What is Energy?

Written by Joseph E :Postma

Not “Watt is energy”.  In physics, and what should be everywhere else in anything calling itself science, what is the unit of energy?  The unit of energy has a name, and it is called a Joule, after English physicist James Prescott Joule.  A Joule, or Joules, are the unit of energy in science.  There are other equivalent metrics for energy such as “ergs” or “electron volts” but they are all equivalent to a certain number of Joules.

Watts, on the other hand, are a unit of flux.  In particular, the temporal flux of Joules, meaning the number of Joules being “used” or “passing by” in one second.  The fundamental definition and unit of a Watt is a Joule per second, so, W = J/s where the letters abbreviate the relevant quantities.  So, one Watt is one Joule of energy used in one particular second.  We call this flux.

When we get to radiation or light, and the measure of its strength, these are measured in Watts per square meter, which means Joules per second per square meter, and this is called flux density.  It is a number of Joules, being used each second, over the area of a square meter. W/m2 = J/s/m2.  These are the units for the Stefan-Boltzmann Equation which is the single equation that exists for converting radiation, or light, into temperature.  Why I mean by that is that the equation tells you the temperature of the light given its intensity, or conversely, the intensity of the light given its temperature.  The equation tells you that light has a direct equivalence to temperature, just like mass has a direct equivalence to energy.  The latter equation is Einstein’s E = mc2, which shows that mass has an equivalence to energy. Likewise, radiation has an equivalence to temperature via the Stefan-Boltzmann equation, which is F = σT4, where F is the Flux density of the radiation, σ is a constant, and T is the temperature.

So then what’s wrong with the IPCC energy budget?  Let’s have a look at it again (see diagram):

IPCC energy budget with backradiation

What they’re doing to get this thing to “work”, is adding together the flux densities of light.  Given the Stefan-Boltzmann equation which shows us that light flux density has an equivalence to temperature, then what this diagram is doing is adding temperatures together, to make it work.  When it adds 168 J/s/m2 from sunlight with 324 J/s/m2 from the atmosphere, it is saying that sunlight is -400C and that the atmosphere is 1.80C (because that is the equivalent temperature of those light flux densities), and that if you add together something that is -400C to something that’s +1.80C, you get +150C. Not just that – the diagram tries to say that air is hotter than sunlight!

 

Only in academic science and in luke-warmism and alarmism, do you find people who think that adding something that is cold (-400C) to something that is warmer (1.80C) will make the warmer thing warmer still.  This isn’t because they’re smart, but it is because modern science has failed and it has failed society.

It is still totally true and totally smart to understand that adding an ice-cube to a hot cup of coffee doesn’t make the coffee hotter.  All normal, sane, working-class people understand this.  Only the welfare-state scientists and luke-warmist blog writers who can’t actually do an honest day of labour, let alone thinking, are confused about adding temperatures.  By extension they must also think that adding two ice-cubes together should make something hotter than either original ice-cube…this is a direct and literal inference of their beliefs.

You can add energy, but you can not add energy flux density and temperatures.  Energy flux density is another animal entirely and especially in terms of its relation to temperature, it does not just add together like simple energy does.

Energy itself is a very simple and abstract concept; it quantifies something we call action or the potential for action, but the energy itself is not quantified until you also specify in how much time it will be used and over what volume or area of space and matter.  That is what flux and flux density does to quantify the physical effect energy, and in terms of radiation (light energy) the physical effect of energy on matter is temperature.  You cannot get a higher temperature than the single hottest temperature; lower temperatures can not add to higher temperatures and so lower flux densities do not add to higher flux densities to create higher temperature.

Balancing Energy, not Watts

What they want to do is create a diagram that conserves energy.  Instead, they create a diagram that conserves energy flux density and then they mix in the mistake of distributing that flux over a surface area that it never falls upon, and make all the mistakes which have been discussed at length previously.  It makes them think that the sun is freezing cold and that the atmosphere provides almost twice the energy of the Sun, etc. (Again, welfare-scientist eggheads that have no connection to reality, because ANY other normal person knows there is a problem there.)

Their basic premise is that if an “average” for the planet Earth exists, then any particular second of time should be indistinguishable from any other particular second of time, and any particular location on the planet should be indistinguishable from any other particular location on the planet.

Well, first of all, the “average of the system” is an abstraction and it does not actually exist. Secondly, each particular second of time IS distinguishable from any other particular second of time.  And third, each particular location on the planet IS distinguishable from any other particular location on the planet.  It’s called weather and geography, day and night, etc.  Isn’t it kind of surprising that welfare-state scientists don’t understand that, that they literally can’t comprehend the scientific and mathematical importance of…FACTS?  That you can’t just average it all together?

What are the units of the intensity of light?  We’ve just seen this, they are Joules per second per square meter.  That means that the effect that light has on matter does dependon WHEN and WHERE the light is falling.  When is the “per second”, and where is the “per square meter”.  Therefore, if you want to make an “energy budget” diagram that correctly balances energy flux density, you have to make a diagram that looks like this (see diagram):Postma Earth Energy Budget

Of course we’ve seen this diagram lots of times on here.  When you do it this way, then the energy flux density of sunlight DOES have the real power it actually has and can make you feel very warm and can melt ice into water and evaporate water into vapour etc. etc., instead of being -400C, and you would never imagine something like the atmosphere being hotter than sunlight and providing twice as much energy as the sun does.

Conservation of Energy

The attempt of the IPCC energy budget is to balance energy, but since the only energy source is the Sun, then how is it possible that the atmosphere emits twice the energy of the Sun?  First, they incorrectly try to balance energy flux density instead of energy, and in terms of energy flux density, they do it wrong, by ignoring the units of energy flux density. Second, their scheme results in the atmosphere emitting twice the energy of the Sun, which is a violation of conservation of energy because how can it emit more than comes in?

Once you have a realistic diagram like that above, then you realize you have to go to a real-time, time and location dependent, form of mathematics and physics that can describe that. 

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The above excerpt is taken from the original article by Joe Postma found here.

Read more articles by Joe Postma at his blog: climateofsophistry.com

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Comments (8)

  • Avatar

    Tim Folkerts

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    [quote]Why I mean by that is that the equation tells you the temperature of the light given its intensity, or conversely, the intensity of the light given its temperature.[/quote]

    No, the equation gives you the temperature of a blackbody that would emit the same power per square meter. Equivalently, that is the temperature if the blackbody did not lose energy by conduction or convection or evaporation.

    [quote]When it adds 168 J/s/m2 from sunlight with 324 J/s/m2 from the atmosphere, it is saying that sunlight is -400C and that the atmosphere is 1.80C[/quote]

    First of all, you lost a decimal point: -40.0 C, not -400 C.

    More importantly, when it adds 168 J/s/m2 and 324 J/s/m2, it is adding flux, to get 492 J/s/m^2 — exactly as required by conservation of energy. If 168 J of energy gets absorbed into 1 square meter in 1 second, and another 324 J gets absorbed into that 1 square meter in that same 1 second, we have to have 492 J added to that square meter in that second.

    That sunlight by itself could warm a blackbody -40 C; the atmosphere by itself could warm a blackbody to 1.8 K. The net flux of 492 J/s/m^2 could warm a blackbody to 32 C. (The actual surface of the earth is considerably cooler because of convection and conduction and evaporation).

    [quote]What they want to do is create a diagram that conserves energy. Instead, they create a diagram that conserves energy flux density[/quote]
    To paraphrase, they create a diagram that conserves energy into each square meter each second, but you then conclude it does not conserve energy overall.

    ********************************

    Including rotation is great; it is important. But it can’t change conservation of energy.

    Adding 240 W/m^2 continuously can warm a blackbody to 255 K.

    Adding 2*240 = 480 W/m^2 half the time and 0 W/m^2 the other half is the same net energy input, and there is no way that this ‘trick’ by itself can fix the problem.

    • Avatar

      JP

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      Tim it is understood that when having been factored for albedo, the radiant flux translates to a temperature which it can induce on a surface and in the material of that surface. We used this fact and basic physics to predict the surface temperature and the observation confirmed that the sunlight heats the surface factored for albedo.

      The loss of decimal point is due to copying the text over to here, because the superscript for the “0”=degree gets put down into normal text. It is not at the original post.

      Flux does not add in that way to conserve energy. See the next post at my site. Conserving flux DOES NOT conserve energy and it DOES NOT conserve physics. Fluxes from cold sources do not add together to make a “hotter” flux.

      Their diagram does NOT conserve flux. It conserves energy but in not conserving flux, it thereby doesn’t conserve physics. You have to conserve energy, not flux, and energy and flux aren’t the same thing, physically, or mathematically.

      Real-time physic is not a trick. If you said something like that on my blog I would trash it immediately, because it is an asinine and idiotic thing to say. Real-time physics is REALITY, not a trick. Real-time physics conserves flux AND energy AND physics, and it allows the Sun to create water cycle. This is a QED as far as proving that the GHE models are wrong, and mine is much more close to reality. The GHE models don’t intersect reality at all, and they don’t tell us anything about reality, because they don’t conserve flux, and hence don’t conserve physics, and hence don’t represent reality.

      • Avatar

        JP

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        I should clarify that flux needs to be conserved in the correct way. The GHE models do not conserve it in the correct way, and hence they don’t conserve reality or physics.

      • Avatar

        Tim Folkerts

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        [s]Tim[/s] Joe, it is understood that when having been factored for albedo, the radiant flux translates to a temperature which it can induce on a surface and in the material of that surface WHEN THERE ARE NO OTHER INPUTS, AND THE ONLY OUTPUT IS THERMAL RADIATION.

        Consider a blackbody that has [b]480 W/m^2 of sunlight[/b] falling on its surface. What will the temperature of that surface be? The answer is that there is grossly [b]insufficient information! [/b]

        For example …
        CASE A) If that is the only input and thermal radiation is the only output, then the temperature will be your 303 K.
        CASE B) If there is a 100 W/m^2 electric heater that is also providing energy to the surface, and thermal radiation is the only output, then the temperature will be 318 K.
        CASE C) If there is only sunlight in, but there is 50 W/m^2 of cooling by conduction in additions to thermal radiation, then the temperature will be 293 K.

        More specifically, for CASE B, whether the extra 100 W/m^2 came from an electric heater, from nuclear decays in the object, from hot water circulating through the object, from a red giant in a binary star system, [i]or from absorbed incoming thermal IR[/i], the result will be a 318 K surface in every case.

        You cannot in any meaningful way say that the sunlight [i]is 303 K[/i].

        • Avatar

          JP

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          The presence of still air is not an active cooling mechanism. Observation showed that the S-B Law is correct and it can be used for what it says it can be used for – determining temperature given an absorptive flux.

          480 W/m^2 given a known albedo and known surface geometry tells you precisely the temperature…don’t try to deny the S-B Law.

          Conduction is not an active cooling phenomenon but a simple passive heat transport mechanism – it does not actively cool the source. There is no additional “heater” to the surface because the atmosphere is not a “heater” because it is not a source of energy, unlike the heater is with its independent input unrelated to the other input.

          The S-B Equation is real. You can not in any meaningful way say that the solar input to the Earth averages 240 W/m^2. Thee GHE models do not conserve physics; mine does, hence mine wins. Kinda final.

          • Avatar

            Rosco

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            Tim – you claim –

            [i]”CASE B) If there is a 100 W/m^2 electric heater that is also providing energy to the surface, and thermal radiation is the only output, then the temperature will be 318 K.”[/i]

            Surely that cannot possibly be true ?

            100 Watts per square metre is the radiation emitted by an object at a SB calculated temperature of about 205 Kelvin.

            Now if you meant the heater provides a “net” of 100 watts per square metre that is an entirely different thing because that means the heater is emitting at least 580 watts per square metre.

            There is a simple way to test the claim you make.

            I tried it in an experiment.

            I placed a thermometer on a stand. Air temperature is 18 C – 291 K.

            I placed a spotlight so it heated the thermometer to 30 C – 303 K – alone. It is about 65 cm from the thermometer.

            Without moving it I placed a second spotlight so it heated the thermometer to 36 C – 309 K – alone. It is about 45 cm from the thermometer.

            I then turned both on and measured the temperature for more than 2 hours.

            The SB calculated fluxes are :-

            18 C – 291 K = ~407 Watts/square metre.

            30 C – 303 K = ~478 Watts/square metre.

            36 C – 309 K = ~517 Watts/square metre.

            [b]If you are correct[/b] the final temperature should be either :-

            1. 478 + 517 = 995 Watts/square metre = ~363 K or ~ 90 degrees C; or,

            2. 407 + 478 + 517 = 1042 Watts/square metre = ~396 K or ~123 degrees C.

            Neither of those can possibly be right.

            Using the SB equation and calculating the net radiation flux you get –

            407 + (478 – 407) 71 + (517 -407) 110 =

            588 Watts/square metre with a SB calculated temperature of –

            ~319 K or about 46 degrees C.

            This is precisely the result I obtained by an actual experiment.

            My experiment is listed in the PROM section.

            Try the experiment yourself just record ambient temperature and try to make sure you allow enough time for the spotlights to heat the thermometer to a steady temperature.

            Try it your self – it demonstrates an important principle – the SB equation properly applied actually works.

            Finally it is simply not possible either spotlight provides a gross of 71 or 110 – calculate the temperatures those gross fluxes represent – it is ludicrous to suggest that extremely hot spotlights could possibly be that cold.

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