All Energy Transfer Is Due to Differences In Energy

Venus is very hot, but has no weather. This is partly because they have a uniform temperature across the surface, day and night. There is no mechanism to produce heat flow. The Arctic is very cold, but has a large flow of heat, as indicated by the high frequency of storms.. Heat and temperature are different things, and should nt be conflated.

Heat flow is driven by differences in energy. Storms occur at frontal boundaries, because there is warm moist air on one side, and cold dry air on the other side.

Electricity flow is driven by differences in energy. When you purchase a 1.5 volt battery, it has 1.5 volts difference between the two terminals. Over time, the voltage difference decreases and the amount of power the batter can generate can degrade.

People build dams to increase the potential energy upstream. Similar to the glass in the greenhouse, the dam creates a large difference in potential energy across a short distance. That is why dams can generate electricity.

The  reason that the climate debate is such a complete mess, is that people on both sides jump into calculating details, without establishing whether their theory agrees with basic principles.

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63 Responses to All Energy Transfer Is Due to Differences In Energy

  1. exmaschine says:

    If I remember correctly- from my long ago HVAC courses, It’s Entropy, yes? The delta in temp will be created from the flow of warm object(s) to cooler object(s) or in another way, the transfer of kinetic energy from one medium to another. Or am I off here…

  2. John B., M.D. says:

    This may also explain why tornadoes are becoming less severe and less frequent. AGW theory tells us there is “polar amplification,” which reduces the temperature gradient between the Artic and the tropics, thus reducing energy transfer between the two air masses. Alarmists tell us it is about avg temperature when it is really about temperature gradients.

  3. Svend Ferdinandsen says:

    “Heat flow is driven by differences in energy” a very bad point, and 1.5V is only potential.
    I think it is the temperature difference. I have not seen any heatflow between petrol and water unless they have different temperature.
    Or think of 1kg water at 10C and 1kg air at 20C. The water has more “energy” but the heat flows from the air to the water.

    • Olaf Koenders says:

      As in a battery, the water has more capacity, or amp hours than air. Regardless, the air has the higher potential, or voltage.

      I’m not sure if you understand energy flow through different mediums.

    • Michael 2 says:

      “I think it is the temperature difference.”

      Precisely so. Temperature is to heat energy as voltage is to electrical energy, the pressure of the push.

  4. Wizzum says:

    Just like weight and mass, Some people never get it that they are different things.

  5. talldave2 says:

    I’ve been puzzling over the Venusian “greenhouse effect” or lack theoreof.

    Is it accurate to say the Sun is the primary heat source for the Venusian atmosphere? Given that the planetary subduction events happen on scales of tens of millions of years, I assume the planet’s internal heat is not a large factor, but I’m not whether this is known with certainty.

    Venus has a higher albedo, but is also closer to the Sun. I believe the latter roughly doubles the energy it receives relative to Earth, and I think the former roughly halves it. I have not found an unimpeachable resource for these claims, though.

    So assuming the above is accurate, we could say that Earth’s and Venus’ atmospheres both receive roughly the same amount of heating, and have a similar lapse rate. So Venus’ surface is much, much hotter than Earth’s because the equilibrium temperature for radiating heat is much higher at the Venusian surface due to the much more massive atmosphere between the surface and the coldness of interplanetary space.

    It also seems trivially obvious that if you reduced the Venusian atmosphere to Terran densities, the surface would cool dramatically, and if you increased the Earth’s atmosphere to Venusian densities the equilibrium temperature would be much higher.

    So I guess one would say there is a Venusian greenhouse effect, but the difference between greenhouse effects on Earth and Venus is driven by the difference in atmospheric mass far more than by difference in atmospheric composition.

    • nielszoo says:

      It’s a nomenclature thing. I’d prefer referring to an atmosphere effect or gas law pressure effect or something that describes the physical process. Atmospheres don’t work like greenhouses. The Climateers keep up the “greenhouse effect” and “greenhouse gas” labeling because it causes confusion. Make a label scary and then when you need to scare the ignorant, use the label instead of science. That works in their favor because the people they’re trying to scare don’t understand thermodynamics, gas law, gas constants, emissivity or lapse rate and the people in the press (that are on the CAGW team) can say any scary thing they want to about “runaway greenhouse effects” ’cause it has zero scientific meaning… it’s just another inaccurate label.

    • nickreality65 says:

      Barring some serious flaw in science or method, Miatello’s paper should be the death certificate for AGW/CCC.

      Click to access PSI_Miatello_Refutation_GHE.pdf

    • A C Osborn says:

      The answer is it is mostly due to the mass of Venus’ atmosphere.
      See this article about Uranus, it is much farther from the sun but also much hotter.

  6. nielszoo says:

    Or more succinctly… entropy always wins.

  7. Coldlynx says:

    Heat flow is energy per second. Driven by a temperature difference.
    “Someone” wrote a couple of days ago:
    “The principle is :
    Heat can only flow from a warmer place to a cooler place”
    Regarding batteries and dams:
    Enthalpy is a thermodynamic potential.

    • bwdave says:

      Enthalpy is heat per unit mass. Temperature is potential.

      • Coldlynx says:

        “Heat is defined in physics as the transfer of thermal energy across a well-defined boundary around a thermodynamic system. The thermodynamic free energy is the amount of work that a thermodynamic system can perform. Enthalpy is a thermodynamic potential, designated by the letter “H”, that is the sum of the internal energy of the system (U) plus the product of pressure (P) and volume (V). Joule is a unit to quantify energy, work, or the amount of heat.”

        From Wiki

        • bwdave says:

          The Wiki article suffers a severe case of noble cause corruption. It is densely myopic, and obfuscates to the point of being ridiculous. It is obvious their intent is to maintain confusion. They describe heat only as a verb, It is also a noun (but my attempted Google search returns only Miami Heat), heat is quantified as enthalpy in classical thermodynamics. If you want to avoid the “Lysenko”-type propaganda, look at some Thermodynamics texts written no later than the ’70s.

  8. R. Shearer says:

    Just to expound on the analogies, bigger reservoirs and bigger batteries, can supply greater current and hence power, even though the potential is the same. Size matters.

    • Svend Ferdinandsen says:

      But you only need a tiny little battery with the opposite potential to stop the current, and you can not use a very very large dam, if you dont have a place to poor the water DOWN. Get it?

      • Olaf Koenders says:

        By “opposite potential” I assume you’re attaching the battery positive to the negative etc. Doing that will release the power of the larger battery and explode the smaller one, even if they have the same voltage. In that case the battery with the higher capacity will win.

        • R. Shearer says:

          Having done that experiment as a child, that was my observation,

        • Michael 2 says:

          No, he means a 9 volt battery with 100 mah storage capacity will successfully stop the current of a 9 volt source with hundreds of amp-hour capacity, positive-to-positive. The little radio battery has the same exact “push” (voltage) as the huge battery that has the same voltage.

      • R. Shearer says:

        Little current will flow in a tiny resistor of high resistance. A little Dutch boy can stop a leaking dyke with his finger (snicker).

        • Mark Luhman says:

          Olaf I assume you know why the smaller battery failed it not about the potential energy of the two batteries it about the internal resistance of the two batteries. What you have with you battery experiment is created a short, causing current to flow unrestricted through the batteries, the reason the smaller will explode first is it has a higher internal resistance so it will heat up faster, that cause it to fail first. The reason that small batteries with the exception of lithium batteries normally don’t explode only heat up in a short it there internal resistance limit the current flow to manageable levels in the two battery example you gave with a larger to a smaller the voltage is doubled and there is a mismatch of impedance doming the one with the higher internal resistance. If you take any high energy battery and short it out with a large enough conductor where the conductor does not fail first the battery will heat up and explode or catch fire, that is a real problem with lithium ion batteries. Short them out and they tend to catch fire. If and when we get electric car batteries with enough energy to compete with the energy in 20 gallons of gas you will have a problem in accidents where the batteries will violent blow up, unlike gasoline where it and it vapors, during many car accidents fuel and vapors can flow out of the tank, that can lead to the energy dispersing lesioning the explosion, a battery will not do that it will release its energy in a compact area and rapidly with the look and feel of an bomb. You simple cannot store that much energy in a small space and release it rapidly without a disastrous outcome. Again I assume I just repeating what you already know.

        • Olaf Koenders says:

          No Mark. What I noted to Svend was that if you attach a smaller battery to a larger one of the SAME POTENTIAL in OPPOSING polarity, the potential (voltage) of the smaller battery won’t stop the current flow of the larger one but it will be destroyed because its capacity is less than the larger battery. It’s all about the opposing polarity and capacity in this instance, not internal resistance, which I assumed for this example were identical.

          The reason the smaller one explodes first is not because of internal resistance, but because the current of the larger capacity battery is being forced through the smaller one that’s attached in opposing polarity. The smaller battery’s limited capacity can’t cope and loses. It doesn’t want to run in opposing polarity.

          However, batteries of differing capacities but IDENTICAL POTENTIAL can be attached in LIKE POLARITY and damage won’t occur, because there’s no current flow. A higher potential is required to create current flow and internal resistance is of no consequence in this instance.

          “If you take any high energy battery and short it out with a large enough conductor where the conductor does not fail first the battery will heat up and explode or catch fire, that is a real problem with lithium ion batteries.”

          So with a large enough conductor (low resistance) the battery is able to be destroyed. Now you’ve proven it’s not about internal resistance of the smaller battery. That’s just a direct short – not what I was talking about.

          BTW, lithium batteries aren’t the only ones that can catch fire or explode when shorted.

          When you do have a differing internal resistance, the battery with the greater begins to heat up. If they both have low voltage and high internal resistance, a fire isn’t likely. But the battery with greater capacity will kill the smaller one if connected in opposing polarity.

        • Olaf Koenders says:

          Mark, I just wanted to remind you that internal resistance of a battery rises the more it’s discharged. If this occurs rapidly, the battery gets hot and heat creates even more resistance to electrical flow. The result is the same. A discharged battery has a higher resistance than a charged identical one.

    • Olaf Koenders says:

      But a 12V car battery can’t charge a tiny battery of the same voltage. But a tiny battery at 13V can charge a car battery that’s at 12V, although the charging won’t last long because the tiny battery has little capacity.

      Energy always seeks equilibrium.

      • cdquarles says:

        You need 14.1V to charge a lead/lead dioxide battery.

        • Olaf Koenders says:

          I don’t think a lead “di-oxide” battery exists. Lead “oxide” is lead rust, basically. But we’ll call them lead-acid because that’s what a car battery usually is.

          Most car alternators output 13.8V to charge their batteries. That’s plenty of potential. More current, such as 40, 80 or 120 amps can be output from the alternator to charge the battery faster, but there is a limit or you’ll kill the battery.

          It doesn’t matter too much what voltage it is. a 12V battery can be charged with 12.1V, but how long do you want to wait? It only matters that the charging device has greater potential (voltage). I wouldn’t want to charge a 12V battery with 24V though. It’s likely to hurt the battery.

          Whatever gave you the idea that anything less than 14.1V won’t charge a 12V car battery?

        • cdquarles says:

          1. My auto’s alternator outputs 14.1V. I’ve tested it. 2. Overpotential required for a lead/lead dioxide electrode, sulfuric acid electrolyte battery my car uses. See: I didn’t say it wouldn’t charge it, but it will not charge it properly and reduce the life of the battery. If my alternator’s regulator is failing, it will either output too high a voltage for the set current, overheating the battery and cause electrolyte loss plus excessive hydrogen production or it will output too low a voltage, and thus not fully and correctly charge it, leading to internal lead sulfate shorts.

        • Olaf Koenders says:

          You didn’t mention that the battery was in use on a car whilst charging. I was assuming static on a bench with no drain, which was the point of the discussion.

          At times my regulator puts out 16 – 17V. It depends on where the regulator’s set for a nominal potential, which obviously changes depending on the battery’s state of charge.

          Newer cars tend to have more electronics and therefore their alternators have to work harder. Besides, 0.3V isn’t much to quibble about.

          Although lower charge rates may damage certain batteries, “trickle” charging is used for a reason.

        • Michael 2 says:

          Anything above 12.6 volt will charge lead/acid, but not very fast since that’s about float potential. A typical charge voltage is 13.6. Keeping a battery on 14.1 charge will eventually destroy it but is a good way to start the charge and equalize the cells.

  9. B Buckner says:

    Steven Goddard – I think you need to weigh in on whether America was correct, in a physical sense, in singing (in A Horse With No Name) that “the heat was hot.”

  10. PJ London says:

    “There is no mechanism to produce heat flow. ” so what is the mechanism that transfers (creates a flow of ) heat from the sun to Venus?

    Either your command of English is lousy or your grasp of Physics.

    • Olaf Koenders says:

      PJ, your reading comprehension skills seem severely limited. In that context Steve was talking about weather, not heat flow from the Sun to Venus.

      If you wish to spout inanities and simply flame those that provide evidence which you don’t understand, may I suggest you take a big gulp of STFU..

    • R. Shearer says:

      It’s radiative heat transfer.

  11. Please forgive this electrical engineer, but a “dead” battery still measures 1.5V (using a high impedance voltmeter). What happens is the internal resistance of the battery goes up and the dead battery cannot supply enough current. The hydroelectric analogy is that he pipe through which the water flows to the generator shrinks (its resistance rises) and the dam cannot supply enough energy.

    • Olaf Koenders says:

      That’s right Charles. A dead battery can be one that’s:

      1. used its potential beyond satisfactory performance,
      2. one with an internal short that leaks away the potential, or
      3. one that has a high internal resistance beyond suitable use.

      Nice analogy re the water pipe..

  12. Ben says:


    New headline for you
    “Robot fails to tow the alarmist line, reports thicker than expected Antarctic sea ice.”

    “It’s like you worst nightmare, isn’t it? It keeps getting worse and worse, doesn’t it?” Grady Seasons, Color of Money.

  13. davidswuk says:

    This discussion is going downhill………………….

  14. Truthseeker says:

    Storms severity, tornado frequency and severity and other intense weather events have all declined as the planet warmed from the little ice age. The polar regions would see the most warming as they are the colder areas and therefore have the greater energy difference to drive the energy flow.

    Now that the polar regions are getting colder and average temperatures are going down in the real world, we can expect to see an increase in the severity and frequency of intense weather events over the coming decades. This will be driven by an increasing energy differential between the polar regions and the tropics. Liquid water and water vapour will the main mechanism of the transfer, not the cause of the energy differential.

  15. Centinel2012 says:

    Reblogged this on Centinel2012 and commented:
    Amen to that!

  16. nickreality65 says:

    Venus has no water.

    Barring some serious flaw in science or method, Miatello’s paper should be the death certificate for AGW/CCC.

    Click to access PSI_Miatello_Refutation_GHE.pdf

  17. talldave2, November 24, 2014 at 6:48 pm
    Carl Sagan explained the high surface temperature on Venus in 1967 even though he was not sure whether CO2 or Nitrogen dominated the atmospheric composition. Here is a link to a correction he published when he realized that the specific heat of CO2 at constant pressure was dependent on pressure:

    Almost 50 years later we have the Magellan probe and much more sophisticated models for calculating temperature gradients in planetary atmospheres. IMHO the best analysis available today is by Robinson & Catling. I am trying to reproduce (or falsify) their work using engineering software (Finite Element Analysis):

    Currently I am modeling the atmosphere of Venus encouraged by the accuracy of my lunar model:


    • Robertv says:

      Let’s build a greenhouse on the moon. What gas would do the trick for the greenhouse to function like it does on Earth ?

      • Olaf Koenders says:

        Air. But much radiation shielding should also be added since there isn’t a 10 mile thick blanket of air above that greenhouse on the Moon as there is here.

    • A C Osborn says:

      Have you seen my note above about Uranus?
      Atmosphere hot enough to melt steel and it is no where the sun.

  18. A C Osborn says:

    If as Steve says it takes a boundary between a hot and cold atmosphere to create a storm, how come so many Storms are birthed in Pacific?
    The arctic does not appear come in to that equation at all.

    • The Earth’s entire heat engine is due to differences in temperature between the tropics and the polar regions. There would be no weather if they were at the same temperature.

    • Michael 2 says:

      S.G. is right but I’ll add a nuance. Three atmosphere circulation zones exist between equator and pole. At the equator, warm moist air rises because of its heat energy. It then spreads out, half going north, half south. At some point about 30 degrees latitude it comes down, but now it is very dry having rained out its moisture going up. This particular zone is called a Hadley Cell and if you live where it comes down, you are in a desert and there’s not much you can do about it.

      The poles have a similar feature but opposite direction — cold air comes down to the surface over the pole and spreads out along the surface, creating some rather high winds.

      Between these two zones you have a third created on its southern edge (about 30 degrees latitude) by the downflow of Hadley cell, and on its northern edge rising with the Polar cell. (around 50 to 60 degrees latitude).

      These boundaries breed storms, one after another in an endless succession, particularly north Pacific where the warm Japan current is separated from the cold Bering sea by the Aleutian islands and pretty close to that rising air mass at the boundary of polar and temperate zones.

  19. And the difference in earth’s atmospheric energy between ice age and now is only 2%.

  20. Bob Knows says:

    My comment disappeared? WTF?

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