The First Two Laws for Climate and CO2

Written by Anthony Bright-Paul

If I drive my car to my local Supermarket and back, a distance of 5 miles, the engine gets hot. Why is that? Because of work done. Climate for the Layman To be more specific the engine has got hot by reason of compression, combustion and friction all of which are forms of work that produce an increase of temperature. This illustrates very simply the First Law of Thermodynamics.

If you were to put your hand on that hot engine – well, please don’t – it would also illustrate what is meant by thermal contact. Your hand would be scorched. As it is the air surrounding the engine is warmed.

If I leave my car to stand say overnight in my driveway, what will happen? The engine will cool down, without any work. I do not have to cool my engine because everything under the Sun will cool down naturally and inevitably by the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Even red-hot lava will cool to black basalt.

If I make a hot cup of coffee with boiling water at 100ºC the coffee will also cool by itself. If I wish to keep the coffee hot I can put it in a thermos flask. This will delay heat loss, but after 24 hours the coffee will be tepid. The coffee may be trapped, but heat is never trapped.

The Sun does not send heat through space but Solar Radiation. This radiation produces heat on contact with the surfaces of this planet, and the atmosphere is warmed from the bottom up – which explains why there is snow on the tops of mountains. The atmosphere cools by 2ºC for every 1,000 feet of altitude.

Clouds and Water Vapour, Carbon Dioxide and Methane all conspire to keep the Planet cool during the day, and also warmer during the night, by delaying (not trapping) heat. Thick cloud, fog and mist clearly intercept the Sun’s rays in the daytime. Only when the Sun breaks through is there a sudden rise in temperature.

Carbon Dioxide is a clear colourless gas, whose bubbles one can see in every carbonated drink – not to be confused with smoke. Carbon Dioxide is a food for plants – it is their breakfast, lunch and dinner. More Carbon Dioxide will lead to a greener world and increased food production. Plants not only feed off Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere but all produce Oxygen for us humans and all the animal kingdom to breathe. 

 

Anthony Bright-Paul

Author of ‘Climate for the Layman

Comments (22)

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    Charles Higley

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    CO2 and water vapor on a clear night are radiative gases, capable of converting heat energy in the atmosphere to IR radiation which can be emitted and lost to space. This is why the air chills down so quickly after sundown. and explains why breezes pick up so quickly on a partly cloudy day when the air in the moving shadows cools rapidly due to this effect.

    During the day these gases are saturated with Ir form the surface and emit and radiate, being a wash in having any effect.

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     D o u g. 

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    John wrote [i]”Also take Jupeter [sic], it radiates far more”[/i]

    There’s no mystery about Jupiter that cannot be explained with a correct understanding of “heat creep” and thermodynamic equilibrium. It is continually compressing, so potential energy is converted to kinetic (thermal) energy in the liquid core. There is some methane radiating, but the other gases would also radiate at the high temperatures found on Jupiter. And it’s not hard to understand why the troposphere above the poles has similar temperatures to that above the equator, as on Venus also.

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     D o u g. 

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    John Marshall – sorry about the delay in my response as I was in hospital for two days, but am OK now.

    There’s no point in discussing your cherry-picked examples of deserts and rain forests without having details of latitude and altitude, distance from major water bodies etc. However your desert had a mean of 31.5ºC whilst your rain forest was cooler with a mean of 27.5ºC. Do you realise that IPCC conjectures should have the rainforest far hotter, up around 60ºC or more for its mean.

    You can “know” what regions I’ve considered if you read the study in the Appendix of my book. You can check the data from the cited source and you can use the methodology to produce your own study with a few hours of work. If you get a substantially different result, in line with IPCC conjectures, then you’re half way towards qualifying for the $5,000 reward for proving the physics and the study in my book to be substantially incorrect.

    The small solid core of Uranus is estimated to be about 55% the mass of Earth. Above that are thousands of kilometres of gas, with the nominal troposphere being about 350Km in height in the outermost regions. I have calculated the expected temperature gradient in the troposphere and estimated the temperature at the base thereof to be 329K which compares well with the 320K quoted in Wikipedia.

    Yes Venus receives less than 20W/m^2 of solar radiation at its surface. Measurements have been done by Russian probes dropped to the surface. But you have shown no understanding as to how the required thermal energy gets into the Venus surface in order to actually raise its temperature from 732K to 737K during the course of its 4-month-long day. Don’t feel bad that you can’t because no one on any climate blog has come up with a valid alternative explanation, and so no one has qualified for my $5,000 reward.

    You might think it is “latent heat at work” because you have been brainwashed with this explanation which, whilst it sounds plausible, is not the primary reason as I have explained in my book.

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    John A Marshall

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    [quote name=” D o u g “]And John your calculations for a hemisphere are just as much prone to error. Try calculating the temperature at the base of the nominal troposphere of Uranus using radiation calculations. You can’t can you? Nor can you calculate the Venus surface temperature, and nor can you calculate the Earth’s surface temperature from radiation.

    And by the way, the mean radiation reaching the hemisphere (after 52% is reflected or absorbed by the atmosphere) is 0.5 x 0.48 x 1362 = 327W/m^2. So, using emissivity 0.95 that gives a mean temperature of 279.13K for the sunlit hemisphere and 0K for the dark hemisphere because you’ve used up all the solar radiation in your first calculation. You’re still not on the right track.

    Spend an hour reading my book “Why It’s Not Carbon Dioxide After All” to find out how to calculate all planetary temperatures correctly.[/quote]
    Uranus is difficult because we do not know exactly where the surface is, ie., we do not know the depth of the atmosphere, neither do we exactly know the lapse late. Venus is diferent. We know the atmospheric depth, 70km., and lapse rate, 10C/km so an adiabatic increase of 700K from the tropopause temperature which is slightly lower than earth. With the high albedo, 0.67 and high atmospheric adsorption it is debateable whether much insolation reaches the surface.
    Also take Jupeter, it radiates far more
    heat that it gets from the sun and that planet has zero so called GHG’s in its atmosphere.

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    John A Marshall

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    [quote name=” D o u g “]John. Deserts are not colder at night. See my study using 30 years of temperature data from three continents. The driest regions have higher mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures than the moist regions at similar altitudes and latitudes. By all means point me to a study showing the opposite results and showing water vapour warms – if you can. Valid physics says it should cool.[/quote]
    Well, I don’t know what deserts you studied but having worked in the Arabian Desert and the rainforest in Malaysia I can tell you that in a desert the temperature plunges to around 10C after sunset from a measured 53C in the shade at around 1200 hrs, but in the rainforest it gently falls to around 20C from 35C during the day. This is latent heat at work.`

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     D o u g 

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    This summary may help ….

    NASA originally published a net energy diagram without back radiation. But it became obvious that the flux of about 163W/m^2 entering the surface was nowhere near enough to explain the actual surface temperature. The Stefan Boltzmann equation spelled this out. The black body temperature is only 231.55K for 163W/m^2.

    So it was probably James Hansen who dreamed up the back radiation garbage in which such radiative flux is added to the solar flux to “explain” the 288K temperature that is observed. That black body temperature needs a total of 390W/m^2 which means the atmosphere would be delivering more thermal energy out of its base than entered at its top. But that didn’t phase Hansen et al – the public wouldn’t notice this little problem of assumed energy generation. It must be happening because they thought “what else?” – the SBL “must” be what explains the surface temperature by adding this back radiation.

    When I am talking about thermodynamic equilibrium in the troposphere this is quite a different matter from radiative equilibrium of the whole planet system with incident solar radiation. Yes that happens and any imbalance (usually no more than ±0.5%) is a result of natural warming or cooling, not the cause. (Once again, you could have learnt this in an hour or so reading my book.)

    Now, we don’t need Hansen’s back radiation anyway, and the reason it doesn’t do what he thought is explained in the main four sections of my March 2012 paper on radiated energy. The reason we don’t need back radiation supplying the extra thermal energy (supplementing the direct solar radiation) is because valid physics can be used to show how and why there will in certain circumstances be net downward thermal energy transfer by non-radiative processes, conduction, diffusion and advection (all being convection in physics) which is restoring thermodynamic equilibrium with its associated environmental temperature gradient. That “heat creep” process is explained in two chapters of this year’s book. It’s a whole new paradigm in atmospheric physics.

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     D o u g 

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    And John your calculations for a hemisphere are just as much prone to error. Try calculating the temperature at the base of the nominal troposphere of Uranus using radiation calculations. You can’t can you? Nor can you calculate the Venus surface temperature, and nor can you calculate the Earth’s surface temperature from radiation.

    And by the way, the mean radiation reaching the hemisphere (after 52% is reflected or absorbed by the atmosphere) is 0.5 x 0.48 x 1362 = 327W/m^2. So, using emissivity 0.95 that gives a mean temperature of 279.13K for the sunlit hemisphere and 0K for the dark hemisphere because you’ve used up all the solar radiation in your first calculation. You’re still not on the right track.

    Spend an hour reading my book “Why It’s Not Carbon Dioxide After All” to find out how to calculate all planetary temperatures correctly.

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     D o u g 

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    John. Deserts are not colder at night. See my study using 30 years of temperature data from three continents. The driest regions have higher mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures than the moist regions at similar altitudes and latitudes. By all means point me to a study showing the opposite results and showing water vapour warms – if you can. Valid physics says it should cool.

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     D o u g 

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    John. Deserts are not colder at night. See my study using 30 years of temperature data from three continents. The driest regions have higher mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures than the moist regions at similar altitudes and latitudes. By all means point me to a study showing the opposite results and showing water vapour warms – if you can. Valid physics says it should cool.

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    John A Marshall

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    Rosco, I agree.

    Using Stefans formula it is easy to calculate the radiation from a block of ice at 273.15K. It works out at 316W/m2.

    Funny old world.

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    Rosco

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    John says
    “Such modelling leads to incorrect reasoning and stupid theories.”

    Couldn’t agree more !

    I once commented on some site that gases and especially our atmosphere have a low radiating “power”.

    Someone wrote NO – deserts cool rapidly at night due to high radiating power of gases !

    How can you expect logical discussion when people mix up basic things like this ?

    Deserts cool rapidly because the atmosphere has little to no humidity and the surface radiation simply goes straight through whilst convection also removes the “heat” rapidly taking the warmed gases high in the atmosphere.

    The rapid cooling of desert locations shows dramatically how little effect CO2 has.

    Water vapour on the other hand is significant but water reduces the insolation – it does not increase temperatures at the surface by the mythical “greenhouse effect”.

    Gravity obviously affects atmospheres and the solar radiation induces a “pumping” action in atmospheres where it is powerful enough to be observed.

    Climate science acknowledge ~25% of the solar insolation is absorbed directly by the atmosphere – they then make the absurd mistake of claiming it is ~78 W/sqm based on the stupidity of quartering the solar radiation.

    In reality this represents something approaching 4 x 78 = 312 W/sqm which is a figure very similar to the DLR claimed to be the smoking gun of climate science.

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    John A Marshall

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    [quote name=” D o u g “]John – you can’t do it that way. The global mean temperature has to take into account night time temperatures as well. It is inaccurate just dividing by 4 and assuming the Earth’s surface is laid out flat and receiving a quarter of the radiation, but it’s not all that far out because the T^4 relationship does not make a huge difference when, as we know, temperatures for most of the world don’t get exceptionally colder at night – well not like happens on the Moon anyway, and that’s because gravity traps thermal energy under the gravitationally-induced temperature gradient in the troposphere.[/quote]
    The sphere, reality, rotates thus taking heat in the surface plus that stored in the N2/O2 parts of the atmosphere, 99%, because these are poor emitters of IR plus that stored in latent heat, which is why deserts are colder at night than rainforests of the same latitude. You cannot model 24hour sunshine, because this is not reality, even though it makes the math easy. Such modelling leads to incorrect reasoning and stupid theories.

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     D o u g 

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    John – you can’t do it that way. The global mean temperature has to take into account night time temperatures as well. It is inaccurate just dividing by 4 and assuming the Earth’s surface is laid out flat and receiving a quarter of the radiation, but it’s not all that far out because the T^4 relationship does not make a huge difference when, as we know, temperatures for most of the world don’t get exceptionally colder at night – well not like happens on the Moon anyway, and that’s because gravity traps thermal energy under the gravitationally-induced temperature gradient in the troposphere.

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     D o u g 

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    Even if you don’t understand the resonance process described in my paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” and even if you think that the electro-magnetic energy in a one-way independent passage of radiation from a cooler troposphere to a warmer surface can be converted back to thermal energy and somehow not violate the Second Law with this heat transfer from cooler to warmer, then consider what would happen. The radiation from the cooler source is well known not to penetrate the ocean surface by more than 10 microns, whilst that from the Sun penetrates more than 10 metres. There would thus be a supply of thermal energy (you claim, not me) comparable with that from the Sun but concentrated into less than one-millionth of the depth of water, and obviously boiling it. Suppose the ocean temperature is 290K and this boiling 10 micron surface layer is 373K. Mix it all up and we get (0.000001 x 373) + (0.999999 x 290) = 0.000373 + 289.999710 = 290.000083. [b]So that’s a warming of 0.000083 degree.[/b] Something to spend billions worrying about?

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    CleanEnergyPundit

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    Besides methinks, an elementary order-of-magnitude calculation – relying on the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics – shows that, even when allowing the IPCC calculation of man-mad global warming by 2100 reputedly caused by CO2, is so trivial when compared to solar input variability alone, as to be totally irrelevant to ‘climate’:
    http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/eating-sun-fourth-estatelondon-2009.html

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    John A Marshall

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    IPCC claims that the planet would be 33C cooler without the GHE is based on confused and muddled thinking. The K&T energy model that they parade out every few weeks is total rubbish because it assumes 24/7 daylight, ie., a flat earth so incoming solar is divided by 4 to give the average energy and on their latest output is 161W/m2 at the surface giving a temperature of 231K or -42C so they are even wrong on their own calculations.
    Reality insists that we live on a sphere/globe rotating in space once every 24hours. Energy input is 1370W/m2, reduce for albedo, adsorption gives a total of 960W/m2 to be divided over a HEMISPHERE sothe average is 480W/m2 or enough for 33C
    No GHE needed in any way.

    Other assumptions include using radiation as the major surface heat loss process, it is not because convection and latent heat of water covers that base.

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     D o u g 

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    Anthony and others:

    All alarmist comments are based on IPCC documentation, and that documentation says the Earth’s surface would be 33 degrees colder without greenhouse gases. Water vapour is thus meant to be doing most of that warming from about 254.5K to about 287.5K to the nearest half degree.

    But in calculating the 254.5K temperature they fail to alter the albedo which, according to their energy diagrams includes 30% of solar radiation reflected back to space by those clouds which would only exist if the greenhouse pollutant, water vapour actually existed. But they have assumed it doesn’t in this scenario. So they incorrectly use only 70% of a quarter of the solar flux (1365W/m^2) and then they also assume incorrectly that emissivity is 1.0000, and so then then incorrectly get that temperature of 254.5K in Stefan-Boltzmann calculations.

    The ramifications of this enormous oversight are huge, because if they had not reduced the radiation by 30% due to the clouds that don’t exist. and if they had used a more realistic emissivity for a dry, rocky planet – say 0.88, then they would have got a temperature of 287.58K which is close enough to what is the existing mean temperature with GH gases that are thus doing no warming at all. I would add that the emissivity is more likely to be lower than 0.88, this giving a higher temperature above 290K, and so GH gases are cooling Earth.

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     D o u g 

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    You write “The atmosphere is warmed from the bottom up – which explains why there is snow on the tops of mountains.”

    No, on Venus and Uranus the troposphere is warmed from the top down, and it can also be thus warmed to some extent on Earth.

    What you say does not explain the snow. The gravitationally induced temperature gradient does so.

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     D o u g 

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    “everything under the Sun will cool down naturally and inevitably by the 2nd Law … “

    Not necessarily where gravity traps thermal energy such as in planetary tropospeheres, as is blatantly obvious on Uranus.

    Planets are not cooling off. Venus cools 5 degrees at night, but the Sun warms it up by the same amount the next day, not by radiation to the surface, but by convective heat transfer from 400K regions to 700K regions. That’s what we can deduce from the 2nd Law.

    That’s also why the Earth’s surface will still warm by day and cool by night even where there is thick cloud cover for days and nights on end. There’s more to it than you make out in this simplistic explanation.

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    John A Marshall

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    Water vapour does not prevent heat loss but releases latent heat as it condenses. This is transferred to the local area. CO2,CH4 etc are good adsorbers of IR but this means that they are good emitters of IR and this is radiated to space. These gasses cool during the day and at night so cannot prevent heat loss at night. There are two good gasses to hold heat, N2, O2 both being poor adsorbers and poor emitters of IR.

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    Al Shelton

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    Thanks for that

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