Greenhouse Effect For Dummies Again

Taking this down to the most basic level which even the dumbest person couldn’t possibly misinterpret.

The sun warms the Earth’s surface, which causes the Earth’s surface to emit longwave radiation.

Greenhouse gases like H2O and CO2 absorb certain wavelengths of longwave radiation emitted from the Earth’s surface. This adds energy to those molecules, which gets transferred to nearby molecules as heat. Without the greenhouse gas molecules, that energy would have been directly transmitted back into space without warming the atmosphere.

Straw man arguments about things I didn’t say, are not welcome.

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173 Responses to Greenhouse Effect For Dummies Again

    • Andy Oz says:

      I can see a book in Steve’s future!

      • Andy Oz says:

        PS – After reading some of the responses to Steve’s posts, I’ve come to the conclusion that we have some carbon based life forms on this planet that may be better off without the carbon. While mildly entertaining, its like watching a two year old having a tantrum because they don’t get what they want. Luckily two year olds grow up.

    • Despite the aggravation on here and persistent Trolls…

      Some folks have taken part in a discussion, information transfer, learning… which at its core is what this Blog is all about. Today there are more informed people than 2 weeks ago.

      Keep it going SG—

  1. mkelly says:

    Have a good Thanksgiving Steve. Whether I agree or disagree I am thankful you do what you do.

  2. Sleepalot says:

    I think the things you didn’t say are more interesting – for example, you didn’t say the Sun warms the atmosphere, but it does.

  3. Bill says:

    I would think that “earth” would include it’s atmosphere.

  4. richard says:

    “Greenhouse gases like H2O and CO2 absorb certain wavelengths of longwave radiation emitted from the Earth’s surface. This adds energy to those molecules, which gets transferred to nearby molecules as heat”

    Why does the longwave radiation not get stopped by the “nearby molecules” , why does it have to rely on going via co2 molecules.

  5. richard says:

    A little clearer-

    When the longwave radiation gets stopped by the co2, is anything changed when it re-emits to nearby molecules , if not, then why is the longwave radiation not stopped by the nearby molecules anyway.

    • mkelly says:

      It is assumed that the CO2 molecule transfers the energy by changing the translational motion of a N2 molecule. That increase in translation increases the temperature. It is assumed to be 100% and always additive.

    • Robert Austin says:

      At the pressure in the lower atmosphere, the mean time between molecular collisions is much less than the relaxation time of an excited greenhouse gas molecule. Thus, an excited CO2 molecule will predominantly collide with N2 or O2 and the excitation energy will be thermalized as mkelly said. One has to ascend to the tropopause to reach pressures low enough that a significant portion of greenhouse gases are able to re-radiate before colliding with other molecules. And thereby, a goodly portion of the re-radiated energy is able to escape directly to space.

      • daveburton says:

        That’s exactly right, Robert.

        I learned from Prof. Will Happer that the average decay time for an excited CO2 molecule to release an IR photon is close to one second, but in the lower troposphere the average time for it to give up its energy by collision with another air molecule is only about one nanosecond. In other words, after a CO2 molecule absorbs an IR photon, it’s about a billion times more likely to give up that added energy by collision (converting it to heat) than by emission of another IR photon.

        Of course, that doesn’t mean CO2 in the lower atmosphere isn’t emitting a substantial amount of IR. Since CO2 molecules absorb energy by molecular collision about as often as they give up energy by molecular collision, even though the CO2 molecules usually give up their excess energy by collision, they still emit a substantial amount of LW IR radiation (which is the source of the “downwelling” radiation that bothers some people so much).

        Here’s Prof. Happer’s lecture:
        http://www.sealevel.info/Happer_UNC_2014-09-08/
        (There’s no video recording, but there’s an audio recording + powerpoint slides, so you can step through the slides as you listen to the lecture.)

        Also, if you click on the link there entitled “Another_question.html” you’ll see an email exchange where Prof. Happer kindly explained this to me in more detail.

      • Baa Humbug says:

        According to Pierrehumbert (infrared radiation and planetary temperature 2011) radiation lifetime is from a few milliseconds to tenths of seconds and collisional time 10-7 seconds.
        0.001s-0.1s radiation
        0.0000001s collisional

        If 1 out of 100 molecules radiate IR, they’d be banging into the other 99 molecules hundreds of thousands of times before having a chance to emit a photon.

        It makes sense to me when I think about a block of solid. There is only conduction within a solid.
        Within a liquid, there is conduction and convection but no radiation.
        Within a gas, there is all three, however the more dense the gas, the less chance radiation could dominate.

        • Olaf Koenders says:

          Ditto. The more dense the gas, the more convection and eventually conduction take over.

        • daveburton says:

          According to Prof. Happer, collisional lifetimes near ground level are even shorter than that, being on the order of a nanosecond (10^-9 seconds), rather than 10^-7 seconds. Also, radiant decay time is usually even longer, averaging nearly a second for most transitions. So those CO2 molecules are not banging into other molecules just hundreds of thousands of times before getting around to emitting an IR photon, it’s closer to a billion times.

          As Prof. Happer pointed out to me, “It is this extreme slowness of radiative decay rates that allows the CO2 molecules in the atmosphere to have very nearly the same vibration-rotation temperature of the local air molecules.”

        • daveburton says:

          Oops, missing 2nd link:
          As Prof. Happer pointed out to me…

  6. richard says:

    sorry finally ,

    does the co2 actually create more heat after the absorption of LW radiation, if so, is this a source of energy that could be tapped?

    • Mike D says:

      Theoretically, there’d be some way. The real issues are would it be efficient enough or cost effective enough to be useful. Maybe a huge glass box heated by the sun where a small outlet exhaust turns a electric generator. But there’s not going to be enough electricity to be worth creating it.

      Photovoltaic solar panels cut out all the middlemen between sun rays coming down and CO2 gaining energy, and they really aren’t economically competitive with normal sources.

      The direct solar heated power plants where they use huge arrays of mirrors focused on one spot to boil a liquid that drives generators are much more efficient that trying to do the same with CO2, but they don’t seem to be worth the cost.

      Here’s a 5 square mile plant in the Mojave desert, that can only power 140,000 homes.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/14/business/energy-environment/a-big-solar-plant-opens-facing-doubts-about-its-future.html?_r=2

      Here’s one in Spain that can only power 25,000 homes.
      http://whenonearth.net/gemasolar-power-plant-spain/

      There are many sources much more plausible than trying to do anything specifically with CO2, and they’re all marginal still. Wind can theoretically be traced back to solar energy as a source, or major contributor, (but then so can fossil fuels, and even hydro power.)

      • Andrew S says:

        “The direct solar heated power plants where they use huge arrays of mirrors focused on one spot to boil a liquid that drives generators are much more efficient that trying to do the same with CO2, but they don’t seem to be worth the cost.”

        But it’s a great way to cook your turkey! 😉

        • Truthseeker says:

          Actually the solar array in Nevada has been toasting birds to extra crispy. If they add some wind turbines, they would have a fast food outlet …

    • nielszoo says:

      Richard, that’s a big negative (no matter what Trenberth says.) First Law of Thermodynamics says, in a nutshell, matter or energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it may only be scooted around… or, The Universe isn’t a Free Lunch. The Second Law of Thermodynamics says that the energy can only move from a higher state to a lower state, or more organized to more random, and you can’t move it for free. To move 100% of the energy from one place to another you have to add more energy to the system. That means that not only is the lunch not free, it will always cost more than it says on the menu… the Universe will ALWAYS make you pay a tip. No system can be 100% efficient… ever.

  7. EternalOptimist says:

    @Richard
    The water vapour and CO2 are active in the LR frequency, the nearby molecules are not. the heat is transferred to the nearby molecules by conduction and not by radiation

  8. gymnosperm says:

    Yes, however there are theoretically two kinds of saturation that effect the process. The first is “gas” saturation where adding more of the resonating gas has declining incremental effect. This saturation is well defined by the HITRAN measurements and shown below for CO2 by Gavin Schmidt’s own hand:

    Theoretically at least there should also be “light” saturation where adding more bombarding a given amount of resonating gas with additional photons will have a declining incremental effect.

  9. richard says:

    ok delete the last replies, I admit i’m an idiot,

    “Without the greenhouse gas molecules, that energy would have been directly transmitted back into space without warming the atmosphere”

    so co2 converts LW to heat?

    But once again surely this is fuel that can be used , do greenhouses with co2 levels pumped up to 1200ppm show increased temp.

    • Go Canucks!! says:

      How many CO2 molecules do you think are in a greenhouse as opposed to10 km of atmosphere?
      Also, the atmosphere only captures 1/3 (23wm2) of the energy emitted from the surface. 2/3 (40wm2) goes directly into space.
      So a greenhouse is too small for a noticeable effect.

    • diogenese2 says:

      “I admit I’m an idiot”.
      An honest man – at last I can put out my lamp!
      Steven – you why are you persisting in, as we would say, “flogging a dead horse”.
      Those who don’t understand by now – never will. You are frittering away your talent, and your superb data base on a futile quest. Concentrate on the perversion of science which threatens to reverse the only thing that has brought humanity out of the ages of ignorance.
      Keep your eye on the main target and the real enemy.
      From Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”.
      Czar Alexander: “Why as the battle not begun?”
      Kutusov: ” Sire; Not all the units are yet in place”.
      Czar: ” This is not the Empress Field (a parade ground in St.Petersburg) Michiel Michielovich, where nothing begins until everyone is ready”.
      Kutusov: That sire, is why I do not begin – because this is not the Empress Field!

      Austerlitz : 02.12. 1805

    • EternalOptimist says:

      a man who doesn’t know something is ignorant of it. We are all probably 99.9% ignorant.
      except Einstein, who was only 99.89% ignorant.

      an idiot is someone who thinks he is zero % ignorant. you are no idiot

    • Olaf Koenders says:

      “do greenhouses with co2 levels pumped up to 1200ppm show increased temp.”

      I think that can be calculated easier than measured Richard, likely because there would be no appreciable difference at 1200ppm CO2, which is still only 0.12%. If we ramp it up to what was available to the dinosaurs (~2500ppm) or earlier, in the Devonian, some 4500ppm (0.45%) we might physically notice something:

      There’s a reason the Carboniferous was given that name. It’s because massive forests sucked much of the CO2 out of the air and created the coal we now burn, putting the CO2 back in the air from where it originated.

      My thinking is that since at 400ppm CO2, levels are such that further increases will have little effect as the system is almost saturated:

      Also that water vapour has already absorbed much of the LW radiation and not much is left for CO2:

      I think a full test with 2 identical greenhouses, no plants and one with raised CO2 levels should tell the story. Maybe even another with current CO2 but elevated water vapour as well.

      • A C Osborn says:

        Note the 15 degree drop in temperature when CO2 was over 4000ppm at the end of the Orovician period.

      • davidswuk says:

        On a true to life scale that Red Solar Hump would be~100 times larger than the Blue Atmospheric PIMPLE!

        • Olaf Koenders says:

          Horizontally or vertically?

        • Gail Combs says:

          You take the red solar hump and lay it out vertically since energy in ~equals energy out.

          The power punch of the short wavelengths (The can split molecular bonds and even nuclear bonds) is much greater than that of the infrared wavelengths.

          WIKI’s Frequency vs wavelength vs energy chart:

    • daveburton says:

      richard asked, “so co2 converts LW to heat?”

      Yes, it does. It also converts heat (in the atmosphere) into LW IR (including “downwelling” IR which warms the earth).

  10. BBould says:

    Water vapor is the most potent GHG, controlling 60 – 70% of the climate and you can actually feel the effects of it. While CO2 is a GHG nobody is certain of its effects.

    • 60-70%? You must get your science from the United Nations. That’s like getting stock exchange information from the Vienna Boy’s Choir

      True number is 90-98%

      • Gail Combs says:

        That is water in all it’s manifestations from ice to oceans to clouds.

        Calling water a GHG is like calling Warren Buffett a Rose Hill Elementary School graduate who worked in his grandfather’s grocery store. All true but you left out the important parts.

  11. Mr Pettersen says:

    Co2 absorbs form atmosphere and emitt to the same atmosphere so there will not be any difference in potencial = no temperature change!

  12. EternalOptimist says:

    remember the original theory here.
    Water vapour is a potent and abundant GHG, but CO2 is the one thats rising fast due to mankind.

    the CO2 will raise temperatures a little bit, to a ‘tipping point’, which will then release more water vapor and other trapped GHG.

    If the theory were correct, because CO2 has sky rocketed, we would have seen a rise in water vapour followed by a rise in temperature.

    In the real world, water vapour is falling and temperatures have flat lined (possibly even fallen).
    CO2 is a GHG , but it is not a control knob

    • R. Shearer says:

      Good points. You might also add “realist” to your moniker. Based on Earth’s history, we know that no tipping point has been reached, even with CO2 levels an order of magnitude higher.

    • Latitude says:

      “the CO2 will raise temperatures a little bit, to a ‘tipping point’, which will then release more water vapor and other trapped GHG.

      If the theory were correct”…then water vapor alone would cause the run away tipping point

      (water vapor fluctuates more than the CO2 effect)

  13. nickreality65 says:

    Down at your local Home Depot this time of year there might be infrared heaters over the checkout stands. IR heats the objects, the objects heat the air, the IR does not directly heat the air.

    • Robert B says:

      The wavelength and path length are important here. The heat is very hot and emitting a lot of its energy at near visible regions while the GHE is about absorption of longer wavelengths that are emitted by cooler matter.

      Gymnosperm (or Schmidt) above neglects to put in the path length for those measurements. If it were atmospheric concentrations, it would be in the order of 100 m. Quite large but still a few kilometres til you get to the tropopause. Even weakly absorbed wavelengths are practically completely absorbed so it is very weakly absorbed regions that are important in arguing that doubling the concentration is important.

      Plotting the cumulative % energy absorbed by the atmosphere and looking at the regions highlighted and you get the idea of how little that effect is.

  14. Sidney Somes says:

    Please comment about an article in Hockeyschtick blog by Stephen Wilde called “Derivation of the entire 33°C greenhouse effect without radiative forcing from greenhouse gases”. I trust your opinion.

  15. Ragtag Media says:

    Now in the you can’t make this bleep up department:
    Doesn’t really matter because Climate Change and El’ Nino is making kids shorter
    http://weaselzippers.us/206306-mother-jones-global-warming-is-shrinking-our-kids/

    • Olaf Koenders says:

      It’s probably due to the weight of all the extra clothing they need to wear to ward off chilly “Gorebull Warbling”.

      • Gail Combs says:

        More likely the fat free meat free heave on the carbs diet.

        Remember the Japanese were short around WWII but the average high has had a major increase with imported (US BEEF) meat.

        .Information Bulletin No. 68
        Japanese Children Getting Bigger
        January 31, 1996

        Japanese children today are markedly taller and heavier than their counterparts right after World War II; in fact, they weigh as much as adults did then. This trend, outlined in the fiscal 1995 Ministry of Education survey covering April 1995 to March 1996, reflects a better diet….
        http://web-japan.org/trends95/68.html

        • Gail Combs says:

          heave = heavy
          Dang, I really wish WordUnimpress had edit. Why do you always notice the typo a split second after you hit the post button?

        • Olaf Koenders says:

          It’s like voting. Every year you walk out of the polling booth and facepalm yourself promising you’ll never waste your time like that ever again.. 😉

  16. Chaeremon says:

    Quote “This adds energy to those molecules, which gets transferred to nearby molecules as heat.”

    Yep, this is what happens, to:

    1] Inuits who put on their clothes in colder seasons, their body surface (and sweat+interface air) heat balance makes a bump (up then down, the latter under feedback control).

    2] radiator and towel (check in colder season), the radiator surface (and interface air) heat balance makes a bump (up then down), without any extra energy or control.

    3} my favorite island (arid for weeks), the surface air temperature balance makes a bump (up then down), before afternoon; the island receives air masses form all (360°) directions after sunrise (ie. air+sweat from the ocean) if other weather conditions permit.

  17. “Straw man arguments about things I didn’t say, are not welcome.”

    Is that a double negative? If so, does this mean they are welcome?

  18. Scarface says:

    Steven,

    I’m trying to understand it. Could you please tell me your answer to this?

    The sun warms the surface of the earth. What if the atmosphere consisted only of N2 and O2.
    Would the atmosphere not warm? If not, why not? If yes, what would be the difference when adding 4% H2O and 0,039% CO2

    Thanks in advance.

    Kind regards,
    Scarface

    • Gail Combs says:

      Scarface,
      On nitrogen and oxygen and sunlight: NASA: Chemistry in Sunlight

    • mkelly says:

      Scarface, the specific heat of N2 at .024 is larger than CO2. So it conducts more heat from the surface than CO2. There are roughly 250 million molecules in one square meter at the surface. Of those only about 130,000 are CO2. Since, N2 and O2 cannot shed that conducted heat via IR they count on CO2 to to it for them.

      • Scarface says:

        But my question is, will the atmosphere warm or not?

        Steven writes in his post:
        “Without the greenhouse gas molecules, that energy would have been directly transmitted back into space without warming the atmosphere.”

        I have troubles understanding this. If the earth surface warmst to say 35C, would an atmosphere of N2 en O2 be as cold as outer space?

        • Robert B says:

          The absorption of IR radiation is important for rapid transfer of heat through the system. If there was no day or night, conduction from surface to air and convection would warm up the atmosphere to get the temperature gradient that you expect from the adiabatic lapse rate.

          I do not know what would happen with a 24 hour day. Is conduction just too slow?

          The point is that some energy instead of being emitted by a surface 50-70°C hotter has to leave the Earth higher in the atmosphere by being emitted by colder air. The temperature of the whole system needs to increase for the total amount of energy leaving to be equal to what it would be without GH gasses absorbing in the atmosphere.
          There needs to be equilibrium between ground/sea and the upper atmosphere or the latter just gets warmer and downwelling is important for this to occur rapidly, not for there to be an insulating effect.

        • Scarface says:

          Let me try an example, very simplistic for argument reasons.

          You live next to a desert. It’s West of you. It is very hot and extremely dry.

          Now, with western wind you get desert air, very hot. There is hardly H20 in it. How did it get hot? Only from CO2?

        • Robert B says:

          No, Scarface. 10% relative humidity in hot air is still a lot of moisture. Something like 5g per kg of air or 5000 ppm based on weight at 40°C.

      • davidswuk says:

        so a 15um ray could hit around 70 Co2 molecules in the first metre of its liberation are you saying mk??

    • nielszoo says:

      Scarface, The equilibrium temperature of a volume of any gas is determined by its molecular weight, density and pressure. Our planet’s gravity and the density of our atmosphere are the primary driver of base temperature. You will see Steven and other commenters talk about “lapse rate” and it is calculated with gas law based on the pressure and density of the atmosphere at a given altitude. Each gas has a different constant based on its molecular weight and density. If you are mathematically inclined I would recommend looking up Ideal Gas Law which is:
      p V = m R T
      where
      p = absolute pressure (N/m², lb/ft²)
      V = volume (m³, ft³)
      m = mass (kg, slugs)
      R = individual gas constant (J/kg.°K, ft.lb/slugs.°R)
      T = absolute temperature (°K, °R)
      (Gas constants may be found here and densities here)

      Try this for an example. If our planet had a pure nitrogen atmosphere and another identical planet had a pure CO2 atmosphere the nitrogen planet would be hotter as N2’s gas constant is 296.8 J/kg °K and CO2’s is 188.9 J/kg °K. If your planets had the same pressure as Earth sea level (1 bar) the CO2 one would have a temp of ~282°K and the N2 planet ~289.2°K. Plain “air” (without water vapor or particulates) comes in around 289.25°K. Methane comes in at 288.3°K, O2 at 289.8°K and finally Argon at 289.4°K. So plain jane basic gas law has CO2 being the coldest gas at equilibrium.

      Now lets look at the “extra” radiation that CO2 could absorb and see if it could possibly overcome it’s -7°K/°C over plain air. That math is pretty complex so if you want it all it’s here. The additional heat that CO2 could possibly grab via IR, in absolutely perfect lab conditions and assuming nothing else was getting any of that energy is less than 0.5°K/°C.

      Again, as Steven/Tony has pointed out repeatedly, it’s water vapor that does the heavy lifting over and above temperatures described by gas law and lapse rate as its emissivity is hundreds of times higher than CO2’s.
      (My caveat, I HATE the terms “greenhouse effect” and “greenhouse gas” as they not accurate descriptions of the mechanisms in play and only seem to confuse the issues… which is what the Climateers want.)

    • daveburton says:

      Scarface asked, “The sun warms the surface of the earth. What if the atmosphere consisted only of N2 and O2. Would the atmosphere not warm? If not, why not? If yes, what would be the difference when adding 4% H2O and 0,039% CO2?”

      Yes, the atmosphere would still warm, due to conductive heat transfer between the surface of the Earth and the atmosphere. The atmosphere would, however, warm a bit faster with the addition of the GHGs., since longwave IR from the surface would be absorbed by the atmosphere, rather than escaping into space.

  19. markstoval says:

    “Taking this down to the most basic level which even the dumbest person couldn’t possibly misinterpret.” ~SG

    Einstein has been quoted as saying that there were only two things he knew of that were infinite: human stupidity and the universe. He apparently was a little unsure of the universe but not human stupidity. Singer Paul Simon sang it better: “man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest”.

    The sun warms the Earth’s surface, which causes the Earth’s surface to emit longwave radiation.

    Greenhouse gases like H2O and CO2 absorb certain wavelengths of longwave radiation emitted from the Earth’s surface. This adds energy to those molecules, which gets transferred to nearby molecules as heat. Without the greenhouse gas molecules, that energy would have been directly transmitted back into space without warming the atmosphere.

    I agree that in the lower atmosphere (Troposphere) that H2O and CO2 molecules (with H2O being the overwhelming majority by a very large factor) will receive photons and then most often transfer that energy to a nearby molecule which will most likely be nitrogen or oxygen or argon. That means that conduction and convection rule in the lower atmosphere — plus the non-gaseous forms of water (no understanding our climate is possible if you don’t understand clouds). In the upper atmosphere, radiation rules to cool the planet by radiation, sending the energy off into space.

    I would also point out that even though my understanding is that conduction and convection are the dominate processes in the lower atmosphere, we should not forget that even nitrogen will radiate after it receives energy from H2O or CO2 by direct contact. I am not sure why the IPCC never seems to mention that fact.

    “Straw man arguments about things I didn’t say, are not welcome.” ~SG
    Many times people think that those who disagree are building “strawmen” even when they are not.

    • Gail Combs says:

      The temperature changes from decreasing to increasing to decreasing to increasing depending on the chemistry going on in each section of the atmosphere.

    • nickreality65 says:

      “This adds energy to those molecules, which gets transferred to nearby molecules as heat.”
      This is sensible heat, 0.24 Btu/lb-F for air, 1.0 Btu/lb-F for liquid water. This same heat could be absorbed by a simple increase in humidity w/ zero temperature change.

      • Gail Combs says:

        Which is why temperature alone is an absolutely rotten measure of the energy.

        • nielszoo says:

          Do you know if anyone has ever attempted to figure out how much gross kinetic energy moves around due to winds and convection? That’s got to be a massive number that no one ever seems to add into the atmospheric energy equations.

        • Gail Combs says:

          Niel,
          They can not even deal with clouds.
          The IPCC says:

          …in climate research and modeling we should recognise that we are dealing with a complex non linear chaotic signature and therefore that long-term prediction of future climatic states is not possible

          IPCC 2001 section 4.2.2.2 page 774

          Too bad no one has bothered to inform Congress or the US voters of that admission and what it means.

    • Robert Austin says:

      “even nitrogen will radiate after it receives energy from H2O or CO2 by direct contact.”

      Actually, I do not think this is true. Diatomic molecules do not have significant resonant modes to absorb and emit at these long infrared wavelengths. The only way for N2 or O2 to loose translational (heat) energy is to collide with and thus energize a greenhouse gas molecule or heat an aerosol particle. There have been extensive threads on climate sites with discussions hypothesizing what an atmosphere with only N2 and O2 (assuming no aerosols) would look like. Certainly having almost all planetary cooling occurring by long wave radiation from the planetary surface would result in a very different planet from the earth that we know.

  20. Tom In Indy says:

    Taking Tony’s result as a given: Where are we on the log curve so I can determine the sensitivity of “global temperature” to changes in man-made CO2? Next I would like some evidence that shows a positive feedback from water vapor in response to the increase in man-made CO2. Thanks.

  21. Truthseeker says:

    1. I absolutely agree that we should discard all strawman arguments such as those using blankets, electrical circuits, car engines and anything else that is not a free-flowing planetary atmosphere.
    2. A greenhouse works because it puts a conduction/convection barrier between the air inside the greenhouse and the air outside the greenhouse. The mechanism explained above has nothing in common with a real greenhouse. Using the erroneous and misleading term “greenhouse gas” is where this discussion invariably gets derailed on all sides.
    3. The money quote above is “The sun warms the Earth’s surface”. No activity of the cooler atmosphere will do this. Heat flow will be dictated by the heat differential between the surface and the atmosphere. The smaller the differential the smaller the rate of heat loss.
    4. The evaporation of liquid water to water vapour and the condensation of water vapour back to liquid water is the major mechanism for the transport of energy in the climate system. The water cycle is a moderator and a negative feedback that generally cools a warm environment and warms a cool one.

    The correct discussion to have is whether the radiation that is being referred to here has the effect that has been discribed. Radiation is real and measurable. However not all photons are created equal and assuming that they are will lead to incorrect conclusions.

    The other issue is the double counting of energy that can occur. Energy that is emitted is lost to that molecule so the total energy remains the same. Regardless of the mechanism of energy flow within the system the energy capacity of the system will be dictated by the energy entering the system and the total emissitivity of that system.

    • Robert B says:

      The use of the greenhouse analogy is so that the science looks basic, as easy as counting the number of eggs in a carton and concluding that there is a dozen. Its the same with Trenbarth’s energy budget, quotes about the SB equations and Kirchhoff’s law etc.

      You can’t disprove the GHE by pointing out flaws with the analogy or crappy description. All you can do is point out why it is not that simple to calculate what the effect of doubling CO2 is and how poor the predictions from the understanding are.

      • Truthseeker says:

        Kill the analogy and you kill the alarmism.

        Heat requires mass. The atmosphere has mass and is not at 0K, therefore it has heat.

        How is that for simple?

        • Robert B says:

          Does it have more heat than 15 years ago is the question and why if yes.

          They are making a mountain out of a mole hill but that molehill does exist. Killing the analogy might put doubt in the public’s eyes but it opens you up to being put down for not understanding it. The science might not be good but the scam is.

    • nielszoo says:

      Nicely said!

  22. weylan mcanally says:

    I read the article on Hockeyschtick which shows that the entire approximately 33 degrees centigrade of greenhouse effect can be accurately calculated using only the 1st law of thermodynamics and the ideal gas law only. No greenhouse gas radiative forcings, concentrations of greenhouse gases, or greehouse gas emission/absoprption spectra are needed.

    I read the article with my very rusty science background. It made sense and seemed accurate to me.

    Thought from anyone who is more science literate?

  23. alpha2actual says:

    The 42,000 square mile Chilean Atacama Desert, which is generally considered the driest place on the planet, is unique and therefore, one would think a perfect, naturally occurring laboratory for a scientifically valid testing of the Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis in my opinion.
    The unique topographical nature of the Atacama is fascinating. The average annual humidity is between 9% and 10%. To the West the Atacama is bordered by a volcanic mountain range in combination with the Humboldt current creates an inversion which prevents clouds from penetrating the interior. To the East the Andes Mountains accomplish the same thing. From the North equatorial moisture is depleted due to distance.
    The average temperature of the Atacama, of which there is a record of in excess of, 190 years, has been flat adjusting for seasonality. The differential between daytime highs and nighttime lows is impressive. The eco system has been essentially in a state of stasis for 12,000 years following a glacial melt 13,000 years ago.
    An attempt to install CO2 measuring equipment at the Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array (ALMA) has yet to produce meaningful data due the spread between daytime and nighttime temperatures which allegedly makes calibration “really hard”.

    • davidswuk says:

      ……….or the answer much too hard to tell !!
      as I have said elsewhere, simple experiments to prove various theories could be quite easily assembled but which are not (apparently) for one reason or another.

  24. higley7 says:

    However, the greenhouse effect that the IPCC touts involves the story line that downward IR from the GHGs warms the surface. Conversion of IR to heat in the atmosphere IS NOT the greenhouse effect the warmists are pushing.

    The conversion of IR to heat energy is small for these gases and probably have an undetectable effect, particularly for the rare CO2 gas.

    Furthermore, as these “GHGs, more aptly termed “radiative gases,” convert heat energy in the atmosphere to IR radiation ALL NIGHT and serve to cool the atmosphere after sunset. During the day the conversion of IR to heat energy is largely compensated by the reverse ability, which can happen just as easily. So, during the day the IR to heat to IR conversion is a wash, but at night there is active cooling by these gases. This is why there is no detectable greenhouse effect.

    • davidswuk says:

      “However, the greenhouse effect that the IPCC touts involves the story line that downward IR from the GHGs warms the surface. Conversion of IR to heat in the atmosphere IS NOT the greenhouse effect the warmists are pushing.”
      Exactly – and our host is pushing us to agree to the rather minuscule obvious and so convey our apparent agreement to the utterly ridiculous (notion of back radiation warming).

      • Gail Combs says:

        Actually the IPCC Climastrologists take it a step further saying the “downward IR from the GHGs warms the surface” of the oceans and cause water to evaporate and therefore the effect of CO2 is multiplied threefold causing Catastrophic Runaway GoreBull Warbling.

        • davidswuk says:

          Hmmm.. Why is it then that when I go to get a frikkin chicken out of the freezer my eyeballs do not freeze solid as I focus-in on those icy rays – just askin`.

        • Mack says:

          To cope with the focusing on those icy rays, davidswuk, I stick my head in a bucket of warm water once a day. It improves my quality of life no end.

  25. Baa Humbug says:

    I’d like to respond to Steves post in two different ways. The first, in a “laymans” way just like the post above, and the second in a technical way.

    LAYMANS VERSION:
    We can see from personal experience and empirical observations that a dry desert (DD) will almost always be colder at night than wet tropic regions (WT).
    This is because GHGs at the WT slow down the cooling process at night, meaning at any given time t, WT region will be WARMER than DD region SO YES GHGs WARM THE ATMOSPHERE AT NIGHT.
    We can further support the above by pointing out how dramatically temperatures drop at the Moon surface as soon as the sun goes down. No GHGs on the Moon leading to temperature plunge at sunset.

    ON THE OTHER HAND we can use the VERY SAME EVIDENCE to see what happens during the other half of a full day, the (average) 12hrs of daylight.
    Daytime temperatures at a DD are higher than daytime temperatures at a WT. Even though at sunrise the WT starts the day warmer than a DD, the WT never climbs to the temperatures of a DD. This is due to the very same GHGs that kept nights warmer.
    To be sure, IF SLOWING DOWN COOLING IS ACCEPTED AS WARMING, THEN SLOWING DOWN WARMING MUST BE ACCEPTED AS COOLING. Two sides of the same coin so to speak.

    We can further support the above by AGAIN POINTING TO THE MOON. As soon as the sun rises above the lunar horizon, temperatures climb so dramatically that within 2 hours the surface temperature of the Moon is over 100 Deg warmer than the hottest spot on Earth. NO GHGs ON THE MOON LEADING TO DRAMATIC TEMPERATURE RISE AT SUNRISE.

    Therefore, GHGs act both as a warming agent (at night) and as a cooling agent during the day.
    One needs to determine if the night time warming is a greater effect than the daytime cooling before declaring what GHGs do or don’t do.

    TECHNICAL VERSION:

    PREAMBLE:
    Take a heat source of say 300K. We can place various objects in front of this source. The thermal properties of the object will determine the maximum temperature the object will reach at equilibrium. ALL OBJECTS HAVE AN EQUILIBRIUM TEMPERATURE WHEN HEATED BY A CONSTANT HEAT SOURCE. In this example, some objects will reach near enough to 300K, other objects may equilibriate at lower temperatures.

    CO2 is no different to these objects i.e. given Earthly temperatures, CO2 will reach an equilibrium temperature AND WE CAN WORK THIS OUT USING THE EQUATIONS SET OUT BY THE LIKES OF PLANCK, STEFAN, KIRCHOFF, WIEN AND BOLTZMAN.
    This has been done, for instance at the below link.

    http://www.tech-know-group.com/papers/JCao_N2O2GreenGases_Blog.pdf (15 page pdf)

    The equilibrium temperature of CO2 – given Terrestrial temperatures – is -78DegC or 195K. (Funnily enough this is very close to the melting point of CO2. A gas molecule by definition is already in an excited state, the Earth surface just doesn’t emit enough radiation to further excite CO2 electrons to higher orbits).

    Now when we measure the temperature of air at say 2m above ground with a thermometre, what we are measuring is the kinetic energy OF ALL GAS MOLECULES IN THE AIR INCLUDING N2, O2 (99% of air is non-GHG gas, so we are essentially measuring the temperature of this 99%). Considering CO2 can only reach 195K from terrestrial radiation, how does it reach 300K along with the rest of the molecules in the air? Air flow and/or molecular collisions homogenise the temperature of different gasses.
    As Jinan Cao states in his paper linked to above, carbon dioxide is in thermal deficit in terms of radiative balance. Nitrogen and oxygen constantly feed CO2 with heat so that it maintains a temperature higher than its radiative equilibrium.

    Any constructive feedback is welcome. Thnx for the opportunity Steve.
    .

    • Truthseeker says:

      Precisely BA. This is a good summary. Personally I think that it is the presence and phase change capabilities of H2O that give the outcomes that can be seen when comparing dry deserts to humid jungles. Radiation is a bit player at best at the pressures of the lower part of the atmosphere.

      • Baa Humbug says:

        You may be right my friend, but really, so long as the so called GHE has opposite signs from day to night, it matters little (in the context of global economic change) what causes it.
        It’s a fresh new start every morning so to speak.

    • Chewage says:

      Pretty good for semi-static conditions, but when we introduce dynamic source (s) and dynamic loads along with varying mixing velocities, spurs, magnitudes and timescales, the effects are dramatic, + and -…

  26. nickreality65 says:

    It’s not GHGs in general, it’s specifically water vapor, not because of radiative properties, but the latent heat and relative humidity.

    • Gail Combs says:

      +1
      That is the basis of the CAGW lie. The Climastrologists give all the glory to CO2 (It’s the control knob of climate!) when it is actually water.

      They do this by calling water a feedback of CO2 when it is the changes in ocean heat content that drives the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. The amount not gobbled up by plants that is.

    • Baa Humbug says:

      With all due respect to you Nick and Gail, regardless of the causes of the GHE, so long as this effect is different in sign from day to night, the discussion takes a dramatic turn.
      Debating what may or may not be the ‘control knob’ will never be a winner against science journals, research facilities, science societies etc.

      Sometimes people are so focussed on individual trees they forget about the forest. I put forward my thoughts about the forest in the comments above.

      p.s. you’re both terrific contributors to this debate across vaious blogs. Thnx for that, I’ve picked up heaps.

  27. Tony is right in what he has said in his post. But the scale of such effects needs to be put into perspective relative to another effect of the infra-red active gases. The solar insolation at the top of the atmosphere was 1365.8 W/m2 in 2010. So on a cloudless day and with no infra-red active (so-called greenhouse) gases or gases that absorb ultra-violet light, there is a time when this 1365.8 W/m2 would be incident upon the Earth’s surface. Let us examine the top of the atmosphere solar radiation spectrum and compare it with the solar radiation spectrum at the surface.

    The atmospheric absorption in the UV and the visible range here is about 0.175 times the top of the atmosphere solar insolation, while that due to the absorption in the infra-red range is about 0.146 times the top of the atmosphere solar radiation. If we assume an 8.8% reflection of solar radiation incident upon the surface, as was the case in the Kiehl-Trenberth Earth Energy Budget of 1997, then the solar radiation incident and not reflected from the surface is 845.77 W/m2. The corresponding surface temperature assuming an emissivity of 0.95 would be 354.0K or 177.5ºF. Of course, water evaporation and transport and air conduction and convection are powerful cooling effects so that conditions are rare when surfaces actually reach this temperature.

    Now let us add back in the solar radiation absorbed by the infra-red active gases and make the same calculation. The incident and not reflected solar power density would be 1027.63 W/m2. The corresponding surface temperature would be 371.65K or 209.3ºF. Without infra-red absorbing gases in the atmosphere, the mid-day temperature would rise by 17.65K or 31.8ºF, before the water evaporation and air conduction cooling effects lowered the surface temperature!

    This cooling effect of infra-red active gases which only operates during the daylight hours has to be subtracted from such slowing of cooling effects due to the infra-red radiation emitted by the surface by those same infra-red active gases. Now, I have only calculated a maximum mid-day effect and the cooling effect is smaller at other times and vanishes at night. Meanwhile, the slowdown in the long wave surface emissions is an all-day effect. Taken together, the two effects provide us with an important moderation of the temperature through the daily cycle. The day to night temperature variations are reduced, very much to our advantage.

    I believe the net warming (the slowdown in cooling effect) due to infra-red gases is smaller than the cooling effect in the daylight hours. In other words, the net effect is a cooling effect. This many will dispute with me, but there is a dawning awareness by many scientists that the net warming effect of infra-red gases is nowhere near the 33K warming commonly claimed by the proponents of the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis. For those who believe that effect is much smaller, then it becomes very important to calculate the daytime cooling effect I have discussed here in comparison to the moderation of surface radiative cooling. It is a travesty that these offsetting effects are not given proper attention in discussions of the effects of infra-red gases.

    Of course water has a host of other heating and cooling effects at the surface and in the troposphere which also need to be carefully considered to determine its net role in our climate. Also, while the absorption of surface-emitted longwave radiation warms the atmosphere, that warm atmosphere is more effective in transporting that warmth upward than back to the surface.

    • Baa Humbug says:

      Good to see I’m not crazy all by myself.
      Without concerning ourselves with the figures, when you say…

      I believe the net warming (the slowdown in cooling effect) due to infra-red gases is smaller than the cooling effect in the daylight hours. In other words, the net effect is a cooling effect. This many will dispute with me,

      I’d have to dispute that for a very simple reason.
      If days cooled more than nights, think about what would happen to the temperatures at sunrise/sunset on day 1 compared to temperatures at sunrise/sunset on day 2 then day 3 etc etc.
      We’d be in a perennial cooling cycle. Are we?

      Occams razor says days and nights cool and warm equally and 365 repetitions per year for many many years is the proof positive.
      The difference between day cooling and night warming, even if it is one one-thousanth of a degree, within 3 years there’d be more than 1 Degree of cooling, hasn’t happened.
      So the difference, if there is any, would need to be so tiny, so minute that we’d have no chance in hades of detecting or measuring it.
      Might as well say there is no difference, hence your statement doesn’t stand. IMHO

      • David A says:

        sounds very Newtonian.
        ?
        The lower atmospheric levels GHG molecules are emitting not just LWIR from the ground I think, but conducted and convected energy as well, from the thermal dynamic equilibrium of exchanged energy through conduction, with collisional exchange of energy far more common throughout the lower troposphere, correct?

        If this is correct, then is not much ? some? of the 50% of the energy sent to space from emitting GHGs, from non- GHG molecules, which if they had transferred their energy to other non-GHG molecules instead of GHG molecules, would still be in the atmosphere, thus the affect of the GHG molecule was to radiate away conducted energy, thus cooling through shortening the residence time of energy from non-GHG molecules.
        ????
        Let me further clarify my question. I think I am looking for a ratio regarding how much of the energy GHG molecules radiate to space is from conducted energy – convected energy – evaporative condensed energy vs LWIR from the ground?

        (It appear logical to me that if said energy from the first three sources conducts to a GHG molecule, it has a 50 percent chance of accelerating the loss of said energy to space vs. that same energy conducting to a non GHG molecule where the chance of it escaping to space would be 0.)

        • Baa Humbug says:

          David

          I think I am looking for a ratio regarding how much of the energy GHG molecules radiate to space is from conducted energy – convected energy – evaporative condensed energy vs LWIR from the ground?

          If I understand you correctly, what you are asking would be near impossible to quantify with todays knowledge and resources. The error bars would be ridiculous (I think).
          Not only are we talking about processes that are happening at the speed of light, but processes that are heavily influenced by local conditions innumerable to comprehend. Pressure, temperature, composition, seasonal factors, altitude lattitude local topography by the billions etc etc.
          But with all respect it is irrelevant to my point.

          My very succinct point is that all worldly evidence points to our “Greenhouse Effect” keeping the planet warmer than it otherwise would be AT NIGHT and cooler than it otherwise would be DURING THE DAY.
          The default position is that the warming and cooling cancel each other because this is a cycle that happens 365 times in one year. It would take the tiniest bit of differential to make unrealistic temperature changes in just one year. Doesn’t happen.

        • Gail Combs says:

          Baa Humbug,

          One of the things always left out of the discussions about GHGs is TIME.

          Dr Happer and Dr Brown have made it clear the time for a CO2 molecule to radiate is ~10 times slower than the mean free time between collisions. Physicist Peter M. (GallopingCamel) says: “The lifetime of these excited states is typically measured in micro-seconds or milli-seconds.”

          The non-GHG effects of water are much much longer when you look at clouds, ice or the energy stored in the oceans. Or even looking at one 24 hour period in the tropics ,the evaporation of surface water, the release of energy as clouds form and then as the cloud droplets become rain.

          Again, Sleepalot’s desert eclipse graph showing how fast the atmosphere cools even in the presence of hot sand. Without water the atmosphere is really really rotten at holding heat.

        • Baa Humbug says:

          Gail

          The non-GHG effects of water are much much longer when you look at clouds, ice or the energy stored in the oceans.

          I’ve been tired of the CAGW debate for some time now, it’s all the same old same old.
          Seems to me that people are so caught up in the examination of the tree(s) of their choice in the forest called Climate Change that they’ve forgotten the forest itself.

          I wanted to look at the climate field from a different perspective and lo and behold Steve Goddards numerous posts recently about cool objects warming wam objects and desert vs tropical climates got me thinking.

          # Fact: During day time temperatures rise, during night time temperatures fall.
          Question: How does the planets greenhouse affect these temperature movements?
          First the night.
          # Fact: At night, a dry desert will cool much quicker than a wet tropic, reaching much lower temperatures by dawn.
          Observation: Presence of greenhouse material slows down cooling……meaning the GHE warms the planet at night.
          # Fact: At the Moon, as soon as the sun goes down the temperatures plunge at a rate far in excess of what we observe at a dry desert. Moon has no greenhouse.
          Observation: Supports the above. Our greenhouse keeps us warmer at night.

          Now the day.
          Using the very same evidence, we can see that the presence of a greenhouse slows down the daytime warming rate e.g.
          Fact: During the day, a dry desert will warm at a quicker rate than a wet tropical region. Even though the desert starts the day at a lower temperature, it ends up being much warmer.
          Observation: Presence of greenhouse material slows down the rate of warming.
          Fact: At the Moon, as soon as the sun rises, the temperature rises at a rapid rate whereupon it is already much hotter on the moons surface 2 hours into the day than it gets anywhere on Earth after an all day warming.
          Observation: Supports the above.
          Fact: Slowing down the rate of warming is the same as cooling.

          Question 1A: Which effect is greater, night time warming (due to slower cooling) or day time cooling (due to slower warming)?
          Answer: Wait for the answer to the next question.
          Question 1B: If one effect was greater than the other, how much greater can it be?
          Answer: Considering we have 365 of these cycles every year, and we’ve had our greenhouse for whatever number of years we care to nominate, the answer might as well be zero.
          Question 2: What happens if we add more greenhouse product to the system?
          Answer: Unless this product behaves differently to all the greenhouse product already in the system, nothing.

          Hence I now accept the term greenhouse effect. And the effect of our greenhouse is to dampen the extremes the planet would otherwise experience.
          IMHO

      • Baa Humbug, your argument that the all day cooling effect and the day time only cooling effects I discussed had to be equal would require that these be the only warming and cooling effects. There are many others warming and cooling effects, so these two do not need to be equal.

        • Baa Humbug says:

          Charles, as long as these “many other warming and cooling effects” occur within the system my hypothesis is valid because I only look at what is happening within the system.
          Thnx

  28. Mack says:

    Baa Humbug,
    I think that if there was a small difference it could be obscured by the heat stored in the oceans. When considering global temps the sea makes a huge difference in moderating temps here, compared to the vast fluctuations between hot and cold (during day and night) experienced by such places as the moon,.which has no ocean.
    We really have to start considering the oceans as part of the “atmosphere” of Earth. This is why this vexing controversy keeps going on and on…..there’s always something else to consider.
    IMHO I think the oceans act as the main fluid (as water in a cars radiator) which moderates, irons out, the main fluctuation in night- day temps, while clouds and the atmosphere are the fine tuning or thermostatic governor of the temps.

    • Baa Humbug says:

      Thanx for the reply Mack.

      Yes, I’ve tried to make the point that water laying on the surface (sea, ocean, lake, river etc) must be considered an element of the GHE because that water is inseperably linked with the water in the atmosphere.

      Those who seperate surface water from the GHE are engaging in thought experiments unrelated to the real world we live in.

      • David A says:

        No question the water is a GHL (green house liquid) for SW radiation, with a far longer residence time for the radiation, thus a flux in SW radiation would (over a larger time scale) have a far larger total energy change then anything in the atmosphere affected by LWIR from the surface, which would equalize far faster.

      • Olaf Koenders says:

        The oceans and surface water form a buffer that stores and somewhat mixes many years worth of surface temp fluctuations, smoothing some of the harsher bumps, like a shock absorber.

        There’s far more to it than that though. Bedtime.. [yawn]

  29. Mack says:

    Baa Humbug
    There’s one easy way to take into consideration the ocean temps (“surface water”) and incorporate that with the GHE…and that is to just dump the words “GHE” and replace them with Hydrological Effect.
    But will Steve do this?
    Noooooooooooo ! 🙂 🙂 😉

    • Baa Humbug says:

      To be honest I’m more than happy to call it the greenhouse effect because agricultural greenhouses essentially recreate a tropical climate (of varying temperatures and moisture content, think walk through butterfly displays)
      Now build another greenhouse right next to it but keep most of the H2O away. You have yourself a desert greenhouse that’s much hotter than the other during the day.
      Yet another demonstration that the GHE cools during the day and warms during the night.

      • richard says:

        cut out the greenhouse and go straight to the desert Vs the tropics.

        • Baa Humbug says:

          I’ve commented about deserts and tropics a number of times on this blog.
          Why don’t you tell me about deserts and tropics.

      • Mack says:

        “……and warms during the night”. It doesn’t warm during the night. It doesn’t get warmer during the night.. The night doesn’t get warmer when the sun goes down. There is no increase in temperature after sun set. There is no increase in temperature during the night. How many ways do I have to spell this out to you Baa Humbug?
        There is no “Greenhouse” effect.

        • Truthseeker says:

          Mack,

          Do you have an English comprehension issue? BH specifically talks about the rate of warming and the rate of cooling. At no point did he say that the night gets warmer. He did say that a jungle night will be warmer than a desert night due to the different rates of cooling.

          Strawmen are your problem, not anyone elses.

          PS I also despise the term “greenhouse gas”.

        • Mack says:

          Truthseeker,
          I’ve no English or Physics comprehension issues. Baa Humbug only seems confused,
          (or has got himself confused commenting here,) over the time issue. Whether or not there is a “greenhouse” effect needs only to be determined over the 24hrs of 1 day.
          He said ,and understood this right here…
          https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/greenhouse-effect-for-dummies-again/#comment-463156
          “It’s a fresh new start every morning so to speak”
          You yourself agree….”Clarity and logic. You excel at both my friend”
          And as you’ve intimated….If there was a “greenhouse” effect….considering net time with a “greenhouse” effect, would mean that the Earth would have cooked itself a million times over by now.

        • Mack says:

          Well I may have some lack of comprehension of physics, I’ll admit. 🙂

        • Baa Humbug says:

          Thanx Truthseeker.
          @Mack
          Mate, I don’t disagree with you, but just like you I got sick of being stuck in the mud of semantics.
          In the end, those who choose to accept GH warming have also accepted semantics over substance. I’m trying to advance the debate by ignoring the semantics.
          Fact: if the rate of cooling at night is slowed by whatever means, then the temperature at the end of the period will necessarily be warmer than it otherwise would be.
          If the boffins (including our wonderful host Steve Goddard) choose to call that warming, I’m happy to accept that IN ORDER TO HOIST THEM WITH THEIR OWN PETTARD as follows…

          Fact: If the rate of daytime WARMING is slowed by whatever means, then the temperature at the end of the period will be COOLER than it otherwise would be. COOLING
          (Good for goose good for gander)

          Having established this, we can advance the debate. I’ve done this by asking a very simple but pertinent question vis
          “If the GHE warms at night and yet cools during the day, which effect is larger?”
          This is a critical question because almost any answer that I can come up with (pretending to be a warmist or GHE believer) corners me into conceding occams razor. End of the charade.

        • SDB says:

          Baa Humbug,

          How does your explanation differ what what the SkS boys say here?
          http://www.skepticalscience.com/The-human-fingerprint-in-the-daily-cycle.html

          Thanks,
          A Friendly Lurker

        • Baa Humbug says:

          @SDB
          Thanx for the link SDB, I hadn’t seen that before. Lets look at it..

          During the day, the sun warms the Earth’s surface. At nighttime, the surface cools by radiating its heat out to space. Greenhouse gases slow down this cooling process. This is why deserts cool so much at night. Water vapour is a strong greenhouse gas and the dry desert air traps much less heat than more humid areas.

          Agreed (though this is only the night time ‘warming’ story so far)

          A more extreme example is the moon which has no atmosphere. At nighttime, there are no greenhouse gases to trap the outgoing heat. Consequently, the difference between day and night is more extreme with daytime temperatures getting up to around 118°C and nighttime temperatures falling below -168°C. In other words, the stronger the greenhouse effect, the smaller the difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures.

          Again agreed, I use the same Lunar analogy, but again only half the story. It would have been more accurate to say that the GHE ALSO cools day time temps helping reduce that diurnal range.

          We are currently experiencing global warming. If an increased greenhouse effect is a significant part of this warming, we would expect to see nights warming faster than days.

          Telling half the story thus far gets them in trouble with the above statement. If there is an increased GHE, it has to increase both day and night. Since SkS agrees that the GHE cools daytime temps (by inference), one would expect a reduction in the diurnal range by both cooler days and warmer nights. Unless they have evidence that the day time cooling effect is somehow saturated (can’t cool any more than it already does) but the night time is not, then the diurnal range may narrow by a warmer night time only. BUT they expect days to get warmer (“we would expect to see nights warming FASTER THAN DAYS”.) When they already used the moon as an analogy and showed that the GHE COOLS during the day, yet an increased GHE has increased day time temps. This is a contradiction that needs solid empirical evidence to back it up. Lets see if they provide it further into their post.

          The difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures is also known as the diurnal temperature range (DTR – the difference between minimum and maximum daily temperature). An increased greenhouse effect should cause the DTR to decrease. Over the last 50 years, DTR over land has shown a large negative trend of ~0.4°C (Braganza et al. 2004). The reason for the falling DTR is because nighttimes have been rising faster than daytime.

          If the night times have been rising faster than daytime” then somehow the GHE which cooled day time temps up until now is all of a sudden warming during the same time period. Do they provide a mechanism for this unusual behaviour? Do they demonstrate the fundamentals of a quantity of GHGs cooling the days, yet when more of the same GHGs are added to the atmosphere, these extra molecules work in the opposite direction? I’d need to see very solid evidence of this behaviour before even contemplating accepting it. Lets see if they provide it further down in the post.

          The daily cycle also offers interesting insights into climate change over the 20th Century. From the 1950s to early 1980s, global temperatures cooled slightly. A large contributor to the cooling was “global dimming” from 1958 to 1990 where less sunlight made it to the Earth’s surface due to air pollution. However, over this period, the nighttime minimum temperature increased. While global dimming was cooling daytime temperatures, the increased greenhouse effect was warming the nights (Wild et al 2007). Even during mid-20th Century cooling, greenhouse warming was percolating away while we were sleeping.

          Nope, no evidence whatsoever plus it repeats the earlier folly of mentioning night warming but not day cooling.

          Seems to me they’re on the right track, but their temp data says days have warmed too though not as much as nights, so they ignored their own evidence stated in the earlier paragraphs (moon/deserts warmer during the day) and jumped to the conclusion that the GHE is a net warming one.
          Essentially SkS has used convenient data and ignored inconvenient data. IMHO

  30. markstoval says:

    Some twit upthread wrote the following:

    PS – After reading some of the responses to Steve’s posts, I’ve come to the conclusion that we have some carbon based life forms on this planet that may be better off without the carbon. While mildly entertaining, its like watching a two year old having a tantrum because they don’t get what they want. Luckily two year olds grow up.

    As of the time I write this, I see a thread where many intelligent people have posted very good comments. The thread is not an echo chamber so I am sure Andy thinks everyone are “trolls” but science is done by debate and exchange of ideas and facts. Almost everything science ever thought was true got overturned later by better theories — and that will happen to most of what “consensus science” says today no matter if is nutrition, medicine, physics, or climatology.

    Just to antagonize Andy a bit more, let me add another comment. The atmosphere of the earth, plus the lakes, rivers, ponds, and oceans are part of a gigantic heat moving machine. It is a very complicated machine that makes it cooler in the daytime in the tropics and warmer during the long night. Conduction, convection, water phase change and many other factors are in play at all times. The effects of CO2 are tiny at best, and climatologists seem to only view one aspect of what CO2 does (or what is done to it) rather than all aspects of this trace gas. The current “greenhouse” theory is overly simplistic and it is bogus. Many are realizing that a theory of the atmospheric effect is replacing the childish ideas of James Hansen.

    When the political game of demonizing CO2 and by that our industrialized modern society is over, then science (real science) can get back to trying to figure out exactly how the weather machine of the planet works.

  31. davidswuk says:

    “mkelly says:
    November 26, 2014 at 11:56 pm
    Any one Ray hits ony one and it no long exists.”

    Yeah,but – in that case each and every 10um ray will have encountered a Co2 moly within the first #half of one inch of its flight to freedom and have been zapped (my rather laboured maths so tell me).

    • Gail Combs says:

      Dr. Brown gives them one meter. {:>D

      • davidswuk says:

        Sounds near enough to dump the GHG back-radiation stuff…………..

        • We are back to that bullshit again?

        • davidswuk says:

          (Exactly – and our host is pushing us to agree to the rather minuscule obvious and so convey our apparent agreement to the utterly ridiculous (notion of back radiation warming).
          Reply)

          “Sounds near enough to dump the GHG back-radiation stuff…………..
          Reply”

          stevengoddard says:
          November 27, 2014 at 8:18 pm
          “We are back to that bullshit again?”

          “davidswuk says:
          November 27, 2014 at 8:26 pm
          Hmmm.. Why is it then that when I go to get a frikkin chicken out of the freezer my eyeballs do not freeze solid as I focus-in on those icy rays – just askin`.”

          Answer- No, it ain`t anywhere near that hot.

  32. Gail Combs says:

    On a lighter note Have a Happy thanksgiving.

    Mark Steyn has given us a great Thanksgiving day present. (Following links from his High Notes and Low )

    A Warmist tossing Mikey Mann under the bus and as an added gift, handing David Appell his butt.

    {:>D

    Snippets from What a piece of work is Mann!

    DavidAppell ====> ThePrussian
    Do you think being peer reviewed makes a paper right?

    ThePrussian (Moderator) =====> DavidAppell

    Of course not. That’s why I happily dismiss Mann’s load of steaming crap while respecting the work of other climate scientists.

    ThePrussian (Moderator) =====> DavidAppell

    …. Get it straight: you can think that Global warming is real and manmade, and still think that Michael Mann is a worthless pile of lying scum.

    …Gore’s Harvard degree is in a mickey mouse subject. The humbles lab tech is better suited to science than he. Neatly proved by his ridiculous film lying and distorting what climate science actually says…

    Wait, you’re trying that again? Dear, do read back. You tried that nonsense before and I dealt with it….

    …..I warned you – tangling with me is not like the people you usually try and bluff with that crap. You don’t get anywhere by claiming to cite something new that I dealt with repeatedly…..

    What a piece of work is Mann!

    Looks like the move, Interstellar might be worth seeing even though I normally am not a movie goer.

  33. Gail Combs says:

    Baa Humbug says:
    Gail

    I’ve been tired of the CAGW debate for some time now, it’s all the same old same old….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    A few years ago Sleepalot and I over at WUWT looked at the situation you mention using real life data.

    The result was the wet climate (Barcelos, Brazil) had a 4C net cooling compared to the desert ( Adrar, Algeria). In addition one would expect a drop in temperature of ~ 4C due to altitude for Adrar, Algeria so the total difference between locations, taking into account altitude is ~ 8C higher daily average temperature in Adrar which is further north but with much lower humidity.

    I made the SWAG this was the energy contained in the water vapor (latent heat of vaporization.)

    Sleepalot comparison:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/21/some-thoughts-on-radiative-transfer-and-ghgs/#comment-1038793
    My comments:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/21/some-thoughts-on-radiative-transfer-and-ghgs/#comment-1040071

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/21/some-thoughts-on-radiative-transfer-and-ghgs/#comment-1041066

    • Kristian says:

      Yes, Sleepalot’s analysis is interesting, but ultimately fails. If you look at his ANNUAL MEAN TEMP plots from the two localities, you will find that Barcelos, Brazil, is at ~27C and Adrar, Algeria, at only ~24C. The latter is situated 220 m higher, which gives it an extra 1.3-2 degrees of cooling compared to the former (depending along which LR you extrapolate). That still makes the arid desert town ~1.5 degrees cooler than the humid rainforest town. On an annual basis. The reason for this, however, is to be found in the latitudes chosen. Adrar is simply too far away from the equator to compare well with Barcelos (almost at the equator). This makes its ‘winters’, when the Sun rather peaks all the way down in Namibia/Botswana, way too cool to maintain a high enough annual average. If you want to compare dry and moist regions and their apparent rGHE, you need to stick to areas within the same general latitudinal band. You shouldn’t move further out from the equator than ~20 degrees. Beyond that, the annual solar input drops fast:

      Sleepalot’s conclusion is still right, though. Regions below H2O-deprived tropospheres are hotter by several degrees, even on an annual basis, than regions below H2O-rich tropospheres. Check out this analysis (also discussed on Tallbloke’s Talkshop):
      http://okulaer.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/the-greenhouse-effect-that-wasnt-part-2/

      Which means, there isn’t really a surface radiative WARMING effect from having lots of H2O (WV + clouds) in the atmosphere at all. The effect is definitely COOLING. Which begs the question: What happened to that “atmospheric radiative greenhouse effect” that was supposed to make the surface NET warmer than if it weren’t there? There is no such net effect from water at least. And that’s from real-world observational data …

      • Baa Humbug says:

        Hey Kristian, good post.
        I’d like you to clarify something for me. When you state…

        Regions below H2O-deprived tropospheres are hotter by several degrees, even on an annual basis, than regions below H2O-rich tropospheres.

        Hotter in what, max temp, average temp?
        Annual basis, does that mean a yearly average?
        thnx in advance

        • Kristian says:

          Yup, that’s the annual mean temperature, the yearly average.

          There’s no point looking at single months or days here. The temperature effect we’re looking for is an ‘average’ one, a ‘net’ effect after all processes and contributions are accounted for. You need to compare a full year to include all the temperature swings up and down. The warming effect of the postulated radiative GHE on the surface is supposed to be a NET warming effect, meaning, the surface will end up at a steady state temperature level higher with the effect than without. And this temperature level is the average level, not the max or min. Like the 288K value. That’s the global annual average surface temperature of our planet, nothing else. It’s all the local and time-specific temp readings into one final figure. This figure is supposed (according to the rGHE hypothesis) to be 33 degrees higher than it would’ve been, hadn’t we had a ‘radiatively active’ atmosphere on top of us.

          Well, H2O (WV+ clouds) is claimed to contribute ~75% to this effect. So if it’s not to be found in direct observational data from the real world, if the NET radiative effect of having H2O in the atmosphere above a surface is COOLING rather than warming, then my conclusion would be … back to the drawing board, the rGHE hypothesis is wrong! Directly contradicted by empirical data.

        • Baa Humbug says:

          Yup, that’s the annual mean temperature, the yearly average

          I’ll try to express my thoughts this way…If these regions were two identical greenhouses side by side, one deprived of H2O and the other rich with H2O, so long as they receive identical insolation, their average temperature must be the same from day to day but especially on an annual basis, unless one greenhouse somehow created extra energy along the way.
          So I’d assume whatever evidence you’ve seen was lacking in detail.

          There’s no point looking at single months or days here.

          In fact there is every reason to look at single days. Occams razor, before delving into fluxes and lattitudes, altitudes and humidity variations, why not ask what happens to temperatures from day to night? The simple answer is regions that are rich in H2O are always cooler during the daytime compared to regions poor in H2O, BUT always warmer during the night time.

          Once we’ve established that, the question left begging is “which effect is greater?”
          At this point we can delve into all the radiation fluxes and the SB calculations and averages of anomalies yada yada yada but we’d be wasting our time.
          The advantage of looking at the daily difference [should one exist] is that it is a frequent cycle. If these greenhouse molecules fundamentally behave the same from day to day and from night to night [they should lest they break some physical laws], then any difference between the warming and cooling effects should be permanent, meaning cumulative.

          Hard to believe? Then forget the above for a moment and ask these questions..”What would happen if we add more H2O?
          The new H2O molecules will behave exactly like their older brethren, keep days cooler and nights warmer. What they CANNOT DO is reverse the sign of their effect.

          “If one effect is greater than the other, how much greater?”
          This is where the 365 cycles per year comes in handy. Lets make some assumptions.
          If the daily difference in the effect is say 0.01K, that would accumulate to 3.65K per year. If 0.001, then 0.365K per year or 36.5K per century. Both are unrealistic.
          So we’re talking about numbers so small that we’d have no chance in hades of detecting them.

          Back to the original question, which effect is greater? The answer is self evident IMHO

        • Kristian says:

          Baa Humbug,

          First of all, it appears we agree on the general conclusion. You, however, seem to want to get there along a different path than me. And that’s fine. But I must say I don’t understand your misgivings about the observational results. For instance, you say:

          “If these regions were two identical greenhouses side by side, one deprived of H2O and the other rich with H2O, so long as they receive identical insolation, their average temperature must be the same from day to day but especially on an annual basis, unless one greenhouse somehow created extra energy along the way.
          So I’d assume whatever evidence you’ve seen was lacking in detail.”

          Er, no. I encourage you to read the blog post that I linked to above. It’s all in there. That’s the whole point, the one with more H2O doesn’t manage to equal the average temperature of the one with less H2O, even with just as much insolation to begin with (in fact, the humid region studied absorbs a larger mean solar flux (from the ToA down) than the drier one, and is still substantially cooler annually). All that extra H2O “back radiation” appears to generate ‘negative’ warming on the surface.

          “In fact there is every reason to look at single days.”

          If you want to do it that way, be my guest. I won’t. Because you really don’t need to. If one area is cooler ON AVERAGE than another area, even with MORE solar heat absorbed from the ToA above it down to the surface, but with much more H2O in the troposphere in between, then this alone tells us what we need to know: There is no NET radiative WARMING effect on the surface below an atmosphere containing lots of H2O as compared to one containing a lot less.

          “The simple answer is regions that are rich in H2O are always cooler during the daytime compared to regions poor in H2O, BUT always warmer during the night time.”

          Indeed. We all know this. It’s a basic question of ‘heat capacity’ and temperature gradients. No postulated “back radiation” involved.

          “Once we’ve established that, the question left begging is “which effect is greater?””

          Exactly. And this is what you’ll find out by looking at the annual mean temp. The answer is: The ‘cooling’ effect is MUCH stronger than the ‘warming’ effect. The NET effect is not cumulative, though. It’s just stronger. Period.

          Global net CRE (cloud radiative effect) is -21 W/m^2. Clouds on average COOL the surface of the Earth. That doesn’t mean they do it progressively, so that each year becomes cooler than the next.

        • Gail Combs says:

          Baa Humbug says:
          …..I’ll try to express my thoughts this way…If these regions were two identical greenhouses side by side, one deprived of H2O and the other rich with H2O, so long as they receive identical insolation, their average temperature must be the same from day to day but especially on an annual basis, unless one greenhouse somehow created extra energy along the way.
          >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
          You forgot the latent heat of vaporization and the heat capacity of water vapor vs air. The energy is the same but the temperatures will be different. The greenhouse with water will be cooler.

          Latent heat of evaporation – 2,270 kJ/kg
          Specific heat water vapor – 1.996 kJ/kgK
          http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/water-thermal-properties-d_162.html

          Specific heat of air 1.005 – 1.009 kJ/kg.K
          http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-properties-d_156.html

        • Baa Humbug says:

          @Gail

          You forgot the latent heat of vaporization and the heat capacity of water vapor vs air. The energy is the same but the temperatures will be different. The greenhouse with water will be cooler.

          With respect Gail I haven’t forgotten that at all. The GH with water will certainly be cooler during the day, I’ve stated this many times. But are you claiming this same water also cools at night?
          All empirical evidence points to the GHE keeping night times “warmer than” they otherwise would be. I’d be more than interested to see this evidence.

          Once again, from the perspective I’ve been tackling the GHE question, it doesn’t matter what the minutae processes are within the system SO LONG AS THE EFFECTS IN SUM TOTAL ARE THE OPPOSITE SIGN FROM DAY TO NIGHT.
          Whether we add to, or subtract from, the strength of the GHE, so long as the day night signs are opposite, we have a zero sum game.

          It is imperative that somehow we find empirical evidence that GH materials behave one way during some daylight hours periods, and another way at other daylight hours periods. I simple haven’t found any evidence to suggest as much, therefore…. to date…. I stick to my hypothesis that day time cooling action of the GHE cancels the night time warming action for all the reasons I’ve stated in previous comments.
          thnx Gail

        • Kristian says:

          Baa Humbug says, November 29, 2014 at 2:51 am:

          “But are you claiming this same water also cools at night?”

          No one is claiming this. The evidence is pretty clear: H2O in the atmosphere cuts down the temperature amplitudes, but it COOLS overall, that is, the ‘cooling’ effect during the day is significantly stronger than the ‘warming’ effect during the night. Overall.

          “All empirical evidence points to the GHE keeping night times “warmer than” they otherwise would be.”

          But this isn’t the GHE, Baa Humbug. This is just an atmosphere containing lots of H2O cooling more slowly because 1) it has a higher heat capacity than a dry, clear air column, and because 2) more latent heat is released during the night. A surface cooling to an atmosphere cooling more slowly, will itself cool more slowly. It’s all a matter of temperature gradients.

          “Whether we add to, or subtract from, the strength of the GHE, so long as the day night signs are opposite, we have a zero sum game.

          I stick to my hypothesis that day time cooling action of the GHE cancels the night time warming action for all the reasons I’ve stated in previous comments.”

          So the unequivocal empirical, observational evidence from the real Earth system, that dry tropical regions are consistently and substantially hotter annually than wet tropical regions with equal or larger ToA solar input, is completely meaningless to you. Because you have a perception that day cooling and night warming cancels and so, the whole rGHE is a zero sum game.

          Do you similarly think that the ‘positive’ cloud radiative effect on the surface during winter is as big as their ‘negative’ radiative effect during summer, that the two opposing effects completely cancel? FYI, according to CERES, the latter effect is 5 times stronger than the former.

          The data from the real world makes it abundantly clear that it is NOT a zero sum game. H2O in our atmosphere radiatively exerts a NET COOLING influence on the surface temperature.

      • Gail Combs says:

        Actually I did address Barcelos, Brazil being closer to the equator and Adrar, Algeria being further away. That is why the month chosen is critical and the use of a year does not work.
        In the interests of being brief I did not include:
        ….I would like to add that in looking again at Sleepalot’s data

        For May 2012, Barcelos, Brazil (Lat: 1 South)
        Temp: monthly min 20C, monthly max 33C, monthly average 26C
        Average humidity 90%

        For May 2012, Adrar, Algeria (Lat: 27 North)
        Temp: monthly min 9C monthly max 44C, monthly average 30C
        Average humidity around 0%

        He picks May which is midway between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice and therefore the sun would be midway between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer (the latitude line at 23.5° North) so the solar insolation at both locations would be roughly equal with a bit more expected in Barcelos, Brazil.

        • Kristian says:

          Yes, I can see why he did that. But why not just pick a place that is closer to the equator and therefore doesn’t have such comparably cool winters in the first place? Using an annual mean is a much more powerful piece of evidence.

          If you say ‘Look at this, this locality in the Sahara is hotter than this one in the Amazon Basin … in the month of May’, then the warmists would just laugh and say ‘Well, duh! Of course it gets hotter in the Sahara than in the Amazon rainforest. But it also gets COOLER. Have you by any chance checked the ANNUAL MEAN of the two localities?’

      • Gail Combs says:

        I am double posting this so it goes into the correct place in the conversation.

        Actually I did address Barcelos, Brazil being closer to the equator and Adrar, Algeria being further away. That is why the month chosen is critical and the use of a year does not work.

        In the interests of being brief I did not include:
        ….I would like to add that in looking again at Sleepalot’s data

        For May 2012, Barcelos, Brazil (Lat: 1 South)
        Temp: monthly min 20C, monthly max 33C, monthly average 26C
        Average humidity 90%

        For May 2012, Adrar, Algeria (Lat: 27 North)
        Temp: monthly min 9C monthly max 44C, monthly average 30C
        Average humidity around 0%

        He picks May which is midway between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice and therefore the sun would be midway between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer (the latitude line at 23.5° North) so the solar insolation at both locations would be roughly equal with a bit more expected in Barcelos, Brazil.

      • Gail Combs says:

        Baa Humbug says:
        With respect Gail I haven’t forgotten that at all. The GH with water will certainly be cooler during the day, I’ve stated this many times. But are you claiming this same water also cools at night?
        All empirical evidence points to the GHE keeping night times “warmer than” they otherwise would be. I’d be more than interested to see this evidence….

        >>>>>>>>>>>>>
        Water will cool the day and warm the night. Both of us agree on that. As the small study Sleelalot initiated showed, not only does it dampen the day/night swings it also cools the overall average. (Talking only of the temps near the equator)

        If you think about it that makes sense. During the day, water is evaporated from the surface and the water vapor can travel up to as high as the tropapause where it condenses and dumps the latent heat of vaporization, whether or not you get clouds you do get heat transport. You also get lateral transport of the heat. (In the tropics Hadley cell)

        At night condensation occurs at ground level (dew/fog) and the latent heat of vaporization, not transported up is released near the ground.

        One of the interesting points, and Dr Happer made a point of this, is you do not get the same energy out as you put in. He was talking on the molecular level but it also applies on the macro level.

      • Sleepalot says:

        “Yes, Sleepalot’s analysis is interesting, but ultimately fails. If you look at his ANNUAL MEAN TEMP plots from the two localities, you will find that Barcelos, Brazil, is at ~27C and Adrar, Algeria, at only ~24C.

        I didn’t make any “ANNUAL MEAN TEMP plots”.

        An annual mean comparison must fail, because Barcelos is near the equator, and Adrar is around 28N.

        I specifically chose a period where both locations get comparable insolation.

        • Kristian says:

          Sleepalot, you said:

          “I didn’t make any “ANNUAL MEAN TEMP plots”.”

          I didn’t say you made the plots yourself. What you did was linking to ANNUAL TEMP charts for both localities:
          http://www.climate-charts.com/Locations/b/BZ82113.php
          http://www.climate-charts.com/Locations/a/AL60620.php

          “An annual mean comparison must fail, because Barcelos is near the equator, and Adrar is around 28N.”

          Exactly my point.

          “I specifically chose a period where both locations get comparable insolation.”

          I realise that. But why did you choose Adrar in the first place? Being so far from the equator. The warmists would just say, yup, the desert place is of course hotter than the rainforest place, in that specific summery month you’ve chosen, but it is also cooler in winter, and the ANNUAL MEAN turns out to be lower in the former than in the latter locality. Elegantly obfuscating the point you want to make.

  34. markstoval says:

    Those comments came on a thread back in 2012 looks like. I find that WUWT has now morphed into a place were one is not allowed to stray too far from the standard luke-warmer line. One would never want to say anything that sounded like one was a “slayer” now would one?

    I was real disappointed when Steve recently posted a threat to ban people who disagreed with him, but I don’t think he has done so. (but how would I really know?) The earth’s climate engine is very complex and mankind does not yet understand it. Certainly Jim Hansen does not!

    There should be plenty of room for differing opinions on the skeptical side. No?

    • Gail Combs says:

      Mark,
      When WUWT turned on Tall Bloke and dumped all over him, I pretty much gave up on WUWT. I learned a lot there but the censorship/venom in that instance was stomach turning.

      Even if someone is stubbornly wrong headed as some are, explaining why is very important because of the lurkers.

      • markstoval says:

        “… When WUWT turned on Tall Bloke and dumped all over him, …”

        I was also disgusted by that episode. I changed my views of several people when they attacked in the manner they did.

    • Making personal attacks and spamming attempts to disrupt the blog have nothing to do with debate.

      • markstoval says:

        “Making personal attacks and spamming attempts to disrupt the blog have nothing to do with debate.” ~SG

        We can all agree with that statement. But I have not seen any “personal attack” other than being called an idiot or worse by some posts for holding different views from the post.

        I have not seen “attempts to disrupt the blog” but perhaps I missed them. I have seen many intelligent posts that downplay the role of CO2 as a net warming agent due to “back radiation”. Some of the best (like those of Gail Combs) mention the time element and the fact that the CO2 molecule will bump into nitrogen or oxygen molecule and “thermalize” the energy long before it has a chance to radiate it.

  35. nickreality65 says:

    After reading and participating in a few blogs I stepped back for a moment and realized there was something amiss. It appears to me there are two theories regarding the mechanism of CO2/GHG/atmospheric heating: theory A based on UV on the higher energy side of visible light and theory B based on IR on the lower energy side of visible light.

    Theory A
    High energy UV (UV-A, UV-B, damages eyes, burns skin) of appropriate frequency knocks electrons out of orbit in CO2 molecules. (Einstein’s photoelectric effect) When these electrons return to their stable orbits photons with energy diminished by the work function are coincidentally atuned to heating water molecules ala microwave oven. This leads to a general heating of the atmosphere, which heats the ocean (unlikely when opposed to evap) which outgasses more CO2 leading to a positive feedback loop of disputed magnitude. The radiative feedback loop of IPCC AR5. No S-B or GHE. BTW I posit this theory in my writerbeat posting and after 700 plus reads have yet to be chastised or corrected.

    Theory B
    IR from the sun (SWIR?) heats objects on the surface of the earth (oceans, too?) which radiate LWIR per S-B (does water follow S-B?) which is both trapped by the atmosphere (GHE) yet carries energy out of the atmosphere to maintain the balance. CO2 absorbs this LWIR reducing the heat leaving the atmosphere (blanket, resistors) and re-back radiates heat from a colder troposphere to a warmer surface and maybe amplifying the energy in the process.

    One of these theories goes home with the 2015 BMW X-5, the other with a gift box of sausage and cheese.

    Do-doo-do-doo-do-do-doo……(Jeopardy)

    • Are you paid to disrupt blogs with stupid straw man comments?

    • Theory A is all wrong and theory B is even wronger.

    • Gail Combs says:

      Theory A
      High energy UV (UV-A, UV-B, damages eyes, burns skin) of appropriate frequency knocks electrons out of orbit in CO2 molecules….

      Nick you know better.
      The high energy gets taken out high in the atmosphere. That is why the temperatures in the upper thermosphere can range from about 500° C (932° F) to 2,000° C (3,632° F) or higher. If you are talking about “knocks electrons out of orbit” you are talking the ionosphere, a part of the thermosphere.

      Scientists call the ionosphere an extension of the thermosphere. So technically, the ionosphere is not another atmospheric layer. The ionosphere represents less than 0.1% of the total mass of the Earth’s atmosphere. Even though it is such a small part, it is extremely important!

      The upper atmosphere is ionized by solar radiation. That means the Sun’s energy is so strong at this level, that it breaks apart molecules. So there ends up being electrons floating around and molecules which have lost or gained electrons. When the Sun is active, more and more ionization happens!

      Different regions of the ionosphere make long distance radio communication possible by reflecting the radio waves back to Earth. It is also home to auroras.

      Temperatures in the ionosphere just keep getting hotter as you go up…..
      http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Atmosphere/layers_activity_print.html

      As you go lower you get less energetic and in the stratosphere the energy is used up in chemical reactions. You have the chemical reactions involving NOx and Ox ====>O3 and O3 ===> O2 + O radical.

      • davidswuk says:

        ….and so the electron density of solar IR is greater at surface level than that of visible light even though the W/m2 as shown on Solar spectrum diagrams is much lower??

        • That chart mentions infrared rays, but they are only talking about short wave IR from 700 to 2500 nanometers (,7 to 2.5 microns). The sun doesn’t make IR over 3 microns because it’s too hot.

        • davidswuk says:

          Morgan Wright says:
          November 29, 2014 at 3:44 pm
          That chart mentions infrared rays, but they are only talking about short wave IR from 700 to 2500 nanometers (,7 to 2.5 microns). The sun doesn’t make IR over 3 microns because it’s too hot.

          It relates to near IR which totals near 50% of the Solar spectrum reaching Earth and which, by its greater electron density, brings it HEAT and not just the largely unusable energy some BELIEVE to be the the cause of GW.
          Visible radiation penetrates deep into the Oceans before losing its relatively meagre HEAT whilst IR dumps a whole lot more not only into H2O on the way down, Co2 as well, but all it has left into the top few millimetres of the Seas.

  36. nickreality65 says:

    No, just opening up the discussion. Still haven’t heard your thoughts on Miatello. Any particular reason you can’t respond w/ a professional, objective, participatory attitude?

  37. nickreality65 says:

    Oh, you’re no fun any more.

  38. davidswuk says:

    davidswuk says:
    November 29, 2014 at 11:25 pm
    Morgan Wright says:
    November 29, 2014 at 3:44 pm
    That chart mentions infrared rays, but they are only talking about short wave IR from 700 to 2500 nanometers (,7 to 2.5 microns). The sun doesn’t make IR over 3 microns because it’s too hot.

    It relates to near IR which totals near 50% of the Solar spectrum reaching Earth and which, by its greater electron density, brings it HEAT and not just the largely unusable energy some BELIEVE to be the the cause of GW.
    Visible radiation penetrates deep into the Oceans before losing its relatively meagre HEAT whilst IR dumps a whole lot more not only into H2O on the way down, Co2 as well, but all it has left into the top few millimetres of the Seas.

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