boil. When the water boils [evaporates] the Water vapour rises thru the water and is expelled into your kitchen.
        The water is still at 100C. It doesn’t get any hotter and it doesn’t heat up the burner by back-radiation. Is this not so?

      • Neal S says:

        If a cooler object CANNOT heat a warmer object, then how does
        an array of solar mirrors work? The mirrors are clearly NOT
        hotter than the target they are aimed at. I realize the mirrors
        are reflecting the heat of the sun.

        • pmw7070 says:

          The mirrors are not heating the target, the sun is radiatively heating the target.

          This might be a bad analogy, but when you drive to the post office to drop of an envelope, it’s the car that got you here. You can say that you took it to the PO, but the car was actually how it got there; the fact that you held it in your hand does not change physical reality. The photons from the sun were redirected by the mirror.

        • mkelly says:

          Again Neal the mirrors do not absorb any of the suns energy. The sun is heating the water not the mirrors.

      • daveburton says:

        Squid wrote, again, “IR emissions cannot re-heat the ground.”

        Wherever did you read such nonsense, squid? It’s absolutely wrong. Ask your physicist friend, “John,” if you don’t believe me.

        Photons of a given wavelength & polarization are indistinguishable from one another. It doesn’t matter what the temperature was of the source that emitted such a photon. Once it is on its way, it will be absorbed by its first encounter with a material of a color which absorbs at that wavelength.

        Squid wrote, “The IR *could* heat any cooler atmosphere that is cooler than itself…”

        That is completely nonsensical. Infrared photons are massless, and have no temperature. Whether an IR photon can be absorbed by (“heat”) another molecule has nothing to do with temperature.

        Please ask “John” about that, too.

        Squid wrote, “the latent heat capacity of water is holding on to the thermal energy for a longer period of time.”

        Unless there’s evaporation/condensation and/or melting/freezing going on, the latent heat capacity of water has no effect at all.

        • geran says:

          davy embarrasses himself once again:

          “It doesn’t matter what the temperature was of the source that emitted such a photon.”

          Uh, davy, please consult high school physics book, photon emission.

          (But, we love your humor, so please don’t stop spouting off.)

        • PeterMG says:

          Dave you and others who accept the greenhouse theory are confused. Is a wet suit a greenhouse? because the same process is going on. This has been the perfect scientific argument to have at the centre of highly politicised science. Even those who mean the same thing argue on opposite sides of this argument. In a way it pathetic (this is not directed at you personally) but in another way its a thing of beauty for those whishing to push an agenda, because so long as we tear chunks out of one and other we never get to an understanding.

          The notion of a greenhouse is completely wrong to describe what is happening in the atmosphere. But this description is perfect for the agenda driven politics that use it. The internet is full of articles that offer far more plausible explanations for the temperature at the surface of the earth. Above I gave another example where mainstream science uses made up ideas plucked from thin air to prop up theories that are failing at every level.

          Tony has carved out an important niche with this site, showing how the entire AGW meme is political. Well done Tony and I come here nearly every day for a quick read. But a word of advice from an old engineer; don’t accept any science as solid or the last word on anything. And don’t pick sides on science unless you are going to turn yourself into a broader based science discussion site. This is the mistake that WUWT has made where they control the discussion. I seldom go there it has become so predictable and boring.

          My feeling is in ten years or so when the current crop of political idiots with years invested in AGW have passed on the new wave will quietly ditch AGW and this will free science once more to explain what we observe without having to link it to politics. This will be the scientific lesson for us, not any furtherance of our understanding of the atmosphere.

        • squid2112 says:

          Peter, very well said sir!!!

        • Chris BC says:

          I’m going to chime in here to correct Dave, and Tony’s original poor wording. No, hell no, slowing down cooling is NOT the same as warming. Yes, cloudy nights are warmer than clear nights in any given location because the clouds act as an insulator, but not because the clouds are warming the surface.

          As to the photons or whatever form of energy is moving around, it must first leave the ground before it could be reflected/transmitted/whatever back down. We’re talking about night time here, so unless we’re in an urban heat island of some sort there is no new energy entering the system. Even if the clouds reflect 100% of the energy that reaches them in any form, which they do not, the temperature of the surface is not going to reach a higher temperature as the night progresses. The temperature would only remain the same in the hypothetical 100% reflection scenario because again, there is no source of new energy at night.

        • Enough bullshit strawman arguments. I’m absolutely sick of this crap. Take it somewhere else.

        • daveburton says:

          Chris BC wrote, “cloudy nights are warmer than clear nights in any given location because the clouds act as an insulator, but not because the clouds are warming the surface.”

          How do you think an insulator works, Chris? Clouds and humidity don’t suppress the emission of longwave IR from the ground. (In fact, to the extent that they cause the ground to be warmer than it otherwise would be, they increase IR emissions from the ground.) So how do you think clouds and humidity “insulate” the ground, and reduce its net heat loss at night?

          They do so by re-radiating longwave IR back to the ground, where it is absorbed, raising the temperature of the ground relative to what it would have been in the absence of the moisture in the air.

          Chris BC continued, “Even if the clouds reflect 100% of the energy that reaches them in any form, which they do not, the temperature of the surface is not going to reach a higher temperature as the night progresses.”

          Of course. Nobody here has suggested otherwise.

      • David A says:

        It can raise the mean temperature over what it would be if said energy had instead gone to space. https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/one-more-time-2/#comment-454732

  5. Albert says:

    Do you guys ever consider the fact that at the core of the earth there is a huge nuclear furnace? Does it always stay the same temperature, or does it have a period of oscillation? Or, in other words, where does the heat from those pesky volcanoes come from?

    • squid2112 says:

      You may have have a very valid point Albert. Another point that has nothing to do with a so-called “greenhouse effect”. I have not seen any studies that speak to what you describe. I think it would be interesting to learn a little more about what you describe.

    • Curt says:

      Albert: The power flux density at the surface from the hot interior is less than 0.1 W/m2. The earth’s surface emits by radiation alone 150 W/m2 more than the earth and atmosphere absorb from the sun (this is averaged over time and area). This huge imbalance can only be explained by the (poorly named) greenhouse effect.

      Note that this is a very different issue from the possible increment in the greenhouse effect as CO2 levels increase, given everything else that can change. Here people are arguing about a fraction of a single W/m2 change — beyond our capabilities to measure reliably.

      • squid2112 says:

        Curt, I don’t understand your term “imbalance”, can you explain where this imbalance is?

        • Curt says:

          The earth and its atmosphere absorb, averaged over time and area, about 240 W/m2 of solar radiative power. This is known to plus or minus a few W/m2. The earth’s surface emits, again averaged over time and area, about 390 W/m2 of radiative power, again known to plus or minus a few W/m2. (The surface also loses about 100 additional W/m2 through conduction/convection to the atmosphere, again averaged.)

          The 1st Law tells us that when the power inputs and outputs to/from a body are not equivalent (that is, there is an “imbalance”), the internal energy of the body will change at a rate proportional to that power imbalance. Nobody, alarmist or skeptic, thinks that this power imbalance at the earth’s surface is remotely near 150 or 250 W/m2. (The most alarmist think the imbalance is 1 W/m2.)

          So the question is, how do you make the thermodynamic “books” balance here?

      • Albert says:

        150 W/m2 seems a bit high. Wouldn’t that be the equivalent of having a 150 W light bulb positioned in every square meter of the earth’s surface?

        • Curt says:

          Yes, it WOULD be. That’s why you have to explain why this imbalance is not really there.

          Remember that we are talking on average here. A given location on the surface will have hundreds of W/m2 imbalance one way when the sun is shining at midday, and hundreds of W/m2 imbalance the other way at night.

      • Albert says:

        If people are arguing about a fraction of a W/m2 change, isn’t that on the same order of magnitude as the radiation due to the core (which you quoted as a fraction of a W/m2)?

        • Curt says:

          But the power flux from the earth’s core, about 0.07 W/m2 on average, is not known to change in any measurable way.

  6. squid2112 says:

    So, I have picture on my tablet, one that perhaps I will find a way to share. It came about sometime last fall after a discussion at work between one of our physicists (nuclear physics, specializing in, … wait for it … radiation physics) and another coworker. They were discussing largely what Tony describes in this post. The physicist (call him John) was describing to Bob that what Tony describes here isn’t possible. Of course John went into some great detail and maths and all the rest that was a bit difficult for the lay person to understand, and ultimately not as convincing as it maybe could have been.

    Well, low and behold the very next morning presented a grand opportunity for me. You see, I have a pretty good sized backyard (about an acre), and that morning about 1/3 of it was covered by frost. It was a bright sunny morning, with a large shadow from my house shading a good portion of my backyard. I took a picture of it to illustrate how the “downwelling IR” that Tony describes was NOT heating the ground. You see, everywhere in the shade of my house (about 1/4 acre worth) was covered in frost, but wherever there was sunshine was not. You may conclude that it was because the air was still cold, however, you would be wrong. I took a temperature reading from ground level, 2M above ground and 4M above ground. All readings were right about 34F-35F. There was clear open sky above my frost, with a relative humidity of roughly 64%. There should have been AMPLE downwelling IR to heat up that frost. But alas, despite the temperature rising throughout the morning, even reaching above 40F, the frost stayed until lit by the sun.

    Amazing isn’t it!! … All of that downwelling IR was not even powerful enough to melt frost, EVEN with an ambient air temperature ABOVE freezing!

    John and Bob were quite amazed, Bob was now convinced that John was correct about radiation physics… what a nice day 🙂

    • Please stop this nonsense.

      • squid2112 says:

        Hey, I am just illustrating an empirical example that refutes what you are saying. Interestingly enough, one can find these sorts of examples around them all the time, every day. Just open your eyes and think for a moment.

        • daveburton says:

          No, squid2112, you obviously misunderstood the discussion you overheard, perhaps because, as you said, it “was a bit difficult for the lay person to understand.” Any physicist on the planet would tell you that Tony is right, and you are not.

          Why don’t you print out Tony’s original message, and your original reply, and show them to “John.” Don’t tell him who wrote which, lest his personal affection for you cause him to temper his reply. Just ask him, “which of these two blokes is confused?”

        • squid2112 says:

          No Dave, I misunderstood nothing, and presented a real world, empirical example that clearly illustrates the lack of warming from DWLWR .. period

      • rishrac says:

        Please stop this nonsense…… you started it

      • geran says:

        Bottom line, Tony, is that you must not go around claiming IPCC science is correct. IPCC science is WRONG! That is why all of their computer models fail. That is why all of their predictions fail. That is why they have to “adjust” historical temps, which you have demonstrated so aptly.

        Do not throw all of your work away by trying to claim IPCC is somehow correct. It is WRONG!

        • daveburton says:

          geran, if you insist that the IPCC is wrong about everything, then you just discredit yourself. For instance, the IPCC also says, in AR5, that there’s been a “warming hiatus since 1998.” Do you think they are wrong about that?

          Tony is right. He’s not agreeing with the IPCC’s misguided alarmism, he’s agreeing with probably every physicist on the planet.

        • geran says:

          Dave, don’t try those debate tricks. Using such tricks just makes you a phony. I never said “everything”. I said ” IPCC science is WRONG”.

          If the IPCC owns up to their own incompetence, I would agree with them.

          By trying to falsely discredit me, you have discredited yourself.

        • daveburton says:

          geran, you’ve said twice that “IPCC science” is wrong. “IPCC science” is a very broad term. Some of their scientific claims are correct, some are in error. If you think that all “IPCC science” (i.e., all of their scientific claims) are incorrect, then you’re wrong.

          For example, if you think there’s no such thing as a “greenhouse effect” (warming effect) from CO2, water vapor, etc., then you’re wrong. (The effect is misnamed, however, since that’s not how greenhouses work.)

        • geran says:

          dave, like I said, your debate tricks do not fool folks, other than yourself. You said that I said “everything”. That was incorrect. Until you acknowledge you falsely represented what I wrote, you have NO credibility.

        • daveburton says:

          geran, then to what are you referring when you say “IPCC science?”

          Since you complained that Tony went around “claiming IPCC science is correct” when he described how water vapor acts as a greenhouse gas, it appears that you include the basic greenhouse effect of GHGs in the term “IPCC science.” Right?

        • Curt says:

          Dave: Forget it. As soon as you try to pin geran down to a specific claim, he runs away.

    • mkelly says:

      http://climaterealists.com/?action=report&uid=8100&id=9004

      Here is one showing what you are talking about.

    • Curt says:

      squid: If you have a cloudy night with temperatures getting down to a few degrees above freezing, there will be no frost on the ground at sunrise. If you have a clear night with temperatures getting down to a few degrees above freezing, you will see frost on the ground at sunrise, but only in those areas directly exposed to the sky — not under the overhang of trees or carport roofs.

      What’s the difference? It’s the amount of “back radiation” the ground is receiving. Clouds and trees provide a lot more of this than does a clear night sky, reducing the net power loss from the ground and keeping the surface above freezing temperatures.

      The only way you can get ground frost when the surface air temperature stays above freezing is when the surface loses more power due to radiative transfer than it gains from the air due to conduction/convection.

      The trees and the clouds are significantly warmer than the part of the clear night sky that is in radiative exchange with the surface. In engineering heat transfer courses, we were taught as a rule of thumb to use -20C (253K) for the effective radiating temperature of the clear night sky for purposes of calculating radiative exchange with the surface.

      While this temperature is a lot lower than that of clouds or tree leaves or carport roofs, it is much higher than the -270C (3K) effective radiation temperature of deep space. But even at -20C, the ground at about 0C is radiating more power to the sky than the sky is radiating to the ground, so there is still radiative cooling, albeit much reduced compared to an atmosphere transparent to LWIR, until the sun starts hitting the surface.

  7. richard says:

    so the desert goes from 100 degrees to freezing in a few hrs with low humidity. The tropics stay warm throughout the night. Do the tropics at night get warmer or slowly cool throughout the night, if so then all that is happening is the hight humidity is slowing down the rate of cooling.

    • Ernest Bush says:

      You are ignoring the input of the sun’s radiation during the day, which obviously is not present at night.

    • daveburton says:

      Richard wrote, “all that is happening is the hight humidity is slowing down the rate of cooling.”

      How do you suppose that the high humidity slows down the rate of cooling?

      One of the ways is that water vapor molecules in the atmosphere absorb and re-emit IR from the ground, much of which is reabsorbed by the ground, which reduces the net rate of cooling.

      (Another way is that high humidity retards evaporative cooling and increases heat release at the ground from condensing dew, but that’s a different topic.)

      • Chris BC says:

        Yes, Dave, but again slower cooling is NOT warming. Warming means temperature increase.

        • No one is saying that CO2 is an energy source. That is a ridiculous straw man argument and a waste of everybody’s time.

          The temperature is increased above what it would be without the greenhouse gases. Please drop this stupid shit.

    • nielszoo says:

      The latent heat capacity of air at 100 percent relative humidity is higher than dry air. It can hold more energy which moves around by convection and conduction, not radiation.

      • daveburton says:

        neilszoo, “latent heat” is simply heat of evaporation. In other words, it is heat which can be released by condensing the water out of the air. For practical purposes, at normal atmospheric temperatures, perfectly dry air carries no latent heat at all. Latent heat is of no consequence unless there’s evaporation/sublimation and/or condensation going on.

        Contrary to common intuition, humid air is not heavier than dry air at the same pressure, and does not absorb or release more heat for a given change in temperature. In fact, water vapor is lighter than air, and humid air is lighter than dry air at the same temperature and pressure, because the molecular weight of H2O is (2 x 1) + 16 = only 18, compared to the molecular weight of N2 which is 28.

  8. GoneWithTheWind says:

    Squid is stuck on his “reheat” statement and doesn’t seem to understand that this is about retaining and/or reflecting heat. It is either a simple mistake in understanding what is being stated or it is a dishonest arguement about the issue.

    • squid2112 says:

      No, I completely agree that one can “retain” or “retard” cooling … my contention is, you cannot re-heat, or put another way, increase the thermal state of a warmer object with another that is the same temperature and/or cooler than itself.

      That is completely different than “retaining” and/or “reflecting” heat.

      Put it this way. I have a coffee pot with coffee in it at 130F, I begin to pour that coffee into a cup. First 1oz worth, which is then 130F in my cup. If I add another 1oz to my cup, will it increase the temperature of the coffee that is already there? … If not, why not? … If so, please explain how this can be.

      • richard says:

        Two cups of coffee, exactly the same temp, touching each other, does one get hotter or do they both cool in the same time. Two cups of coffee, one above the other, does the lower one get warmer or cool slightly slower than the one above.

        Judging by some of the comments above it seems , one of the side by side cups get warmer, or the below cup gets warmer. I must remember that technique when at my friends and my poured tea is not quite how I like it. No putting back on the stove for me.

      • tom0mason says:

        But by moving from the clear sky to a cloudy sky many parameters have changed.
        The local humidity, local air density shifts and local atmospheric pressure, the thermal mass of the local atmosphere, as well as the local atmospheric thermal conductivity, the local average air current’s change in vertical and horizontal movement, electrical changes in potential between ground and cloudbase, just to name a few.

        Moving from a clear sky to a cloudy one is not as simple as just looking at IR energy there is an entire panoply of parameter changes that go on.

      • GoneWithTheWind says:

        “If I add another 1oz to my cup, will it increase the temperature of the coffee that is already there? … If not, why not?”
        That is a dishonest arguement. That is only half of the arguement. A better representation using the coffee anology would be more like this: If I pour a cup of coffee at 130F into a 10 oz cup and put it into a insulated container will it cool as fast as a similar cup in an uninsulated container? Or does an insulating layer of atmospheric moisture prevent heat from escaping, radiating off into outer space?

  9. northernont says:

    Perhaps a refresher here….
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/02/spencer-earths-sans-greenhouse-effect-what-would-it-be-like/
    is in order. In this post by Spencer there is an excellent link to Lindzen here..

    Click to access cooglobwrm.pdf

    You will see why there is a push for the meme climate disruption. CO2 is a minor player in the grand scheme of influences on global climate. I can see why it was chosen though. Fossil fuels emit CO2 when burned, and power the economic engines of the world. Control CO2 emissions, control the world economies.

  10. pyromancer76 says:

    I think the physics is being reconsidered. Please see E.M. Smith for a readable discussion of new research discoveries. http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/le-chatelier-and-his-principle-vs-the-trouble-with-trenberth/ I know people here believe that the science is settled, but it never is, and a more genial conservation usually doesn’t hurt. Especially among individuals who are the most important “investigative journalists”, and all around fine minds, around.

  11. Edmonton Al says:

    How about this???

    Inventing a new mechanism of radiant heat transfer, back-radiation, from cold atmospheric CO2 molecules back down to Earth’s surface, with intensity 333 w/m2 (compared to solar intensity reaching surface which averages 161 w/m2 of surface) warming it further, causing it to radiate up even more intensely at 396 w/m2, violates FLoT and SLoT, constituting a perpetual motion machine creating energy to drive global warming, an impossibility of nature. Heat does not flow from cold matter to hot matter, heating hot further; only from hot to cold. This is engineering fraud of the first order. GHGT has been falsified by eminent physicists.

    If non-radiating O2 is exchanged for absorbing/emitting CO2, emissivity, e, of planet to space must increase.
    I = σ e (T/100)4
    If e increases with CO2 at constant I, T goes down. Therefore CO2 causes global cooling.
    I = intensity of any radiating body, w/m2, of its spherical surface, measured by Earth satellite spectrophotometers to be about 239.
    T = temperature of radiating body, K
    σ = Stefan-Boltzmann radiation law constant, 5.67
    e = emissivity of radiating body, fraction 0 < e < 1. Perfect radiator black body e = 1, radiates a given intensity at lowest possible temperature. Colorful Earth radiator e = 0.612 emits given intensity at temperature higher than black body.
    I = (1 – albedo)S/4, conservation of energy, in = out, neglecting photosynthesis, volcanoes.
    S = solar radiation intensity, 1365 to 1370 w/m2 incident disk or 1365/4 to 1370/4 w/m2 of incident sphere.
    Albedo = reflectivity, fraction, mostly by clouds, estimate 0.7.
    Substituting: I = (1 – alb) S/4 = σ e (T/100)4
    Dividing by σ e: (T/100)4 = (1 – alb) S/4 σ e = I/σ e
    If S increases, T increases. If alb or e increase, T decreases.
    If Earth were a perfect black body emitter,
    (1 – 0.3) 1366/4*5.67*1.000 = 42.16 = 2.5484 or T = 254.8K = -18.33C
    Actually GHGT promoters say it is a colorful 0.612 emitter,
    (1 – 0.3) 1366/4*5.67*0.612 = 68.890 = 2.8814 or T = 288.1K = 14.95C
    The difference 14.95 – (-18.33) = +33.3C is the difference between colorful Earth’s radiating temperature and its theoretical black body equivalent when radiating at same intensity, 239.
    J Hanson, Al Gore and EPA mistakenly declared this 33C to be the greenhouse gas effect.
    Double radiating atmospheric CO2 concentration and emissivity to space increases a small amount, say 0.001 to 0.613.
    (1 – 0.3) 1366/4*5.67*0.613 = 68.777 = 2.8804 or T = 288.0K = 14.83C.
    So global sensitivity is 14.83 – 14.95 = -0.12C, global cooling. Controversy resolved by elementary algebra; no need for $1 billion/day research to prove the impossible, global warming. If you disagree with Stefan-Boltzmann radiation law of physics, used successfully since 1884, take it up with them, not me.
    Latest estimate of emissivities fits observation of radiation intensity to space from globe and surface.
    Three S-B equations, plus energy conservation equation, Is + Ia = Ig, plus emissivity combo assumption eg = (es*Is + ea*Ia)/(Is + Ia) is five equations with 9 unknowns. Specify four unknowns from measurement; Ts, Ta, Ig, Is, and solve for remaining five unknowns: Ia, es, ea, eg, Tg.
    To estimate CS, must estimate the effect of doubling [CO2] on ea and Is. Then resolve for Ia, eg, Ts, Ta, Tg.
    For example, assume [CO2} from 400 to 800 ppm, ea from 0.82811 to 0.82911 and Is from 40 to 39.9. Result is:
    CO2 400 ppm Intensity Emissivity S-B Temperature
    Surface 40 0.10233 15.000
    Atmosphere 199 0.82811 -18.000
    Globe 239 0.70664 4.760
    CO2 800 ppm
    Surface 39.9 0.10233 14.820
    Atmosphere 199.1 0.82911 -18.045
    Globe 239 0.70778 4.648
    Change
    Surface -0.1 -0- -0.180
    Atmosphere 0.1 0.001 -0.045
    Globe -0- 0.0012 -0.112
    CO2 increases emissivities, 0.828 and 0.707, slightly. Surface intensity, 40, drops as atmosphere absorptivity increases and atmosphere intensity, 199, increases by that amount. Total intensity, 239, is fixed by energy balance. So radiating temperature of surface 15.0C drops, global 4.6C drops and atmosphere -18.0C drops. My assumptions give CS = -0.112C.
    The difficult part to quantify this is to estimate the effect of CO2 on atmospheric emissivity and absorptivity. In any case the effect is cooling, CS < 0. This is one of the ways radiating gases like CO2 affects global cooling. Global warming by CO2 induced radiant energy transfer does not exist, even if you call it a greenhouse gas.
    Since heat capacity, Cp, of CO2 is greater than the heat capacity of the O2 it displaced by the oxidation reaction, increasing CO2 increases heat capacity of the atmosphere. This rotates the temperature vs altitude profile counterclockwise about its centroid, at about 5 km and -18C, since its slope for any planet is –g/Cp, easily derived from conservation of energy, SLoT, as kinetic energy is converted to potential energy with altitude, cooling. While bulk average global atmospheric temperature is unaffected, lower altitude air warms and upper altitude cools. Surface would warm accordingly.
    There are several mechanisms for CO2 to affect temperatures; I have identified two warming and four cooling. My best guess net is -0.5C < CS < 0.3C. No wonder data regression can’t find it.
    The dear fellow Singer is on the right track to suspect “CS is indeed close to zero”. I salute his candor, bravery and scientific correctness. He just didn’t know why. Now he should. Skepticism is a valid intellectual position of philosophy.
    If Dr S Fred Singer can just convince his colleague Dr Roy W Spencer that CS = 0 and get Spencer to disclose how he determines Earth’s emissivity vs CO2 in order to estimate its temperature from his satellite spectrometer measurements of intensity, we would learn together what Earth’s global temperature is and strengthen scientific consensus that anthropogenic CO2 is innocent. It is green plant food after all. Which is very cool.

  12. MarcT77 says:

    Cloudy nights yes, but humidity has little to do except that humid climates have more evaporation during the day and more condensation during the night. Based on a quick calculation, it takes 6 watts for 10 hours to evaporate 1 mm of water equivalent. And it happens mostly during the day. The greenhouse effect reflects the ground emissions, so it should be more powerful during the day.

    The idea that greenhouse gases can lower the difference of temperature between the day and the night is unproven. If greenhouse gases do not change the daily variation in heat content and they trap this heat over a lower volume of atmosphere near the ground. Then the daily variation in heat content should increase. Also, a planet with a star is warmer with greenhouse gases than without. But a planet without a star is at absolute zero with or without a greenhouse gases. Again, greenhouse gases could increase the diurnal temperature range.

    Also, let’s make a small mind experiment. We have a universe similar to ours except it has no star and no planet. Instead it is filled with one atmosphere of a gas that does not interact with IR emissions, and this gas is at 40C or 100F or anything relatively warm. There is also a single sphere of black carbon that has the same temperature than this huge atmosphere at time zero. What will happen to the temperature of the sphere? Will it emit all of its heat and fall to absolute zero so we could run a perpetuum mobile between the sphere and the atmosphere? The sphere could also be surrounded by void retained by an empty shell of glass that does not interact with IRs.

    In conclusion, I think that something is missing from the understanding of heat emissions. Maybe a black body emits virtual photons that get annihilated when they are refracted. Maybe this annihilation depends on the temperature of both the emitter and the refracting molecule. If some emissions that are reflected by the greenhouse effect would have been annihilated anyway. Than the greenhouse effect must be weaker than though.

    • nielszoo says:

      A large part of this is that people keep using S-B math and black body math to deal with low pressure gases and that is flat out wrong. Low pressure gases are line absorbers/emitters and treating them like black bodies overstates their energy properties by several orders of magnitude. They should be dealt with via Gas Law as there is no radiative transfer of energy going on in our atmosphere anywhere below the stratosphere. Water droplets and suspended particulates may be able to emit some radiation but at 1 bar none of the gases in our atmosphere can. If they did, thermal cameras and the FLIR sights our military uses would not work. CO2 and CH4 cannot radiate at these low pressures as they never have the time to drop to ground state and emit before they bump into another molecule and transfer heat via convection. Since the energy level of a photon emitted from one of these gases is so small, the only place they have a chance of emitting radiative energy is Antarctica in the middle of the night in the dead of winter. (Still wouldn’t emit as convection still reigns supreme at 1 bar.)

      The problem is that explaining this scientifically requires quite a bit of math and our wonderful public education system has fixed that little hitch for us… no one learns real math anymore so they believe anything they are told.

      • mkelly says:

        Nielszoo I used to operate FLIR (forward looking infrared) in an S3 aircraft. The unit had a cooling unit for the mirrors down to -140 F or so. The heat IR signature is what we saw. Clouds were a disruption. Clouds were a disruption for radar too. The water looked black/cold but the wake of ships were easily seen.

  13. MarcT77 says:

    People should stop being biased by the cooling rate. If the difference of temperature between night and day goes down. Than the morning warming rate has to go down. Explain that with greenhouse gases.

  14. Go Canucks!! says:

    All energy budgets show the earth surface radiating at at net rate of 60WM2. 40W goes directly into outer space. 20W is absorbed by the atmosphere. Heat is therefore going from a hot surface to a cold space or atmosphere. However, the cold atmosphere is being heated. This then keeps the atmosphere warmer than it would be if all 60W went into space. This is the greenhouse effect.

    • Edmonton Al says:

      But NOT caused by CO2

    • tom0mason says:

      Heat requires matter. Space has no matter. Space has no thermal temperature – neither hot nor cold*. Infa-red radiation is free to travel through space as there is nothing to block it – the same as any other part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
      Heat is the interaction of energy (IR, or any other suitable energy) on matter causing particle vibration that we interpret as heat. Without matter there is no ‘heat’.

      *As an aside – arguably space has a background energy level expressed in equivalent thermal units, but it is not heat it is just a temperature that represents an energy level.

      • squid2112 says:

        I can’t count the number of times I have read or been told that “space is cold” … so many people fail to think past the end of their nose. I wish people would quit referring to space as having a temperature.

  15. KTM says:

    What would you expect from a desert at or below sea level versus a desert on top of a high mountain?

    If there is minimal water vapor around to account for changes in radiative flux through the atmosphere, the sea level desert should cool more slowly than the high desert due to the additional thickness of atmospheric “greenhouse gases” between it and space.

    • Ernest Bush says:

      As one who lives on the Colorado Desert and has been on some of those mountain deserts, I can say empirically that that is what happens. However, the altitude also causes daytime temperatures to be lower on the same day, as well as night time, due to more heat radiating straight up during the night into thinner air.

  16. Leonard Weinstein explains why Back-Radiation is not a Source of Surface Heating:

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/why-back-radiation-is-not-a-source-of-surface-heating/

    Even Mosher and almost all CAGW adherents have abandoned the notion that “back-radiation” from GHGs can warm, i.e. increase the temperature of the surface, and instead claim CO2 affects the “effective radiating level” or “ERL” to control the adiabatic lapse rate, which then controls the surface temperature.

    However, the notion that the “effective radiating height” is controlled by CO2 levels is put to bed by both observations and theory:

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2014/11/why-global-warming-is-not-explained-by.html

    The entire 33K GHE is instead entirely explainable on the basis of atmospheric mass/gravity/pressure/heat capacity/adiabatic lapse rate:

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2014/02/why-earths-climate-is-self-regulating.html

    and the “ocean greenhouse effect” explainable on the basis of the ~0.76 – 0.89 far-IR emissivity of the oceans, which “traps” heat from solar radiation in the oceans.

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2014/11/new-paper-finds-huge-false-physical.html

    The base of the troposphere on the planet Uranus is 320K, considerably hotter than the surface on Earth [288K], despite being nearly 30 times further from the Sun. “Back-radiation” from greenhouse gases cannot possibly amplify the energy received from the Sun by a factor 157 times greater than received by Uranus, much less anything greater than a factor of one. The only possible explanation is Pressure.

    • Edmonton Al says:

      “The entire 33K GHE is instead entirely explainable on the basis of atmospheric mass/gravity/pressure/heat capacity/adiabatic lapse rate:”
      Totally agree.
      Is it not true that on Venus, the Temp at 1 atmosphere of pressure[whatever that altitude is] is the same as on earth [sea level] after adjusting for the difference in distance from the sun.??

      • “Is it not true that on Venus, the Temp at 1 atmosphere of pressure[whatever that altitude is] is the same as on earth”

        Robinson & Catling show this is not only true for Venus & Earth, but in fact all planets with thick atmospheres in the solar system.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/10/25/changes-in-total-solar-irradiance/#comment-1771445

        and demonstrates convection dominates over radiative forcing in all of the planetary tropospheres {including Earth and all planets with thick atmospheres} until the atmosphere becomes too thin to sustain convection at P=0.1 bar, i.e. where the tropopause begins and radiative forcing takes over.

        • Anything is possible says:

          “demonstrates convection dominates over radiative forcing in all of the planetary tropospheres {including Earth and all planets with thick atmospheres} until the atmosphere becomes too thin to sustain convection at P=0.1 bar, i.e. where the tropopause begins and radiative forcing takes over.”

          ====================================

          Exactly. So why do you insist on applying radiative forcing theory all the way to the Earth’s surface, instead of stopping at the tropopause?

          As per the International Standard Atmosphere, the average temperature at the tropopause is 217K. Suppose that this is the TRUE radiative temperature of the Earth?

          That gives a GHE of 71K, which is explained, almost perfectly, by simply applying the adiabatic lapse rate from the tropopause to the surface.

          I’m pretty sure I know what the objections will be, but you will be wrong. Before anyone posts, lie down in a darkened room, and consider the implications of energy being proportional to temperature^4. This means that if the distribution of received and emitted radiation is different (it is) then Energy in = energy out DOES NOT MEAN that the Earth’s emission temperature (255K) has to be the same as its radiative temperature (assumed, to be 255K) making your 33K GHE entirely spurious.

    • geran says:

      Gents, a blackbody receiving the same solar flux as Earth (956 W/m^2) would have a temp of 360 K.

      The “255 K” is bogus.

      The “effective temperature” of Earth is what it is–289 K +/-1K.

      • nielszoo says:

        Our moon is a good analog here (sans atmosphere) and high noon surface temps ~293°K.

        • geran says:

          Max moon temps approach 400 K

        • geran says:

          400 K due to little atmosphere.

          (Kinda like our “greenhouse” is an air conditioner, huh?)

        • squid2112 says:

          The moon also takes more than 360hrs to cool, which explains why you cannot compare Earth average temp to Moon average temp.

        • squid2112 says:

          Geran, you think maybe that’s why space suits are white and include an air conditioner? 🙂

          If you talk to a NASA engineer (my neighbor is a retired one) you will find that they have had to face tremendous challenges to keep things cool in space. Seems space isn’t exactly the “cold” place it is made out to be. I will let others ponder to themselves as to why it is so difficult to cool things in space.

        • geran says:

          Yup, matter in space gets pretty hot, without some type of cooling.

    • If Mosher says something, it must be true.

    • daveburton says:

      Hockey Schtick wrote, “almost all CAGW adherents have abandoned the notion that “back-radiation” from GHGs can warm, i.e. increase the temperature of the surface, and instead claim CO2 affects the “effective radiating level” or “ERL” …”

      They haven’t abandoned it, they just rephrased it. That’s two ways of saying the same thing.

      Back-radiation to the surface from GHGs in the atmosphere warms the surface relative to the temperature it would have in the absence of that back-radiation.

      If you put a constant-output electric blanket on your bed, while keeping the room temperature constant, the bed will stabilize at a warmer temperature than the air temperature in the room. Now, if you lay a space blanket on top of the electric blanket, the same thing will happen, except that the bed will stabilize at a higher temperature than before. The amount of incoming energy will be the same, and so with the amount of outgoing energy (after the bed’s temperature stabilizes), but the bed will be warmer than it would have been without the added space blanket. That’s because some percentage of the heat which would otherwise escape from the bed into the air is being retained, so the bed’s temperature increases until the net energy emitted is equal to the amount of incoming energy.

      The electric blanket, in this case, is analogous to the sun, and the space blanket is analogous to GHGs in the atmosphere.

      • geran says:

        davy, you seriously need to consult a physics book.

      • “davy, you seriously need to consult a physics book.”

        ditto

        confuses limiting convection with radiative forcing
        confuses warming with slowing of cooling
        confuses “two ways of saying the same thing” with two things that absolutely do not say the same thing

        and that’s just for starters

        • daveburton says:

          I’ve confused nothing, Hockey Schtick. You apparently missed the discussion of space blankets.

          Adding thermal energy to a body, e.g., by irradiating it with IR, causes the body to be warmer than it other wise would be. Whether or not that that makes it warmer than it used to be is irrelevant. If the body’s temperature would otherwise have been falling, then the added energy might merely cause the body to cool at a slower rate. It’s still correct to say that the IR warms the body.

          In fact, in Tony’s original example of the greenhouse effect of water vapor, he described a scenario (nighttime temperatures) in which longwave IR re-radiated from greenhouse gas molecules warms the surface by only enough to slow the rate of cooling.

        • squid2112 says:

          From your comment:

          Adding thermal energy to a body…

          Here you are adding energy

          …causes the body to be warmer than it other wise would be

          Causing something to be warmer than it would otherwise be is NOT the same thing as heating it. If I wrap one cup of coffee with a thermal insulator, the other not, and place them both in a snow bank, a minute later the first cup (wrapped one) will be warmer than the other. Neither cup of coffee gained any heat, but the first one is certainly warmer than it would otherwise be.

        • Dave,

          Slowing of cooling means that a body is still cooling, not warming. I cannot understand how you can possibly define warming, an increase of temperature, as somehow equivalent to slower cooling, a decrease of temperature.

          Greenhouse gases DO have a huge effect on climate, however:

          Water vapor acts to stabilize temperature, including by clouds to reduce temperature extremes during the day and slowing of cooling at night by the high latent heat capacity of water vapor. Nonetheless, the primary effect of water vapor is to cool, not warm, the planet, as demonstrated by observations clearly showing locations at the same latitude with higher absolute humidities have lower mean annual temperatures:

          “All of the above graphs were produced by simply looking at publicly available temperature and humidity readings and as you can see the presence of water within a climate system cools it down via well-established and thoroughly studied processes such as latent heat transfer, increased albedo from the increased cloud cover, enhanced intra-atmospheric radiative heat transfer, the cooling affect of precipitation, a lowering of the lapse rate, etc.”

          http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2014/10/greenhouse-gases-do-have-profound.html

          The wet adiabatic lapse rate is only one-half the dry adiabatic lapse rate, proving that water vapor cools, not warms, the surface.

          New post by oculaer/Kristian today on why net effect of clouds/water vapor is cooling:

          http://okulaer.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-greenhouse-effect-that-wasnt-part-1/

        • squid2112 says:

          Hockey,

          The record high temperature for Fargo, North Dakota is approximately 7F higher than Nashville, Tennessee, despite Fargo at slightly higher altitude (Nash: 597ft, Fargo:899ft), and Fargo being much further North (about 850 miles). I suspect the reason for this is purely what you are describing here. The humidity of Nashville, is, on average, much higher than that of Fargo.

        • Robert B says:

          Convection is slower than the speed of light. There is a blanket.

          Minimum temperatures (and ground temperatures) in humid areas are less because of absorption of energy coming from a surface is absorbed closer to the surface when more water vapour is present. There is something you could call a greenhouse effect.

          The idea of re-radiation is a way of calculating the effect on ground temperatures due to energy being absorbed higher in the atmosphere. This energy is absorbed instead of flying out into space straight from the surface and atmosphere lower down. There can be an effect on the surface temperatures by slowing the rate of energy loss through the atmosphere and then slow convection of this energy until equilibrium is reached (ie lapse rate) without re-radiation.

          Ignore the re-radiation bit, its not really necessary for there to be a greenhouse effect and re-radiating/reflecting all the way back to the surface is a bit silly.

          With a path length of 10km, doubling of CO2 is not going to change the amount of energy from the surface absorbed through the troposphere. The blanket is about transfer of energy from the troposphere to space and the effect of CO2 on this is not settled.

          Please don’t get caught up in the game ie if you doubt the modelling then you doubt that burning of fossil fuels produces CO2 and that CO2 absorbs IR radiation …..

        • geran says:

          This if a perfect example of Bad Science.

          Robert B says: “Convection is slower than the speed of light. There is a blanket.
          >>>>>>>>>>
          Hilarious. The Moon came out last night, you owe me $14,000.

          Robert B says: “Minimum temperatures (and ground temperatures) in humid areas are less because of absorption of energy coming from a surface is absorbed closer to the surface when more water vapour is present. There is something you could call a greenhouse effect.
          >>>>>>>>>>>
          Obviously this guy fell asleep reading his high school physics book.

          Robert B says: The idea of re-radiation is a way of calculating the effect on ground temperatures due to energy being absorbed higher in the atmosphere. This energy is absorbed instead of flying out into space straight from the surface and atmosphere lower down. There can be an effect on the surface temperatures by slowing the rate of energy loss through the atmosphere and then slow convection of this energy until equilibrium is reached (ie lapse rate) without re-radiation.
          >>>>>>>>>>>>
          Waitress, one more, please.

          Robert B says: Ignore the re-radiation bit, its not really necessary for there to be a greenhouse effect and re-radiating/reflecting all the way back to the surface is a bit silly.
          a path length of 10km, doubling of CO2 is not going to change the amount of energy from the surface absorbed through the troposphere. The blanket is about transfer of energy from the troposphere to space and the effect of CO2 on this is not settled.

          >>>>>>>>>>>>>
          Waitress….

          Robert B says: Please don’t get caught up in the game ie if you doubt the modelling then you doubt that burning of fossil fuels produces CO2 and that CO2 absorbs IR radiation …..
          >>>>>>>>>>

          Hey Bobbie, we doubt the modeling, and we doubt CO2 does anything harmful.

          Please get a life….

        • Robert B says:

          That has to be the lamest rebuttal I have ever come across. Does anyone know why I owe him 14 000?

          When I say that there is a blanket, I mean that there is something that can be argued will impede heat loss from ground level – not that it is significant. Like wrapping your food in foil, it should work better than plastic but it doesn’t.

        • John Finn says:

          ” confuses warming with slowing of cooling
          confuses “two ways of saying the same thing” with two things that absolutely do not say the same thing ”

          “Warming” and “Slowing of Cooling” are effectively the same thing. The earth receives a constant source of energy from the sun. If the earth is receiving more energy than it is able to get rid of – it will warm up. It will continue to warm until it emits IR energy (from all layers of the atmosphere including the surface) equivalent to that received from the sun.

          “Greenhouse gases” slow the rate of cooling (or flow of outgoing LWIR). An increase in greenhouse gases (particularly in the higher, drier upper troposphere) will probably result in a further slowdown of cooling and a slight increase in the mean global temperature

      • Chris BC says:

        Tony’s original post above says “nights” at least four times. There is no electric blanket or other heat source at night once you are out of UHI.

  17. tom0mason says:

    Looks like we missed the vibrating molecules to ‘see’ only infra-red. It is dynamics of the hot vibrating molecules and IR that are the key not IR alone.
    Vibrating molecules have a temperature, they are not cold.
    Molecules that emit IR are cooler, they have less energy.
    Clouds are highly dynamic interchange of processes, they are not just bundles of matter radiating IR.

    Steven/Tony
    Your cloudy sky idea is a nice idea but we do not have a complete and coherent model of how clouds work, or how the thermal energy dynamically changes within them. At least not a model that has been validated against reality. Until this happens what ever Steve/Tony or Squidd2112 say can hold they’re views knowing that the reality of the situation is not fully known.

  18. darrylb says:

    Wow- lots of dialogue!
    On a non relative side note:
    My son-in-law and his family who live about 80 miles north of us are having a snow day– rare in Minnesota and my wife and I have nary a flake (yet(
    Must be global warming extreme weather right! 🙂

    • squid2112 says:

      I have lived in Fargo, North Dakota with a blizzard on Halloween (more than one year). Unusual, perhaps, unprecedented, not by a long shot.

  19. darrylb says:

    Now I have to go back and read most of this!

  20. Patrick Hannon, Statistician says:

    I have undergraduate degrees in math and physics, and in addition a phd in stats. My favorite course in undergraduate school was statistical thermodynamics, which I’m very familiar with. This statistical approach is how thermodynamics was finally laid on a firm theoretical foundation. What Tony has been saying is 100% correct. Let me throw in another example into the mix … and by the way, the proper way to look at this problem is via energy budgets. You go to bed on a cold winter night and the air temperature of your house is 65F. You will of course put on a blanket. This blanket will slow down two paths of energy loss from your body. One is kinetic, the physical connection of you to the blanket/small air pockets formed which don’t blow away due to convection. I say kinetic since your body has a temperature which the body maintains (energy in). Vibrational energy is transferred to the blanket/air pockets, some of that vibrational energy transfers back of course, but the net flow of vibrational energy is outward of course because of the temperature of the blanket (being lower than yours but higher than the house air), the thicker the blanket or with more layers of blankets, the lower that net vibrational net energy flow outward. There’s also a radiational flow of energy due to the fact that the molecules are vibrating (the molecules in your body are generally polar). The vibrating molecules emit photons in the IR range. The blanket molecules/air pockets molecules will absorb some of this outflowing IR, and re-admit in a random direction, and so some of that form of energy will also return to your body, but again the net flow of energy is outward in our case. Putting on more blankets further slow that energy flow. Now back the ultimate source of the energy in this energy budget problem, your body. There’s only so low your metabolism can go due to maintaining vital functions, so at some point, putting more blankets on can make you get hotter, in fact to the point you begin to sweat. Your body is getting too hot. This is not because your body is generating more energy than before, it’s because the outward flow of energy has been reduced so much and with a fixed input of energy, your body temperature increases, until equilibrium in energy flow is found … your temperature goes up until the flow of energy out matches the fixed minimal energy your body is producing.
    Anyway, assuming the flow of energy into the earth’s surface/atmosphere (sun, the source) is fixed, then more “green house” gas in the atmosphere should increase the surface temperature, primarily through the extra return path of IR radiation. Humid air enhances that downwelling flow of energy, being by far the most important greenhouse gas (water is about the most polar molecule there is!). The temperature at the surface should go up since the input energy hasn’t changed, and the flow of outward energy loss has slowed. The temperature increases until an equilibrium is reached. Higher temperature bodies radiate more IR, and this is not a linear function … but I go too far. Hopefully this helps. Cheers!

    • geran says:

      Seriously? Is this a joke? Statistics and math teach you quantum physics?

      Patrick, send your resume to the IPCC. They pay BIG bucks for Bad Science.

      What was that song “When the Science Died?

    • daveburton says:

      Thank you, Patrick.

      geran, there was no “quantum physics” (I think you meant quantum mechanics) involved in Patrick’s very understandable explanation. Did you even try to understand it?

      • geran says:

        davy, you need sooooo much help.

        1) You have not acknowledged your egregious error mentioned above.
        2) Quantum physics is all about photon emission.
        3) Quantum physics encompasses quantum mechanics, just as classical physics encompasses mechanics.

        You have sooooo much to learn.

        (But, I enjoy teaching.)

      • Quantum mechanics explains the 2nd law of thermodynamics and why heat transfer is one-way only from hot to cold. Even though radiation transfer between a hot and cold body is bidirectional, heat transfer is one way only. That is the 2nd law. For heat transfer to be from cold to hot requires an impossible reduction of entropy, violating the 2nd law [assuming no work input].

        Radiation from a lower temperature/frequency/energy body is not thermalized, i.e. does not increase heat, in the higher temperature/frequency/energy body. All of those lower-energy quantum states in the higher temperature/frequency/energy body are already filled and cannot go higher than their present high-energy quantum state. Sending more low energy quanta cannot raise the high quantum state further.

        Heat is not transferred from cold to hot, even though radiation is transferred from cold to hot, but is not thermalized.

        • daveburton says:

          Hockey Schtick wrote, “Radiation from a lower temperature/frequency/energy body is not thermalized, i.e. does not increase heat, in the higher temperature/frequency/energy body. All of those lower-energy quantum states in the higher temperature/frequency/energy body are already filled and cannot go higher than their present high-energy quantum state. Sending more low energy quanta cannot raise the high quantum state further. Heat is not transferred from cold to hot, even though radiation is transferred from cold to hot, but is not thermalized.”

          Where are you guys getting this nonsensical gibberish, anyhow? Are you, squid & geran scientologists? Or Alex Jones acolytes? Or members of a little team inventing imaginary physics for some anticipated collaborative sci-fi novel? Or what?

    • squid2112 says:

      …the proper way to look at this problem is via energy budgets.

      ROFLMAO…

      Yeah, forget about the Laws of Physics and lets look at budgets. Can’t get one passed in Congress, but we sure can apply one to this problem … ROFLMAO…

      • Patrick Hannon, Statistician says:

        🙂 the conservation of energy is what drives the concept of energy budgets. That’s a pretty solid part of the Laws of Physics. And quantum physics has a minor role in this branch of inquiry (climate science). And …. mathematicians and statisticians and physicists all have a close interaction commonly. There’s enormous overlap in this disciplines as I would know having worked directly on a tokomak device with a plasma physicist in undergraduate school. Sad to hear all misunderstandings here on this topic.

        • squid2112 says:

          Wow, I’m impressed [not] . Can you explain how radiation from an object can warm a warmer object?

        • squid2112 says:

          BTW, I don’t care if you invented the Tokomak device, that still doesn’t make the GHE possible.

          P.S. Tokamaks were invented in the 1950s by Soviet physicists Igor Tamm and Andrei Sakharov.

        • Patrick Hannon, Statistician says:

          radiation from an object (energy flow) from a cooler temperature object will impact the energy budget of the hotter object. That hotter object no doubt is emitting more IR than the lower temperature object, but there’s the net flow of energy to consider. Assuming both objects are equilibrium (energy in = energy out), then by placing them near each other, it will make both objects hotter. Their sources of energy have not changed, but the flow of energy loss has been modified by their physical arrangement. No doubt the hotter object will only get marginally hotter and the cooler object’s increase in temperature will more pronounced due to the higher outward flow coming from the hotter object.

          I think I can feel Tony’s agony on this topic already. 🙂

        • Patrick Hannon, Statistician says:

          Sorry for typo’ing tokamak’s spelling. You have a sharp sense of humor I can tell. You seem pretty handy with google’s search engine.

        • squid2112 says:

          Wow Patrick … really?

          Well, that’s all I need to know … Thanks for playing, and have a nice day!

        • Patrick Hannon, Statistician says:

          More of that unquenchable curiosity. I didn’t seem to spur a detailed dialog which is what is missing here. Still waiting for the problem with my stated logic. I am able to listen to what you feel specifically is wrong with it. This is also Roy Spencer and John Christy’s logic, seems pretty sound to me.

        • Chris BC says:

          Patrick, no doubt your credentials are impressive, but the post we are debating states it is the Earth at night. Energy must first leave the surface before any of it can be reflected back. There is no new energy into the system, thus no warming.

    • tom0mason says:

      Oh, sweet theory, beautiful hypothesis, fabulous imaginings, your simplicity steals my mind.
      As an educated person I challege you to –
      1. Please design model to explain all cloud behavior.
      2. Also design a practical experiment that will prove your theory by measurements of all vital parameters and energy levels within and immediately outside a moving cloud.

      Until you do you are living in theory only.

      • Patrick Hannon, Statistician says:

        1. Important and difficult, this is the part alarmists models are getting wrong. And Dr. Bill Grey has much to say on this topic.
        2. This is an important aspect for the modulation of the outward flow of energy from the earths surface. Climate science is still in it’s infancy. But the so called GHE is basic and well accepted. It’s logical consequence of the laws of physics.

        I just wish elements of our skeptic’s community wouldn’t get so hung up on the topic of down-welling IR. There are so many more important things to debate within climate science that are far more fruitful.

        • tom0mason says:

          So that is a no then, and you have nothing but a theory.

          Goodbye!

        • geran says:

          Pat, how about fruit flies? Or, even better, phony fruit flies?

          There you go….

        • daveburton says:

          Patrick: Unfortunately, I think you’re wasting your time. There are a few hecklers here who are not interested in learning.

          Geran: Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like bananas.

        • Chris BC says:

          Patrick, please provide links to experimental evidence of a cooler body increasing the temperature of a warmer body, at the same time the cooler body is also warmed. Of course neither body can have any source of producing more heat through combustion, fusion, fission, etc., nor can their be an external third party source of energy. That is the scenario you are suggesting above, yes?

    • Chris BC says:

      Good grief!!! The human body produces heat by “burning” food energy. The ground at NIGHT has no source of its own energy. Not analogous at all.

      If you’re going to debate the post, debate the post which clearly states “nights” four times. There is no new energy at night.

      And again, NO, slowing heat loss is not the same as warming.

  21. Patrick Hannon, Statistician says:

    lol … lack of curiosity on your part it seems. Anything in particular didn’t sound right my explanation?

  22. Rud Istvan says:

    Much of the above shows amazing lack of understanding of basic physics, or rules of logic, or understanding of basic background information. No wonder Tony just bangs his head on the desk. It does not help politically (and this is a political contest about energy and economic decelopment policy) to assert there is no greenhouse gas effect caused by IR scattering, when there is and Tony gave two good simple experimental examples. It also does no good to say that everything the IPCC has reviewed and summarized is wrong. Some is flat wrong, much is problematic, some is OK. Absolutist ‘denier’ (and easily proven wrong) postures just enable the warmunists to discredit the unfunded, citizen organized skepticism that is confronting the CAGW juggernaut, and which is slowly tearing down the Green house of cards.
    Better to rip at the warmunist soft underbelly of models falsified by the pause, shoddy or deliberately misleading research, some even rising to the level of academic misconduct (marcott), fiddled data (temps, here), ridiculously wrong prognostications (Viner/snow), disastrously unworkable policies (renewable energy)… That is how the warmunists will be defeated. Not by wrongly declaring there can be no GHG effect, when there is in the lab and anyone can experience it personally as Tony has suggested. Many (not all) warmunist defeating arguments are illustrated essays in ebook Blowing Smoke. Some here might learn something from them.

    • geran says:

      Rud, all you have to do to prove your point is produce “when there is in the lab and anyone can experience it personally as Tony has suggested”.

      Maybe you’ve heard the expression: “Put up or shut up”.

      Go for it….

    • squid2112 says:

      Firstly Rud, I can only assume that by “GHG effect” you are referring to one of the half dozen proposed hypothesis’. You seem to be referring specifically to the version that suggests that the ground is further heated by down-welling long-wave infrared radiation that is re-emitted by so-called “greenhouse gasses”.

      If I am correct in these assumptions, please direct me to the “lab” that has reproduced such empirical experiment, and please refer me to their findings. If, what you say is true, then this case should be closed, and we in fact do have a “greenhouse effect”. On the other hand, if you cannot produce such successful experiment, then I would suggest to you that the hundreds of billions of dollars that have been wasted on this garbage is pretty strong evidence that no such “greenhouse effect” exists. There has been nary another subject that has gotten so much attention, and so much funding with absolutely zero supporting results.

      I will wait…

    • Rud ignores the evidence above that the 33K “greenhouse effect” does in fact exist, but is clearly not caused by “back-radiation,” an explanation that even the biggest alarmists have dismissed, in favor of the changing ERL argument, which is also false.

      The 33K GHE does in fact exist, but is caused by atmospheric mass/gravity/pressure/lapse rate, is 100% explained by the barometric formulas, and not by the ERL or “backradiation” [both of which are disproven by observations and theory]

      http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2014/03/new-paper-finds-climate-sensitivity-is.html

    • daveburton says:

      Thank you, Rud. I agree with you on all points. It makes me sad that several people here so perfectly fit the warmists’ stereotype of anti-scientific rubes.

      Another warmist “soft underbelly” is sea-level. The obvious lack of acceleration in rate of sea-level rise in response to >2/3 century of heavy GHG emissions falsifies the first of the alarmists’ dire warnings about global warming’s catastrophic consequences:

      • Andy Oz says:

        I love that chart. It obviously escaped NOAA’s (and the BOM’s) attention to add the CO2 fudge factor. Now that it is out there, its too late. I always keep a copy handy.

  23. Ivan says:

    I think I finally understand how the IPCC oven works!
    [IMG]http://i60.tinypic.com/34td8gl.jpg[/IMG]

  24. Goodmongo says:

    Wow! In many ways all sides are right and wrong. Here are the basics.
    1) An energy source can not get hotter without increasing it’s energy output. So that source emits energy and cools. It is reflected back but the best it can achieve is the original energy level. So it does NOT get hotter.

    2) Now if that reflected energy is sent to a different object that that second object GAINS energy and gets hotter. But that also means the original source cools FASTER because some of it’s energy is no longer being reflected back to it.

    So can reflected energy (via GH effect) make a different object HOTTER – Yes it can. But reflected energy going back to the exact same object can not make it HOTTER. AT best it will go back to it’s original temperature.

    The GH effect can NOT increase the energy level It is not a source of energy. It can redirect energy and slow cooling but not increase it unless directed to a different object.

    • Goodmongo says:

      I forgot to add one crucial point. Squid2112 is wrong on one important point. Energy radiated from object one and then redirected to object two can and will cause object two to be warmer even if object two was warmer than object one. The simple explanation is additional energy is transferred from object one to object two causing an increase over and above what was being produced by object two.

      Where Squid2112 is correct is that the combined energy level of object one and two together can not exceed that of it’s starting point. No energy was added to the objects. Only some energy was redirected. Of course in reality some energy is always lost so the real result is that the two objects have lost energy and heat in the transfer process.

  25. Truthseeker says:

    I believe it was Richard Feynman who said something like …

    “If the evidence contradicts your theory, your theory is wrong. It does not matter how nice your theory is, it does not matter how good the maths is. If the evidence contradicts your theory, your theory is wrong.”

    CO2 is not a greenhouse gas as shown by this data comparing Venus to Earth …

    http://theendofthemystery.blogspot.com.au/2010/11/venus-no-greenhouse-effect.html

    The increase of CO2 is not slowing the release of IR to space …

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/08/an-empirical-review-of-recent-trends-in-the-greenhouse-effect/

    VAPOUR is not the same as a GAS. Water Vapour has a higher heat retention because it has more mass than the surrounding gas. That is why clouds and humidity have an effect. It is the increase in mass that causes higher temperature profiles.

    • daveburton says:

      Truthseeker wrote, “VAPOUR is not the same as a GAS. Water Vapour has a higher heat retention because it has more mass than the surrounding gas.”

      That’s wrong on both counts.

      Water vapor is a gas. Like the other common constituents of the atmosphere, water can exist in various states: solid, liquid, or gas. The atmosphere is made up entirely of gases (and some suspended airborne particles & droplets): The main gases are N2, O2, Ar, H2O, CO2, and various trace gases.

      Water vapor also has considerably less (not more) mass than most other atmospheric gases:

      gas molecular weight
      —– ———————-
      CH4 16 (but it’s less than 2 ppmv)
      H2O 18
      N2 28
      O2 32
      Ar 40
      CO2 44

  26. Anto says:

    Let’s assume for a minute that you accept the greenhouse effect (I do). The real questions are:

    1. Is an increase of a few hundred ppm of CO2 going to have a significant effect on Earth’s temperature? and

    2. Is that a bad thing?

    The first is a function of climate sensitivity, estimates of which are continually coming down. The second can be speculated about from warmer times in pre-history, when it seems that life continued to thrive.

    http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c017c37fa9895970b-pi

    • squid2112 says:

      The first is a function of climate sensitivity, estimates of which are continually coming down.

      And will firmly land on zero

      The answers to your questions are NO and NO …

  27. Steve Case says:

    The flow of energy through the system is simple:
    Sun ==> Surface ==> Atmosphere ==> Back out to Space

    There isn’t some sort of magic loop between the surface and the atmosphere.

    Green House gas in the atmosphere slows the cooling of the surface, but doesn’t warm it. The sun at 500O K does the warming. Your metabolism not the blanket does the warming. Heat always flows from the warmer body to the cooler body. The surface, mostly ocean, is warmer than the atmosphere by several degrees. The atmosphere doesn’t warm the ocean. The sun does.

    Claiming:
    “Longwave radiation coming down from greenhouse gas molecules warms the surface.”
    is wrong,

    It might seem to work that way, but it doesn’t.

    Please don’t get yourself discredited on this one.

  28. higley7 says:

    It’s simple thermodynamics. The clouds are MUCH warmer than the Earth’s surface. Space has no temperature; a vacuum cannot have temperature. SO, under a cloud, the cloud radiates downward at its temperature while the Earth radiates up and the Earth stays warmer. On a clear night, energy is lost directly to space and continues to do so until sunrise. There is not greenhouse effect; it’s simple thermodynamics. If you want to stay warmer on a cold winter hight outside, it is better to stand under a tree, with the tree at 273 K (0 deg C) and you at (37 + 273) = 310 K, than out under the black sky with space at 2.7 K (actually no temperature at all, but call it 2.7 K). The temperature differential in the latter case is 100^4 in terms of radiation transfer.

    With no atmosphere, the surface would be close to 200 deg C. With an atmosphere, it is close to 15 deg C. The atmosphere clearly has a cooling effect, as it provides the surface more ways to shed heat, by conduction and convection.

  29. Olaf Koenders says:

    Geez.. How did this ever become so convoluted? Simple. Everyone wants to be right and therefore will resort to minutiae and infinite physics to “prove” their point.

    Let’s keep it simple, we already know enough about basic radiation transmission:

    Space is cold and empty. We know this because we can measure it. However, it’s also full of radiation comprised of many wavelengths, which is dissipating into this vast, physically empty coldness. The effects of which are only visible when we actually place a physical body in this emptiness, which can either reflect or absorb this radiation.

    Squid, you’re right in this regard:

    “BTW, space does not have a temperature. Space itself is neither hot nor cold. In order to have thermal heat, one must have molecules.”

    We call space “cold” because it’s a radiative heat sink.

    The only types of radiation that matter to this topic are infrared and visible. Infrared is radiation thermometers can detect as temperature and visible light consists of several wavelengths that are either absorbed or reflected, which is how we see colours, but do not contain and therefore do not contribute to infrared radiation. Keep this in mind. A perfect (impossible on this planet) mirror reflects all visible and infrared radiation, whereas a perfect black body absorbs all radiation.

    Earth’s surface and atmosphere is a mixture of both and space is at the top of this conducting, convecting and radiating column – the only way out.

    During the day, much visible and infrared radiation bombard the surface via the atmosphere, which is translucent and absorbs very little of both.

    As soon as the Sun sets, the visible light radiation goes away, however absorbed infrared radiation remains in the surface of the planet and a small amount in the atmosphere, most of which was absorbed there during the bombardment.

    At night, the atmosphere naturally cools from the top down through infrared radiation leeching into space. It has to go somewhere (forget the deeper layers of the surface for now). However, many infrared photons emitted by the Earth’s surface collide with water and air molecules on the way up, but the water molecules absorb this radiation more efficiently. These water molecules can re-transmit this energy to other molecules in the air or the surface via conduction, convection or re-radiation. Infrared radiation can also be sent up the radiation column in this way or entirely avoid colliding with another molecule and eventually escape into space.

    In terms of the Earth’s surface, energy is regained by this convection and re-radiation however not in any way of sufficient quantity to maintain equilibrium, let alone heat it beyond its starting point. So it’s merely slowing the energy escape. With a layer of clouds in the atmosphere, the effect is even more pronounced as there are more water molecules to re-transmit infrared radiation back down.

    Without water vapour, the infrared radiation escapes more directly and, without an atmosphere as we know, the shaded side of anything in space is freezing, such as the Moon and even Mercury.

    Squid, you can’t cook anything by simply wrapping it in a silvered space (emergency) blanket. Nobody said it was possible. It’s just stupid.

    Nielszoo and some others, a cold flat mirror can reflect sunlight to a warmer body and heat it to the maximum extent of the available radiation without having to concentrate that energy in a focus. It depends largely on the initial temperature of the body that’s to be heated. If it’s already warmer than what’s possible through transmission of the available radiation, its actual temperature won’t rise, however its heat loss will be slowed compared to one without any radiation absorption, meaning it’s still being heated.

    Tony is correct. A cloudy desert night is warmer than a clear one because of the extra water vapour molecules and, tropical climates suffer little temperature changes between day and night for the same reason.

    In the case of warmists and CO2, most of the IR absorption bands of CO2 are already accommodated by water vapour and other molecules so it has very little effect.

    On Venus, although the atmosphere is mostly CO2, it’s 90 times the pressure of Earth’s and includes a thick cloud layer, making it difficult for IR to escape beyond its current equilibrium.

    On Mars, also with almost 100% CO2 atmosphere, it’s only 1% of Earth’s pressure, making it difficult for the planet to retain heat.

    On both planets you’ll find atmospheric temperatures at pressures that match Earth at the same pressure, although the altitude will differ. It’s called the adiabatic lapse rate.

    Let’s hope that’s an end of it.

    • Andy Oz says:

      “Let’s hope that’s an end of it.”
      +1

      But it was fun reading everyone’s comments.
      🙂

    • John Finn says:

      ” In the case of warmists and CO2, most of the IR absorption bands of CO2 are already accommodated by water vapour and other molecules so it has very little effect. ”

      The warmists would argue that CO2 is effective in the cold, dry layers in the upper troposphere (see CO2 ‘funnel’ in emission spectra). They would then go on to argue that CO2 accumulation in the cold, dry…..etc would increase the mean altitude of IR emission to space which means it is emitted from a colder region which means (according to S-B) that the rate of emission would slow .. …. creating an imbalance between Solar_In and LW-Out…….. and surface and atmosphere would need to warm to restore equilibrium.

    • David A says:

      “So it’s merely slowing the energy escape” Does it help to add that if energy leaving is slowed, and input is constant, then overall energy increases? https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/one-more-time-2/#comment-454732

    • squid2112 says:

      Squid, you can’t cook anything by simply wrapping it in a silvered space (emergency) blanket. Nobody said it was possible. It’s just stupid.

      Olaf, I think you misunderstood me. I apologize for not including some sort of /sarc symbolism. I was simply being snarky as I have heard that tired old argument (of the space blanket) so many times, usually a strong indicator that the author of the argument hasn’t a clue. I would hate to see one of them try to utilize their “space blanket” during an old fashioned North Dakota cold snap. Likely we would be throwing their dead carcass on the fire in the morning.

      • Olaf Koenders says:

        Sorry for my late reply Squid, but I think I may have overcooked my response to you. As an Australian, I’m not entirely familiar with N. Dakota temps, but I’m sure you’re right that a space blanket will not allow someone to survive the night – depending on ambient temperature, wind, precipitation or amount of hot soup available. I’d hate to test that theory personally.

  30. Steve is just doing this to watch the 2nd law people drool. LOL.

  31. Ben says:

    With apologies to Winston Churchill…

    Never have so few said so much to so many to clarify so little.

  32. DedaEda says:

    Lets get back to the basics. If the amount of energy from sun is the same, on a clear day in dry area the ground warms up fast and at night cools down fast. In a humid area, ground warms up much slower and to a lesser degree, due to evaporation and clouds. At night the water vapour cools and condenses, giving up the stored energy in all directions i.e. to ground and the space. Clouds also act as an insulating blanket. And here is the crux of the mater: in humid areas the ground always see much less net energy due to presence of water, than in the dry areas! It simply has a better insulation.

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