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Thermodynamics is Essential for Understanding Effect of CO2 on Temperature

Written by Dr Pierre R Latour, Chemical Engineer

Can climate experts truly understand Earth’s climate without factoring in the role of thermodynamics? Experts in the laws of thermodyamics are increasingly saying that they can’t, as all predictions of human-caused catastrophic climate change fail. thermo for dummies

Summary. Climate scientists promoting greenhouse gas theories usually omit or dismiss consideration of thermodynamics and rely on empirical models and observed data to assess the effect of anthropogenic CO2 (carbon dioxide) from combustion of ‘fossil fuels’ on the global and surface temperatures of the Earth.

This article shows the deep foundation thermodynamics provides for the way the atmosphere behaves and quantifies why, how, and how much CO2 affects temperature.  This cannot be done without thermodynamics.

Article identifies two conservation equations , eight rate laws and two physical properties affected by CO2 that constitute a nonlinear algebraic model of the steady-state effect of CO2 on T. The first six relations come directly from thermodynamics.

Turns out there are several affects, one positive and at least two negative. The climate sensitivity, CS = change in temperature for doubling of atmospheric CO2 from 400 ppmv in 2014 to 800 is not much, vanishingly small, probably between -1C < CS < 0.8C. Replacing US coal fired power plants with natural gas probably changes Earth’s temperature after 50 years between -0.000001C < T50 – T0 < +0.0000008C.

Introduction. The science of thermodynamics is central to the practice of engineering; mechanical, electrical, aeronautical and particularly chemical. We hold thermo in reverence because we know we must obey the law and we earn our livings applying it.

 “If your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.” — Arthur Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1928) [3]

“The fascination of a growing science lies in the work of the pioneers at the very borderland of the unknown, but to reach this frontier one must pass over well-traveled roads; of these one of the safest and surest is the broad highway of thermodynamics.” — Gilbert Lewis and Merle Randall, Thermodynamics and the Free Energy of Chemical Substances (1923) [2]

“A theory is the more impressive the greater the simplicity of its premises, the more different kinds of things it relates, and the more extended its area of applicability. Therefore the deep impression that classical thermodynamics made upon me. It is the only physical theory of universal content which I am convinced will never be overthrown, within the framework of applicability of its basic concepts.” — Albert Einstein, Autobiographical Notes (c. 1940s) [4]

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” — Max Planck, on how Boltzmann‘s statistical thermodynamics and atomic hypothesis triumphed over those as Ernst Mach and others of the energetics school (c. 1947) [18]

“In whatever system where the weight attached to the wheel should be the cause of motion of the wheel, without any doubt the center of the gravity of the weight will stop beneath the center of its axle. No instrument devised by human ingenuity, which turns with its wheel, can remedy this effect. Oh, speculators about perpetual motion, how many vain chimeras have you created in the like quest. Go and take you place with the seekers after gold.” — Leonardo da Vinci (1494) [32]

“The future belongs to those who can manipulate entropy; those who understand but energy will be only accountants.” — Frederic Keffer [24]

http://www.eoht.info/page/Thermodynamics+quotes

Many participants in the greenhouse gas theory debate say things like laws of thermodynamics cannot refute GHGT, or thermodynamics doesn’t apply, or “Due to the interminable misunderstandings of Laws of Thermodynamics among climate scientists, I deliberately avoided the LoT.

Laws of Thermodynamics, There are four, with nicknames ZLoT, FLoT, SLoT and TLoT. SLoT is the most interesting.

  1. If two systems are each in thermal equilibrium with a third, they are also in thermal equilibrium with each other.
  2. The increase in internal energy of a closed system is equal to the difference of the heat supplied to the system and the work done by the system. Or system energy accumulation rate plus energy output rate equals energy input rate. More generally, energy can be neither created not destroyed, only conserved and managed.
  3. 2.    Heat cannot spontaneously flow from a colder location to a hotter location. Differences in temperature, pressure, and chemical potential tend to even out in a physical system that is isolated from the outside world. Entropy is a measure of how much this process has progressed. The entropy of an isolated system that is not in equilibrium tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium. There are many versions of the second law, but they all have the same effect, which is to explain the phenomenon of irreversibility in nature. Derived from statistical mechanics.
  4. 3.    As a system approaches absolute zero the entropy of the system approaches a minimum value. It is impossible to reach the absolute zero of temperature by any finite number of processes.

Do not dismiss SLoT so quickly. Those who dismiss SLoT in GHGT make a fatal error. Many famous luke-warmer skeptics merely claim it doesn‘t apply, undoubtedly because they don’t know how to apply it. So I will try to clear up the misunderstandings, knowing full well most climate scientists won’t understand or won’t like it. My audience is UN IPCC.

GHGT Violates SLoT. I proved GHGT hypothesis of enormous back-radiation heat transfer from cold atmospheric CO2 down to and absorbed by warmer surface, 333 w/m2 in famous K-T Global Energy Flows diagram, violates SLoT and hence FLoT. http://www.principia-scientific.org/no-virginia-cooler-objects-cannot-make-warmer-objects-even-warmer-still.html

I showed the infinite sequence of GHGT violating SLoT does not go to infinity, it converges to Es. The change in radiation energy rate to surroundings, Es, is the final rate minus initial rate minus amount initially diverted from surroundings to the injected cold plate.  Es = [(1 + k)*K*F0 + (1 + K)*k*f0]/(1 – kK) – K*F0, where K is the fraction of radiation from the first warmer bar absorbed by the second colder bar, 0 < K <=1, and k is the fraction of re-radiation from the second colder bar absorbed by the first hotter bar, 0 <= k <=1. Subscript 0 denotes starting values > 0.

For any K > 0 and k > 0, Es > 0. This would constitute creation of energy, a violation of the first law of thermodynamics. Since K may be > 0, Es = 0 if and only if k = 0. Since this is the only possible solution, k must be identically zero, so no cold back-radiation is absorbed by warmer surface and its T remains 150 C. Quod Erat Demonstrandum, QED.

Rate Laws. Second Law of Thermodynamics is the Law of nature behind all mass and energy transfer rate laws, which rarely appears in astrophysics, meteorology and climate science but dominates chemical engineering.

SLoT determines which way stuff goes; downhill. Matter and energy flow, move, transfer forward at a rate proportional to a potential driving force (gradient) in the opposite direction to push it. Matter and energy cannot flow backwards; uphill. Why? It is just the way nature works, the SLoT, derivable from statistical mechanics.

Bodies move according to Newton 2nd Law of mechanics motion, F = mA, first expression of SLoT. F & A are vectors, point in opposite directions.

Bodies move in gravitational force fields proportional force intensity by universal law of gravitation intensity: F = g Mm/r2

Fluids flow in pressure fields proportional to pressure intensity drop: F = k(P1 – P0)0.5 >= 0

Electrons flow in electric fields proportional to voltage intensity drop: I = (E1 – E0)/R >= 0

Chemicals diffuse/flow in liquids and gases mass fields proportional to chemical potential (almost composition or concentration) intensity drop: D/A = k(C1 – C0) >= 0

Heat flows through solids, liquids and gases by conduction & convection at rate proportional to temperature (kinetic energy intensity) drop: Q/A = k(T1 – T0) >= 0

The rigorous expression for Fourier’s Law of heat transfer by conduction in harmony with SLoT is q = – k A dt/dx, heat conduction rate in x-direction. k is thermal conductivity of substance.

Even chemical reaction rates obey SLoT. And stars and human beings that die.

Every rate law has an associated resistance constant that depends on the situation, system physical properties.

Radiant energy flows through EMR field at rate proportional to energy intensity difference at every point1: Q = A(I1 – I0) >= 0

Where did all those little provisos >= 0 come from? SLoT!

Radiant Energy transfer. Let’s look closely at the last one: Q/A = I1 – I0 >= 0

Fortunately S-B Law gives us relationship for energy intensity/irradiance/power/strength from a radiator, I, depending on only two things, its temperature, T, and emissivity, ε.

I = σ εT4, w/m2, σ = 5.67, a universal constant of nature, like g for gravity. T = deg K/100. ε = 1 for theoretical, perfect black radiators, ε < 1 for real radiators.

Note if ε goes up for some chemical reason, either I goes up or T goes down. That is S-B Law of nature.

Energy transfer rate between real radiators gets a bit tricky because they only absorb part, α, of incident I, transmit & reflect the rest1.

Absorbed at “cold” surface 0 is I1 = σ α0 ε1 T14

 Absorbed at “hot” surface 1 is I0 = σ α1 ε0 T04

 I put “cold” in quotation marks to designate the lower intensity radiator, not lower temperature.

Of course α and ε are fractions. The subscripts are assigned such that Q >= 0. This is where SLoT creeps in.

I have not accounted for distance between radiators; intensity decreases with distance according to inverse square law of light. I do so for simplification, to show what I want to show.

According to SLoT, rate of radiant energy transfer from 1 to 0 is

Q/A = I1 – I0 = σ [α0 ε1 T14 – α1 ε0 T04] >= 0    (1)

This is the radiation rate law from Earth’s surface to atmosphere1. Each radiator emits and absorbs according to its emission & absorption spectrum; intensity vs wave length. Remember α and ε are both wavelength dependent, so I am using effective values here.

We consider atmosphere as lumped to a thin shell surrounding Earth at atmosphere’s mass centroid altitude 5 km, with properties the same as the effective bulk properties of our real, complex atmosphere. To do the job right, integration of two nonlinear partial differential equations in three dimensions is required. I am unable to go there with my own resources.

GHGT. GHGT promoters look at eqn (1) and say increasing CO2 increases atmosphere ε0, so to keep Q fixed at fixed T0, T1 at surface must increase, a greenhouse effect!

Not so fast. This logic is correct under the assumptions, which are not correct. So the conclusion is incorrect. We must look at the whole system to remove those assumptions and account for changes in Q and T0 with CO2. Rearrange the equation for the variable of interest:

T14 = [α1 ε0 T04 + σ Q/A]/ α0 ε1                    (2)

These are the only variables and parameters that affect Earth’s surface T1.

Turns out CO2 has absorption bands in the solar spectrum, absorbing some and emitting it back to space. GHGT neglects this surface cooling effect. So Q drops, α0 increases and T0 decreases with increasing CO2; all of which decrease T1. In addition, increasing CO2 and T1 increases rate of photosynthesis chemical reaction, consuming CO2 and light. This reduces Q and ε0, which reduces T1. Neglecting these two cooling effects is an unforgivable intellectual error. Cherry picking increasing ε0 only to conclude CO2 increases T1 is not playing fair. And it is incorrect.

First, some say at the long wavelengths involved from cold CO2, α1 = 0. If so ε0 has no effect on T1 and Q no matter what; case closed. CS = 0. α1 has as much effect on T1 as ε0 does, and the smaller α1, the smaller the effect of changes in ε0 have on T1. I believe astrophysicists, meteorologists and GHGT promoters are unaware of that SLoT physics. Further if surface ε1 should change, say from greening, ice coverage or cities, those would change ε1 and T1. Neglecting these is clearly negligence.

Space. As an important aside, energy transfer rate from globe to space is

Q/A = Ig – I0s = σ [α0s εg Tg4 – αg ε0s T0s4] >= 0, but Ios and corresponding T0s = 3.7K are vanishingly small and may be assumed 0. And α0s = 1. Which leaves

Q/A = Ig = σ εg Tg4 > 0                          (3)

Since fossil fuel combustion exchanges non-radiating O2 for radiating CO2 molecules, ε of atmosphere and hence εg increase. Since output Q depends on inputs Qi which are independent of CO2, if CO2 decreases εg, Earth’s global radiating Tg must go down.

This disproves GHGT predicting Tg goes up with CO2. In other words CO2 really causes global cooling.  (I just proved it on the back of an envelope or a bar napkin. From well-known chemical engineering and no research.) All you have to do to quantify effect of CO2 on Tg is quantify effect of CO2 on εg. and use eqn (3).

Kirchhoff’s Law. Another aside is Kirchhoff’s Law is often invoked for both radiators to simplify things:  α1 = ε1 and α0 = ε0. This makes α1 ε0 / α0 ε1 = 1.0 and eqns (1 & 2) simplify to

Q/A = I1 – I0 = σ α0 ε1 [T14 – T04] >= 0   (4)

T14 = T04 + σ Q/ A α0 ε1                        (5)

In other words when Kirchhoff’s Law is valid, the driving force for radiant energy transfer simplifies to T14 – T04.

So when is Kirchhoff’s Law invalid? Almost everywhere, most of the time. Whenever there are other energy transfer mechanisms affecting the radiator, like electrical, mechanical, thermal or chemical, the assumptions of this law do not apply and it conclusions are inaccurate.

Kirchhoff’s Law does not apply for Earth’s atmosphere or surface because many energy transfer processes besides radiation are involved. Assuming this law just makes GHGT promoters’ work easier and incorrect.

Since it only provides a minor algebraic simplification, there is no reason to invoke it, so I shall not assume it and remain rigorous with eqn (2).

System. Equation (2) has two unknown variables with CO2: Q, T0, two physical properties that vary with CO2, α0 and ε0, and two properties which do not in short run vary with CO2, α1 and ε1.

So we need four more relationships to solve global system for effect of CO2 on T1.

  1. Effect of CO2 on property ε0
  2. Effect of CO2 on property α0
  3. Energy balance on atmosphere for T0, FLoT: input = output
  4. Energy balance on surface for Q, FLoT: input = output

These will include

  1. Rate law between solar input and atmosphere
  2. Rate law between solar input and surface
  3. Rate law between surface and space
  4. Rate law between atmosphere and space
  5. Rate laws between surface and atmosphere: radiation, conduction & convection

Two coupled energy balances (FLoT), eight rate laws (SLoT), and two physical property relations for CO2.

Two equations for two unknowns: T0 and T1. So the system is solvable!

Solution. Specify any input, like CO2, solar, crust, photosynthesis and these two algebraic equations can be solved simultaneously with numerical Newton-Raphson iteration to any degree of closure accuracy.

These two algebraic equations provide a pretty rigorous solution for lumped or effective variables commonly used. The accuracy of change in T1 for change in CO2 only depends on the accuracy of the rate constants and ε and α of the system.

Results. I am working to specify all these equations with inputs. I am sure many others can do it better than me. This eliminates any need for climate data and statistical computer models.

I wrote this to illustrate the role played by SLoT throughout is central. Neglect it and you are negligent, doomed to error. In fact the whole global warming system is described completely with thermodynamics: a little bit of easy FLoT and a whole lot of more interesting SLoT used by chemical engineers. Neglecting thermodynamics is preposterous chemical engineering nonsense.

My current assessment is the climate sensitivity result, CS = change in temperature for doubling of atmospheric CO2 from 400 ppmv in 2014 to 800 is not much, vanishingly small, probably between -1C < CS < 0.8C. Replacing US coal fired power plants with natural gas probably changes Earth’s temperature after 50 years between -0.000001C < T50 – T0 < +0.0000008C. Undoubtedly not worth whatever it cost.

The world it running riot with ignorant people practicing chemical engineering without a registered professional engineer license or degree from reputable college, reporting to UN IPCC and EPA. It is not running out of coal, oil and gas. It is running out of money and unbiased scientists.

Reference.

  1. Martin Herztberg, “Earth’s Radiative Equilibrium in the Solar Irradiance”, Energy & Environment, v20, n1, 2009, p 83-93.

Dr Pierre R Latour is former Vice Chairman of Principia Scientific International (PSI). Among his many career achievements was his role at NASA as engineer on the Apollo space mission; Chemical Process Control Systems Engineer.

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Comments (53)

  • Avatar

    CleanEnergyPundit

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    I think considering the zeroth of THE FOUR LAWS WITHOUT WHICH NOTHING WHATSOEVER IN THE UNIVERSE THAT HAPPENS, HAPPENS (as shown here: http://tinyurl.com/pvzva68 with its corollary here: http://tinyurl.com/ot2hlp4, is a simpler and more illustrative way to illustrate the AGW fraud.

  • Avatar

    Retired Physics Educator

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    This NEW 2015 VIDEO provides COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE of JUST PRECISELY WHAT IS WRONG with the GREENHOUSE CONJECTURE and what the new 21st CENTURY PHYSICS TELLS US – it’s all in 22 minutes at: https://youtu.be/QtXwN10qnLw

    • Avatar

      Retired Physics Educator

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      Now there are two great videos …

  • Avatar

    Retired Physics Educator

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    Mack Attack Question 1:

    What is the sensitivity for each 1% of water vapor?

  • Avatar

    Retired Physics Educator

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    To all:

    It’s not hard to understand …

    The Second Law tells us entropy will tend to increase towards a maximum.

    Entropy changes when internal energy changes, increasing when energy decreases.

    Internal energy includes molecular gravitational potential energy.

    That’s why the Second Law can be used to explain the density gradient formed by gravity.

    And that’s also why the Second Law can be used to explain the temperature gradient formed by gravity.

    And, if kinetic energy increases by an amount less than potential energy decreases, then we have net energy loss and entropy gain. But potential energy decreases when going down, and we just showed that kinetic energy (thus temperature) can increase in the process, which is downward diffusion and natural convective heat transfer from cooler to warmer regions.

  • Avatar

    Retired Physics Educator

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    Oh what a wicked web we weave
    When in our head we do believe
    That we can rule another’s mind
    And with some hoaxsters lead the blind
    To fear and tremble at the warning
    That CO2 does all that warming
    By sending all its radiation
    Fooling leaders of the Nation
    ‘Til they from flooded houses sailing
    Join the weeping and the wailing
    While Mother Nature calmly ruling
    Turns that warming into cooling.

  • Avatar

    Retired Physics Educator

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    (cont’d)

    James Hansen realised this and thought the “answer” must be that radiation from the cold atmosphere is somehow helping the Sun to raise the surface temperature. Well, that should grate on you if you remember school-boy physics that says heat is not transferred from cold to hot. In any event, the figures still don’t add to enough to explain mean temperatures above about 4°C and the “back radiation” from the atmosphere should not have been counted anyway.

    So what does explain the observed mean surface temperatures of at least 14°C? Basically it is energy from the Sun which is absorbed often high up in the troposphere (the lowest region of the whole atmosphere – being about 8 to 17Km high) and which then makes its way to the surface, not by radiation, but by non-radiative processes. The atmosphere actually “supports” the surface temperature in the same way that hot water in a bath tub keeps the section of the wall that is under the water at about the same temperature.

    But, you ask, how does the heat get down from the colder atmosphere and into the warmer surface? The answer lies in the fact that a force field like gravity has an influence on temperatures. This is proven in experiments with centrifugal force such as on my [url=http://climate-change-theory.com]website[url]. and the reason has to do with the fact that gravity accelerates individual molecules. As those molecules gain speed in any downward motion between collisions. That extra speed is extra kinetic energy, and extra kinetic energy leads to higher temperatures. There is indeed a “sloping thermal plane” in a planet’s troposphere or, in other words a temperature gradient, aka “lapse rate” as climatologists call it. But it is set up by gravity, not by air heated by the surface and then just cooling as it rises. There does not need to be rising air for the temperature gradient to be established, and it happens even in the nominal troposphere of the planet Uranus where there is no solar radiation at the base, no surface there either, and yet it’s nearly 50°C. Further down it gets up around 5,000°C by the process I have called “heat creep” in the paper [url=http://www.climate-change-theory.com/Planetary_Core_and_Surface_Temperatures.pdf]Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures[/url].”

    So carbon dioxide’s radiation has nothing to do with surface temperatures which are set by this temperature gradient formed by gravity. We can calculate what that gradient ought to be, and we find it on all planets with significant atmospheres. This is the new 21st century paradigm shift in climate science that I first wrote about in an article published nearly three years ago. It is the truth of the matter, and all your efforts to reduce carbon dioxide levels are pointless and ineffective in so far as surface temperatures are concerned. Long term natural cooling will start within the next 100 years or so and last for nearly 500 years, just as was the case between the Medieval Warming Period and the Little Ice Age.

    Your only response to the controlling efforts of the US is to present them with this correct physics and I guarantee that I can defend it against anyone in the world.

    • Avatar

      Mack

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      The trouble is Duggie, you’ve got heat going in the wrong direction. You’ve got it going backwards like the “greenhouse” believers. The atmosphere doesn’t “support” heat, as you say. It loses heat quicker than anything else on this earth. Heat goes from the hot solid object into space. Space could be the space between molecules (atoms) of the solid object…the larger space between gaseous molecules..and the space outside of this Earth.
      Matter does not “support” heat, but constantly loses it..as into a heat sink.
      Your bath-tub analogy sounds quite convincing, but you with your quack “heat creep” are down the gurgler.
      Sorry, where do I pick up your A$1000 reward?

      • Avatar

        Retired Physics Educator

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        I have entropy going in the right direction, my friend, an that’s what counts. You haven’t a clue because you haven’t studied what is in my [url=http://climate-change-theory.com]website[/url] and papers. If you ever do, try for the $5,000 reward to prove the physics wrong. You’ll get nowhere with your wishy-washy statements as in that comment. Go and read [url=http://entropylaw.com]here[/url] about how entropy is maximized by the dissipation of unbalanced energy potentials. What I have written is developed directly from the Second Law of Thermodynamics and you can’t prove that wrong.

        • Avatar

          Mack

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          “I have entropy going in the right direction, my friend, and that’s what counts”
          You, climate clown Cotton, can have entropy going in any direction you choose, but it’s called global warming. Warming, as in heat…heat, as in what rises..goes in the upward direction into space.
          Nobody will bother to prove you wrong because they quickly realise they’re dealing with a crank with 1/2 a brain, packed with “Gravitational- Thermal” crap.

          • Avatar

            Retired Physics Educator

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            Yes well quote some law of physics which talks about heat always rising upwards from the ground. The Second Law is about entropy maximization, not heat transfer, so I suggest you write your own law. /sarc.

      • Avatar

        Retired Physics Educator

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        What you write Mack is analogous to those who claimed the Earth could not be a sphere because gravity always pulls downwards. You have no understanding of entropy and you use the word “heat” incorrectly. Besides that, it is the rate at which temperature rises and falls that is relevant, not the relative total heat capacity of the surface or the atmosphere. After a hot sunny day, the surface temperature initially falls faster than that of the troposphere does above about 1Km altitude. But in the early pre-dawn hours the surface cooling may even stop in calm conditions before it starts to rise again around dawn, with or without clouds blocking the Sun. Meanwhile the temperature gradient has been there all through the night, with temperatures at 1Km being about 7 degrees colder than the surface, but rising and falling roughly by the same amount at the same time. Why is it so, Mack? Why does the surface temperature rise in the morning even inthe shadow of clouds, and whilst the temperature 1Km up is about 7 degrees colder? It takes new thermal energy to increase a temperature, so how does such get into the surface each cloudy morning, Mack? You can’t explain that because you don’t understand thermodynamics and entropy maximization, whereas I do and I have explained it, even for other planets and for sub-surface regions right down to the core. You have heaps to learn.

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          Mack

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          Yeah OK Duggie so things warm up in the morning,..so it might do the warming up things a little unevenly in the atmosphere..so what..strawman pedantics.,weather and daily variations. What you need to observe is frost and snow which hangs around on the ground all winter in shady areas. Why is that so Doug?
          Another thing , why do non-orbiting space craft, a space station, and the like, are always depicted as revolving in space. Why is that Doug?
          I’ll answer the last one for you…because the space-craft would get red hot on the side facing the sun and freeze on the other side.
          It’s all to do with something called the sun, stupid.

          • Avatar

            Retired Physics Educator

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            In other words, you don’t have sufficient understanding of physics to even attempt to discuss the actual hypothesis (which you haven’t read) so you talk about the frost which the back radiation isn’t powerful enough to melt even though it has nearly twice the flux of the solar radiation. Yes, indeed, for once you present a good example demonstrating how back radiation does not transfer even enough thermal energy to the warmer frost to melt it, though the Sun’s radiation can do so. Another “own goal” from our friend Mack. Much obliged, but not original Mack – because I wrote about it years ago, complete with a photo that someone else took and also wrote about it. I can’t say I’ve noticed anything original from you that I haven’t already read from other hoaxsters.

          • Avatar

            Mack

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            “….so you talk about the frost which the backradiation isn’t powerful enough to melt…” WTF are you even talking about? Backradiation? My spellcheck doesn’t even recognise the word “backradiation”. Did you get your physics degree from the University of Aruba?
            Oh that’s right, you’ve got the befuddled brain unable to distinguish between “backradiation” and “heat creep” because you’ve got all your numbers wrong…adhering to the figures shown in
            Trenberth’s looney Earth Energy Budget
            diagrams.
            You’re turning into a bit of a “heat creep” yourself Doug..stalking and spamming the climate blogs.

            sociopath

          • Avatar

            Mack

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            Apologies for the word “sociopath” Doug.
            There was a whole lot of other stuff I’d written then decided to delete..somehow it didn’t delete.

          • Avatar

            Retired Physics Educator

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            Try a space after “back” Mack (as in my comment you misquoted) if you’re having trouble with your spellcheck. And take your IR-thermometer with you next time you gaze at the clouds, unless you’re God or something and can stop the clouds radiating anything.

            Well, at least you give me a good laugh every time you put finger to keyboard.

            Enjoy my new 22 minute video available in a few hours at [url]http://climate-change-theory.com[/url] and soon to be widely publicized.

          • Avatar

            Retired Physics Educator

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            What is the sensitivity for each 1% increase in water vapor, Mack?

          • Avatar

            Retired Physics Educator

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            In other words, you don’t have sufficient understanding of physics to even attempt to discuss the actual hypothesis (which you haven’t read) so you talk about your spellcheck.

          • Avatar

            Mack

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            “….so you talk about your spellcheck”
            Well let’s then talk about this piece of total, back the front, insanely inverted, doubletalk, which would make a car-salesman proud. You would call it a “scientific explanation” of my question about frost on the ground, but we’ll leave it to the readers to decide whether it should instead be framed as one of the Doug Cotton’s finest examples of gobble-de-gook in the name of his “Gravitational-thermal” theory..
            ….”so you talk about the frost which the backradiation isn’t powerful enough to melt even though it has nearly twice the flux of the solar radiation”
            This special sentence is the Doug hypothesis in a nutshell,..diversion, ie “heat creep” diverted to “backradiation”… then inversion, with something that isn’t powerful enough to melt ice but is twice as powerful as the sun.
            Wow,Great,..btw, your videos would be a cure for insommniacs,..let’s hope that all of your pupils fell asleep…the remaining ones might have picked up somewhere that the “greenhouse” theory is bollocks..so at least your life is not completely wasted.
            btw also, this computer I use at home doesn’t have a spellcheck (I think) so expect new wrong spelling again.

          • Avatar

            Retired Physics Educator

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            Mean flux from atmopshere = about 324W/m^2 striking the surface – not surprising as it is about what a cloud at 2°C would radiate.

            But in the early morning it is more like a cloud at -4°C or colder. So its intensity may be just under 300W/m^2.

            But because it is coming from a source that is colder than the melting point of the frost, despite the intensity of the radiation from the colder atmosphere, it is not transferring thermal energy into frost – which we know because the frost isn’t melting.

            [b]So this proves the point that we can’t add back radiation to solar flux as if the back radiation is transferring thermal energy into a warmer surface, because it isn’t.[/b]

            See: https://youtu.be/QtXwN10qnLw

          • Avatar

            Mack

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            “So this proves the point that we can’t add backradiation to solar flux as if the backradiation is transferring thermal energy into a warmer surface,because it isn’t”
            Right Doug, we all already know that,the back-radiation doesn’t exist and the solar flux is sufficient to melt the ice….end of story…now go away.

          • Avatar

            Retired Physics Educator

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            Of course there is radiation from the atmosphere to the surface – I wrote about it my paper back in March 2012.

          • Avatar

            Mack

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            Bullshit..your head still in the classroom and not in the real world, outdoors, in the open air…no figures or measurements to support your unreal, quack thought experiment of atmosphere to surface radiation, warming the surface.

          • Avatar

            Retired Physics Educator

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            Why don’t you go on over and help poor Ball4 who’s been ties in knots by you-know-who [url=http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/07/15-years-of-ceres-versus-surface-temperature-climate-sensitivity-1-3-deg-c/#comment-197250]here[/url].

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            Mack

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            You may like to spam poor Roy’s place and shout and rant at him like an insufferable loon with your crackpot “Gravitational-Thermal” theory, but Roy has already told you to put up or shut up. You haven’t put up, nor will you shut up.

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            Retired Physics Educator

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            [i]”atmosphere to surface radiation, warming the surface”[/i] What the hell are you talking about?????

            It never happens – not even a fraction of a degree, unless the surface is colder than the source of radiation. Haven’t you read that 2012 paper yet?

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            Mack

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            Yeah, nah Duggie, that’s right, it isn’t radiation from the atmosphere warming the surface..it’s your “heat creep”…all 324w/sq.m of “heat creep”…creeping down from the atmosphere..down to the surface, down to the mantle, and down to the Earth’s core…creeping down there keeping it nice and hot.
            Aaahahahahaha..preserve me from this idiot.
            Go flush your 2012 paper down the Lew.

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            Squid2112

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            Ah, the “frost” thing. I have an excellent picture that I took of my backyard one morning that perfectly illustrates the “frost” thing. I will try to dig it up and post it here.

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            Squid2112

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            Here is my “frost” picture, taken in my backyard. The ambient temperature was 38°F, Doug’s magical “back radiation” “heat creepiness” sure was not able to melt this frost, despite the ambient temperature even being above freezing. Notice that the ONLY thing capable of melting this frost [b]was the sun.[/b]

            [img]http://city-centers.com/images/20140331_074820.jpg[/img]

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            Mack

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            Nice one Squid…a picture is worth 1000 words. Thanks.

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            Retired Physics Educator

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            Silent readers will notice several of my questions not answered by Mack, like …

            [i]But in the early pre-dawn hours the surface cooling may even stop in calm conditions … Meanwhile the temperature gradient has been there all through the night, with temperatures at 1Km being about 7 degrees colder than the surface, but rising and falling roughly by the same amount at the same time. Why is it so, Mack? [/i]

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    Retired Physics Educator

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    This email sent to Australian politicians is relevant …

    How can I explain the complicated physics of climate change to Politicians?

    I’ve been thinking about that question and hopefully have come up with something you will all understand, because this is perhaps one of the most vital issues facing the world today.

    I respect the fact that few, if any of you, have qualifications in physics. My background, I assure you, is more than adequate, but more important is the time that I’ve put into studying the physics of climate change and discussing it with thousands of others, and writing papers, articles and a book on the subject “Why It’s Not Carbon Dioxide After All” available through Amazon.

    The infant science of climatology has been strongly influenced by James Hansen who thought he could explain the surface temperature of Earth with radiation calculations. A body in space will be warmed to a certain equilibrium temperature by uniform radiation from the Sun. That is indeed the case for the whole Earth-plus-atmosphere system, and the mean (average) temperature is about -18°C because that is about the (weighted) mean temperature in the atmosphere and it is about the temperature to which the same solar radiation would heat even a small non-reflecting rock in space at the same distance from the Sun.

    In the case of Earth the above temperature is calculated after deducting about 30% of the solar radiation, because that percentage is reflected mostly by clouds and has no warming effect, just as a mirror is not warmed when it reflects radiation from a heater.

    Now there can be natural variations in the distance of the Earth from the Sun, and also in the percentage of cloud cover. We can understand that the distance has something to do with planetary orbits and we know that’s all well predicted these days. You can probably accept also that cloud cover may vary in the long term, and that may have something to do with cosmic ray levels and/or solar activity, because even the intensity of the Sun’s radiation can vary. So these three natural factors (the Sun’s distance and intensity, and the cloud cover) can well explain all the natural variations which we know about and which seem to follow superimposed cycles, which in turn seem to relate to planetary orbits which somehow do the regulating. We don’t fully understand, but we know there have been climate cycles in the past and warming, such as we experienced late last century, has also occurred in the past – as in the lead up to the medieval Warming Period nearly a thousand years ago. There has been nothing unusual about last century’s warming, and it has stopped anyway in the period since 1998 as shown [url=http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_July_2015_v6.png]here[/url].

    Getting back to that solar radiation, you will probably be surprised to learn that it is quite insufficient, by the time some gets absorbed in the atmosphere, to raise the mean surface temperature to what is observed. In fact it could only manage about -40°C over the whole globe – yes that is a minus sign before 40.

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    Greg House

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    Doug, just for a change and since Pierre seems to disappear from the debate, and because we might need some good entertainment here, could you please elaborate on how our atmosphere makes the core of the earth that hot? Like heat is creeping deeper and deeper and is getting bigger and bigger… Please, share it with us.

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      Retired Physics Educator

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      I have “elaborated” in sufficient detail at [url]http://climate-change-theory.com[/url] with evidence and correct physics developed from the Second Law of Themodynamics, with more detail in the linked paper entitled [i]Planetary [b]Core[/b] and Surface Temperatures.[/i] I have no intention of trying rewriting such, complete with diagrams, in the limited number of characters permitted in these comments, or just because you are too lazy to read where you knew the explanation was before you even asked.

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    Mr. Pettersen

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    The first law is all we need. Both the surface and the atmosphere are in thermal equilibrium with the suns radiationfield. The planet have been in the same place for 4 billion years!

    If we cant change the suns output, no other changes are possible either.

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      Retired Physics Educator

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      The surface is NOT in thermal equilibrium with the Sun’s radiation, and you could not prove that in a million years. Try it with the 20W/m^2 reaching the 735K Venus surface. The equilibrium state is one which involves primarily sensible heat transfers. You cannot dismiss the Second Law of Thermodynamics just because climatologists do. They have no concept as to what is really happening.

      You go wrong at Square One if, to quote Roy Spencer, you assume “the forcing-feedback paradigm is sufficiently valid for the climate system” – because it is totally invalid.

      You people need to understand that photons are not like little hand grenades that explode on impact with anything and deliver thermal energy equal to their electromagnetic energy. When photons strike an opaque plastic microwave bowl in a microwave oven they do not heat it. They are pseudo scattered, and some make their way through the plastic and into perhaps water on the other side. The only reason they warm water molecules is because the machine is designed to emit photons with the correct frequencies that are known to resonate with the natural frequencies for rotation of those water molecules.

      Even when you place that bowl in the Sun’s rays, you actually don’t how how much (if any) of the solar radiation is being converted to thermal energy in the bowl. Sure the bowl’s temperature may rise, but that could happen by sensible heat transfer processes from the air. Indeed that [i]does[/i] happen in the real world. Your clouds at relatively cold temperatures may indeed be warmed by solar radiation. That energy can pass through the cloud via sensible heat transfers, and, by the process of entropy maximization, what you think won’t happen, actually does. It’s all explained at [url]http://climate-change-theory.com[/url]
      where you’ll learn why the core of a planet or moon is at the temperature it is, and likewise the mantle, crust, surface and troposphere.

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        Mr. Pettersen

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        The surface is not a walid definition. I personally think of the planet and its atmosphere as one termodynamic system.
        If you decide to see it at two systems they will have to follow the first law as well as the second.
        I dont dissmiss the second law. At all.

        The atmospheric window is not totaly closed so the hard mass you define as surface will be able to radiate to space as the atmosphere it self does.

        So this is a three way exchange of energy. Any calculations based on only exhange between atmosphere and surface will be wrong.

        Thats why everybody argues about where the extra energy goes. It simply goes into space , the third heat sink everybody forgets.

        The real surface for incomming radiation is where the radiation is absorbed, not where we happend to live.
        Its one object heatet by the sun and the temperature gradient is a mather of mass and pressure.

        The fact that the mass varies between gass,fluid and solid doesnt mather for the total.

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          Retired Physics Educator

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          The Second Law is not confined to whole systems” but to every single independent natural process – which will always obey the Second Law of Thermodynamics. That is why in the morning radiation from a cloud at -5°C (no matter how intense) will not melt frost on the ground in the shade.

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            Mr. Pettersen

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            Still stuck with the second law, i see.
            Its not the only law that regullate the temperature. And i never confind it to the whole system only. You are putting words in my mouth.

            I was only saying that both the planet and its atmosphere must obey all the laws. That includes the second, first and any other laws.

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    Greg House

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    [quote]My current assessment is the climate sensitivity result, CS = change in temperature for doubling of atmospheric CO2 from 400 ppmv in 2014 to 800 is not much, vanishingly small, probably between -1C < CS < 0.8C.[/quote] Hi Pierre, I allowed me to skip the science fiction part of the article and get directly to your conclusion. So, let me tell you AGAIN: all we know about warming/cooling effect of CO2 are 2 (two) things. The first one is the well known specific heat value, the warming effect of the present concentration (or doubling it) would be like between 0.0001 and 0.001°C, it was posted by Darko Butina on this site long ago. I suggest you look at the formula one day, because it is getting boring to repeat the same thing again and again. The second one is the blocking effect of CO2, that is CO2 blocks some portion of Sunshine from reaching the surface. No experimental numbers are known to me and I guess to you either. Anyway, it is a cooling effect. Which means, Pierre, that your 0.8°C is a product of fantasizing/mistake/misunderstanding/whatever, you may choose. Now, AGAIN, the “greenhouse effect” as established in climate science and the IPCC reports is based on the absurd notion that the Sun can only induce -18°C “earth temperature” but it is in fact +15°C. This violates conservation of energy and as far as I remember you fully support this nonsense. Maybe you should start there first.

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    Retired Physics Educator

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    You have not shown calculations that are legitimately proving that radiation “explains” the observed surface temperatures.

    The IPCC includes back radiation, but excludes radiation out of the surface in their Stefan Boltzmann (S-B) calculations, which are for a flat Earth anyway receiving uniform flux. You and I know that only solar radiation should be included, but that leads to even lower calculated temperatures of course.

    Only uniform flux achieves the temperatures in black bodies which we use Stefan Boltzmann calculations to determine. Those calculations are based on temperature being proportional to the fourth root of the flux. So if the flux varies a lot in different locations, the mean temperature for those locations cannot be derived simplistically from the mean flux. Temperature is NOT proportional to flux – it is proportional to the FOURTH ROOT of flux.

    For example:

    Say (in whatever units we need) we have these T temperatures and fluxes that are then based on T^4:-

    Temperature T … Flux (T^4)

    2 units ……… 16
    4 units …….. 256
    6 units ……. 1296

    Mean temp …. Mean Flux
    4 units ……. 522.7

    Now, if you were told the mean flux is 522.7 you might think the mean temperature would be far higher than 4 units because the flux for 4 units is only 256. This applies in all such cases:

    A variable flux ALWAYS produces a lower mean temperature than a homogeneous flux that is equal to the mean of the variable flux values. So, even when the IPCC et al incorrectly claim the mean flux into the Earth’s surface is 390W/m^2, that does not produce a temperature anywhere near as high as the estimated actual mean of at least 14°C.

    [b]That is an example as to just how simplistic the IPCC models are, and they should NOT be counting back radiation whilst ignoring outward radiation anyway.
    [/b]
    But when we correctly use only the mean solar flux absorbed by the surface (about 168W/m^2) we get about -40°C for homogeneous flux to a flat Earth, and something colder again for the actual variable flux having that mean. So you don’t have a hope of explaining the surface temperature using radiation calculations. Hence the little extra radiation from carbon dioxide is irrelevant, as is the far greater solar radiation in the first place. You need a totally different paradigm to explain reality.

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    John Marshall

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    ‘Retired Physics Educator.

    Your figure of 168W/m2 for solar radiation is totally wrong- based on a crap model of a flat earth not a sphere as it should be.

    Please revise your figures.

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      geran

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      Everyone understands that “Retired Physics Educator” is really the infamous Doug Cotton, right?

      Doug is not going to correct any of his mistakes, ever, no way, nada, not in this life, no how, won’t happen!

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        Squid2112

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        And here goes the Doug Cotton carpet bombing run in 4, 3, 2, 1…

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      Retired Physics Educator

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      No it’s a mean that is [b][i]based on a spherical Earth[/i][/b] having four times the surface area of the orthogonal circle with the same radius as the Earth through which the solar radiation passes before it strikes the rotating [b][i]spherical[/i][/b] Earth. We then use 48% of the TOA radiation based on NASA estimates that 52% is either reflected or absorbed by the atmosphere.

      In that you have no proof that the surface area of the [b][i]sphere[/i][/b] is not four times that of the circle, then all you have to argue about is the 48% figure. Any realistic variation (say between 40% and 60%) still gives a mean flux that cannot possibly produce a temperature anywhere near what is observed.

      That is because the observed temperature is attained over the life of a planet and then maintained by the state of maximum entropy which, in accord with the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the associated process of dissipation of unbalanced energy potentials, will have both a stable density gradient and a stable temperature gradient.

      The overall level of the thermal profile in the troposphere is anchored by the need for radiative balance with the insolation, but then the temperature gradient sets (by extrapolation) the surface temperature. That temperature is lower where the magnitude of the gradient is lower, as in more moist regions, and that is why increasing water vapor will lower the surface temperature.

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        John Marshall

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        You do not describe REALITY.
        The sun only warms one HALF of the globe at any one time, the globe rotates under this which spreads the heat through thermal inertia.

        See J. Postma’s papers, all well explained.

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      Retired Physics Educator

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      You see, John, I know where you’ve got the idea that IPCC science is based on a flat Earth, and in one sense that’s correct. But it is not their calculation of the mean flux of 168W/m^2 that is based on a flat Earth – as I’ve explained above. What is wrong in their thinking (in addition to their error of adding back radiation) is that we can simplistically deduce a mean temperature from that mean flux. That is what would only be the case for a flat Earth receiving homogeneous radiation. But because the effective flux of radiation reduces as the angle of inclination to the horizon reduces (we multiply by the sine of that angle) the solar flux varies considerably, down to zero at night of course.

      I have shown in another comment here why the actual mean temperature is somewhat colder than the temperature that the mean flux would achieve on a flat Earth. Yet it is the latter that the IPCC uses, because their 390W/m^2 (including back radiation) has a black body temperature of 278.98K, so they think they’ve hit the jackpot. Amazing what you can “prove” with fictitious, fiddled fissics.

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    Retired Physics Educator

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    Even [i]”Fourier’s Law of heat transfer by conduction”[/i] is only applicable in a horizontal plane (like the Clausius statement) because you have it right there in the expression which contains T for temperature but no term for mean molecular gravitational potential energy.

    Meteorologists know that cooling of the surface can cease just before dawn in calm conditions, yet the temperature gradient remains in the troposphere just above. There is no heat flow (contrary to Fourier’s Law) in that situation, because it is the state of maximum entropy. When you have thermodynamic equilibrium then, by definition, you have no net matter or energy crossing any internal boundary. So you have a temperature difference, but no heat flow. If you increase the top temperature, then entropy will increase towards a new maximum with the same temperature gradient as the previous maximum entropy state. I’ll leave you to think about which way some of the heat transfer thus has to be.

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    Retired Physics Educator

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    You say [i]” I am sure many others can do it better than me.”[/i]

    Well, let me start. You are working with differences without explaining any reference point. In effect you are saying CO2 may warm a little or cool a little, but you have not explained the accepted mean global surface temperature of about 14°C to 15°C. And, unless you can explain that with radiation calculations, then calculations of those warming or cooling “differences” are incorrect if they are themselves based on radiation calculations.

    You are right in that the laws of thermodynamics make it quite clear that radiation between a warm surface and cold atmosphere is only transferring heat outwards and thus does not contribute in any way to raising the surface temperature.

    BUT, the mean solar radiation (globally) is certainly only of the order of 168W/m^2 and the black body temperature for that flux is about -40°C. Furthermore, such a flux would only support that temperature if it were a uniform flux such as a flat Earth would receive. In contrast, the spherical Earth receives a wide variety of different levels of flux which all go to make up that mean. But, because of the T^4 relationship, the higher levels of flux raise the mean flux much more than they raise the temperature relatively speaking. So, a mean flux of 168W/m^2 would only achieve a colder mean temperature than -140°C.

    [b]Hence you have a large gap to explain between your hypothesis that solar radiation is warming the surface and the reality as to what the surface temperature actually is.[/b]

    And that is why you need to understand that the state of thermodynamic equilibrium has a temperature gradient, because (for mean molecular values) the sum of potential energy and kinetic energy must be homogeneous at different altitudes when there are no remaining unbalanced energy potentials in the stable state of maximum entropy.

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    Retired Physics Educator

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    The Second Law of Thermodynamics does not say [i]”Heat cannot spontaneously flow from a colder location to a hotter location.”[/i] This Clausius statement is merely a corollary that can only be “proved” by deliberately omitting the term for molecular gravitational potential energy from the expression used for entropy. Hence it only applies (in all cases) in a horizontal plane when considering diffusion and natural convective heat transfers.

    Expressions which purport to represent entropy, but have only a term for kinetic energy (that is, temperature) are inapplicable in a force field like gravity.

    The Ranque Hilsch vortex tube develops a radial temperature gradient as centrifugal force allows heat to transfer from the cooler central region to the warmer circumference. Likewise, the force of gravity causes the state of maximum entropy to be one which has a stable density gradient in a planet’s troposphere. How are you going to prove that if you limit your entropy expression to one without a term for gravitational potential energy? Only when you understand this point will you then understand the stability of the temperature gradient.

    The Second Law tells us entropy will tend towards a maximum: that stable density gradient is that state of maximum entropy, otherwise known as thermodynamic equilibrium.

    An understanding of maximum entropy production (by the dissipation o unbalanced energy potentials) is crucial to understanding heat transfer processes under the force of gravity.

    So you are certainly correct in highlighting the importance of the laws of thermodynamics, but you don’t hit the nail on the head.

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