A World without Clouds – A Thought Experiment

Written by Myles, PSI Researcher

  According to many government climatologists ‘greenhouse gases’ – especially carbon dioxide, keep our planet 33 degrees warmer than it would otherwise be. However, an increasing number of experts from the “hard” sciences say the generalists of the infant science of climatology have overlooked the huge role of clouds in climate. 

clouds

  Physicists say it is the dominance of clouds, not carbon dioxide that really holds the key. In this article we take a closer look at just how important clouds really are.

  Let us begin by addressing two key sets of numbers that appear to be in contradiction:

  1. Contemporary climate theory uses the following statement as a base:
    “Right now, the warming influence is literally a matter of life and death. It keeps the average surface temperature of the planet at 288 degrees kelvin (15 degrees Celsius or 59 degrees Fahrenheit). Without this greenhouse effect, the average surface temperature would be 255 degrees kelvin (-18 degrees Celsius or 0 degrees Fahrenheit); a temperature so low that all water on Earth would freeze, the oceans would turn into ice and life, as we know it, would not exist. http://ase.tufts.edu/cosmos/view_chapter.asp?id=21&page=1
  2. But in stark contradiction to this planetary physics calculates the average temperature of the Earth without greenhouse gases or an atmosphere to be far higher at 6 C.  http://www.spaceacademy.net.au/library/notes/plantemp.htm

Deviations of actual planetary surface temperatures from these computed temperatures are due to:

  • Inadequate planetary rotation
  • Non black-body radiator (radiation efficieny <>1) or high albedo
  • Presence of an atmosphere
  •     As there is dispute on the amount of temperature variation caused by the “greenhouse gas effect” (GHE) or the “atmospheric effect” it is the scientific approach to apply scepticism and judge for yourself. To imagine what the Earth would be like without greenhouse gases is to image a world without clouds – with other “greenhouse gases” being invisible. Here I will lay out a logical scenario of what the Earth’s climate would be like without them.

       A piece of important information is the temperature of the sunny side of our nearest neighbour, the Moon.  

    ” When sunlight hits the moon’s surface, the temperature can reach 253 degrees F (123 C). “
    http://www.space.com/18175-moon-temperature.html
       The moon’s high sunny side temperature is with no atmosphere at all and of course, on the dark side it gets very cold. In a world without clouds we would see similar results – getting warmer during the day and colder at night.

     So what would the increase in shortwave radiation be?

     At any moment, about 60 percent of the earth is covered by clouds, which have a huge influence on the climate. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/05/01/science/earth/0501-clouds.html?_r=0

      The removal of 60% cloud cover, which is estimated at reflecting 30% of incoming sunlight, would significantly increase shortwave (SW) radiation. This would mean our oceans and land would warm more in the day under unbroken blue skies. But then they cool off at night. In that scenario thoughts of a desert comes to mind. Day temperatures would obviously be higher than they are at present. Conductive warming of the atmosphere would prevail. Any cooling off coming from thermal expansion and release of infrared.

      Also there would be more SW radiation heat going into the OCEANS which retain heat longer than the land. Ocean temperatures would rise in the day and the “hot water bottle effect” of heat retention by such a huge mass of water would insulate the planet at night. Thus, planet Earth would be significantly hotter during the day and colder at night over land due to the absence of clouds or other so-called greenhouse gases. We see no reason for a sudden drop to -18 C as predicted by believers of the Greenhouse Gas Theory. 

       For the atmospheric temperature to drop there would have to be increased cooling in each 24 hour period. This cooling having to overcome the increased SW radiation, continued conductive warming of the atmosphere plus the retained temperature due to atmospheric pressure before it starts to cool. But where would this increased cooling come from?

       Greenhouse gas believers hypothesise that an absence of a GHE would mean increased cooling due to increased infrared radiation to space. They envisage an “out of control cooling” taking place with the Earth becoming an uninhabitable snowball at -18C. But the evidence, when you run the “A world without clouds” thought experiment, suggests that this is an atmospheric disaster scenario that would never occur.

       At the other end of the spectrum the alleged “out of control warming” from increased “greenhouse gases” is also based on a similar unproven assumption. This assumption is that it happened before on Venus and so could happen here.

       However, there exists no consensus opinion about Venus with some believing “Venus may either have formed “dry”, or may have formed “wet” and subsequently lost most of its water. A choice between these two alternatives is impossible at present and there are arguments for and against both models.” [1]

       The assumption that Venus evolved wet with oceans and then went into an “out of control greenhouse effect” is unproven and will likely remain so as there is no evidence of any oceans having existed there.

      Thus both the “out of control cooling” into a snowball Earth at -18C due to removing such gases and the “out of control warming” caused by having too many “greenhouse gases” are simply an unproven hypothesis with no scientific consensus.

    [1] Lewis and Prinn (1984); Yung and DeMore (1999), as quoted from Atmospheric evolution on Venus. Bruce Fegley, Jr. Planetary Chemistry Laboratory.

     SUPPLEMENTAL NOTE (August 05, 2014): In relation to the above senior PSI Fellow, Dr Charles Anderson provides the following:

    The Earth Surface Temperature without Greenhouse Gases: The Shade Effect of Infra-Red Active Gases 
     
     “To find out, we must ask how the solar insolation and any back-radiation from the atmosphere which are absorbed by the Earth’s surface change.  The back radiation issue is clear.  There is none without the infra-red active gases called greenhouse gases.  Now we examine the solar insolation absorbed by the surface.  The 20% reflected by clouds is no longer reflected by the vanished clouds.  The 3% of solar radiation absorbed by clouds is no longer absorbed.  Of the 16% of solar insolation absorbed by the atmosphere, let us suppose that 6% was absorbed by greenhouse gases as a low-ball estimate.  Now the NASA diagram above showed that 51% of the solar insolation was absorbed by the surface and 4% was reflected.  So, without greenhouse gases, the solar insolation incident upon the surface would be about 51% + 4% + 20% +3% + 6% = 84%.  If 4% was reflected from the surface out of 55% incident, then assuming the same reflectivity the amount reflected without so-called greenhouse gases would be (4/55)(84%) = 6%.  The solar insolation power density absorbed by the surface would then be (84 – 6)% = 78%.

     
    The surface temperature can now be calculated for the surface of the Earth under the condition of no so-called greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and with the elimination of clouds.  We now see that this temperature is given by the following equation:
     
    Pabs = (1365.8/4) (0.78) = (0.457) (5.6697 x 10-8 W/m2K4) T4
     
    T = 318.41K
     
    The effect of having no infra-red active gases in the atmosphere is then a surface temperature which is 30.76K higher than the observed average surface temperature of 287.65K!  In other words, the so-called greenhouse gases have a very strong cooling effect upon the Earth’s surface temperature, which is of nearly the same strength as the commonly claimed warming effect on the Earth system as a whole is. 
     
    Read more by Dr Anderson at:
     

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    Comments (7)

    • Avatar

      Charles Higley

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      Actually, in direct sunlight and no atmosphere, the temperature would be hundreds of deg C. With an atmosphere, it is much cooler as the atmosphere provides more means for the surface to dissipate the heat energy absorbed by the surface.

    • Avatar

      John Marshall

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      The -18C is based on the RET of the average heat radiated which is 240W/m2. But the stupid flat earth model of K&T (AR4) has 167W/m2 at the surface which gives an RET of -40C. So they cant even get that right.
      Average surface temperature , based on average input, in reality, is +33C, the RET based on the average input over a hemisphere, since only half the surface ia heated, is 480W/m2
      Joe Postma has written about this a lot and worth a read.

    • Avatar

      Plchampness

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      This article seems to conflate CLOUDS with GRENHOUSE GASES. Clouds are not gas! Clouds do seem to both absorb and radiate Electro Magnetic Radiation. The temperature of a cloud can be measured with an IR thermometer.

      Clouds quite possible represent a lot of the radiation surface of our Earth. Since the tops of the clouds are quite a way above the surface and hence colder than the surface this likely accounts for the apparent temperature of the Earth as seen from space, which I am told is about -18C. Apparently that temperature also accords with the simplistic calculations of our Earth energy budget.

      Since CO2 does not form clouds, CO2 cannot contribute to any temperature modifying effect of clouds.

    • Avatar

      Greg House

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      [quote]Written by Myles, PSI Researcher: “Contemporary climate theory uses the following statement as a base: “Right now, the warming influence is literally a matter of life and death. It keeps the average surface temperature of the planet at 288 degrees kelvin (15 degrees Celsius or 59 degrees Fahrenheit). Without this greenhouse effect, the average surface temperature would be 255 degrees kelvin (-18 degrees Celsius or 0 degrees Fahrenheit); a temperature so low that all water on Earth would freeze, the oceans would turn into ice and life, as we know it, would not exist. ”
      But in stark contradiction to this planetary physics calculates the average temperature of the Earth without greenhouse gases or an atmosphere to be far higher at 6 C.[/quote]

      There is no contradiction, it is just their calculation taking into account 30% albedo and yours not, although you do mention this 30% albedo: [i]”cloud cover, which is estimated at reflecting 30% of incoming sunlight,”[/i]

      The readers are not that stupid, you know.

      Now I’d like to ask you something. They explain that alleged difference in temperature by the “greenhouse effect”, which is intercepting the IR from the surface of the Earth by so called “greenhouse gases” and sending it DOUBLED back, thus causing warming. What is your explanation for this “additional temperature”? Of course, apart from the option that there can not be any “additional temperature” and hence their calculation (and yours) is wrong and besides their “greenhouse gases” is absolutely impossible anyway.

    • Avatar

      Greg House

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      [quote]Written by Myles, PSI Researcher: “Contemporary climate theory uses the following statement as a base: “Right now, the warming influence is literally a matter of life and death. It keeps the average surface temperature of the planet at 288 degrees kelvin (15 degrees Celsius or 59 degrees Fahrenheit). Without this greenhouse effect, the average surface temperature would be 255 degrees kelvin (-18 degrees Celsius or 0 degrees Fahrenheit); a temperature so low that all water on Earth would freeze, the oceans would turn into ice and life, as we know it, would not exist. ” http://ase.tufts.edu/cosmos/view_chapter.asp?id=21&page=1
      But in stark contradiction to this planetary physics calculates the average temperature of the Earth without greenhouse gases or an atmosphere to be far higher at 6 C. http://www.spaceacademy.net.au/library/notes/plantemp.htm
      [/quote]

      There is no contradiction, it is just their calculation taking into account 30% albedo and yours not, although you do mention this 30% albedo: [i]”cloud cover, which is estimated at reflecting 30% of incoming sunlight,”[/i]

      The readers are not that stupid, you know.

      Now I’d like to ask you something. They explain that alleged difference in temperature by the “greenhouse effect”, which is intercepting the IR from the surface of the Earth by so called “greenhouse gases” and sending it DOUBLED back, thus causing warming. What is your explanation for this “additional temperature”? Of course, apart from the option that there can not be any “additional temperature” and hence their calculation (and yours) is wrong and besides their “greenhouse gases” is absolutely impossible anyway.

    • Avatar

      Greg House

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      Well, apparently not… 🙂 I’ll try it again.

    • Avatar

      Greg House

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      Is there any pre-moderation set here? Because I do not see my comment

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