Proper Use Of Principles

The principle is :

Heat can only flow from a warmer place to a cooler place

The heat source is the sun. The sun irradiates the the Earth’s surface. As a first order principle, all of this heat has to return to space.

One of the things controlling the temperature is the efficiency of the atmosphere at returning the heat to space. If the atmosphere completely blocked the passage of heat, the earth’s surface would keep heating from solar radiation and get extremely hot. If the atmosphere provided no resistance to the passage of heat, the temperature would be cold.

Greenhouse gases are one of the factors which influence the atmosphere’s efficiency at returning the sun’s heat to the upper atmosphere, and thus help regulate the temperature of the atmosphere.

The heat source is the sun. Greenhouse gases are part of the thermostat. An increase in greenhouse gases will tend to raise the temperature near the surface, because they reduce the efficiency of the atmosphere at moving heat upwards through the lower levels of the atmosphere.

Now look at the principle again :

Heat can only flow from a warmer place to a cooler place

That is true, and it in no way supports the absolutely ridiculous claim that greenhouse gases can’t increase the temperature of the Earth’s surface. The heat source is the sun, which is continuously providing heat to the Earth. Of course the temperature can go up.

Don’t conflate heat flow and temperature. They are different beasts.

As to the actual total effect of adding CO2, that is an interesting, separate, and much more complex discussion,  A discussion which can’t be had while some skeptics are spreading complete bullshit claiming that greenhouse gases don’t exist.

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73 Responses to Proper Use Of Principles

  1. Mack says:

    “Some skeptics are spreading complete bullshit claiming that greenhouse gases don’t exist”
    I find it strange that you say that Steve, when only a little bit down this set of posts you’ve got one saying ” Shocking imagery of Greenhouse gases over Cozumel” . So it seems you are joking about this…or not?

  2. Pete Fox says:

    By golly Steve, I think you’re making great headway my friend! Well done. I’m still trying to get my head around why anyone would claim GH gasses don’t exist – except possibly AGW believers who raise this nonsense to cast a shadow on any thoughtful discussion to the contrary. It seems you’re striking nerves – makes me giggle with glee. Keep up the most excellent work you’re doing, so many including myself appreciate your insights.

    • Olaf Koenders says:

      Ditto. Although some characters might give you headaches Steve, I’m thoroughly enjoying this banter. It helps weed out the crazies I guess andhopefully it helps them understand.

      I’m also saving the planet. I removed my catalytic converter and replaced it with a glasspack sport muffler. It goes better and doesn’t puke out that evil CO2 anymore 😉

  3. Tel says:

    The Sun is hotter than the Earth. On this point I am in full agreement.

    The Sun is also hotter than Venus, Mars, etc. Always good to start negotiations with something that all parties can agree on.

    • Ben Vorlich says:

      As well as including all the variables, this is the hard part in Climate Scientology as there are both known unknowns and unknown unknowns (there always are).

  4. Joe P. says:

    “The heat source is the sun. Greenhouse gases are part of the thermostat. An increase in greenhouse gases will tend to raise the temperature near the surface, because they reduce the efficiency of the atmosphere at moving heat upwards through the lower levels of the atmosphere. ….. As to the actual total effect of adding CO2, that is an interesting, separate, and much more complex discussion”
    It is not all static at equilibrium. CO2 is a greenhouse gas and not “separate”. We have capture of LW radiation on way out, mainly at night, there is also H2O same, but all those clouds given aerosols to seed also keep some of sun’s radiation from heating earth as opposed to keeping AGW people who solely focus on LW on way out side, so while you have average temp at surface, I think is is more at diurnal temp range for greenhouse effect – warmer nights and cooler days, we can look at other planets and atmospheres, or moon. Massive DTR on moon, same for Mars with almost no atmosphere, yet 95% CO2, at least on equator (dust acts like greenhouse gas in south), maybe Mars was a bit different before before atmosphere escaped into space when magnetosphere got smaller letting in more of the solar wind and cosmic radiation, do not see to many going crazy over Earth’s magnetic field falling or 11 year variation in Sun’s protection, also have upper atmosphere cloud seeding here on opposite end of Mars and stripping. Yea “much more complicated.”

    • Robertv says:

      Warmer nights are a UHI effect. Outside the cities nights are not warmer.

    • Dave G says:

      In general, greenhouse gases don’t make days cooler. Water does because it has high heat capacity and requires latent heat to evaporate. Water is a GHG. But it is its non GHG properties that keep it cooler during the day.

  5. Coldlynx says:

    The devil is in the details.
    Littel bit less than 1/4 of the irridiance from the sun is heating the atmosphere direct without reaching Earth surface. More than 1/4 is reflected. Only half of the Sun irridiance is absorbed by Earth’s surface. 1/3 of the trapped irridiance heat the atmosphere and 2/3 heat the Earth.
    Earth is cooled by transfer heat to the atmosphere by evaporation, convection and only by a small number by radiation. Only a amall amount of total heat escape direct to space by radiation, that is the atmospheric window. The atmosphere block most of heat radiation from Earth due to the GHG. GHG is very efficient. So effient that more CO2 will not be able to heat the atmosphere by blocking more outgoing radiation from Earth surface. The atmospheric window cant be closed by the most common GFG in vapor form. Cloud close that window. You have showed that more CO2 will not have a impact in Your previous posts. The Atmosphere is in principle heated by direct sunshine, evaporation and convection. Not mainly by GHG. But then there is the other side of the coin. The atmosphere is also THE emitter of heat to space. And that is done by GHG in the atmosphere.
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/EnergyBalance/page6.php
    Of the atmosphere gross heat balance is heating due to radiation, that is GHG absorbation, only 5% of total heat flow. But GHG accounts for 59% of cooling. All done by GHG. That is a factor 10.
    CO2 block outgoing radiation to space very efficient all the way to an altitude with temperature of 220K . That is tropopause altitude or lower stratosphere.
    It is easy to measure from space: http://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/daly_spectra.gif
    More CO2 will have a larger impact of the Earth’s radiating cooling budget at that altitude towards space than it will on the radiating budget between earth and the atmosphere.

    That my friends may be a serious problem.
    Still it is within the principles.

    • davidswuk says:

      “That my friends may be a serious problem.”
      Fevers and chills are both part of the same package.

    • Edmonton Al says:

      Amount of CO2 in the atmosphere = 0.04% which = 0.0004 of the atmosphere.
      Man-made CO2 is 3% of that which = 0.0004×0.03 = 0.000012.
      Burning fossil fuels is about 50% of that.
      Therefore The amount of man-made CO2 from burning fossil fuels is about 0.000006 of the atmosphere.
      If you are telling me that this miniscule amount of CO2 can cause ice ages and catastrophic global warming
      then you are either pushing the Alarmist’s political agenda and/or a gullible ignorant fool.
      AND.. that the sun, Milankovitch cycles; continental drift; volcanism and earthquakes are not relevant
      is totally absurd.

    • R. Shearer says:

      Still oversimplified.

    • Andrew S says:

      Greatly oversimplified Earth heating budget assuming steady state(i.e.: no long term warming or cooling)
      Earth Heat Gains
      short-wave radiation from the sun……………34.7%
      long-wave radiation from the atmosphere………65.3%

      Earth Heat Losses
      Long-wave radiation to the atmosphere………..75.5%
      Long-wave radiation to space……………….. 4.1%
      Evaporation from oceans/lakes/land…………..15.6%
      Convection and conduction to atmosphere……… 4.8%

      Atmospheric Heat Gains
      Short-wave radiation from the sun……………11.9%
      Heat to atmosphere from condensation…………14.4%
      Heat to atmosphere from convection/conduction… 4.4%
      Long-wave radiation from earth………………69.4%

      Atmospheric Heat Losses
      Long-wave radiation Radiated to Space………..40.0%
      Long-wave radiation radiated to earth………..60.0%

      taken from http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/wea00/wea00082.htm

      • Steve Case says:

        Earth Heat Gain – long-wave radiation from the atmosphere………65.3%
        Atmospheric Heat Losses – Long-wave radiation radiated to earth………..60.0%

        And:

        Earth Heat Losses – Long-wave radiation to the atmosphere………..75.5%
        Atmospheric Heat Gains – Long-wave radiation from earth………………69.4%

        Doesn’t add up

        • Andrew S says:

          perhaps You’re comparing apples to oranges?
          Earth heat gains(solar + Atmospheric LWR) adds up to 100%
          Earth Heat Losses(all sub components) adds up to 100%

          Atmospheric Heat Gains (all sub components) adds up to 100%(100.1%)
          Atmospheric Heat Losses (LWR to space + LWR to Earth) adds up to 100%
          ~~~~
          it’s not a perfect world, remember this is greatly oversimplified anyway.

  6. davidswuk says:

    “As to the actual total effect of adding CO2, that is an interesting, separate, and much more complex discussion, A discussion which can’t be had while some skeptics are spreading complete bullshit claiming that greenhouse gases don’t exist.2
    From that paragraph it seems clear that you are seeking to avoid that discussion being held on you blog by intentionally provoking dispute over the nature of gases which may support the role of H2O in all its forms in helping smooth surface and lower trop temperatures as any meaningful debate HAS TO host differing views,
    Unless of course you merely wish to preach to a mindless congregation as do our real opponents.

    • Dave G says:

      No. That’s not what he’s saying. He’s saying he’s sticking to the basic fundamentals because too many people dont understand them. Learn how to read.

  7. Edmonton Al says:

    Statement;
    “A discussion which can’t be had while some skeptics are spreading complete bullshit claiming that greenhouse gases don’t exist.”
    Skeptics that do not believe the GHG Theory do not say the above. They call GHGs radiative gasses. The radiative gasses most certainly exist.
    The prime or main difference between GHG Theory believers and non-GHGT believers is the action of the gasses. GHG believers say that the gasses trap or impede heat flow and cause temperatures to rise, while non-believers of the GHG Theory say that the gasses take up the heat, expand and rise, thereby acting as a coolant. The hotter the sun the more rapid the vaporization rate.

    • Dave G says:

      So. Non ghgt believers think it’s more efficient cooling for the radiative gases to absorb LW and them rise… then to not have gases absorb the LW radiation at all? How is that possible?

    • Rick Fischer says:

      That cooling mechanism, to be true, requires that the GHG molecules absorb heat, becoming more energetic, and somehow they and only they keep their increased energy, so they and only they expand and rise. That can’t happen. The newly energetic molecules will transfer their energy to all atmospheric molecules they collide with. It is impossible for only a subset of molecules to be heated and retain that heat.

      • Tel says:

        It does not require any such thing. The air is mostly Nitrogen and Oxygen so if the heat passes to those gasses by ordinary collision between molecules then you still have a thermal updraft carrying the heat away. For convection purposes, one mass is as good as any other.

        The real question is whether the heat re-radiates as infra red (i.e. what goes in comes straight back out again) or whether it dispurses amongst nearby atoms.

  8. Edmonton Al says:

    Planet Earth is an open system. A real greenhouse is a closed system.
    The real greenhouse traps heat because of the glass roof.
    As soon as one opens the roof vents, whoosh, the hot air rises and cold comes in to replace it, and temp goes down,
    because it has become an open system.
    My pressure cooker cooks faster because it is a closed system, and traps heat. Open the pressure valve and heat drops
    When a hot air balloonist turns the burner on to heat the air in his balloon, the balloon rise as the hot air expands.
    The balloon does not stay at ground level and heat up the nearby air. It rises, and keeps rising depending on the balloon pilot’s
    Operation of the burner. More heat–rise; less heat—sink.
    Back to the boiling water; The more heat from the burner, the faster the water boils; the water is still @ 100C.
    Likewise, the hotter the sun the more rapid the evaporation of the water on the earth.
    The water cycle carries heat [heat of vaporization], from the earth’s surface to upper level of the atmosphere,
    where it gives up heat [heat of condensation].
    I maintain that like the boiling water, [where the temp stays the same], that, on the surface of the earth when the water is evaporating
    The temp stays the same. The water vapor is carrying the extra heat but the temperature is not up.
    The water vapor picks up the heat upon vaporization; expands and rises. It does not hang around and heat up the atmosphere at ground level.
    IMO.

    • Dave G says:

      In general yes, but that has nothing to do with the GHE. As Tony says all these other things are very important to. We do not understand all the factors that affect the vaporization and condensation processes. There are many days with high humidity and few clouds… no rain… very warm and humid nights in tropics.

    • A “real greenhouse” is no more a “closed system” than is the rest of the atmosphere. A greenhouse loses exactly the same amount of heat as it absorbs. minus the heat which is incorporated in the plants grown inside.

      • bleakhouses says:

        I think this is the crux of the problem; the understanding of what a “greenhouse” is. Most people think of it as a closed system. The misunderstanding then of the Greenhouse Effect by the general public has been a valuable rhetorical tool in the propagandists’ tool box.

        • R. Shearer says:

          Yeah, any suggestions for a better, more accurate term?

          I hate it when people call carbon dioxide emissions, “carbon” emissions. That is completely anti-science. Science should be about making more precise and accurate descriptions and better predictions over time.

      • Andrew S says:

        Most commercial Greenhouses are not passive systems depending only on solar input but have an internal heat source such as steam radiators to extend the growing season. IMHO the comparison of the whole of Earth’s Atmosphere to a Greenhouse is a bogus one. Isn’t there a better, more accurate term to use than GHG’s?

        • higley7 says:

          The GHG definition is indeed not the same as for a real greenhouse. That’s the problem, as the two concepts are easily confused. GHGs are supposed to absorb IR and re-emit it, some downward, and heat the surface. As the energy levels of the surface are always full for that IR radiation, the surface always being warmer, the IR radiation is reflected back upwards.

          CO2 can only absorb IR in very narrow ranges of wavelength and, also, half of these overlap with those of water vapor. Thus, most of the IR radiation from the surface passes right out to space. The ability of CO2 to have the magnitude of the effect they claim is greatly overblown, IMHO. That is not to say it does nothing, but it is likely undetectable in size and changes in its effect with small changes in CO2 concentration in the upper atmosphere are even smaller.

      • mkelly says:

        In thermodynamics, a closed system can exchange energy (as heat or work) but not matter, with its surroundings.

        By definition I would think physical greenhouse is in fact a closed system.

    • Curt says:

      Al: You say,”Planet Earth is an open system. A real greenhouse is a closed system.
      The real greenhouse traps heat because of the glass roof. As soon as one opens the roof vents, whoosh, the hot air rises and cold comes in to replace it, and temp goes down,
      because it has become an open system.”

      In thermodynamics, an open system can exchange mass and energy with its surroundings. A closed system can exchange energy but not mass with its surroundings. (An isolated system can exchange neither.)

      So both a greenhouse with a closed roof and the earth/atmosphere system are closed systems. In a greenhouse, the closed roof makes it a closed system, and reduces energy losses to ambient by impeding convection. For the earth, the GHG reduce energy losses by impeding radiation.

      In both cases, once the surface temperature is increased by the inhibition of heat losses, other mechanisms kick in to moderate (but not eliminate) this effect. In the greenhouse, you will find a vertical stratification of temperature so the air temperature at the height of the glass roof is higher than below. This increases conductive losses through the glass roof compared to what they would be without this effect, moderating the (real) “greenhouse effect” here.

      In the case of the earth atmosphere, the increased temperature of the surface resulting from the inhibition of radiative losses to ambient space cause conductive/convective and evaporative losses from the surface that moderate (but not eliminate) this effect.

  9. Robertv says:

    So what has changed in the last 65 million years. It looks like the input is less then the output.

    We know that the corona of the sun is much hotter than the surface of the sun. So it must be the corona warming the surface of the sun.

    • Right. My cigarette is warmer than my body, so the cigarette is warming my body.

      (I don’t really smoke.)

    • higley7 says:

      The corona may be a million degrees, but the mass having that temperature is relatively low and any radiation radiates out in all directions, of which we receive little. No, it’s the intense visible and UV form the 6000 deg C solar surface (plenty hot) that heats the planet.

  10. bleakhouses says:

    Im still trying to understand the argument that GHGs are a “one-way” insulator; that is, without considering any of the obvious variables (total irradiance, albedo, etc) that they only keep in upIP and do not equally effect downIR.

    • bleakhouses says:

      Sorry, “upIR” not “upIP.” Its too early to be proofreading I guess.

        • bleakhouses says:

          I don’t think that article addresses the issue. The author again makes a “side” assertion that if I understand physics, and I admit Im punching above my weight class when I try, that does not exist. I think the author even validates my point, and diminishes his own “side” assertion, when he discusses the relativity of photons (I’ve been struggling with a deep dive into relativity these days too having viewed Interstellar with a couple of inquisitive teenagers), for if those photons have no destination and do not experience spacetime then they do not see “sides” either. No? “Sides” cannot exist in spacetime if I grasp the theory.

          Regardless, if the GHG molecules insulate a particular IR wavelength then they should insulate equally from all “sides” regardless of the source. What then is the argument for a physical distinction between downwelling and upwelling IR?

      • Edmonton Al says:

        Try this……………
        http://principia-scientific.org/publications/New_Concise_Experiment_on_Backradiation.pdf.
        Maybe something will click for you…

        • bleakhouses says:

          This is understand, but its not what I am questioning.
          What I am questioning is during sunlight hours.
          No sunlight, no IR so not an issue.
          With sunlight there is downIR and upIR occurring together.
          Maybe its just simply that the warmists are ignoring that the GHGs, CO2 in particular, become IR saturated.
          Without considering saturation you can argue for their “feedback loop,” but you still have to account for the fact that if the low atmosphere GHGs are preventing the escape of upIR they have to be preventing the entry of downIR.
          The argument is fallacious.

    • Curt says:

      bleakhouses: GHGs are almost entirely transparent to visible light and near IR (the principle components of sunlight — wavelengths LONGER THAN 4um comprise well under 1% of solar radiation). However, they are significantly opaque to many of the wavelengths of the far IR that the earth’s surface emits (less than 1% of which has wavelengths SHORTER THAN 4um). So they prevent a significant percentage of the earth’s radiant energy from escaping directly to space.

      That’s how it can be a one-way insulator.

      • Baa Humbug says:

        IR from a 6000K source is ALWAYS higher (stronger if u will) than IR from a 288K source.

      • Curt says:

        “stronger if u will”

        No I won’t. That’s a completely meaningless statement. What the heck are you trying to say?

      • davidswuk says:

        That One% of Solar radiation longer than 4um is around Three Times as strong as Earth radiation at that length AND WHICH is of course seriously impeded by IR absorbent gases as the available data displays by way of the full Solar spectrum.
        Heat content of this and even further !R is so insignificant as to not be a player in the GW Stakes.
        In my book anyway.

  11. theyouk says:

    Robertv–Your last comment reminded me that the Earth’s Ionosphere can reach over 400 degrees F; yet we do not (to the best of my knowledge) view the ionosphere as heating the surface of the Earth.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but while the indicated temperature of the corona or ionosphere is high, the actual heat (incorporating mass into the equation) is far less than on the surface of the Sun or Earth.

    (I got into an argument with my 6th grade science teacher back in 1977/78 about this point, as a test question asked ‘what is the hottest part of the atmosphere?’ and I’d answered “the ionosphere!” I was correct in terms of a reading on a thermometer, but not the total heat present.)

    Tony/others–corrections/clarifications invited, pls.

  12. Baa Humbug says:

    This is a terrific post, thanx Tony.
    Here are a few of my thoughts…

    One of the things controlling the temperature is the efficiency of the atmosphere at returning the heat to space. If the atmosphere completely blocked the passage of heat, the earth’s surface would keep heating from solar radiation and get extremely hot. If the atmosphere provided no resistance to the passage of heat, the temperature would be cold.

    I agree about efficiency, I also agree about a blocking atmosphere, so long as we’re aware that no such thing can exist.
    Basically this is about emissivity. If the source of heat is constant, the only way to change the temperature is to change the emissivity otherwise the S/Boltzman equation wouldn’t work.
    In my mind this now becomes a simpler question which is “Do greenhouse gasses – namely H2O and CO2 – change the emissivity of the earth atmosphere system and if so in which direction.”
    The question might be simpler but the answer is not.

    An increase in greenhouse gases will tend to raise the temperature near the surface, because they reduce the efficiency of the atmosphere at moving heat upwards through the lower levels of the atmosphere.

    I’m not so sure that that’s true all the time. We know that enormous amounts of heat is transported up by water in all its forms. That’s a cooling effect and it has to be balanced against any warming effect.
    In this world, water atop ground cannot be seperated from any of its other forms or locations because they are NOT seperate. If we insist on seperating water and its forms, then we are not talking about the real world therefore this is all irrelevant regarding sceptics versus warmists versus flat earthers. It means we haven’t determined the effect of the REAL GREENHOUSE WE LIVE IN.

    The heat source is the sun, which is continuously providing heat to the Earth. Of course the temperature can go up.

    Again this is conflating the real world we live in with a hypothetical one. The only places on this planet where the sun shines continuously is up at the very top bit and alternately at the very bottom bit both for a very short time. Everywhere else the surface and top of atmosphere gets a break from the heat source. THIS IS IMPORTANT because now I have to determine if GHGs have the same effect day and night.
    Just like your example of desert nights being cold and tropical nights being warm has been used as evidence of warming by GHGs, desert days and tropical days have been used as evidence of cooling by GHGs. Cooling is also supported by the fact that tropical mornings are almost always warmer than desert mornings but never reach as high temperatures as deserts during the course of the day. Slower warming means cooling. If I’m to accept that slower cooling is warming, then I’d have to accept that slower warming is cooling. Thermos comes to mind.

    A discussion which can’t be had while some skeptics are spreading complete bullshit claiming that greenhouse gases don’t exist.

    I accept that H2O and CO2 are greenhouse gasses, but I’ve yet to be convinced if they warm, cool or just redistribute heat in our greenhouse.
    thnx

  13. richard says:

    “The heat source is the sun. Greenhouse gases are part of the thermostat. An increase in greenhouse gases will tend to raise the temperature near the surface”

    I have an electric shower you turn it on and the water runs past the element, heating, at 2 gallons per minute. I increase the flow to 5 gallons per minute , does this mean the water gets hotter,

  14. higley7 says:

    “If the atmosphere completely blocked the passage of heat, the earth’s surface would keep heating from solar radiation and get extremely hot. If the atmosphere provided no resistance to the passage of heat, the temperature would be cold.”

    The last phrase, “the temperature would be cold,” seems to mean the temperature of the surface. In direct sunlight with no atmosphere, the temperature would be quite hot, like the sunny side of the moon, at 123 C, with only IR radiation emissions to shed energy. Only on the darkside would it be cold at -153 C (climate models use sunlight 24/7, so that makes the surface quite hot). With an atmosphere, regardless of the gas composition, the surface has more than just radiative means for shedding energy. Conduction and convection, with concurrent water evaporation, are estimated to be responsible for about 85% of the energy transfer from the surface to altitude. Thus, radiation is only about 15% and the radiative gases, CO2 and water vapor, being more spread out at altitude, interfere with a small proportion of this. So, small changes in CO2 in the upper atmosphere are going to cause very small changes in the surface/atmosphere energy transfer. Temperature changes on the surface will likely be undetectable from the normal noise.

    Remember, the upper tropical troposphere has shown no increased temperature over the last thirty years and, in fact, has shown a slight cooling in recent years (NASA). Increased CO2 is doing nothing there, but, perhaps, with its ability to convert heat energy to IR radiation, CO2 is cooling the upper troposphere, particularly at night. Remember that water vapor will have decreased with altitude as it condenses.

  15. Stephen Richards says:

    Try this. The sun emits a spectrum of radiations from sub light to Xrays and beyond. So incoming radiation also includes the same energy as outgoing radiation (sorry I’m struggling with my english). So all GHGs absorp the same energies of incoming radiation as is re-emited from the surface. The velocity of transfer of radiation between molecules and atoms is extremely fast (witness the rate at which the air cools on a still clear night). Water pretty much absorps at the same energies (hµ mu) as CO². So how much does CO² contribute to increasing temperature.

    I noted that Tony said GHGs. So H²O, CO² etc and even N² and O² take up some of the kinetic motion created by incoming radiation.
    So incoming radiation, H²O at ~ 1000 times partial pressure of CO²: human contribution of CO² ~ 0;

  16. Stephen Richards says:

    Oh and yes CO² absorps energy and re-emits and the same frequency so you might say it warms us by delay.

  17. Andrew S says:

    I don’t know if this idea is off the mark or not: The Daily Barometric Wave; http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0469%281955%29012%3C0394%3APCTATD%3E2.0.CO%3B2

    Is actually a doubled pressure wave with the highest pressures measures at 10A and 10P respectively.
    Diurnal Pressure Variation: http://www-das.uwyo.edu/~geerts/cwx/notes/chap01/diurnal.html

    Why Atmospheric Pressure Peaks At 10am And 10pm In The Tropics:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081203092437.htm

    We know that an increase of pressure increases temperature, and assumably the opposite is true as well, that a decrease of pressure will cause a corresponding decrease of Temp. As in Venus’ CF to Earth’s atmospheres.

    On the day side of Earth the solar wind pushes the magnetosphere towards the surface and this also pushes on the atmosphere increasing pressure, and in addition to incoming shortwave radiation accounting for most of daytime heating, this daily barometric wave may also account for some small portion of daytime temperature rise.
    On the Night side of Earth the magnetotail is stretched out much farther by the solar wind. Here’s the question I don’t know the answer to(but maybe it’s a dumb question?): With the stretching out of the magnetotail, how much of the upper layers of atmosphere are also pulled away from Earth? And would this include carrying any heat away into outer space?
    any thoughts? just wondering…

  18. Smokey says:

    Sure, CO2 matters. But not very much, at current concentrations.

    At current levels, global temperature changes due to a rise in CO2 are too small to even measure:

    The temperature effect of adding more CO2 beyond 400 ppm is minuscule. It is down in the noise. At these levels CO2 is a third-order forcing, which is swamped by second-order forcings — and both of them are swamped by first-order forcings. That’s why there are no empirical, testable measurements of AGW. It’s there, but it is simply too small to measure.

  19. Centinel2012 says:

    Reblogged this on Centinel2012 and commented:
    Greenhouse gases are “real” the only issue is what the real sensitivity value is? Hansen and the IPCC think it is 3.0 degrees C per doubling and more current work supports that it is less that half that value (I agree with the half crowd). If the half group is right than the entire concept goes away!

  20. omanuel says:

    Is it possible, Steven, that the observation, “Heat can only flow from a warmer place to a cooler place”, simply reflects the fact that hotter bodies emit more energetic photons (shorter wavelength) than cooler bodies and the direction of the universe is determined by conversion of high energy quanta to lower energy
    quanta?

  21. Bob Knows says:

    Most heat transfer in the atmosphere is by convection, not conduction or radiation. Warm air expands and rises, taking the heat with it.

  22. Baa Humbug says:

    I’m stating a fact Curt.
    Planck curve of radiation from Earth can easily fit under the planck curve of solar radiation.
    Solar radiation AT ALL WAVELENGTHS is stronger than terrestrial radiation.
    (Distance is a huge factor but the above remains a statement of fact)

  23. Sleepalot says:

    Frankly, I’m disappointed. Given the title “Proper Use Of Principles”, I thought you were about to
    offer some sage advice from your knowledge of the philosophy of science.
    What you did was merely pick a principle, and apply it *improperly*.

    Istm that didactics produces dialectic.
    You try to instruct the ignorant, such as myself, on the correct way to think about a problem –
    that’s didactics – yet *because of what you know*, you seem to be unable to consider any other pov: that’s the achievement of dialectic – to inhibit thought.

    Your chosen principle was:- “Heat can only flow from a warmer place to a cooler place.”
    I think that statement is dependent on a particular meaning of the word “heat” – which ought then be defined. I think it’s something to do with energy contained by matter, as opp. to radiant energy – which can, of course, go in any direction, regardless of the temperature of any other object – but Iana scientist.

    Then you say: – “The heat source is the sun. The sun irradiates the the Earth’s surface.”
    Immeadiately, you seem to be using “heat” in a different sense.
    Did you intend me to understand that the hot Sun is radiating to “cold” space, thus obeying the stated principle? I don’t think you were, but I genuinely don’t know.

    Then you say “As a first order principle, all of this heat has to return to space.”
    Again, you imply that space is cold, but if heat is energy contained by matter, and space is devoid of matter, then space cannot be hot or cold, can it?

    Istm that you fail at didactics: you do not spell out precisely what you mean to say – and I really do need it to be spelled out to me.
    Otoh, you seem to have achieved dialectic: you ignore the idea that the Earth is a source of heat
    (chemical, biochemical, electromagnetic induction, nuclear decay,…), and you ignore time as
    being necessary to obey the priciple: objects radiate according to their temperature, emissivity,
    and so on – it takes time for real objects to cool, and you ignore retention of solar energy as
    chemical energy, etc (eg photosythesis, peat and coal,…).

    It seems to me to be a matter of faith, that the Earth radiates as much energy as it recieves – at any timescale. I do not share that faith. I live in a world where Solar input varies on all timescales and Earth output varies on all timescales *independantly of the solar input*.

    It seems to me the proper use of principles is for simple theoretical models, not complex, dynamic,
    real-world systems. I seem to have disobeyed your principle all my life – staying warm despite constantly loosing heat.

    Speaking of models, I see disagreement over the question of the earth being an “open” or closed system”. It’d help if those terms were defined. (I don’t know the answer. I imagine the universe is a “closed system”, bicbw)

    • Go Canucks!! says:

      I think you should look up the definitions that you are having problems with. Try Wikipedia. The definitions that you are having trouble with, such as ‘heat’, are standard scientific fare. Their use in physics and especially radiative physics are well worn.

  24. Richard Lee Stevens says:

    Please do not state that heat can only flow from high temperature to low temperature. It is simply not true. Heat flows from low temperature to high temperature in a refrigerator, in a heat pump and sometimes during evaporative cooling. Evaporative cooling occurs quite a lot in the Earth’s atmosphere.

    • Gail Combs says:

      NET heat flows from high to low UNLESS work is done such as with a heat pump or in a refrigerator.

      The second law of thermodynamics is a general principle which places constraints upon the direction of heat transfer and the attainable efficiencies of heat engines. In so doing, it goes beyond the limitations imposed by the first law of thermodynamics. It’s implications may be visualized in terms of the waterfall analogy….
      http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/seclaw.html

      The website goes on to discuss
      Second Law
      statements
      Heat engine
      Refrigerator
      Entropy
      Heat transfer
      Second law concepts
      Heat engine concepts

    • Heat is removed from the refrigerator by creating a nearby location colder than the temperature of the refrigerator. Please do not state nonsense .

  25. bwdave says:

    Heat can only flow freely from high temperature to low temperature.

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