The Ideal Gas Law, the Planets and the Fraud of Climate Science

Written by Ross McLeod, PSI Researcher

Once again, NASA, when dealing with real science and real planets, conspicuously omits giving any credibility to the increasingly disputed “greenhouse gas effect.”  NASA gheAustralian climate researcher, Ross McLeod, presents NASA’s own numbers to show the US space agency does not apply any so-called “greenhouse gas effect” in their planetary temperature charts to boost surface temperature.

Thankfully, space science isn’t run like climate science, where propagandists appear all too eager to promote the lie that Venus provides “proof” of a “runaway greenhouse effect” due to its high atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. But as the official NASA numbers show below, that is pure bunkum – there is no need at all to invoke such a pseudo-scientific mechanism to reach the observed surface temperature on that planet.
 
Without a greenhouse effect there are of course no grounds at all to panic over the carbon dioxide content in earth’s atmosphere, as no alarming surface temperature increase can be possible at the hands of this beneficial trace gas.  Here are the numbers that make uncomfortable reading for climate “scientists” –
 
Scope

The objective here is to compare the information presented by NASA in their Planetary Fact Sheets with calculations involving the Ideal Gas Law.

It is hereby acknowledged that there are problems with the Ideal Gas law versus real gases and mixtures.

An Ideal Gas obeys the Ideal Gas Law (General gas equation): PV = nRT

An Ideal Gas is modelled on the Kinetic Theory of Gases which has four basic postulates:

  • Gases consist of small particles (molecules) which are in continuous random motion

  • The volume of the molecules present is negligible compared to the total volume occupied by the gas

  • Intermolecular forces are negligible

  • Pressure is due to the gas molecules colliding with the walls of the container

  • Real Gases deviate from Ideal Gas Behaviour because:

  • at low temperatures the gas molecules have less kinetic energy (move around less) so they do attract each other

  • at high pressures the gas molecules are forced closer together so that the volume of the gas molecules becomes significant compared to the volume the gas occupies.

  • The Planetary Fact Sheets and the relevant properties are summarised in the table below:-

    Property

    Venus

    Earth

    Mars

    Jupiter

    Saturn

    Uranus

    Neptune

    Pressure

    (millibar)

    92000

    (Surface)

    1014

    (Surface)

    6.9 – 9

    Viking 1 Site

    1000

    (high in atmos.)

    1000 (high in atmos.)

    1000

    (high in atmos.)

    1000

    (high in atmos.)

    Density (g/m3)

    65000

    (Surface)

    1217

    (Surface)

    20

    (Surface)

    160

    (At 1 bar)

    190

    (At 1 bar)

    420

    (At 1 bar)

    450

    (At 1 bar)

    Mean Molecular weight (g/mole)

    43.45

    28.97

    43.34

    2.22

    2.07

    2.64

    2.53 – 2.69

    Temperature

    (Kelvin)

    737 K

    (Surface)

    288 K

    (Surface)

    210 K

    (Surface)

    165 K

    (At 1 bar)

    134 K

    (At 1 bar)

    76 K

    (At 1 bar)

    72 K

    (At 1 bar)

    Diurnal temperature range – (K)

    ~ 0 K

    283 – 293 K

    184 – 242 K

    ?

    ?

    ?

    ?

    Solar Irradiance

    2613.9 W/m2

    1367.6 W/m2

    589.2

    W/m2

    50.50 W/m2

    14.90 W/m2

    3.71

    W/m2

    1.51

    W/m2

    Black Body Temperature

    184.2 K

    254.3 K

    210.1 K

    110.0 K

    81.1 K

    58.2 K

    46.6 K

    Detailed analysis 

    In this demonstration, we’ll compare simple calculations based on the Ideal Gas Law and the information contained in the Planetary Fact Sheets. We’ll also consider why a clique of climate scientists at NASA – a strong advocate for the “greenhouse effect” – makes no attempt to explain these properties in terms of their supposed “settled science”.

    Venus

    PV = nRT

    92000 (mb) x 1000 (litre/ m3) = 65000 (g/ m3) / 43.45 (g/mole) x 0.082 x T

    T = 92000/ (0.082 x 65000/43.45) = ~750 K

    Isn’t it simply amazing that PV = nRT and the average temperature coincide so well while the blackbody temperature misses by a wide margin!

    Earth

    PV = nRT

    1014 (mb) x 1000 (litre/ m3) = 1217 (g/ m3) / 28.97 (g/mole) x 0.082 x T

    T = 1014/ (0.082 x 1217/28.97) = ~294 K

    Isn’t it simply amazing that PV = nRT and the measured Diurnal temperature range and the average temperature coincide so well while the blackbody temperature misses by a wide margin!

    Mars

    PV = nRT

    Because the Martian atmosphere is so slight we use 2 calculations – the minimum and maximum measured at the Viking Lander Site to demonstrate something significant.

    6.9 (mb) x 1000 (litre/ m3) = 20 (g/ m3) / 43.34 (g/mole) x 0.082 x T

    T = 6.9/ (0.082 x 20/43.34) = ~182 K; or,

    T = 9/ (0.082 x 20/43.34) = ~238 K

    Isn’t it simply amazing that PV = nRT and the measured Diurnal temperature range and the average temperature coincide so well.

    Only Mars has a blackbody temperature calculation close to the actual “average” atmospheric temperature.

    Jupiter

    PV = nRT

    1000 (mb) x 1000 (litre/ m3) = 160 (g/ m3) / 2.22 (g/mole) x 0.082 x T

    T = 1000/ (0.082 x 160/2.22) = ~169 K

    There is absolutely no “greenhouse effect” on Jupiter by any rational definition.

    Isn’t it simply amazing that PV = nRT gives a very accurate estimate of the temperature at 1 bar pressure while the blackbody temperature misses by a wide margin!

    Saturn

    PV = nRT

    1000 (mb) x 1000 (litre/ m3) = 190 (g/ m3) / 2.22 (g/mole) x 0.082 x T

    T = 1000/ (0.082 x 190/2.07) = ~133 K

    There is absolutely no “greenhouse effect” on Saturn by any rational definition.

    Isn’t it simply amazing that PV = nRT gives a very accurate estimate of the temperature at 1 bar pressure while the blackbody temperature misses by a wide margin!

    Uranus

    PV = nRT

    1000 (mb) x 1000 (litre/ m3) = 420 (g/ m3) / 2.64 (g/mole) x 0.082 x T

    T = 1000/ (0.082 x 420/2.64) = ~77 K

    There is absolutely no “greenhouse effect” on Uranus by any rational definition.

    Isn’t it simply amazing that PV = nRT gives a very accurate estimate of the temperature at 1 bar pressure while the blackbody temperature misses by a wide margin!

    Neptune

    PV = nRT

    1000 (mb) x 1000 (litre/ m3) = 450 (g/ m3) / 2.69 (g/mole) x 0.082 x T

    T = 1000/ (0.082 x 450/2.69) = ~73 K

    There is absolutely no “greenhouse effect” on Saturn by any rational definition.

    Isn’t it simply amazing that PV = nRT gives a very accurate estimate of the temperature at 1 bar pressure while the blackbody temperature misses by a wide margin!

    Settled science vs scepticism

    Prolonged exposure to climate “science”, as proclaimed by those government-sponsored institutions we should be able to have faith in, has lead me to believe that the majority of the information dispensed is simply not credible. Based on the above empirically-derived (and likewise, no less official) facts readers may agree.

    Nonetheless, the alleged font of official knowledge on Climate – SkepticalScience – once lampooned anyone for claiming the Ideal Gas Laws could be used to explain their beloved “greenhouse effect” on Venus.

    Here is that proposed claim for their beloved “greenhouse effect” on Venus:-

    http://web.atmos.ucla.edu/~liougst/Lecture/Lecture_3.pdf

    The claim is a permanent output of 16,728 Watts per square metre from a permanent input of 132 Watts per square metre.

    This is presented as believable science whilst PV = nRT is branded as nonsense?

    So the question to ask then is: “Are NASA’s Planetary Fact Sheets little more than calculations using the Ideal Gas Equation?”

    If so, as it certainly appears to be, is NASA acknowledging that this is a more satisfactory explanation for planetary temperatures than any “greenhouse effect” hypothesis?

    By any legal definition this analysis and discussion appears to establish a “prima-facie” case of either wilful negligence or outright deception.

    And you should ask: where are the official “greenhouse gas” calculations anyway?

    Conclusion

    Based on verified empirical observations we know that the outer “gas giant” planets receive insignificant solar irradiance whilst it is universally acknowledged that deep within their atmospheres the temperatures approach (exceed?) the surface temperature of the Sun.

    How is this possible if PV = nRT is slated as nonsense?

    As the pressure of a gas increases, in a constant volume process, the temperature has to increase – real science says so.

    Acknowledgements:

    Rethinking the greenhouse effect” by Alan Siddons; “Albert the engineer” for his blog post on “Real Science” website. Edited and formatted by Hans Schreuder

     

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    Comments (14)

    • Avatar

      the Griss

      |

      Greg, that’s because you just don’t understand the basic science.. (brain-washed dopiness does that to a person).

      Its very simple.

      So long as there is some incoming energy, the atmospheric temperature will build up to the temperature that the pressure gradient allows. It will hold this in its balanced state until there is either a diminished energy source, or the atmospheric pressure changes.

      Note, there may also be internal energy sources like radioactivity, but the pressure gradient defines the balanced temperature point.

      Note that Venus with its huge surface pressure barely changes.

      Earth has what could be called a semi-tenuous atmosphere, so has a moderate temperature range, and also responds somewhat to incoming energy.

      Mars, with a highly tenuous atmosphere has a very large range.

      • Avatar

        Brett Keane

        |

        Thinking again, any initial temperature should suffice, hence star formation until nuclear ignition occurs at several hundred thousand kilometers diameter (lapse rate 7K/km, add it up.

    • Avatar

      Plchampness

      |

      Very Nice Ross.
      The facts speak for themselves.

      With regard to Greg House’s comment:”
      based on your calculation one has to conclude that solar irradiance does not matter”. The facts won’t change, just because they don’t fit with our preconceived notions. My conjecture is that Solar irradiance does probably does matter. However there seems to be enough Solar energy, even at the distance of Neptune to maintain atmospheric heat (balanced by equally weak outgoing radiation). The actual temperature however seems to be dependent on atmospheric pressure.

    • Avatar

      Destinys Soldier

      |

      Beautiful Work Ross.

      Can you explain why a volume of 1000L is chosen?

      You have the volume of 1000 (L/m3) which is equivalent to 1m3/1 m3.

      Is that you have chosen a volume of 1000L based on various densities of the gases -which is already known?

      • Avatar

        Nathan

        |

        He didn’t use V in the calculations

    • Avatar

      Greg House

      |

      Ross, please stop screaming and start thinking about how obvious this sort of unscientific crap is you are trying to sell.

      You can not fool anyone. .

    • Avatar

      Rosco

      |

      The solar energy has minimal effect at Jupiter and beyond – certainly compared to Earth.

      The SB equation gives a temperature of ~173 K maximum for 50.50 Watts/sqm.

      NASA say Jupiter is ~112 K at 0.1 bar and ~165 K at 1 bar with a blackbody calculation of ~110 K.

      So it seems that at 1 bar the solar radiation is providing all the power it is capable of by heating the atmosphere to ~165 quoted by NASA.

      I see claims that Jupiter is hotter than the Sun’s surface deep in the atmosphere – it definitely isn’t the solar radiation providing that energy.

      My hypothesis is – and it is only a hypothesis – is that gravitational compression of an atmosphere provides a sort of base set of values.

      On Venus the solar radiation apparently doesn’t make it to the surface – so I am told – and it rotates slowly – so the atmospheric pressure is the root cause of the surface temperature with the solar radiation maintaining the whole of the atmosphere’s radiation balance – no greenhouse effect.

      On Earth the gas laws establish a base but the solar radiation does impact the surface causing heating and cooling plus evaporation. Combined with Earth’s period of rotation the effect is weather and variability.

      I’m not trying to big note myself or solve the puzzle of climate.

      All I am trying to show is there is another (more logical ?) explanation to the claimed 33K greenhouse effect than back radiation.

      Proven science – e.g. refrigeration cycle – says the temperatures equal PV = nRT is a valid calculation.

      Believe it or not – I really don’t care about your musings !

    • Avatar

      Rosco

      |

      [b]Actually Greg – it isn’t my science at all !![/b]

      As usual you find any excuse to insult without ever contributing anything at all !

      [b]The calculations are not mine at all !![/b]

      Every high school physics/science student is taught the gas laws !!

      NASA provided all the data !!

      [b]All I did was punch the figures into a calculator and write the essay showing the results.[/b]

      I haven’t made any claim in this analysis other than to demonstrate it is entirely possible to arrive at the atmospheric temperatures NASA quote for every planet by applying the parameters they supply and using well established physics – the gas laws.

      NASA says the only explanation is the “greenhouse effect” whilst completely ignoring the fact that 4 of the planets have no possibility of their greenhouse effect at all !

      Of course I acknowledge the solar radiation, the rate of rotation of the Earth, the presence of liquid and gaseous water etc. etc.

      When I write that PV = nRT gives the appropriate temperature for every planet with an atmosphere based on the data NASA supply – and a better result than standard climate science blackbody calculations – that is all I am saying – PERIOD !

      Gravity supplies the driving “force” compressing the atmospheres.

      Climate science ignores many important parameters whilst trying to reduce everything down to radiation in = radiation out.

      And yet there you have it – the gas laws provide valid calculations for temperatures of gaseous atmospheres at various pressures and compositions.

      That is a FACT !

    • Avatar

      Greg House

      |

      [quote name=”Brett Keane”]@Greg: No, there must be an energy source, …[/quote]

      Brett, again: this great scientist Ross gets the “right” temperature in his calculation without using solar irradiance at all! Which logically means that solar irradiance does not matter.

      This is Ross’ science, not mine.

    • Avatar

      Brett Keane

      |

      @ Roscoe: the physics that count
      in the atmosphere are not radiative, but the gas laws. Radiation matters mainly at the exits. When we think upon the gas laws, the scales can fall from our eyes. Brett

    • Avatar

      Rosco

      |

      The more I dig the less I know.

      There can be little argument that the calculations agree so well with NASA’s data.

      There can also be no argument about the role the Sun plays on Earth and other inner planets – except apparently Venus if you believe the lecture I linked.

      Although if Venus is 95% or more CO2 the solar radiation would contain significant energy at the wavelengths CO2 absorbs and even if visible light is reflected the IR should provide significant energy to the atmosphere.

      Demonstrating that compressing a gas in a constant volume process induces heating and releasing a compressed gas induces cooling is well established science used in many real applications including the obvious refrigeration cycle.

      It seems obvious the solar energy plays a significant role – the changes in pressure at the surface are primarily heat driven.

      All I try to show with this is that you don’t need to invent a “greenhouse” radiation trap to explain the atmospheric temperatures as quoted by NASA.

      The calculation for the temperature corresponding to the lowest surface pressure on Earth is about 253 K.

      A gas compressed in an atmosphere returns to ambient temperature by a combination of conduction/convection and radiation – we all know that.

      A planetary atmosphere is a different thing and only loses energy by radiation.

      The solar radiation beyond the asteroid belt cannot explain atmospheric temperatures and there is certainly no “solar driven back-radiative greenhouse effect” on any of these.

      The calculations provide better estimates than standard climate science.

      Why ? – I have no real idea except I believe we really know very little about radiation physics and the “settled science”.

    • Avatar

      Brett Keane

      |

      @Greg: No, there must be an energy source, and a common one, or at least identical. It is the gas mix that does not matter, only that it has enough pressure to be non-tropopausal, but not so much as to become critical. Think on that, and the Martian result. Also, on why 1 bar is used for the giants. Brett

    • Avatar

      Greg House

      |

      Sorry for misspelling your name, Ross. 😳

    • Avatar

      Greg House

      |

      Poss, based on your calculation one has to conclude that solar irradiance does not matter, do you agree with that?

    Comments are closed