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Greenhouse Effect: Does Water Vapor Increase or Decrease the Lapse Rate?

Written by Carl Brehmer

 

At first glance this simple question appears to be lifted from a first year, undergraduate class in meteorology, because everyone who has even a rudimentary understanding of the thermodynamics of the atmosphere knows that water vapor decreases the lapse rate, i.e., the rate at which the air temperature changes with altitude—ascending air cools at a certain rate as it “does work” against its progressively less dense surroundings and descending air warms at a certain rate as its progressively more dense surroundings “does work” on it.

            As countless weather balloon soundings have shown water vapor decreases this lapse rate and it has even been observed that this attenuation becomes more acute as both the temperature and the humidity increase.  One wonders then why the country’s most prestigious universities in classes across the hall are teaching their students that water vapor increases the lapse rate via a hypothetical “greenhouse effect”.

Princeton         “The greenhouse effect is a process by which thermal radiation from a planetary surface is absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases, and is re-radiated in all directions. Since part of this re-radiation is back towards the surface, energy is transferred to the surface and the lower atmosphere. As a result, the temperature there is higher than it would be if direct heating by solar radiation were the only warming mechanism.”

University of California, Riverside

“What is the greenhouse effect?

“This refers to the retention of the sun’s warmth in the Earth’s lower atmosphere by greenhouse gases. These gases (primarily carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) act as a thermal blanket for the planet, warming the surface to a life-supporting average of 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celcius).”

Texas A&M University

“55% of the heat that warms the atmosphere is quickly re-radiated radiated back to the earth (324 W/m2). This warms the earth and the lower atmosphere.”

Columbia University

“Some of the emitted radiation [from the surface] passes through the atmosphere and travels back to space, but some is absorbed by greenhouse gas molecules and then re-emitted in all directions. The effect of this is to warm the Earth’s surface and the lower atmosphere. Water vapor (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are the two largest contributors to the greenhouse effect.”

Boston University

“We have demonstrated how the ‘natural’ greenhouse effect (e.g. H2O, natural CO2) elevated surface temperature.  Next time we will extend this simple model to show how the addition of greenhouse gases increases surface temperature.”  

            Now, you might be saying, “What are you talking about?  None of these definitions mentions a ‘lapse rate’,” but notice that each one of these definitions of the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis asserts that “greenhouse gases” only warm the “surface and the lower atmosphere.”  Not one of them asserts that “greenhouse gases” warm the entire troposphere or the upper troposphere.  Doing so, of course, would be foolish since the upper troposphere in the mid-latitudes is commonly as cold as -60 °C and can be as cold as -80 °C!  By default then, when one asserts that there exists a thermodynamic process within the atmosphere that only warms the lower troposphere and not the upper troposphere one is asserting that that process increases the lapse rate—the temperature differential between lower tropospheric air and upper tropospheric air that is quantified in °C/km.  Indeed, it has even been suggested by some that if there were no “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere there wouldn’t even be a lapse rate.

            “Without the destabilization provided by the greenhouse effect, convective overturning would slow and quite possible cease altogether. The atmosphere would eventually become isothermal, as the full depth of the atmosphere would achieve the same temperature as the surface through thermal conduction; without IR emission, the middle and upper troposphere would have no way to cool itself in the face of this heating.” Roy Spencer

            The mental construct that “greenhouse gases” either create or at least augment the lapse rate can also be seen in this mathematical hypothetical being taught at Boston University . . .

Brehmer fig 1

 Brehmer fig 2

 

When one digs deeper into the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis one finds that it is not actually increasing CO2 levels that are causing concern in the minds of some people but rather it is the expected increase in humidity that atmospheric warming from any source is likely to cause.  Via what is called “positive water vapor feedback” this extra humidity is said to amplify any lower atmospheric warming from any source up to 300%

San José State University:

“Water vapor is a greenhouse gas, even more effective at absorbing the thermal radiation from the Earth’s surface than carbon dioxide.

“As the temperature of the atmosphere rises, more water is evaporated from ground storage (rivers, oceans, reservoirs, soil). Because the air is warmer, the relative humidity can be higher (in essence, the air is able to ‘hold’ more water when its warmer), leading to more water vapor in the atmosphere. As a greenhouse gas, the higher concentration of water vapor is then able to absorb more thermal IR energy radiated from the Earth, thus further warming the atmosphere. The warmer atmosphere can then hold more water vapor and so on and so on. This is referred to as a ‘positive feedback loop’.

Princeton:

            “ . . . CO2 provides a measurable direct addition to the atmospheric trapping of infrared radiation leaving the surface of our planet.  However, a simple comparison of the relative greenhouse efficiencies of water vapor and CO2 quickly becomes problematic because water vapor enters the climate system mostly as a “feedback” gas . . . Thus, as climate warms (cools), the holding capacity of the atmospheric water vapor increases (decreases) exponentially.  This is a powerful water vapor positive feedback mechanism—that is, a process that acts to amplify the original warming caused by increasing CO2 levels.  With this major positive feedback, the modeled “climate sensitivity” increases by about a factor of three, to roughly 3 °C.”

            The “greenhouse effect” hypothesis therefore is the belief that “greenhouse gases” 1) create or enhance the lapse rate, which 2) raises the Earth’s average ground level air temperatures some 33 °C and 3) that at least 22 °C of that enhancement is the doing of water vapor, “the most powerful greenhouse gas.”

“Water vapor is a more powerful heat-trapping greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.” Columbia University

            So, let’s test out this hypothesis by looking at what actually happens to the temperature profile of the troposphere when nature removes the water vapor from the air such as in a desert or during a drought.  Here is a graph of the troposphere’s current average temperature profile with water vapor in it.  It varies slightly from the Standard Atmosphere because water vapor is only present in significant amounts within the lower 5 km of the troposphere and this lowers the lapse rate of the bottom half of the troposphere compared to its top half.

Brehmer fig 3

At the left side of this graph you can see that the mean global air temperature at sea level is about 15 °C.  From sea level to about 5km in altitude the “lapse rate” averages roughly 6 °C/km and above that altitude the “lapse rate” increases to an average of about 8 °C/km the rest of the way up to the tropopause at about 11 km whose average temperature is -60 °C on average.  The reason that there is a change in the lapse rate at about 5 km in altitude is because most of the water vapor that is present in the lower troposphere has condensed out of the air by that altitude.  This creates a “dog leg” in the temperature profile of the troposphere as the lapse rate changes from a moist lapse rate to a dry lapse rate.

As we saw above, the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis asserts that “greenhouse gases” either create or augment the lapse rate and that 2/3rds of that augmentation is the doing of water vapor.  Therefore, according to the hypothesis if there were no water vapor in the atmosphere the lapse rate would decrease markedly causing ground level air temperatures to drop some 22 °C.  Since water vapor is only present in significant amounts within the lower 5 km of the troposphere then this entire 22 °C of cooling would have to happen within that space and would require the following change in the temperature profile of the troposphere.

Brehmer fig 4

Ergo, if the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis were true and water vapor were causing some 22 °C of ground level warming then when nature removes the water vapor from the air, like over a desert or during a drought, then the lapse rate within the lower 5 km of the troposphere would have to drop down to about 1.6 °C/km for that much cooling to occur.  As demonstrated in the above graph, this would create a much more acute bend in the “dog leg” at 5 km.  (Again, remember that all of the above definitions of the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis assert that “greenhouse gases”, including water vapor, only heat “the surface and lower Atmosphere.  Therefore, if the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis were true removing water vapor from the air would only cool the surface and lower atmosphere.) 

            So, with that in mind let’s look at what actually happens when nature takes the water vapor out of the air in the Nevada desert.

Brehmer fig 5

This is a comparative study that I did of weather balloon soundings on two cloudless days in June of 2012 that compares the temperature profile above Jackson, Mississippi, which had an average ground level mixing ratio of 12.7 g/kg and Las Vegas, Nevada, which had an average ground level mixing ratio of 3.2 g/kg.  I chose these two locations because they lie roughly along the same latitude and I chose cloudless days because I wanted to see what effect water vapor alone has on the temperature profile of the troposphere.

            In essence nature performed an experiment for us by taking 75% of the water vapor out of the ground level air.  Instead of increasing the acuteness of the bend in the “dog leg” of the temperature profile though (which would have happened if the “greenhouse effect” were true) the elimination of 75% of the water vapor from the ground level air removed the “dog leg” altogether as the lapse rate of the now drier lower 5 km of the troposphere increased to match the ~8 °C/km lapse rate of the upper troposphere.  As you can see, the result of removing the water vapor from the air, rather than decreasing the temperature of the lower troposphere as the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis predicts, actually increased the temperature of the lower troposphere!

            The fact that ground level air temperatures increase when nature takes the water vapor out of the air is not a new scientific discovery, since “heat waves” have always been preceded by droughts and desert climates have always been predictably warmer than humid climates along the same latitude.  Here are some examples based on 2011 yearly mean temperatures and yearly mean humidity readings.

Brehmer fig 6

In each of these cases the mean annual temperature in the more humid climate was cooler than the mean annual temperature in the drier climate—an impossibility if the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis were true.

            Again, the fact that water vapor has a cooling effect on ground level air temperatures is not hidden knowledge but instead has been observed by multiple scientists.

This was written in 2001

            “ . . . water vapour steadily cools the troposphere by radiation, even where its concentration is quite low, owing to very active rotation bands and continuum effects (Doherty and Newel1 1984; Clough et al. 1992).” Mapes, Brian, Water’s Two Height Scales: The Moist Adiabat And The Radiative Troposphere, NOMCIRES Climate Diagnostics Center; USA, Q. J. R. Meteorol. SOC. (2001), 127, pp. 2353-2366

This was written in 2008:

            “ . . . water vapour causes a negative feedback, not a large positive feedback . . . clouds cause a negative feedback, not a positive feedback.”  Gregory, Ken, Why Climate Models Fail

 These were written in 2009:

            “A new 2009 paper finds that the crucial assumption in the GCM models used by the IPCC concerning strongly positive feedback from water vapor is not supported by empirical evidence and that the feedback is actually negative.” Carlin, Alan, Comments on Draft Technical Support Document for Endangerment Analysis for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Under the Clean Air Act, NCEE/OPEI, Based on TSD Draft of March 9, 2009

            “Negative trends in q as found in the NCEP data would imply that long-term water vapor feedback is negative—that it would reduce rather than amplify the response of the climate system to external forcing such as that from increasing atmospheric CO2.” (Paltridge, 2009)

This was written in 2010:

            “So which effect is stronger, water vapor’s cooling effect or warming effect? Interestingly, it is seldom mentioned in the global warming debate that the surface cooling effect of evaporation (which creates water vapor) is stronger than its greenhouse warming effect.” weatherquestions.com

This was written in 2011:

            “This cooling effect of water vapor was proved following the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Atmospheric scientists studied the effect of water vapor on temperature in the wake of the attacks.” Ashworth, R., Nahle, N., Schreuder, Hans, Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere Cool the Earth!, Updated version – 10 May 2011

This was written in May of 2012 based on a study of data from 5600 weather stations:

            “Direct evidence for negative water feedback is found in CRUTEM4 station data by comparing temperature anomalies for arid regions (deserts and polar regions) with those for humid regions (mainly saturated tropics).” Evidence for Negative Water Feedback Posted on May 23, 2012 by Clive Best

            Is it any wonder then that the young people who are currently graduating from major universities are confused about the effect of “greenhouse gases” on the atmosphere’s temperature? Within one class at these universities students are being taught that water vapor increases the lapse rate via a “greenhouse effect”, which warms the “surface and the lower atmosphere”, while in another class across the hall they are being taught the truth—water vapor actually lowers the lapse rate, which results in a cooling of “the surface and lower atmosphere”.  They are thus ill prepared to deal with the current tsunami of media propaganda that asserts that anthropogenic global warming (which in reality is hypothetically due primarily to positive water vapor feedback) will devastate the planet by the end of the 21st Century “without serious policy changes.” 

            “This report spells out what the world would be like if it warmed by 4 degrees Celsius, which is what scientists are nearly unanimously predicting by the end of the century, without serious policy changes.  The 4 °C scenarios are devastating: the inundation of coastal cities; increasing risks for food production potentially leading to higher malnutrition rates; many dry regions becoming dryer, wet regions wetter; unprecedented heat waves in many regions, especially in the tropics; substantially exacerbated water scarcity in many regions; increased frequency of high-intensity tropical cyclones; and irreversible loss of biodiversity, including coral reef systems.” The World Bank, Turn Down the Heat, 2012

            Again, the “4 °C scenarios” that this report would have you trembles in fear over are all based upon the false notion that water vapor increases the lapse rate and thus creates a positive feedback to atmospheric warming whatever the source.  Perhaps that is why the World Bank itself included this disclaimer at the beginning of its own paper: “The World Bank does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this work.”

           

 

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Comments (51)

  • Avatar

    Doug  Cotton

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    [i]”Phoenix” “Atlanta”[/i]

    Yep. Go back to …

    2014-04-09 21:35
    You all could have read this study in March last year on PSI …

    TABLE OF TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL DATA FOR 15 TROPICAL CITIES

    ……

    (as above)

  • Avatar

    Doug  Cotton

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    [i]”Might I suggest a fourth, which is the emissivity of the air. That is, when water vapor increases the emissivity of the air this also reduces the lapse rate because it enhances the “net radiation loss rate” of the warmer, lower altitude air”[/i]

    Yep. Quoting from Chapter 5 of “Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all” …

    [i]However, there are small variations which reduce the magnitude of the gradient by amounts up to about a third in magnitude. This happens because of the temperature levelling effect of inter-molecular radiation which only ever transfers thermal energy from warmer to cooler regions.

    So the overall true state of thermodynamic equilibrium has to take into account the propensity for non-radiative diffusion processes to produce a temperature gradient which is then reduced a little by the opposing tendency for inter-molecular radiation to level out the gradient. This is why that gradient is reduced on Earth from a theoretical -9.8 degrees per kilometre to a mean of about -6.5 to -7 degrees per kilometre. The reduction in the magnitude of the gradient results from radiation helping energy to “leap frog” over the slower moving diffused energy. [/i]

  • Avatar

    carlallen

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    [i]“. . . the average effective lapse rate (for suitably well stirred atmosphere) depends only on three things: 1) the average specific heat of the mixed gas content. 2) the Earth’s gravity. 3) the effect of heat release of condensing water vapor (to ice or water droplets).”[/i]

    Might I suggest a fourth, which is the emissivity of the air. That is, when water vapor increases the emissivity of the air this also reduces the lapse rate because it enhances the “net radiation loss rate” of the warmer, lower altitude air. You state, [i]“The water vapor that is remaining as gas (not condensing) increase IR absorption and thus increases back radiation”,[/i] but fail to acknowledge that water vapor also increases “forward radiation” or “up-going radiation” if you prefer. Thus a more humid atmosphere (a more emissive atmosphere) cools more efficiently via IR radiation than does an arid atmosphere, which is why “heat waves” are invariably associated with droughts, i.e., dry air and not humid air.

    Phoenix, for example, experiences a perpetual heat wave each summer around 110-115 F, but when Atlanta, which lies roughly along the same latitude, had a dry spell like it did in 2012 and the temperature went up to 108 F the Newspapers were all abuzz with the unprecedented Georgian heat-wave. Nearly unnoticed in the same Newspapers were the stories about the 2012 Georgian drought, [i]”For Georgia farmers, 2012 is shaping up to be another [b]dry[/b] year”[/i] The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Remember that the radiosonde study that is shown in the fig #4 graph in the above article was done under “clear skies” and as you can see in the Las Vegas vs. Jackson temperature profiles there was no increased “back radiation” warming of the surface due to the extra humidity present in the Mississippi air.

    Carl

  • Avatar

    Doug  Cotton

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    [b]No Leonard.[/b] You are glossing over the assumed [i]initial[/i] effect of water vapour. If the mean WV is 2.5% of the atmosphere, and WV does 25 of those 33 degrees of supposed warming, then there is an implied sensitivity to WV of about 10 degrees per 1% in the atmosphere.

    This is crap, Leonard. Look at the results of a real world study for 15 cities in an earlier comment. Where’s your study showing 10 degrees of warming for each 1%? [b]I’m offering $5,000 [/b]for anyone to produce such when my book is released – terms and conditions apply.

    The state of thermodynamic equilibrium must take radiative equilibrium into account as well. As is demonstrated in a [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex_tube]Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube[/url], gravity form a thermal gradient, but inter-molecular radiation in any planet’s troposphere has a temperature levelling effect which lowers the surface end of the thermal profile, and thus lowers the supported temperature at the surface.

    Next month you can read about it in detail, complete with explanatory diagrams and calculations [url=http://www.climate-change-theory.com/cover-front-back.jpg]here[/url].

  • Avatar

    Leonard Weinstein

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    I generally dislike responding to this site due to frequent basic misunderstandings of the posts and comments. I just have to try to clear up this particular one as it is so basic. The lapse rate first is a temperature GRADIENT, not a temperature level, so any comments about the level are basically looking at the wrong thing. Second, the average effective lapse rate (for suitably well stirred atmosphere) depends only on three things: 1) the average specific heat of the mixed gas content. 2) the Earth’s gravity. 3) the effect of heat release of condensing water vapor (to ice or water droplets). The small changes in average water VAPOUR and CO2 do not significantly change average specific heat, so the only possible change in GRADIENT is change in amount of evapo-transporation and condensation (movement of latent heat from the surface to the atmosphere). The net lapse rate is called the wet lapse rate and is smaller than the dry lapse rate. In this sense, added water vapor that condenses does reduce the lapse rate. However, it also changes the altitude of outgoing radiation to space, and generally INCREASES the surface temperature due to more back radiation from more clouds, but decreases it due to increased reflection of sunlight back to space. The water vapor that is remaining as gas (not condensing) increase IR absorption and thus increases back radiation and thus surface temperature. The issue is not what you all propose, but is the result of the question: does the increase in CO2 actually increase the amount of evaporating water vapor more than the increased reflection back to space from increased clouds. It appears the two effects nearly match, so the CO2 effect is reduced, not increased. Keep in mind this is NOT what you are claiming.

  • Avatar

    solvingtornadoes

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    [quote name=”Doug  Cotton”]The [b]tornado buster[/b] asks [i]”Let me ask you a question.”[/i]

    Nope. You answer mine first, copied below from an earlier comment than yours:

    [i]So, ST, please link us to any physics text, Wikipedia articles or whatever which you think confirms your assertion (which you keep making on various blogs) that kinetic theory says temperature depends on the density of the molecules, rather than just the mean kinetic energy[/i]

    In that we know from the ideal gas law that pressure is proportional to the product of density and temperature, then, by your wild imaginings, if temperature is also proportional to density it would mean that pressure would be proportional to the square of density. So build up your muscles, man, and become a champion at 10 pin bowls. Just apply a bit more density (straight from your brain I suppose) and you’ll see amazing results from the pressure build up therein. (I’ll stick to my lawn bowls.)[/quote]LOL You’re expecting me to argue with your imagination? Guess again.

  • Avatar

    Mervyn

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    No matter how the IPCC tries to justify its positive water vapour feedback mechanism, common sense says the IPCC cannot argue against the first and second laws of thermodynamics.

    And that’s what it tries to do with its position on ‘back-radiation’ and positive water vapour feedback mechanism. These are just IPCC suppositions.

  • Avatar

    Plchampness

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    Once again Carl,
    You present your ideas with clarity and logic.

    Yours Peter Champness

  • Avatar

    Doug  Cotton

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    So, Ein[b]ST[/b]ein the Second, on a warm day at 300K we open a strong metal cylinder to the atmosphere and it fills with 300K air. We now force a piston down the cylinder to compress the air to one third of its volume. It now has 3 times the original density and so three times as many molecules melting our thermometer we left inside. Is it now 900K in there?

  • Avatar

    Doug  Cotton

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    The [b]tornado buster[/b] asks [i]”Let me ask you a question.”[/i]

    Nope. You answer mine first, copied below from an earlier comment than yours:

    [i]So, ST, please link us to any physics text, Wikipedia articles or whatever which you think confirms your assertion (which you keep making on various blogs) that kinetic theory says temperature depends on the density of the molecules, rather than just the mean kinetic energy[/i]

    In that we know from the ideal gas law that pressure is proportional to the product of density and temperature, then, by your wild imaginings, if temperature is also proportional to density it would mean that pressure would be proportional to the square of density. So build up your muscles, man, and become a champion at 10 pin bowls. Just apply a bit more density (straight from your brain I suppose) and you’ll see amazing results from the pressure build up therein. (I’ll stick to my lawn bowls.)

  • Avatar

    Doug  Cotton

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    [b]Joel Shore[/b] says [i]”There is an overwhelming amount of evidence in favor of radiation transfer theory.”[/i]

    Is there just? Then tell me how the “theory” explains the temperatures in the Uranus troposphere where no solar radiation penetrates very far. Tell me how it explains how energy can be amplified on Venus so that (apparently) about 5 times the radiative flux comes out of the bottom of the atmosphere (over 16,000 W/m^2) than enters at the top in order to raise the surface temperature by 5 degrees. (No the five degree rise is not explained in any paper or textbook, so think for yourself and give me your explanation. Don’t forget to discuss entropy changes.)

  • Avatar

    Doug  Cotton

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    [b]If you think you understand[/b], then explain (as I have in the book linked [url=http://climate-change-theory.com]here[/url]) why the temperature gradient in the tropospheres of Venus and Uranus is reduced in magnitude below the [i]-g/Cp[/i] value, just as it is on Earth.

    How does the gradient form in the first place, especially on Uranus where no significant solar radiation penetrates far into its 350Km high nominal troposphere which has no surface and no evaporating oceans?

    Think outside the sphere that is Earth and you are all stumped because you refuse to listen to what I first explained late in 2012, as did just one other author around that time whose book I discovered only this year.

  • Avatar

    Doug  Cotton

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    You all could have read this study in March last year on PSI …

    [b]TABLE OF TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL DATA FOR 15 TROPICAL CITIES [/b]

    [b]City, Country/State, Continent, Altitude, Maximum, Minimum, Rainfall, Adj* Max, Adj Min[/b]

    01: Manaus, Brazil, SA, 39m, 27.3, 18.7, 238.7, 23.4, 14.8
    02: Goiania, Brazil, SA, 749m, 30.1, 19.5, 209.6, 31.1, 20.5
    03: Kadoma, Zimbabwe, AF, 1160m, 28.6, 17.7, 183.2, 32.5, 21.6
    04: Halls Creek, Western Australia, AU, 422m, 36.6, 24.4, 164.9, 35.4, 23.2
    05: Charters Towers, Queensland, AU, 336m, 33.5, 22.4, 164.7, 31.7, 20.6
    06: Pedro Juan Caballero, Paraguay, SA, 563m, 29.9, 20.4, 160.4, 29.6, 20.1
    07: Mariscal Jose Felix Estigarribia, Paraguay, SA, 151m, 35.4, 22.9, 129.3, 32.0, 19.5
    08: Mount Isa, Queensland, AU, 356m, 36.4, 23.7, 117.3, 34.6, 21.9
    09: Francistown, Botswana, AF, 1001m, 30.8, 18.9, 115.5, 33.8, 21.9
    10: Maun, Botswana, AF, 943m, 32.2, 19.8, 109.4, 34.8, 22.4
    11: Ghanzi, Botswana, AF, 1100m, 32.4, 19.3, 104, 36.4, 23.3
    12: Longreach, Queensland, AU, 193m, 37.1, 23.3, 73.0, 33.8, 20.0
    13: Beitbridge, Zimbabwe, AF, 456m, 33.5, 21.9, 56.8, 32.3, 20.7,
    14: Paraburdoo, Western Australia, AU, 389m, 41.2, 26.0, 51.4, 39.5, 24.3
    15: Alice Springs, Northern Territory, AU, 545m, 36.9, 21.8, 39.9, 36.5, 21.4
    * At 600m: for 01 to 05 use gradient 7C/Km, 06 to 10 use 7.5C/Km, 11 to 15 use 8C/Km

    [b]Means of Adjusted Daily Maximum and Daily Minimum Temperatures
    [/b]

    Wet (01-05): 30.8°C 20.1°C

    Medium (06-10): 33.0°C 21.2°C

    Dry (11-15): 35.7°C 21.9°C

    [b]HIGHER PRECIPITATION CAUSES LOWER TEMPERATURES – GOT IT? BUT THIS ARTICLE ABOVE DOES NOT EXPLAIN THE CORRECT REASON WHY THIS RESULT IS OBSERVED. HOW DOES THE LOWER GRADIENT CAUSE LOWER SURFACE TEMPERATURES? WHAT IS THE MECHANISM? NONE OF YOU KNOWS.
    [/b]

  • Avatar

    Doug  Cotton

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    [i]”Is this the conclusion of your book?”[/i] No it’s just your misinterpretation of the statement you quoted.

    (1) Explain the gradient in the Uranus troposphere, and then explain how the required energy gets down there.

    (2) Also explain how the required energy gets into the surface of Venus to raise its temperature 5 degrees.

    Oh sorry, I forgot you can’t answer these questions because you haven’t done degree level physics and don’t understand [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinetic_theory]Kinetic Theory[/url] as you keep making very clear.

    Oh well, at least the real Einstein understood Kinetic Theory and used it successfully.

    Ein[b]ST[/b]ein the Second can only solve tornadoes.

  • Avatar

    Doug  Cotton

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    ST wrote: [i]”Would you not expect there to be more energy imparted in the second than you did in the first?”[/i]

    Yep. That’s why pressure is proportional to the product of density and temperature. It’s called the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideal_gas_law]ideal gas law[/url]. Now go and read what Kinetic Theory says, as it will help you understand what pressure is.

  • Avatar

    solvingtornadoes

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    [quote name=”Joel Shore”]. . . the author of this post wrote an entire post based on his complete ignorance of what climate scientists say about the lapse rate. [/quote]We’re not mind readers.

  • Avatar

    Joel Shore

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    Whoops…I screwed up the formatting there.

    The statement “That’s why it’s a negative feedback” is mine. Everything else inside one or more quote tags is Pat’s. (Everything at the end outside the quote tags is mine.)

  • Avatar

    Joel Shore

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    [quote name=”Pat Obar”][quote name=”Joel Shore”]
    The lapse rate is the increase in temperature with increasing pressure. With a lower lapse rate (high humidity) the surface is at a lower temperature than with a dry lapse rate.[/quote]

    That’s why it’s a negative feedback.

    [quote]
    Please show your measurements that show any increase in surface temperature due to increased relative humidity! Please also show measurement of thermal radiative flux from the Earth’s surface! Do you have “any” measurements to substantiate your fantasy claims? Where are your numbers?[/quote]

    There is an overwhelming amount of evidence in favor of radiation transfer theory. The entire field of remote sensing is based on it.

    But, the main point is that the author of this post wrote an entire post based on his complete ignorance of what climate scientists say about the lapse rate. That’s kind of pathetic.

  • Avatar

    solvingtornadoes

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    [quote name=”Doug  Cotton”]What none of you understand is the actual physical process whereby the temperature gradient in the troposphere (badly names a “lapse rate”) does in fact determine planetary temperatures.[/quote]Uh, okay Doug. So, let me get this straight, you are saying that if we just pretend that the temperature gradient is a process then we can explain, uh, the temperature gradient. Right? Isn’t that about it? Is this the conclusion of your book?

  • Avatar

    solvingtornadoes

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    [quote name=”Doug  Cotton”][b]Solvingtornadoes[/b] continues to display his [b]lack of knowledge [/quote]

    Doug real scientists/emiricists/physicist are not seduced by abstractions. Pinheads like you get lost in your own vague verbiage. Keep it simple.

    Let me ask you a question. Suppose you are bowling. Suppose you throw a ball and measure the speed/energy of the pins as they are hit by the ball. Then, on your next rack, you throw two balls, simultaneously, at the same speed as you sent the first ball. Would you not expect there to be more energy imparted in the second than you did in the first?

    Loons like Doug get lost in their abstractions, and that leads them to believe they’ve made some big discovery that, supposedly, nobody can understand but them.

    You and Tim imposed your own interpretation on reality and you expect everybody else to follow your dimwitted lead despite your inability verify anything.

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    Doug  Cotton

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    [b]andersnordenfelt[/b] makes some valid points but is wrong in assuming that [i]”the temp gradient is formed due to differential heating”[/i] It’s not. It’s formed by the processes described [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_law_of_thermodynamics]here[/url] and [url=http://www.earth-climate.com/cover-back-large.jpg]here[/url].

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    Doug  Cotton

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    As for Pat Obar’s physics, well he’s made it obvious that he confuses entropy with enthalpy.

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    Doug  Cotton

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    What none of you understand is the actual physical process whereby the temperature gradient in the troposphere (badly names a “lapse rate”) does in fact determine planetary temperatures. How does it work in the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranus#Troposphere]Uranus troposphere[/url], for example, where there is no surface at the base and no direct solar radiation? Why is it hotter there than Earth’s surface, even though Uranus is nearly 30 times further from the Sun? You’ll find answers [url=http://www.earth-climate.com/cover-back-large.jpg]here[/url].

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    Doug  Cotton

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    [b]Solvingtornadoes[/b] continues to display his [b]lack of knowledge of physics[/b] when he writes: [i]”causes higher temperature as a result of having more molecules (per square centimeter) (ie. standard kinetic theory).”[/i]

    He can’t even get his square cm and cubic cm terms right, let alone the standard [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinetic_theory#Assumptions]assumptions of Kinetic Theory[/url].

    So, ST, please link us to any physics text, Wikipedia articles or whatever which you think confirms your assertion (which you keep making on various blogs) that kinetic theory says temperature depends on the density of the molecules, rather than just the mean kinetic energy.

    People need to understand that this Jim McGinn guy has not completed any degree and yet believes it possible to rid the world of tornadoes, as he tells you [url=http://www.solvingtornadoes.org/]here[/url].

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    andersnordenfelt

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    Pat,

    “Between the high temperature surface and cold space, there must be some radius that corresponds to the falsely claimed temperature. Is this your “effective radiating altitude”? Every molecule, everywhere in the atmosphere radiates “some” energy to the colder space, but never to any higher temperature mass. Why are you agreeing with the FRAUDsters?”

    Indeed, I presume that each level radiates some amount directly into space. On the other hand, I don’t think that mainstream climatologists would deny that either. I think their definition of ERL is precisely what you mentioned. But that is not the big issue as far as I see.

    Given the assumption that the temp gradient is formed due to differential heating (which many people seem to agree with though without worrying to much about the consequences), then we face the problem of identifying a length scale for the atmosphere. Greenhouse theory (in its least crazy form) states that this length is set by GHGs, whereas it is quite obvious that it is instead set by the mass. Where -18 degrees C end up eventually is of minor concern to me.

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    Pat Obar

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    [quote name=”andersnordenfelt”]Pat Obar,

    The notion of effective radiating temperature is not my invention, I merely used it to conform with the usual jargong when decribing how the old model could accomodate for a reduced lapse rate in the supercritical region (tropopause) and at the same time an increased lapse rate in the subcritical region (tropopause/stratosphere).

    But, as I emphasized, the tropopause, which is a better point to focus on, seems to be fixed at 100 mB, hence I don’t really see much room for any “greenhouse gases” to alter the lapse rate around this point.[/quote]
    Ok anders, please describe any error in my response, to your infantile claims. BTW you are correct, but ineffective. 😆

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    solvingtornadoes

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    [quote name=”andersnordenfelt”]The failure of so many people, ranging all the way from alarmists, lukewarmers to deniers have stalemated the discussion for years. It should now be clear for any person wishing to engage in atmospheric physics:

    First you propose a theory for the lapse rate[/quote]First we must name it properly. The “lapse rate” was labelled as such because the term originated with mountain climbers and early baloonists wanting to describe common differences achieved with gain in altitude. In reality it isn’t a rate, it’s a gradient.

    There are two very good reasons we expect there to be a temperature gradient 1) As a result of sunlight striking the ground (and earth’s own geologic processes), heat enters the atmosphere at the surface; 2) Higher pressure causes higher density, and, thereby, causes higher temperature as a result of having more molecules (per square centimeter) (ie. standard kinetic theory).

    So, in sharp contrast to what some loons chose to believe, the existence of this temperature gradient (which has been mislabelled as a “lapse rate”) is hardly mysterious.

    It is when you attempt to explain why this temperature gradient isn’t as high as it seems it should be that insanity ensues.

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    andersnordenfelt

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    Pat Obar,

    The notion of effective radiating temperature is not my invention, I merely used it to conform with the usual jargong when decribing how the old model could accomodate for a reduced lapse rate in the supercritical region (tropopause) and at the same time an increased lapse rate in the subcritical region (tropopause/stratosphere).

    But, as I emphasized, the tropopause, which is a better point to focus on, seems to be fixed at 100 mB, hence I don’t really see much room for any “greenhouse gases” to alter the lapse rate around this point.

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    Pat Obar

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    [quote name=”andersnordenfelt”]This is a very good article. I am especially relieved to see the following:

    “By default then, when one asserts that there exists a thermodynamic process within the atmosphere that only warms the lower troposphere and not the upper troposphere one is asserting that that process increases the lapse rate”

    The failure of so many people, ranging all the way from alarmists, lukewarmers to deniers have stalemated the discussion for years. It should now be clear for any person wishing to engage in atmospheric physics:

    First you propose a theory for the lapse rate

    Only then can you possibly formulate a theory for the temperature at some specific altitude.

    However, to be fair to the old theory, it can be that water vapour indeed reduces the lapse rate at the same time as it increases the effective radiating altitude, thus in effect increasing the LENGTH of the atmosphere.

    But, since this level seems to be fixed steadily somewhere between 100 and 300 mB. there is another obvious parameter to have a look at, namely the mass.[/quote]

    Good comment Anders,
    You do say, “it increases the effective radiating altitude, thus in effect increasing the LENGTH of the atmosphere”.
    Can you please state what you mean by “effective radiating altitude”? The Earth’s surface temperature is indeed higher than what the Climate Clowns claim it “should” be according the misuse of the very precice S-B equation, which can calculate “nothing” of any temperature, anywhere in the vicinity of an isolated planet with an absorptive atmosphere.

    Between the high temperature surface and cold space, there must be some radius that corresponds to the falsely claimed temperature. Is this your “effective radiating altitude”? Every molecule, everywhere in the atmosphere radiates “some” energy to the colder space, but never to any higher temperature mass. Why are you agreeing with the FRAUDsters?

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    Pat Obar

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    [quote name=”Doug  Cotton”]Silent readers will realise that Pat Obar displays his lack of understanding of physics terminology when he writes above in #14 “dissipate all new entropy via the same thermal electromagnetic radiation”[/quote]

    Please point out even “one” technical error in my post #14. Please also describe any reason for such an error claim, that will be supported by any other than dug kotton?”

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    Pat Obar

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    [quote name=”Doug  Cotton”]I’ve reported your defamatory remarks. Watch your step P.O.![/quote]
    Oh, goody! as Steve says:
    Steven Mosher -March 10th, 2014 at 8:08 pm-
    “In the case of kotton I suggest over feeding the troll””.
    That may work, I try, No useful result yet.

    dug kotton,please list all the blogs that have banned your postings, including this one?
    dug kotton, The writings of someone declared clinically insane is correctly called “insanity”! If some other writes the exact same words,what is that called, learned text? , Who gets to decide, the writer?

    .
    yet .
    .

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    andersnordenfelt

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    This is a very good article. I am especially relieved to see the following:

    “By default then, when one asserts that there exists a thermodynamic process within the atmosphere that only warms the lower troposphere and not the upper troposphere one is asserting that that process increases the lapse rate”

    The failure of so many people, ranging all the way from alarmists, lukewarmers to deniers have stalemated the discussion for years. It should now be clear for any person wishing to engage in atmospheric physics:

    First you propose a theory for the lapse rate

    Only then can you possibly formulate a theory for the temperature at some specific altitude.

    However, to be fair to the old theory, it can be that water vapour indeed reduces the lapse rate at the same time as it increases the effective radiating altitude, thus in effect increasing the LENGTH of the atmosphere.

    But, since this level seems to be fixed steadily somewhere between 100 and 300 mB. there is another obvious parameter to have a look at, namely the mass.

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    Doug  Cotton

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    Silent readers will realise that Pat Obar displays his lack of understanding of physics terminology when he writes above in #14 “dissipate all new entropy via the same thermal electromagnetic radiation”

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    Doug  Cotton

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    I’ve reported your defamatory remarks. Watch your step P.O.!

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    Pat Obar

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    [quote name=”Doug  Cotton”]I have already referred to the effect of water vapour in the second paragraph of #1, [/quote]
    So what?
    I refuse to even consider your insanity. Tell it to a shrink!

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    Doug  Cotton

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    (continued)

    [i][b]Appendix – Temperature-rainfall correlation[/b][/i]

    [i]It is a fundamental requirement for there to be a radiative greenhouse effect that water vapour and suspended water droplets in the atmosphere should have a warming effect, because these are by far the most prolific greenhouse gases. This warming effect is supposed to account for most of the “additional 33 C degrees” in surface temperatures, increasing the thermal gradient from an assumed initial isothermal (level gradient) state to one in which the surface temperature is about 30°C warmer. Then carbon dioxide and other radiating molecules are supposed to raise the temperature a little more up to a total of 33 degrees above the level gradient value. [/i]

    [i]However, it is well known and acknowledged that water vapour leads to a lower thermal gradient, otherwise known as the “wet” or “moist” adiabatic lapse rate. Rather than the dry rate (calculated from the -g/Cp quotient to be -9.8C/Km) high levels of water vapour are known to reduce the gradient to about -7C/Km and even down to -6.5C/Km in the very humid Equatorial regions. The main argument in this book would thus suggest that, because water vapour makes the thermal gradient less steep, we should expect a lower surface temperature when the new radiative equilibrium is established. Thus it appears that water vapour should have a net cooling effect.
    [/i]
    [i]It seems remarkable that this apparent contradiction does not appear to have been investigated with what could be a relatively low cost study, compared with the funds that have been spent on other climate research. Because of this, the author spent just a few hours analysing temperature and rainfall data for 15 cities, in order to give an indication of how a more comprehensive study could be conducted. [/i]

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    Doug  Cotton

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    [b]Water vapour[/b] is mentioned many times in my book. Here are excerpts which agree with what is said in this article above …

    [i]The level of water vapour varies between about 1% and 4% and so it is by far the most dominant “greenhouse gas” with about 25 to 100 times as many molecules as there are carbon dioxide molecules. It is a relatively simple matter to show, as in the Appendix, that regions become cooler as the level of water vapour increases, but climatologists would have us believe the exact opposite.[/i]

    The IPCC [i]go on to list some other such gases that are present in far smaller proportions, but they do not in any way emphasise the fact that water vapour is by far the most prolific among these so-called greenhouse gases. There is, however, a clear implication that all such gases act to warm the surface of Earth and presumably other planets. But there are far more water vapour molecules and water droplets and so we would expect these to have the most significant warming effect. The problem is that actual temperature data (such as that in the author’s study in the Appendix) shows that water vapour has an overall cooling effect, reducing both the mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures in more moist regions.[/i]

    [i]In summary, it is not hard to demolish the “pseudo” physics published by IPCC authors, primarily because water vapour is seen to produce lower surface temperatures and carbon dioxide acts in the same way, being just another radiating gas. [/i]

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    Pat Obar

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    [quote name=”Doug Cotton”]sorry – typo …
    The state of thermodynamic equilibrium is the same as the state of hydrostatic equilibrium, because there can only be one state of maximum entropy within an isolated system.[/quote]

    The Earth and its atmosphere can be considered an isolated system for thermodynamic processes between the two! The Earth along with its atmosphere is not in isolation within the universe.
    The Earth’s surface, surface water, and surface vegetation, converts some of the accepted Solar thermal radiative “entropy” into energy that can do “work” as there are nearby lower temperature sinks (the atmosphere) to accept the entropy produced in accordance with that new work! That same colder atmosphere can and does dissipate all new entropy via the same thermal electromagnetic radiation to something colder.
    This radiative flux in the form of photon “entropy” exactly balances any entropy transfer from the higher temperature Earth’s new work. These “photons” are the gauge Bosons that mediate the transfer and “increase” in both entropy, and energy to any lower temperature mass. Photons do not go to stupid higher temperature places.
    This new work from new Solar energy is called violent weather, moving parts of trailer parks to where they should be, rearranging coastlines to the proper state, and most importantly providing all energy and work to produce plant food, all over this planet that permits the survival of all other lifeforms on this earth! Even some of those that “build” trailer parks, survive. Why? Doug Cotton, please tell me “why” this can ever happen?
    What a wonderful planet!!!

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    Doug  Cotton

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    [b]Joel Shore[/b] of course falls for the IPCC bluff that back radiation can be added to the Sun’s radiation and supposedly give a combined total which then (they think) can be bunged into the Stefan-Boltzmann equation to get the mean surface temperature of Earth.

    As explained in my March 2012 paper “[url=http://principia-scientific.org/publications/psi_radiated_energy.pdf]Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics[/url]” that is not the case.

    The sum of two Planck functions for totally different temperatures and intensities does not have the shape of a Planck function at all, so there’s the first problem.

    The next problem is that the S-B calculations only apply to black and grey bodies. Such bodies by definition, are not transparent. But 70% of the thin surface layer (say, 1cm in depth) is water which is almost completely transparent to solar radiation (which then goes further down and warms the ocean thermoclines) and not at all transparent to back radiation which gets pseudo scattered by the very first molecule with which it resonates – as Claes Johnson explained [url=http://www.csc.kth.se/~cgjoh/blackbodyslayer.pdf]here[/url]. Go and argue with this professor of applied mathematics about his mathematical computations.

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    Doug  Cotton

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    My physics [b]is[/b] not confirmed by Wikipedia alone.

    Instead of addressing each and every point in #4 above (because he can’t) [b]Pat Obar[/b] just writes slurs about my physics and tries to make out that consideration of Venus and Uranus is irrelevant.

    Well, Pat, physics is universal, meaning that it applies throughout the universe. If the greenhouse mechanism does not explain the thermal gradient in the nominal [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranus#Troposphere]Uranus troposphere[/url], then that mechanism is an illusion.

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    Doug  Cotton

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    The state which the Second Law says will be approached is the physical state of [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermodynamic_equilibrium]thermodynamic equilibrium[/url].

    Wikipedia reads …

    [i]”In thermodynamics, a thermodynamic system is in thermodynamic equilibrium when it is in thermal equilibrium, mechanical equilibrium, radiative equilibrium, and chemical equilibrium. Equilibrium means a state of balance. In a state of thermodynamic equilibrium, there are no net flows of matter or of energy, no phase changes, and [b]no unbalanced potentials[/b] (or driving forces), within the system.”[/i]

    Again I say, [b]Pat Obar[/b], edit Wikipedia if you think it’s wrong.
    [i]

    Again, the concept of [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy]entropy[/url] being a
    [i]
    “a measure of progressing towards thermodynamic equilibrium”[/i]

    is also expressed [url=http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&ved=0CEYQFjAF&url=http%3A%2F%2Fhorizons-2000.org%2F0.%2520Professional%2FPhysics%2FThermodynamics%2520and%2520the%2520Destiny%2520of%2520the%2520Universe.doc&ei=Br9EU431CsPiyAGxpYCYDQ&usg=AFQjCNEHYQn3AI9nHDITIncvVXqSuKO8og&sig2=k_wbwXMt61LTJMrNeN29NA]here[/url] …

    “An increase in entropy is associated with decrease in order or structure, an approach to equilibrium, and a loss in useful energy—[b]energy potential[/b] …”[/i]
    [b]
    My physics does not confirmed by Wikipedia alone. Pat Obar’s cannot answer questions about vortex tubes, or other planets, or even Earth’s troposphere and sub-surface regions.[/b]

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    Doug  Cotton

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    sorry – typo …
    [b]
    The state of thermodynamic equilibrium is the same as the state of hydrostatic equilibrium, because there can only be one state of maximum entropy within an isolated system.[/b]

    If you think Wikipedia needs to be changed, then give your reasons in the talk page and maybe they will agree. But, in the meantime I see nothing wrong with their statement …

    [i]”The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium, a state with maximum entropy.”[/i]

    [url=http://www.gizmag.com/nanoparticles-violate-law-thermodynamics/31491/]Here[/url] is another similar statement …

    [i]”The second law of thermodynamics is the one that makes perpetual motion machines impossible. It states that the entropy – the measure for the disorder of a system – of any isolated system cannot decrease spontaneously, with the system evolving towards the state of maximum entropy (favoring disorder).”[/i]

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    Doug  Cotton

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    [b]Pat Obar[/b] claims that [i]”The lapse rate is the increase in temperature with increasing pressure.” [/i]

    No it’s not. The lapse rate is the decrease in temperature with increasing altitude.

    No law of physics can be used to establish that temperature increases are caused by pressure increases.

    Gravity does not act on pressure: it acts on the mass of molecules.

    T estate of thermodynamic equilibrium is the same as the state of hydrostatic equilibrium, because there can only be one state of maximum entropy within an isolated system.

    Consider a long horizontal sealed cylinder of air. Turn it vertically and then gravity simultaneously forms a density gradient and a temperature gradient. (The temperature gradient is now confirmed empirically in any Ralph-Hilsch vortex tube.) The pressure gradient results from the density and temperature gradients because pressure is proportional to the product of density and temperature. High pressure neither causes nor maintains high temperature.

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    Doug  Cotton

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    I have already referred to the effect of water vapour in the second paragraph of #1, the first paragraph of #2 and the ninth paragraph of #4 above, and I have spent many hours carrying out a related study confirming a negative correlation between temperature and precipitation.

    The study is in the Appendix of my book [i]”Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all”[/i] for which, as it happens, I just approved the galley proofs today, so it should be available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble soon. It will now be US $24.95 in paperback (to enable wider distribution in retail stores) and $8.95 in the Kindle version.

    [b]
    What have you done, Pat Obar, in the way of any research into real world data in relation to the effect of water vapour?[/b]

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    Pat Obar

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    [quote name=”Doug  Cotton”][b]PSI members – face the facts![/b]

    My physics gives the right answers. [/quote]

    You Doug Cotton have no physics, you have no answers, you do have your delusions however!
    Doug Cotton cannot state Then Second Law of Thermodynamics, instead claims the Wikipedia statement of some popular theorem, attempting to explain that second law “is” that law! Doug Cotton thinks the Wikipedia statement of “maximum permissible entropy” is some physical property rather than an information theory concept of “how to get unbiased guesses with limited information” only. Doug Cotton troll like repeatedly asks some nonsense question about Venus, that no one cares to answer just to entertain Doug. Do you have anything to “add” to this thread of water vapor?

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    Pat Obar

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    [quote name=”Joel Shore”]The answer to the question posed in the title of this article is “Water vapor decreases the lapse rate”…or, to put it another way, the moist adiabatic lapse rate is a decreasing function of the surface temperature.

    However, the fact that this is not recognized by the climate science community is a complete fallacy. Try looking up “lapse rate feedback”, a negative feedback found in all of the climate models (which is, however, smaller in magnitude than the positive feedback due to water vapor’s increasing the greenhouse effect).

    This is another illustration of how little the critics of the generally accepted science even understand the science that they are criticizing.[/quote]
    The lapse rate is the increase in temperature with increasing pressure. With a lower lapse rate (high humidity) the surface is at a lower temperature than with a dry lapse rate.
    Please show your measurements that show any increase in surface temperature due to increased relative humidity! Please also show measurement of thermal radiative flux from the Earth’s surface! Do you have “any” measurements to substantiate your fantasy claims? Where are your numbers?

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    Joel Shore

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    The answer to the question posed in the title of this article is “Water vapor decreases the lapse rate”…or, to put it another way, the moist adiabatic lapse rate is a decreasing function of the surface temperature.

    However, the fact that this is not recognized by the climate science community is a complete fallacy. Try looking up “lapse rate feedback”, a negative feedback found in all of the climate models (which is, however, smaller in magnitude than the positive feedback due to water vapor’s increasing the greenhouse effect).

    This is another illustration of how little the critics of the generally accepted science even understand the science that they are criticizing.

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    Doug  Cotton

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    [b]PSI members – face the facts![/b]

    My physics gives the right answers.

    You cannot explain the gravitationally induced thermal gradient in a vortex tube.

    You cannot explain how the extra energy gets into the Venus surface to raise its temperature with what has to be a net energy input. There cannot be a net energy input brought about by radiation from a colder atmosphere as that obviously would violate the Second Law.

    The Venus atmosphere cannot magnify the incident solar radiation at TOA up to 14,000 to 16,000 watts per square metre that would be needed if radiation were adding energy to the surface to raise its temperature 5 degrees during the Venus day.

    Oxygen and nitrogen molecules in Earth’s troposphere absorb thermal energy by conduction and diffusion processes. They do most of the slowing of surface cooling because there are 2,500 times as many of them as there are carbon dioxide molecules..

    I can explain why surface cooling slows right down and upward convection sometimes stops altogether in calm conditions in the early pre-dawn hours, even though the thermal gradient is still there.

    I can explain why hydrostatic equilibrium is the same as thermodynamic equilibrium, because there can be only one state of maximum entropy.

    Of the incident solar radiation entering Earth’s atmosphere, NASA net energy diagrams showed 19% absorbed on the way in compared with only 15% absorbed on the way back up from the surface. What does that tell you about how the atmosphere gets warmed? It’s like on Venus – more solar energy is absorbed on the way in.

    I can explain why real world data (which I will publish in an Appendix to my book) proves with statistical significance that water vapour cools. The IPCC wants you to believe that it warms by a staggering amount of the order of 10 degrees per 1% of moisture in the atmosphere. That’s simply not what it does, and only the most gullible of people would believe that to be the case.

    I can explain why planets are neither warming or cooling significantly.

    I can explain why the core of our Moon is kept hot by the Sun, as is the case for the cores of all planets and moons.

    I can explain the temperatures in the Uranus troposphere where there is no surface and no significant source of insolation or internal energy.

    I can explain all known and estimated temperature data above and below any surface on any planet or satellite moon.

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    Steve C

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    Quite so, and may I add that it’s a refreshing chamge actually to see the lapse rate (dry or moist) mentioned in public again: I was beginning to think the greens had excommunicated it.

    The only effect of adding any IR-absorbing and radiating gas to an otherwise “IR-inactive” atmosphere will be to increase the thermal conductivity of the resulting atmosphere. Where previously there were only conduction and convection to transfer the energy through the system, the IR-active gas(es) add radiation. Thus, given that Nature has an excellent worldwide energy regulation system based on water vapour, expecting to see a “climate apocalypse” result from a minor change in the atmospheric concentration of a trace gas amounts to … well, not so much the [i]triumph[/i] of hope over experience as the [i]apotheosis[/i] of that hope. It ain’t gonna happen. Thanks for a good post.

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    Doug  Cotton

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    On Earth, the gravitationally induced thermal gradient ([i]-g/Cp[/i]) would lead to mean supported surface temperatures in the vicinity of 295K to 305K, but water gas, water vapour and suspended water droplets radiate energy to higher cooler molecules, or to space, and this has a temperature levelling effect, working against the gravito-thermal gradient. (That gradient is now confirmed empirically in the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex_tube]Ralph-Hilsch Vortex tube[/url].)

    The final state of thermodynamic equilibrium (taking into account these radiative and non-radiative processes) has a gradient which is called the effective (or environmental) lapse rate.

    Hence the thermal profile rotates downwards at the surface end as the percentage of water vapour increases. Thus the supporting temperatures at the base of the troposphere (which slow surface cooling in the early pre-dawn hours) are lower.

    These then are the results of the survey where locations are divided into three groups based on precipitation:

    [b]Means of Adjusted Daily Maximum and Daily Minimum Temperatures
    [/b]

    Wet: 30.8°C 20.1°C

    Medium: 33.0°C 21.2°C

    Dry: 35.7°C 21.9°C

    Yes, water vapour cools from the outset, and then of course would have negative feedback, but carbon dioxide does not warm either for the same reason, and probably cools by less than 0.1 degree in total.

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    Doug  Cotton

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    The “heat creep” hypothesis I put forward gels with all measured and estimated temperature data from planets and satellite moons throughout the Solar System. It could be used, for example, to calculate much of that data even before knowing measurements. My calculations for the temperature at the base of the nominal Uranus troposphere were barely 10 degrees different from the 320K quoted in the linked Wikipedia article.

    The hypothesis explains with sound physics why water vapour cools rather than warms, as real world data confirms in a study I carried out.

    It also explains why the planets are not cooling off, and never will be significantly cooler while the solar intensity remains essentially the same and their atmospheres do not change significantly.

    The greenhouse conjecture does none of the above, and flounders everywhere with absurd assumptions of isothermal tropospheres and transparent thin surface layers of oceans that are supposedly absorbing solar energy like a black or gray body, but are in fact letting most of that radiation pass down into the thermocline.

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