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The Four Known Scientific Ways Carbon Dioxide Cools Earth’s Climate

Written by Dr Pierre Latour PE

Experts from the ‘hard’ sciences are again revealing how climate ‘scientists’ have gotten it wrong about the role of carbon dioxide (CO2) in climate. 

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Dr Pierre R Latour, a renowned American Chemical Engineer, shows how four known mechanisms and three laws of nature prove why CO2 cools, not warms, our atmosphere. Moreover, it may be shown that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the supposed world authority deferred to by governments, lacks a rigorous mathematical description for their so-called ‘greenhouse gas theory.’

CO2 Affects Several Temperatures in Different Ways

Here we develop the physics, chemistry and biology to quantify the effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) on Earth’s temperature. There are five mechanisms and three different temperatures involved.

Four show a small cooling effect, one warms surface and cools upper atmosphere with no net bulk effect. I am unaware of a rigorous mathematical description of the greenhouse gas theory that purports to do this and show a warming affect. After decades of research attempts, promoters cannot reduce greenhouse gas theory (GHGT) to mathematics of science and engineering.

Stefan-Boltzmann Law of Radiation

If non-radiating O2 is exchanged for absorbing/emitting CO2, the emissivity, e, of a planet to space must increase. While emissivity of CO2 is less that global emissivity, it is greater than the O2 it replaced by “fossil fuel” combustion. The Stefan-Boltzmann Law of Radiation is

I = σ e (T/100)4

If e increases with CO2 at constant I, T goes down. Therefore, CO2 causes global cooling.

This is true for all bodies of matter, no matter the composition, rotation speed or weather.

I = radiating intensity, irradiance, power of any radiating body, w/m2, of its spherical surface, measured by Earth satellite spectrophotometers to be about 239. It is only a transfer rate when surroundings do not radiate, at 0K. Outer space at 3.7K radiate with very low intensity.

T = temperature of radiating body, K, estimated for Earth to be 4.60C + 273.15 = 277.75

σ = Stefan-Boltzmann radiation law constant, 5.67

e = emissivity of radiating body, fraction 0 < e < 1. e varies with composition. Perfect radiator black body e = 1, radiates a given intensity at lowest possible temperature. Colorful Earth radiator e = 0.70827 emits given intensity at temperature higher than black body.

I = 5.67*0.70827(277.750/100)4 = 5.67*0.70827*59.51 = 5.67*42.152 = 239.0

If doubling CO2 from 400 to 800 ppmv increases emissivity 0.001 from 0.70827 to 0.70927, T would drop -0.098C from 4.600C to 4.502C.

I = 5.67*0.70927(277.652/100)4 = 5.67*0.70927*59.43 = 5.67*42.152 = 239.0

Conservation of Energy of Atmosphere

1st Law Thermodynamics: Input Rate = Output Rate + Accumulation rate. At steady-state, Accumulation Rate = 0 and this ordinary differential equation becomes an algebraic one.

Absorption of solar + absorption of thermals and evaporation from surface + absorption from surface radiation = radiation to space

79 + 97 + 23 = 199 w/m2

Since CO2 absorption spectrum overlaps solar spectrum tail a small amount at two wavelengths, the 79 value would increase a small amount with CO2; a cooling effect on surface neglected by greenhouse gas theory. Some climatologists say CO2 affects the rate of heat transfer from surface by thermals and evaporation, 17 + 80 = 97, but I shall neglect that controversial effect here. However, once quantified, this model structure can assess the effect on global temperatures. An additional 161 is transmitted through atmosphere from sun to surface, 1 is retained by surface. 160 is transferred from surface up: 40 is transmitted through atmosphere as radiation from surface directly to space, 97 is transferred to atmosphere by convection and evaporation and 23 is absorbed from surface radiation.

Total incoming is 79 + 161 = outgoing 199 + 40 + 1 = 240. Transfer to space = 239.

These global energy flows come from the Kiehl-Trenberth diagram, as promoted by the UN’s discredited IPCC.

Radiant Energy Transfer Law

The rate of radiant energy transfer between radiating body 1 and radiating surroundings 0 is

I1 – I0 =σ [e1 (T1/100)4 – e0 (T0/100)4]

(I am neglecting complicated geometry effects here.) For transfer from Earth to space, I shall assume surroundings at T0 = 3.7K, neglecting starlight, so

I – Is = 5.67 [0.70827 (277.75/100)4 – 1.0 (3.7/100)4] = 5.67 [0.70827*59.51 – 1.0*0.00000187] = 5.67[42.152 – 0.000002] = 239.00 – 0.000010626 = 239.00.

So there is no problem equating Earth’s radiation intensity to space with its radiant heat transfer rate to space. Intensity only equals radiant energy transfer rate when T0 = 0.

If this is applied to transfer from surface 1 to atmosphere 0, rate I1 – I0 is constant (I1 actually drops a little when incoming drops due to increased atmospheric CO2 absorption), and e1 is constant, then when e0 increases with CO2, either T1 must increase to overcome increased resistance to heat transfer by increased e0 (as postulated by GHGT and the only possible warming mechanism I can find), or T0 must decrease. They both change in such a way as to reduce global T from S-B Law.

In the unusual situation where surroundings do not obey Kirchhoff’s Law, absorptivity = emissivity, a0 = e0, because surroundings has energy transfer by means other than radiation, like thermals plus evaporation = 97 from surface to atmosphere, one cannot replace e0 with a0.

Inserting appropriate values (T1 = 14.85C, T0 = -18.15C, e1 = 0.1615 and e0 = 0.167) gives:

I – Is = 5.67 [0.1615 (288/100)4 – 0.167 (255/100)4] = 5.67 [0.161*68.797 – 0.167*42.283] = 5.67[11.111 – 7.061] = 62.998 – 40.037 = 22.961 = 23.

Note surface emissivity = 0.1615, radiates I = 63, 40 directly to space and 23 absorbed by atmosphere. While pure water has e = 0.96, ocean phytoplankton absorb solar power, reducing its emissivity. Emissivity of atmosphere seen from surface = 0.167. Emissivity of atmosphere to space is 0.830 because it receives 97 by convection and evaporation and does not obey Kirchhoff’s Law: emissivity = absorptivity.

For atmosphere component,

199 = 5.67*0.830 (255/100)-4

Note surface radiates directly to space with effective emissivity = 0.1025.

40 = 5.67*0.1025 (288/100)4

Now we can find weighted average global emissivity from atmosphere and surface

e = (0.831*199 + 0.1025*40)/239 = 0.708

which confirms the initial assumption precisely.

I realize these average emissivity values may not be acceptable to some, but they do fit the observed data and are hard to determine from first principles.

At first glance, assuming I1 – I0 and T0 are constant, increasing CO2 increases heat transfer resistance,e0, so surface radiating T1must increase to accommodate. This could be the basic claim of GHGT and yetCO2decreases atmospheric T0and global radiating T. The amounts depend on the effect of CO2 on emissivity of the atmosphere.

Lapse Rate

This is consistent with the slope of T vs altitude in troposphere, lapse rate = -g/Cp (universal gravity constant / heat capacity) because kinetic energy of gas decreases as its gravitational potential energy increases with altitude, by energy conservation law.

Increasing CO2 increases atmosphere Cp because CO2Cp> O2Cp, making the slope less negative. It rotates counterclockwise about its radiating centroid T near 5 km and -18C (which decreases a bit by transfer rate to space). This causes lower atmosphere T to increase and upper atmosphere T to decrease.

Conservation of Energy of Earth

1st Law Thermodynamics: Input rate = output rate.

(1 – alb) S/4 + IO = I – Is + P

S = solar radiation intensity, 1365 to 1370 w/m2 incident disk or 1365/4 to 1370/4 w/m2 of incident sphere

Albedo = reflectivity, fraction, mostly by clouds, estimate 0.7. Some say CO2 affects albedo through cloud formation; this could be a significant cooling effect.

Is = intensity of surrounding space = 0.000010626 @ 3.7K = negligible

P = energy absorbed by plant photosynthesis

IO = sum inputs (core, volcanoes, fires) minus other outputs, negligible

Rearranging and substituting gives the overall relationship:

I = (1 – alb) S/4 – P = σ e (T/100)4

Dividing by σ e gives the overall relationship for T:

I/σe =(T/100)4 = (1 – alb) S/4σe – P/σe

If S increases, T increases. If alb, e or P increase, T decreases. All we need to do is find the effect of CO2 on alb, e and P to quantify its effect on T. Easy to show increasing CO2 causes increases in e and P, decreasing T.

If Earth were a perfect black body emitter and P = 0,

(1 – 0.3) 1366/4*5.67*1.000 = 42.1605 = 2.5484 or T = 254.8K = -18.33C

Actually Earth’s surface is a colorful 0.612 emitter using surface T = 15C

(1 – 0.3) 1366/4*5.67*0.612 = 68.8897 = 2.8814 or T = 288.1K = 14.95C

The difference 14.95 – (-18.33) = +33.3C is the difference between colorful Earth’s radiating surface temperature and its theoretical black body equivalent when radiating at same intensity, 239.

James Hansen, Al Gore and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), among others, mistakenly declared this 33C to be the greenhouse effect.

With a corrected emissivity value for radiating 239 at T = 4.6C, e = 0.708, corresponding black body would radiate at T = 273.15 – 18.35 = 254.80

I = 5.67*1.0(254.803/100)4 = 5.67*1*42.152 = 5.67*42.152 = 239.0

This means the so called greenhouse effect is 4.60 – (-18.35) = +22.95C, not +33C.

Photosynthesis

Organic molecules are made by living flora by photosynthesis chemical reaction of xCO2 + 0.5yH2O + sunlight = CxHy + (x+0.25y)O2, catalyzed by chlorophyll, according to biology. CxHy are hydrocarbon molecules: sugars, starches & cellulose, and which decay slowly to oil, gas, peat, tar and coal along with decaying fauna residue. CxHy can be natural gas, CH4, methane.

Surface does not obey Kirchhoff’s law either,a0 = e0, because of this non-radiation chemical energy transfer mechanism.CO2 is green plant food driving the cycle of flora – fauna life. Flora make O2 for us fauna. Fauna make CO2 for flora.

Reaction rate, consumption of CO2 and incident solar energy, P is

P = k*p*Ss [CO2][H2O]exp(-E/RT1)

p = pressure at leaf, atm

Ss = sunlight impinging on green surfaces, w/m2<160. = a(1 – alb)S/4, a = absorptivity

[CO2] = atmospheric composition, vol % = 0.0390

[H2O] = atmospheric composition, vol %

T1 = temperature of surface leaf, K

k = kinetic rate constant

So increasing [CO2] will increase P and reduce T, cooling. Increasing S or T1 will have the same effect.

So the sensitivity of T to CO2 depends on which temperature you are talking about: T, T1, T0. And what the net effect of all relevant mechanisms is. It is easy to see why there is so much confusion and controversy.

Combined System Effects

With an increase in CO2, solar absorption by atmosphere increases a bit to 79+ and surface absorption decreases a like amount to 161-. Therefore, surface radiation drops a like amount to 63-. And its T1 drops to 14.85-. With increased e0 the transfer rate from surface to atmosphere by absorption decreases to 23-. And since the atmosphere T0 decreases to -18.15-, the net radiation rate from atmosphere to space must drop to 199- = 79+ + 23- + 97, because CO2 is a better absorber of surface spectrum than solar spectrum. Direct transmittance from surface to space would increase to 40+ such that the total to space remains 199- + 40+ = 239.0, satisfying overall energy balance.

Therefore increasing CO2 causes decreases in surface T1 = 14.85-, atmosphere T0 = -18.15-, and global T = 4.60-. There is no CO2 global warming mechanism. There are at least four global cooling mechanisms. This refutes UN IPCC claim doubling CO2 from 400 to 800 causes Earth’s T to increase 1.2C to 2.5C.

Back-radiation

Greenhouse gas theory to support the notion of global warming, postulates heat transfer from cold atmosphere down to warm surface, heating surface further. The Kiehl-Trenberth diagram says back-radiation transfer rate is 333, which is 2.1x that impinging surface from the sun, 161. This extraordinary value defies common experience.

I have shown the existence of any back-radiation would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics; heat only transfers from hot to cold or from high intensity radiators to lower intensity radiators. If back-radiation existed, it would lead to creation of energy, a violation of the First Law of Thermo, constituting a perpetual motion machine of the first and second kinds, which is impossible, but just what AGW proponents need to support their perpetual global warming idea.

Measuring temperature

While climatologist, Dr Roy Spencer says satellites measure Earth’s global temperature, their spectrometers actually measure radiation intensity, I = 239, a pole to pole, day/night, season/season average. Roy must assume a corresponding emissivity, e, to infer or deduce an estimate of T. Since e is hard to determine from first principles physical properties of dissimilar surface + atmosphere and is likely to change, particularly with CO2, using satellite inferred T is fraught with error. He must get distance between radiator and spectrometer accurately, which is not easy for a 50 km thick atmosphere and rocky mountains.

T is a point property of matter indicating its kinetic energy. We have no way in physics to average T over different phases and compositions of matter. You can’t even calculate the average T of your moving car: engine, cylinders, a/c, radiator, exhaust, body, interior, tires. Wouldn’t mean much if you could.

By the way, how are global temperature maps constructed? If they are from closely spaced thermometers, averaged daily, that would be meaningful. But if from spectrometers, how are emissivities of ocean, desert, jungles, cities, mountains, ice and clouds assigned to each point of radiating intensity, for a corresponding S-B radiating T? And averaged over sphere?

Careful study of Spencer’s writings indicates he equates/confuses radiation intensity with radiant heat transfer rate, which have the same units, w/m2. The former is given by S-B Law for intensity, irradiance, radiance, power, exitance, emission. The latter is driven by a difference in intensities between two radiators or a radiator and its surroundings. Both are vectors with direction, not scalars. The former intensity, I, is not called radiant heat transfer rate because it isn’t.

When two facing plates are radiating at each other with equal intensities in opposite directions, there is no radiant heat transfer between them and their temperatures remain constant. (Note if emissivities differ when I1 = I0, so will radiator Ts. Chrome and wood on a beach have different steady temperatures, chrome is hotter because its emissivity is low and reflectivity is high, radiating with same I as high emissivity, colder wood.) The walls of my office radiate, but no heat transfers between them.

Chemical engineers design and operate radiant/conductive/convective furnaces with chemical reactions for a living. You can’t control something unless you can measure it or reliably infer it from measurements and known constants of nature.

Cause and effect

Just because [CO2] and T may be correlated over significant periods does not mean one causes the other; a third input may drive them both. Solar irradiance is not constant and dominates all other influencers of T.

Solubility of CO2 in water, beer, soda, Champagne and oceans decreases with temperature. Cooling drives CO2 from the atmosphere into the ocean; warming drives it back out. A simple energy balance on oceans confirms the measured 800 year lag of [CO2] following T, following S; a well-known inconvenient truth for Al Gore’s embarrassing Academy Award movie misnomer.

There is no known mechanism in the literature quantifying any effect of [CO2] change on climate change.

Thermostat

The notion of building a thermostat to adjust fossil fuel combustion rate to control the temperature of the Earth was shown to be unmeasurable, unobservable and uncontrollable by control systems mathematical analysis in 1997, before Kyoto Protocol. In other words, it can never work.

Empirical models

It is acceptable engineering practice to infer fundamental constants/properties like an emissivity or reaction rate constant by measuring related variables and using one of these laws of physics to deduce it. Resulting law has predictive power so long at the property does not change. This know-how is particularly useful for rigorous differential equations accounting for dynamics of mass and energy accumulation rates. Stability analysis shows no tipping points.

But to fit arbitrary algebraic polynomial, exponential, sine, log or hockey stick equations to measured transient data is unacceptable since it is well known in chemical control systems engineering that they will have no predictive power.

The UN IPCC use of such models confirms they have no greenhouse gas law built on accepted physics and engineering and should be summarily dismissed. Calling for more research funding after repeated failures is compelling evidence the science and engineering of global warming and climate change is far from settled. In fact, this brief essay should settle the matter, save money and delight those practicing the scientific method.

I used only three laws of nature here: S-B Law, 1stLaw of Thermo and Chemical Reaction Rate Law. And 10th grade algebra. World has been spending $1 billion per day for a decade on global warming/climate change research to quantify the effect of fossil fuel combustion production of CO2 on Earth’s temperature. A large government is shutting down its coal industry in 2014 on the mistaken belief CO2 causes great harm, when it is benign and net beneficial. This paper proves it is all unnecessary, worthless.

Global cooling

Since Earth is warming half the time and cooling the other half, reputable climatologists report a consensus of imminent, significant, prolonged global cooling, and the effect of increasing CO2 on temperature is vanishingly small, be prepared. Invest in energy production from oil, gas, coal and nuclear. For goodness’ sake.

Precautionary Principles

Be careful. Look before you leap. Do no harm. Think before you speak and write. Play it on the safe side. Better safe than sorry. Know what you are saying and doing. Do not frighten people unnecessarily. Supply relevant, valid evidence for every claim; lest they be dismissed as frivolous. Perform an accurate scientific, engineering and economic analysis before devising a plan and implementing it. Provide performance measures and fulfill them. Be prudent & frugal. Be a fiduciary with other people’s money. Foresee unintended consequences. Analysis comes before synthesis, always. Avoid attempting the impossible. Avoid building perpetual motion machines, in violation of the 2nd Law of Thermo. Learn from your mistakes, admit them, apologize, accept consequences and reconcile with Nature and Nature’s God (TJ, 1776). Honesty is the best policy. Seek truth. Skepticism is a wise starting position.

Since I can’t find a mathematical description of a consensus greenhouse gas theory, I call it a greenhouse gas hunch. After all, CO2 is green plant food. No self-respecting environmentalist would consider depriving Earth’s flora of its sustenance. Even for personal political or financial gain. Would they?

 

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Comments (119)

  • Avatar

     D o u g

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    Why are the tropical oceans still cold in the depths? Why don’t they become isothermal like you think the troposphere would have been without that most-prolific of all greenhouse pollutants, water vapour sending all that warming back radiation back to the surface to warm it to a higher temperature than it was when it sent the original radiation and cooled in doing so.

    Well the tropical oceans are colder in the depths because the poles act as a heat sink. Isothermals (such as 4 degrees C) are deep down in the tropics, but break out at the surface in the polar regions.

    So too would the atmosphere be colder at the base for the same reason. If the whole globe were paved in black asphalt the surface would be about 235K – nearly 40 degrees below freezing. You can work it out yourself with an on-line Stefan Boltzmann calculator using solar radiative flux of 161W/m^2 and emissivity 0.93.

    So there is a lot of thermal energy entering the ocean surface in non-polar regions, moving downwards through the thermocline and exiting in the polar regions.

    But why is the thin transparent ocean surface so hot? Before you say it’s the back radiation, I have to tell you that radiation from colder regions does not penetrate the warmer ocean surface more than a few nanometres. It is “pseudo scattered” because it merely raises electrons to higher energy states and then those electrons immediately drop back and emit an identical photon. The electro-magnetic energy is not converted to thermal energy, and so it does not raise the temperature.

    In fact there is a gravitationally induced temperature gradient (aka lapse rate) in any planetary troposphere, and thermal energy absorbed from solar radiation in the upper troposphere can flow up that sloping thermal profile restoring thermodynamic equilibrium as it does so, and even entering the oceans. Water vapour reduces the temperature gradient (fortunately) making the surface about 10 to 12 degrees cooler. Carbon dioxide makes it another 0.1 degree cooler for the same reason.

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    D o u g

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    My key point is that there is no valid physics which supports the conjecture that water vapour and carbon dioxide raise the mean temperature of Earth’s surface. I have presented a study based on 30 years of temperature data for inland tropical cities on three continents which clearly shows water vapour cools.

    It is the responsibility of people like James Hansen and all his subsequent followers to [i]prove[/i] their conjectures with which they have bluffed politicians and the world in general. They can’t.

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    D o u g

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    There is not space here to reproduce my calculations, but I estimated the pivoting altitude to be in the vicinity of 3.5Km to 4Km. This is the altitude where the net radiated energy to space above that altitude equals the net radiated energy to space from below that altitude, including that from the surface. We know empirically that water vapour can reduce the temperature gradient by about a third from a “dry” gradient of 9.8C/Km. So, in 3.5 to 4Km the resultant surface cooling is in the vicinity of 12 degrees. Without water vapour the Earth’s surface temperature would be close to 300K.

    Now carbon dioxide molecules are outnumbered by water vapour molecules by roughly 50:1. They also radiate in fewer bands at atmospheric temperatures, so their temperature levelling effect will be less per molecule than water vapour. Broadly from these considerations I place the cooling effect of carbon dioxide in the vicinity of 0.1 degree. Double the CO2 and I suppose you could get 0.2 degree of cooling. To be any more accurate would require extensive research. As far as I’m concerned it is sufficient to know that it has just a small cooling effect.

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    D o u g

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    (continued)

    It’s not really relevant to say none of this would happen without molecules that absorb and emit radiation at atmospheric temperatures, because no atmosphere in our Solar System lacks such molecules. But you should note that in the lower troposphere S-B calculations easily confirm that incident solar radiation is not strong enough to raise the already-warmer temperatures, especially on Venus.

    The key issue you gloss over is in your statement “The resultant mean surface temperature is an empirically determined 288K.” That statement cannot by supported by radiation calculations. It can only be supported by calculations based on the gravito-thermal effect, as is very easily demonstrated in the Uranus troposphere where no solar radiation penetrates very far down. And, when it comes to non-radiative heat transfers from the cooler atmosphere into the Venus and Earth surfaces very very few scientists understand what is happening. That’s why I spent $3,000 of my own money putting it in writing for the first time by anyone in the world. You don’t see “anything in my writings” because you haven’t read the book and understood the physics involved. You need to make the effort, because it is crucial to understanding what is happening. Climatologists have not correctly explained the 288K. The solar energy of 161W/m^2 reaching Earth’s surface would not on average raise an asphalt paved Earth even to 235K. That’s over 50 degrees colder than observations.

    And I [i]have[/i] provided empirical evidence that water vapour cools and I [i]have[/i] provided the physics which explains that both it and carbon dioxide [i][b]cool[/b][/i] for the same reason in that inter-molecular radiation reduces the temperature gradient that would otherwise be steeper (with a hotter surface) due to the gravito-thermal effect. I [i]have[/i] made reasonably-well supported calculations quantifying the cooling effect of carbon dioxide. In that climatologists have done none of this with any sound physics, I suggest that I’ve come a long way further than they. Meanwhile you still seem to believe that radiation calculations can show why the Earth’s surface is 288K and the surface of Venus rises and falls between about 732K and 737K. Well show me your calculations, because nothing else in world literature proves radiation alone does this.

    And don’t forget to try to answer those three questions.

    Reply

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    D o u g

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    David

    Planets like Earth and Venus have day and night. Yes the whole temperature profile in the troposphere rises by day and falls by night, with a propensity towards maintaining parallel positions on the sloping plot of temperature against altitude, because that is the (isentropic) state of thermodynamic equilibrium which the Second Law tells us will evolve autonomously. Do you agree so far?

    Now, sure the cooling process at night is easy to understand. But, it’s not so easy to understand, and it’s not documented elsewhere, just exactly what happens during the warming process. That’s why I asked you three specific questions to help me to understand what you may or may not understand about the “heat creep” process whereby thermal energy transfers by convection (which includes diffusion in physics) up the temperature profile when thermodynamic equilibrium has been disturbed by the absorption of new solar energy near TOA.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    David Cosserat

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    Doug,

    On your #111 and #112 comments:

    1. I AGREE that additional energy received (via radiation, conduction/convection and evapo-transpiration) into a planetary atmosphere at any height (including from the surface) will be re-distributed in such a way that a (higher) isentropic temperature profile is produced.

    2. There is an important corollary of 1. This is that additional energy exiting to space from the earth-atmosphere system can also do so from any height (including the surface). Consequently the remaining energy in the atmosphere will be redistributed in such a way that a (lower) isentropic temperature profile is produced.

    3. But we are meant to be discussing here the long-term-average steady-state situation, where the fraction of the Sun’s incoming energy flow that is absorbed by the earth-atmosphere system [i]exactly matches[/i] the outgoing energy flow from the earth-atmosphere system to space. In that case it is clear that processes 1. and 2. [i]exactly offset one another[/i]. So the isentropic temperature profile will remain constant.

    However…

    None of the above would happen without the radiative gases, principally H2O with a little assistance from CO2. They are essential for the absorption in the earth’s atmosphere of a significant proportion (78Wm-2 according to Trenberth) of the Sun’s radiation. They are also essential for transferring 100% of the outgoing energy from the atmosphere to space (199W-2 according to Trenberth).

    Obviously in the earth as it is today, they are doing both of these vital jobs. The resultant mean surface temperature is an empirically determined 288K. The question is: if we double the concentration of atmospheric CO2, how much will this change the long-term-average steady-state temperature profile as defined in 3. above (and in particular, the surface temperature)?

    I don’t see anything in your writings that answers that vital question. Making assertions such as “Only the gravito-thermal explanation is correct, and it completely demolishes the radiative greenhouse conjecture” just isn’t going to cut the mustard. You need to provide a reasoned quantitative scientific analysis of what change in surface temperature would occur as a result of doubling CO2. Although your ideas are on an interesting track I predict that, unless and until you can provide that analysis, you will simply be ignored. That would be a pity.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    D o u g

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    So let’s discuss Pierre’s four points and show just how irrelevant all this is because [b]you cannot determine what planetary surface temperatures ought to be from radiation considerations.[/b] After all, radiation is attenuated by atmospheres, so why aren’t they colder at the base of the troposphere than at the top?

    [b]Pierre’s 1st point:[/b]

    Well, the emissivity of carbon dioxide on Venus hasn’t helped cool it much. High emissivity also means high absorptivity. What do you think is storing over 97% of the thermal energy in the Venus atmosphere? Carbon dioxide molecules are.

    [b]Pierre’s 2nd point:[/b]

    Yes CO2 does absorb incident solar radiation around 2.1 microns. Some is re-emitted to space and some of the energy can find its way to the surface by non-radiative diffusion. But to cite the K-T diagram (which clearly implies that back radiation helps the Sun to raise the surface temperature) is surely crossing the floor.

    [b]Pierre’s 3rd point:[/b]

    This point should be removed altogether because he got it round the wrong way. The specific heat of carbon dioxide is lower than those of both oxygen and nitrogen.

    [b]Pierre’s 4th point:[/b]

    He fudges the 288K figure by …

    (a) assuming the radiation into the surface is 70% rather than the NASA figure of 48% of the mean TOA solar flux. In other words, he ignores and does not deduct the 21% or so absorbed by the atmosphere on the way in.

    (b) fudging the surface emissivity to just the right figure which works with his incorrect 70% to get the right answer. Given that 70% of Earth’s surface is ocean with emissivity measured as about 0.984, then the mean for the whole surface is sure to be greater than 0.612. Even if the emissivity of the solid surface were zero, the mean would be higher than 0.612.

    Reply

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    D o u g

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    As I see it David, PSI will never persuade the public that back radiation is not raising the surface temperature by that “33 degrees” unless they publicise the valid physics which explains both the gravitationally induced thermal gradient and the process whereby thermal energy can move up that thermal plot as it restores thermodynamic equilibrium.

    [b]This issue is the most vitally important issue in the whole climate debate.[/b]

    The two opposing explanations of the surface warming are poles apart. Only the gravito-thermal explanation is correct, and it completely demolishes the radiative greenhouse conjecture. In fact, the gravito thermal effect provides more than enough warming (as per the dry rate of 9.8C/Km) but intermolecular radiation (mostly between water vapour molecules) reduces the gradient to about 6.5C/Km and thus has a cooling effect of several degrees – which is vital for life on Earth.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    D o u g

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    David

    The main content of the book is showing why the process described in statements of the Second Law of Thermodynamics leads to the inevitable conclusion that the thermal gradient is indeed the very state of thermodynamic equilibrium which that law states will evolve autonomously. I then go on to explain the (also inevitable) conclusion that the process of restoring such equilibrium can lead to thermal energy being transferred from cooler to warmer regions. I consider this proven from standard physics.

    I gave you a simple example in my most recent comment showing why this happens. It’s not hard to understand. Yet it seems to me that you have no explanation yourself as to how the solar energy which warms regions that are cooler than 400K on Venus subsequently makes its way into the Venus surface.

    So let me ask you three questions …

    (1) Does significant solar energy absorbed at less than 400K in the Venus atmosphere help to raise the surface temperature?

    (2) If no, then what energy does do so and how does it get there?

    (3) If yes, then how does the energy get from the upper atmosphere into the hotter surface?

    Regarding carbon dioxide on Earth, the IPCC clearly states that radiation from carbon dioxide supposedly causes the Earth’s surface to gain thermal energy (as shown in K-T diagrams) and thus rise in temperature beyond any temperature that direct solar radiation can achieve. There is no valid physics supporting this claim. Furthermore, climatologists claim that the surface temperature can be determined by the sum of the radiative fluxes from the Sun and from the atmosphere. Once again there is no valid physics supporting this claim. Yes there is physics supporting a very slight warming effect resulting from the lower specific heat of carbon dioxide, but I have shown that this only steepens the temperature gradient by about one part in 10,000 and is thus insignificant. As to the cooling effect due to intermolecular radiation, I did calculations based on the similar cooling effect of water vapour, but modified significantly due to the far smaller number of carbon dioxide molecules. That is how I came to an estimate of 1/10th of a degree, but I accept that it could be almost anywhere between perhaps 0.02 and 0.5 degree of cooling.

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    David Cosserat

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    Doug,

    You are getting a little tedious and more than a little patronising. I think Pierre is correct when he says that you never properly read what anybody else says.

    You still don’t seem to appreciate that I AGREE WITH YOU that energy absorbed by the atmosphere [i]at any height[/i] (top, middle, base, anywhere) re-distributes so as to maintain the familiar isentropic profile up the atmospheric column. And I LIKE THE LAKE EXAMPLE in your book (all of which I have read, by the way, and MOST OF WHICH I AGREE WITH).

    What I have been trying to engage with you over (obviously unsuccessfully) is the precise mechanism whereby this atmospheric energy diffusion process occurs without violating the 2LT (as I interpret it). If you don’t like my explanation (or my interpretation of the 2LT), so be it. I don’t much like your explanation, which I find assertive rather than educative.

    So let us put that minor disagreement on one side since we BOTH DO AGREE that the isentropic energy re-distribution DOES OCCUR and instead move on to the substantial question of Pierre’s blog article:

    [i]To what quantitative extent (if at all) is the surface temperature of the earth affected by the quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere?[/i]

    Although you have asserted in your book that CO2 only has a minor cooling effect of perhaps 1/10th degree C, you have not proved it. If we cannot keep resolutely on that topic, we are surely wasting our time.

    David

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    D o u g

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    An easily-understood example. Suppose initial equilibrium has ..

    At top: PE + KE = 20 + 15 (Total 35)
    At bottom: PE + KE = 12 + 23 (total 35)

    Add 4 units of KE at top and equilibrium is disturbed (now 39 total at top)

    A new equilibrium evolves as 2 units of KE moves downwards.

    At top: PE + KE = 20 + 17 = 37
    At bottom: PE + KE = 12 + 25 = 37

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    D o u g

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    Actually, to get valid non-radiative equations in a vertical plane you have to deduct from the actual temperature of the lower point the component that is added due to the gravito-thermal effect. For example, in dry air we expect a gradient of 9.8C per Km. So if the air at the top is 10C and the air at the bottom is 15C then we deduct 9.8C from 15C and treat it as if the lower temperature were 5.2C. We then get the heat flow from the top to the bottom.

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    D o u g

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    I did not say anything about radiation equations being incorrect. My paper on radiation covers that.

    I have explained above (and in far more detail in my book) what happens. What I have explained is based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics. It explains how the energy moves from the 400K region on Venus to the 735K surface. You have no explanation for such. We don’t need to know the rate at which this happens, although 4 months appears to be sufficient time on Venus.

    Until you think about how thermodynamic equilibrium (the isentropic state with a temperature gradient) is restored (after new energy is added at the top) then you won’t have any idea as to what is happening in planetary tropospheres. When you’ve worked out Venus, try Uranus. Do you ever wonder why the temperature gradient in th nominal Uranus troposphere s so accurately very close to [i]g/Cp[/i]?

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    David Cosserat

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    Well apart form your observation that “equilibriate” might not be the best verb to describe the development of an iso-entropic as opposed to an iso-thermal state, I think your response is unhelpful.

    If you feel that the equations of heat transfer (both thermal and radiative) don’t work in a vertical dimension subject to gravity then you should tell us all what alternative equations you propose.

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    D o u g

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    You only have to think about Venus. At night it cools about 5 degrees. By day it warms by the same amount. The only difference is the Sun. Hence the energy getting into the surface in order to raise its temperature comes from the Sun. But the Sun’s direct radiation is less than a mean of 20W/m^2. At least 14,000W/m^2 would be required for radiation to do the job. The Sun’s energy can only warm the relatively colder upper regions of the atmosphere where temperatures are less than 400K. So how does the solar energy absorbed in those regions get into the far hotter surface and raise its temperature from about 732K to 737K? If you can’t answer this with valid physics (as I have) then you have no understanding of what’s really happening on Venus, Earth or any planet.

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    D o u g

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    PS Your equation P =A.k’.(T1 – T0) is only correct in a horizontal plane in a gravitational field. You are using school boy physics dating back to the initial and restricted concepts of the mid 19th century. Can you even quote the Second Law of Thermodynamics? You talk about the atmosphere “equilibrating” – well it does not have a propensity towards being isothermal in a vertical plane at all. How could it? That would never be the state of maximum entropy. You really do miss the whole point of what I am explaining.

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    D o u g

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    Assuming (in perfect calm conditions) a column of air (or gas) in a troposphere is in the state of thermodynamic equilibrium (with a non-zero temperature gradient) then newly absorbed thermal energy at the top of the column (the cooler end) raises the temperature locally above the normal level, though still colder than warmer regions below. What then will happen when there is the inevitable propensity to restore thermodynamic equilibrium? The new equilibrium will have a higher thermal profile (like the new level all over the lake) but it will have the same thermal gradient. So its plot is in a higher but parallel position. Hence some of the new thermal energy must diffuse downwards to warmer regions. And that is the only way in which sufficient energy gets into the Venus surface to raise its temperature by 5 degrees over the course of its 4-month-long day, thus compensating for the cooling the previous Venus night. You would find it easier to understand if you read my book and referred to the diagrams therein, thus saving my time here.

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    David Cosserat

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    Doug,

    If we must discuss the minute details of what is actually going on when additional energy enters a gravitational air column, I do like your rain and lake analogy at #90.

    Ignoring frictional effects, the extra weight of the rain that lands initially at the middle of the lake causes an immediate (almost but not quite as strong) balancing up-thrust. This prevents the rain equibriating across the lake in zero time.

    As time goes by, the consequent (almost but not quite as strong) balancing reactive up-thrusts spreading progressively throughout the lake likewise hold portions of water above the eventual average lake height, but (being always weaker than the corresponding diminishing down-thrusts) do so to a lesser and lesser extent, until eventually all the water in the lake is at the same (increased) level and the isentropic condition of the lake is re-established.

    I see nowhere in this scenario where the upward reactive forces are ever larger than the corresponding downward forces.

    Likewise, in the case of regions of the atmosphere that absorb energy directly from the Sun), I see nowhere where the heated areas receive increased kinetic energy from lower temperature areas, the relevant transfer equations being P = A.k.(T1^4 – T0^4) for each radiant transfer and P =A.k’.(T1 – T0) for each thermal transfer, in both cases from higher T1 to lower T0 regions.

    Yet the atmosphere does indeed equilibriate, exactly as you have argued and exactly as everyone who has studied elementary atmospheric physics already knows it does.

    David

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    D o u g

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    David, the vast majority of the solar energy absorbed on its way into a planet’s atmosphere is in fact absorbed in the colder upper regions of the troposphere and above. Below that the temperature is already too high for the solar radiation, now attenuated, to have any warming effect. This is very pronounced on Venus. Hence the “redistribution” by diffusion is mostly from these cold regions to the warmer base of the troposphere and into the surface. Yes the whole temperature profile does rise, but you denied that thermal energy transfers from cooler to warmer regions in the process. Well it does. It is the level of the thermal profile which determines (“supports”) the surface temperature, and this has nothing to do with the amount of solar radiation entering the surface. Well, on Earth it has almost nothing to do with solar radiation, except that direct sunlight on a clear day can make some regions warmer with temporary energy that mostly dissipates later that day. But the Sun cannot raise the mean surface temperature for Earth.

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