Climate Science: What doesn’t work and why

Written by Nicholas Schroeder BSME PE

Richard Phillips Feynman was an American theoretical physicist who observed that if experiment and observation don’t support your theory, the theory is wrong. Let us look at the consensus climate theory: the radiative greenhouse gas effect;

1)      288 K – 255 K = 33 C warmer with an atmosphere than without is nonsense.

2)      Upwelling/downwelling/”back” radiation warming the surface is thermodynamic rubbish.

3)      The radiative greenhouse effect is as incorrect as phlogiston, luminiferous ether and cold fusion.

After analyzing numerous USCRN data sets, i.e. SOLRAD, AIR and SOIL temperatures for several US locations, I have the following general observations. As the earth rotates below the sun both AIR (1.5 m) and SOIL (5, 10, 20 cm) temperatures increase swiftly and close together.

As the sun sets the AIR cools rapidly because of its low thermal mass and becomes cooler than the SOIL. The SOIL, because of its high thermal mass, cools slowly and becomes and remains warmer than the AIR throughout the night until rotating once more into the sun light. I could find no evidence in the physical data that the AIR ever warms the SOIL to any significant degree.  I also could find no evidence that the SOIL loses heat rapidly because of the 396 W/m^2 upwelling LWIR. These observations of actual physical evidence contradict RGHE theory.

What does work and why:

The earth’s albedo, which exists because of the atmosphere, reflects away 30% of the incoming irradiation COOLING the earth same as that shiny reflective cardboard panel placed behind a car’s windshield.

The earth’s albedo without an atmosphere would be similar to the moon’s, 0.12. The amount of energy hitting bare regolith would increase by 21%, blazing hot on the lit half and bitter cold on the dark.

The atmospheric blanket of molecules out to 32 km creates a thermal gradient between the surface and ToA (32 km) same as the insulated walls of a house per the equation Q = U A dT.  Above 32 km and no molecules energy can only radiate into space.

The energy that leaves must equal the energy that enters to maintain any given temperature. If the albedo reflects away more energy, the atmosphere cools. If the albedo reflects away less energy, the atmosphere warms.

Because of the elliptical orbit, Q at perihelion is 1,415 W/m^2 warmer and at aphelion is 1,323 W/m^2 cooler, a range of 92 W/m^2 or +/- 3%. If Q ranges +/- 3% and dT = 100 C that would be a +/- 3 C variation – just because of the elliptical orbit.

Because of the tilted axis, the irradiation at any given point on ToA fluctuates 700 W/m^2 from which comes summer and winter. If dT = 100 C that fluctuation would create a 13 C range from summer to winter.

https://www.linkedin.com/embed/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6369927560008212481

The relative influence of the GHGs that constitute 0.04% of the atmosphere is essentially zero.

Now, you can defend RGHE and the three points I dispute above by explaining how they actually really work.

Or

You can explain where my theory is in error e.g. I used an equation for an over-thruster instead of a flux capacitor.

However,

Simply saying I’m wrong, unqualified, not a “climate” scientist, not “peer” reviewed, outside the 100-year consensus or various epithets, denier, trouble maker, anti-science, assorted other excuses to dodge the science, etc. ain’t gonna cut it.

Nick Schroeder, BSME, PE

Read more at writerbeat.com

 

Comments (20)

  • Avatar

    Nicholas Schroeder, BSME, PE

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    I have been admonished elsewhere that preventing heating is not quite the same as cooling. Granted.
    However, the system with the .30 albedo will operate at a lower (cooler) temperature than without and contrary to RGHE theory.

    • Avatar

      jerry krause

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      Hi Carl and Nicholas,

      Richard Feynman in the first page of The Feynman Lectures on Physics stated: “The principle of science, the definition almost, is the following: The test of all knowledge is experiment. Experiment is the sole judge of scientific ‘truth’.”

      Recently, March 7, my essay—Problem—Earth Surface Temperature Measurement—was posted. (https://principia-scientific.org/problem-earth-surface-temperature-measurement/) This essay referred to the data observed (measured) by NOAA’s SURFRAD project for more than 20 years now with the best commercial instruments available. This essay addressed the emissivity problem common considered in a novel sort of way. The observation (measurement) of the upwelling radiation being emitted by a snow surface.

      The last sentence of this essay was: “ I submit this essay to John O’Sullivan, the editor of PSI, in hopes it will be posted so that it can be peer reviewed by the comments of any who read it.”

      At the time I write this comment, there has been no comments. Of course, maybe no has read my essay. But that is not my problem. That is your problem if you have not read it or not made a comment. For what I wrote certainly challenges your comments which are presented without one claimed measured value.

      Have a good day, Jerry

  • Avatar

    Carl

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    “As the sun sets the AIR cools rapidly because of its low thermal mass and becomes cooler than the SOIL. The SOIL, because of its high thermal mass, cools slowly and becomes and remains warmer than the AIR throughout the night until rotating once more into the sun light. I could find no evidence in the physical data that the AIR ever warms the SOIL to any significant degree.”

    I have made this same observation in scientific experiments that I have done.

    That being said, since the air is in direct contact with the soil the operative law of physics that defines the air’s thermal relationship to the soil is Newton’s Law of Cooling. Within Newton’s Law of Cooling that which controls the rate of heat transfer from a hot body to a cold body the the “temperature” differential between the two. Therefore at night the rate at which the soil cools is strongly affected by the size of the temperature differential is between the soil and the air that is in contact with it. For example, at night when the air just above the soil is 6 C cooler than the soil the soil cools faster than during nights when the air just above the soil is only 4 C cooler than the soil. Also be aware that over the course of the night the temperature differential between the soil and the air increases and is greatest just before sunup.

    The “Greenhouse Effect” hypothesis on the other hand attempts to define the thermal relationship between the soil and the air using the Stefan-Boltzmann Law within a formula called Net Radiation Heat Loss. Rather than the “temperature” differential, the Net Radiation Heat Loss formula is based on the “radiation” differential between the top soil and the air.

    Here is a key thing to remember. The first step in the chain of hypothetical events that is said to occur within the “Greenhouse Effect” hypothesis is this. Up-welling IR radiation from the soil heats the air because it is absorbed by “greenhouse gases”; ergo, they claim that the higher the concentration of “greenhouse gases” in the air the higher the amount of heat that is transferred radiatively from the soil to the air.

    Remember what was said above: the Net Radiation Heat Loss formula is based on the radiation differential between the top soil and the air. So-called “greenhouse gases” like carbon dioxide and water vapor increase the emissivity of the air. (The higher the emissivity of matter the more radiation it will emit at the same temperature.) Higher atmospheric emissivity, according to the Net Radiation Heat Loss formula, decreases the radiation differential between the top soil and the air and thus decreases the amount of heat that can and is transferred from the warmer soil to the cooler air via IR radiation. In other words, the higher the concentration of “greenhouse gases” the less the air is heated by up-welling IR radiation from the soil because the radiation differential between the two is smaller.

    Needless to say, when one attempts to answer a scientific question using the wrong law of physics one will get the wrong answer.

  • Avatar

    Nicholas Schroeder, BSME, PE

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    Jerry,
    “For what I wrote certainly challenges your comments which are presented without one claimed measured value.”

    I have numerous Excel tables and graphs of USCRN data supporting my comments. But how do I post them here? I’ll send John some files and maybe he can post/forward them.

    Regards,
    Nick

    • Avatar

      jerry krause

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      Hi Nick,

      I understand the real problem that USCRN data is only available as a data file of many, many numbers. However, I have learned where the four numbers representing air temperatures are and where the three numbers representing the ‘surface skin (radiative) temperatures’ are and I have yet to find that ‘As the sun sets [and when] the AIR cools rapidly’, that the claimed measured surface temperatures are not lower than the air temperatures measured at the same time. So it would be interesting to see your Excel tables and graphs which demonstrate differently.

      Have a good day, Jerry

      • Avatar

        Nicholas Schroeder, BSME, PE

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        Jerry,

        USCRN SURF category is IR. T_DAILY category is air. And category SOIL just adds to the confusion. From what I could tell SURF and T_DAILY values are very close.

        At some sites USCRN data includes soil temperatures at 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 cm depths. I surmise this is monitored for agricultural purposes, knowing when soil is warm enough to plant. (My grandfather was a farmer.)

        When SOLRAD drops off in the evenings or cloudy weather the air rapidly cools below the soil temps. This is also obvious in winter when the air goes negative soil stays positive.

        And while the air and 5, 10 cm temperatures follow the solar insolation, air a lot, soil not so much, the 100 cm temperature barely moves.

        Much of this is obvious in the Excel studies I sent to John.

        Regards,
        Nick

        • Avatar

          jerry krause

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          Hi Nick,

          Soil temperatures are very important because the soil basically does not move so ‘thermal conductivity’ becomes the primary mechanism by which energy is transferred. But the soil moisture content is known to be a significant variable when it is below (from my study of SCAN figures of air temperature and soil temperatures at 2, 4, 8, 20, and 40 inches) say 8-10%. Which why the 2in or 5cm of the soil layer between that depth and the surface becomes a very important factor considering considering the energy flux from the lower depths to the surface. For if it (this shallow layer) is dry already the heating by solar radiation must really dry it more by midday. But I have to ask you a question: How would moisture from the lower layers be transferred upward? For form the measured moisture content one can see how precipitation flows downward so as the moisture content of the surface layers somewhat quickly decrease after a precipitation event as the moisture content of the layers increase as seems to be expected. So, I conclude that one way that moisture moves through the soil is by molecular diffusion which also transfers energy (both ways–upward and downward) by an evaporation-condensation mechanism. This is required to explain some of the soil temperature data where I first considered the soil thermometers (temperature sensors) were misidentified.

          Hopefully we can use data to sort this confusion out.

          Have a good day, Jerry

        • Avatar

          jerry krause

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          Hi Nick,

          Thank you for the data files which John sent. I refuse to consider averaged anything when the actual measured values are available. The hourly data of the one excel data file are averages of the previous hour measurement but the next two values are the maximum measurement and minimum measurement for that hour. And you can see the averaged value is not the max and min values addded and then divided by 2. The fourth air temperature, the first of the four, is specially processed and becomes the ‘official’ temperature of the hour which might not be either of the three which follow. But it cannot be outside the max-min values. Which I consider to be a very important fact is the variability of the air temperature during one hour to say nothing of the variability of air temperature which averaged for a day in most of the data files which you sent.

          Also important of this data is the average, max, min downwelling solar for each hour. For this allows you to see the variability during a couple or four midday hours which must be the result of cloud. There can be no doubt that this significant variability is the direct result of cloud, which is (are) the thermostat (s) regulating the earth’s temperature each second of the a day, week, month, year. As R. C. Sitciffe wrote (Weather and Climate, 1966): “Clouds which do not give rain, which never even threaten to give rain but which dissolve again into vapour before the precipitation stage is ever reached, have profound effect on climate.” And this is well beyond their influence as part of the earth’s ‘average’ albedo which I can demonstrate can not be measured from space.

          Have a good day, Jerry

          • Avatar

            Nicholas Schroeder, BSME, PE

            |

            Well, this has been interesting, but to my points that 288 – 255 = 33 is nonsense and the GHG thermal loop as shown on the K-T balance is also nonsense as is RGHE theory.

            The fundamental issue is this: the earth with an atmosphere is cooler, not warmer, than without an atmosphere.

            Therefore RGHE theory attempts to explain a physical thermal scenario that does not exist.

          • Avatar

            jerry krause

            |

            Hi Nick,

            First, about the GHE of GHGs we are in total agreement and have always have been. Some times I wonder if you understand this.

            But when you and Carl claim that the air temperature (AT) at 1.5m above the surface is almost always less than that of the surface (ST) beneath it you lose credibility as you both insist upon comparing the AT with the temperature of the soil at 5cm depth (ST-5) which obviously not that of the emitting soil surface. Your figure of the AT vs ST-5 at Lewistown MT for a month of days proves you know how to produce a figure of ST vs AT from the USCRN data. Which I do not know how to do.

            I find it interesting that you or Carl has not yet commented by my effort to validate that the ST can be calculated from the UWIR measured at the Fort Peck SURFRAD site. Without any comments challenging what I have reported, I must conclude that you find nothing wrong with what I had concluded.

            If you, or Carl, would consider the changes of temperature at ST-5, ST-10, etc. with the changing temperature differences (which at a first approximation must be proportional to the energy flux between these two depths) be between them, you would have to conclude that when the ST-5 begins to cool in the late afternoon or evening, that at least a similar temperature difference must exist between the 5cm depth and the surface which would be less than the AT at the same time. You have stated the soil temperature are confusing, they are not for it is hard to question the simple measurement of temperature involved and the simple equation of energy conduction which depends upon the often stated temperature difference.

            Yes, this is interesting because the ‘world’ can judge our clearly stated differences. Of which mine is not an opinion but something based solely upon simple, fundamental, observations (measurements) made by someone else.

            One last comment, which is merely to call attention back to Sutcliffe’s statement reviewed at the end of my previous comment. And add, clouds have influence upon the incoming solar radiation and upon the outgoing infrared radiation. A fact which Arrhenius ignored in his essay which gave birth to wrong idea as he ignored the influence of cloud upon the outgoing IR.

            Have a good day, Jerry

    • Avatar

      Rosco

      |

      Nicholas Schroeder, BSME, PE said – “I have numerous Excel tables and graphs of USCRN data supporting my comments. But how do I post them here? I’ll send John some files and maybe he can post/forward them.”

      Easy – use Dropbox, share your documents and post the shared link – it’s even free.

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/ty5x0rijruqrp5c/6-1%20Diviner_Lev3_BTG_Final_013.png?dl=0

      I include this Dropbox link to illustrate that this statement – “The amount of energy hitting bare regolith would increase by 21%, blazing hot on the lit half and bitter cold on the dark” is not sensible.

      People need to remember that the Lunar period is some 29.5 DAYS whilst Earth’s is 24 HOURS. The Earth would never cool to any level that could be described as “bitter cold on the dark” by radiation alone in the short period of darkness.

      Carl wrote – “So the real question is this. Which is more accurate 1) an actual thermometer that is in physical contact with the “skin” of the soil or 2) an “infrared temperature sensor” that according to its own operator’s manual states, …”

      The real question is how do you measure soil surface temperature other than by IR thermometers during the time the soil is irradiated by the Sun ?

      This is a critical consideration ! The answer is you can’t.

      The specific heat capacity of a thermocouple is less than half that of soil.

      For example Nickel is Nickel is 461, Sand almost double at 830, Soil Dry at 800 and Air at 1005.

      Hence a thermocouple exposed to the solar radiation is NOT necessarily reading the soil temperature but its own response to powerful solar radiation.

      This is a major flaw in the Absence of a Measurable Greenhouse Effect Paper which, unless I am mistaken, uses temperature data provided by a thermocouple in contact with the soil whilst exposed to the solar radiation.

      • Avatar

        Carl Brehmer

        |

        The specific question that we have been debating is whether or not the nighttime (when the sun is not shinning) temperature of the surface (the “skin”) of the soil remains warmer than the air.

        Even Jerry’s data set posted in this comment thread, which includes the IR thermometer readings of the soil’s “skin” temperature, demonstrates that during the daytime–when the soil is exposed to solar radiation–the temperature of the soil’s “skin” remains significantly higher than the daytime temperature of the air. That is what my thermocouple readings showed as well. Again, what we are discussing is the nighttime thermal relationship between the surface of the ground and the air that is near the ground.

        Or are you contending that “back radiation” from the atmosphere during the night corrupts the readings of thermocouples that are attached to the surface of the ground? During one period of my two year experiment I suspended a second thermometer about 4 inches above the thermocouple for a month. Every night during that period the temperature of the air just four inches above the surface of the ground was cooler than the thermocouple reading with the temperature differential increasing throughout the night. By morning, just before sunrise, the air temperature only four inches above the surface of the ground was 4-6 C colder than the thermocouple reading.

        What I suggest is that anyone who does not believe this to be true gather the proper equipment and repeat the experiment and see for themselves. The alternative is to rely on notoriously inaccurate IR thermometer readings, a fact that their manufacturers freely concede.

        To review, concerning the accuracy of Apogee’s IR thermometer, the Apogee technical support dept. said the following about their SI-111 Apogee Standard Field of View Radiometer Sensor that is used to collect soil “skin temperature” by the USCRN program run by NOAA. They answered:

        1) The sensors can only be calibrated at the factory and are set to an emissivity of 1.0. Ergo, they cannot be recalibrated in the field to the specific emissivity of the soil whose “skin temperature” is being monitored.

        2) Because the emissivity of these sensors is set at 1.0 their FAQ’s page states, “When measuring objects with low emissivity, however, it is particularly important to apply corrections to the measurement.”

        I then wrote the USCRN Program Manager to find out whether or not the soil’s “skin temperature” data that is collected by their network is raw data or has been corrected for local emissivity as the manufacturer recommends.

        When I hear back from USCRN I will give you an update.

        • Avatar

          Rosco

          |

          Are you so lacking in confidence that your answer to everything is a blatant attack based on a strawman of your own choosing and not at all related to any real comment ?

          I specifically wrote:-

          “Hence a thermocouple exposed to the solar radiation is NOT necessarily reading the soil temperature but its own response to powerful solar radiation.”

          I said nothing about nighttime which is the only time the thermocouple can give a correct reading.

          There is a reason why temperatures are measured in areas completely sheltered from the Sun’s radiation and this has been known for hundreds of years.

          This is also the reason why IR thermometers are used to measure soil skin surfaces. In modern times the measurements are performed by satellites such as in the Landsat series. No one seems to have any particular problem with this.

          My comment was simply factual – any readings made by the method you advocate using thermocouples exposed to the solar radiation are worthless.

          I have University qualifications in Environmental Health and Engineering Technology. I have more than 25 years of Environmental and Health monitoring experience including temperature, noise, air and water quality measurements.

          I wouldn’t make such a fundamentally obvious mistake then try to defend the error by making false statements intended to ridicule.

          Everything you have written is contrary to ALL of the practices adopted worldwide by the scientific communities but of course you must be right.

  • Avatar

    John Nicol

    |

    Hi Nick,
    Your work is spot on. I note also that you say “The earth’s albedo without an atmosphere would be similar to the moon’s, 0.12. The amount of energy hitting bare regolith would increase by 21%, blazing hot on the lit half and bitter cold on the dark.”

    This albedo of the surface is never taken into account by the Climate “Scientists” because, as you demonstrate so clearly here, they do not know anything about thermal physics, or any other physics for that matter. The fact is that, as you would know, the 0.12 albedo of the earth – the absorptivity = 0.88 and exactly similar, emissivity – restricts the emission of radiation, just as the estimated 0.18 part of the earth’s albedo (total 0.3) restricts the absorption at the surface to 0.7 of the initial intensity of sunlight. This means that the earth’s surface at equilibrium will be warmer than it is for a for a black body absorbing 0.7 of the incident radiation. i.e. in order to radiate the same intensity as it absorbs, the temperature must be higher by a factor of “one over the fourth root of 0.88” or 1/(0.88^1/4. or 1.03.

  • Avatar

    jerry krause

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    I had carefully spaced each value so it would be easier to inspect but the spacings disappeared when the comment was submitted. I do not understand why numbers are different from word text.

    I guess if you are interested you could copy the table and insert the spaces to make it more easy to study.

  • Avatar

    jerry krause

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    Hi Readers,

    I can not pass up a challenge! So I am going to try this and if it works John O’Sullivan can remove my previous failed effort.

    This an example of the hourly data files found at (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn/qcdatasets.html) for Lewistown MT during the day of July 15, 2017.

    04140 20170715 1900 20170715 1200 2.422 -110.29 46.88 30.5 30.3 31.6 29.1 0.0 630 0 1229 0 298 0 C 39.6 0 45.8 0 33.4 0 19 0 0.115 0.196 0.188 0.223 0.181 24.3 20.4 18.9 17.8 16.7
    04140 20170715 2000 20170715 1300 2.422 -110.29 46.88 31.0 30.4 31.2 29.5 0.0 585 0 1290 0 268 0 C 40.0 0 46.2 0 36.0 0 18 0 0.116 0.194 0.189 0.221 0.181 25.5 20.9 19.0 17.8 16.7

    The following table is a comparison of the hourly data of the air temperatures and surface temperatures measured during this day which is the central disagreement between Nick-Carl and myself of the general ‘fact’ about the relationship between these two fundamental temperatures.

    Lewistown MT July 15, 2017

    Time Ave TA Max TA Min TA Ave TS Max TS Min TS

    Time —-Ave TA— Max TA —Min TA ——Ave TS —Max TS —Min TS
    1am ——16.5 ——17.9 ——13.7 ———–14.6 0 —–15.3 0 —–13.3 0
    2am ——16.1 ——18.3 ——13.9 ———–13.2 0 —–13.9 0 —–12.3 0
    3am ——15.4 ——17.7 ——12.9 ———–12.4 0 —–13.0 0 —–11.9 0
    4am ——13.6 ——16.1 ——12.0 ———–11.7 0 —–12.5 0 —–10.6 0
    5am ——12.8 ——15.0 ——11.3 ———–10.0 0 —–10.6 0—– 9.6 0
    6am ——13.0 ——14.9 ——11.0 ———–11.8 0 —–14.4 0 —–9.9 0
    7am ——16.6 ——18.4 ——14.1 ———–16.6 0 —–20.1 0 —–14.4 0
    8am ——21.5 ——23.5 ——18.4 ———–23.7 0 —–28.0 0 —–20.1 0
    9am ——24.9 ——26.4 ——23.5 ———–30.7 0 —–36.5 0 —–27.1 0
    10am —-28.5 ——29.5 ——-26.4 ———-37.9 0 —–43.1 0 —–33.4 0
    11am —-29.1 ——29.5 ——-28.4 ———-34.3 0 —–35.1 0 —–33.1 0
    12am —-30.3 ——31.6 ——-29.1 ———-39.6 0 —–45.8 0 —–33.4 0
    1pm ——31.0 ——30.4 ——31.2 ———–40.0 0 —–46.2 0 —–36.0 0
    2pm ——31.8 ——32.3 ——31.0 ———–47.8 0 —–48.7 0 —–46.2 0
    3pm ——32.0 ——32.8 ——31.5———– 48.1 0 —–49.2 0 —–46.8 0
    4pm ——32.3 ——32.8 ——31.9 ———–45.5 0 —–47.2 0 —–43.2 0
    5pm ——32.1 ——32.5—— 31.7 ———–42.5 0 —–44.9 0 —–39.2 0
    6pm ——30.6 ——31.8 ——29.5 ———–33.2 0 —–39.2 0 —–29.7 0
    7pm ——28.3 ——29.5 ——26.5 ———–28.3 0 —–29.7 0 —–26.4 0
    8pm ——25.3 ——26.5 ——24.4 ———–25.0 0 —–26.4 0 —–23.8 0
    9pm ——22.4 ——24.4 ——21.9 ———–22.0 0 —–23.8 0 —–21.5 0
    10pm —-21.7 ——22.5 ——-21.0 ———-21.4 0 —–21.9 0 —–20.6 0
    11pm —-19.8 ——21.1 ——-18.9 ———-18.1 0 —–20.6 0 —–15.8 0
    12pm —-17.7 ——19.0 ——-16.8 ———-15.5 0 —–16.6 0 —–15.1 0

    At this point I do not comment for you can study this data and see what you choose to see.

    Have a good day, Jerry

  • Avatar

    jerry krause

    |

    Hi Nick,

    I wish I had the ability to create excel file from the USCRN data and figures as you have, but unfortunately you cannot share them with PSI readers unless you submit an article for posting. In my essay (https://principia-scientific.org/problem-earth-surface-temperature-measurement/), the principal data I considered was from NOAA’s SURFRAD project which did include any measurements of soil temperatures.

    So I created a table from the USCRN data file of Surface and Soil Temperatures (oC) at depths of 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100cm measured at Lewistown MT on July 15, 2017. I chose this date and location because you had plotted the hourly measurements of the solar radiation and the soil temperature at a depth of 5cm for all the days of July 2017. Which is very useful figure. But a more useful figure would have been measurements of the solar radiation and the ‘surface skin (radiative) temperature’ for this is the surface which is directly intercepting the downwelling solar radiation. And it is the surface which is directly emitting longwave radiation according to its temperature.

    But it seems you choose to ignore the soil surface measured temperature because it is your claim that its temperature cannot be measured by commercial instruments which their manufacturers claim can be.

    Hence, I thought the readers of PSI should have the opportunity to observe one day of temperatures measured from the surface to a depth of 100cm. You can see that it is the average surface temperature which is being considered. And because I do generally reject averaged anything. I must explain about this quality project. First the average temperature is only the average of the previous hour, which why the first temperature is that at 1am. But also reported is the maximum and minimum temperatures observed during the hour. When one compares these values tor the hour, it is obvious that the average temperature is not the max-min values added and divided by too. For at certain hours the temperature is changing signficantly as the surface and soil warms and cools during the day. Some hours you well see that even the average temperature of one hour to the next changes by 7 to 9 degrees Celsius. The soil temperatures at the depths change much more slowly so these temperature are not averaged and are the temperature measured on the hour.

    This so PSI readers can see exactly what it seems you choose to ignore because you consider the efforts of this USCRN project to measure the’surface skin (radiative) temperature’ to be invalid..

    Time —-Ave TS— TS-5 —-TS-10 ———–TS-20 —-TS-50 — TS-100
    1am ——14.6 ——20.8——21.4 ———–20.1 0 —–17.8 0 ——16.6 0
    2am ——13.2 ——20.2——21.1 ———–20.0 0 —–17.8 0 ——16.7 0
    3am ——12.4 ——19.7——20.7————19.8 0——17.9 0 ——16.7 0
    4am ——11.7——-19.3——20.4 ———–19.8 0 —–17.9 0 ——16.7 0
    5am ——10.0 ——18.6——20.1 ———–19.6 0 —–17.9 0 ——16.7 0
    6am ——11.8——-18.2——19.7 ———–19.5 0 —–17.9 0 ——16.7 0
    7am ——16.6 ——18.2——19.4 ———–19.3 0 —–17.9 0 ——16.7 0
    8am ——23.7 ——18.6——19.2 ———–19.2 0——17.9 0 ——16.7 0
    9am ——30.7 ——20.0——19.2 ———–19.0 0 —–17.9 0 ——16.7 0
    10am —-37.9 ——21.9——19.4————19.0 0 —–18.0 0 —–16.7 0
    11am —-34.3 ——23.2——19.9 ———–18.8 0 —–17.9 0 ——16.7 0
    12am —-39.6 ——24.3——20.4 ———–18.9 0 —–17.8 0 ——16.7 0
    1pm ——40.0 ——25.5——20.9 ———–19.0 0 —–17.8 0 ——16.7 0
    2pm ——47.8 ——26.9——21.5————19.0 0 —–17.8 0 ——16.8 0
    3pm ——48.1 ——28.3——22.2————19.2 0 —–17.8 0 ——16.7 0
    4pm ——45.5 ——29.0——22.8————19.4 0 —–17.8 0 ——16.7 0
    5pm ——42.5 ——29.2——23.4————19.6 0 —–17.8 0 ——16.7 0
    6pm ——33.2 ——28.5——23.9————19.8 0 —–17.8 0 ——16.8 0
    7pm ——28.3 ——27.4——24.1————20.0 0 —–17.8 0 ——16.7 0
    8pm ——25.0 ——26.2——23.9————20.3 0 —–17.9 0 ——16.8 0
    9pm ——22.0 ——25.4——23.7————20.4 0 —–17.9 0 ——16.8 0
    10pm —-21.4 ——24.3——-23.4———–20.5 0 —–18.0 0 ——16.7 0
    11pm —-18.1 ——23.6——-23.0———–20.5 0 —–18.0 0 ——16.8 0
    12pm —-15.5 ——22.7——-22.7———–20.4 0 —–18.0 0 ——16.8 0

    As I composed the introduction I remembered there is a SURFRAD site and a USCRN site within a mile or two of each other. These would provide a very interesting comparison.and I will work on this from my nest essay.

    Have a good day, Jerry

    • Avatar

      Carl

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      Hi Jerry,

      You quote Richard Feynman who stated: “The principle of science, the definition almost, is the following: The test of all knowledge is experiment. Experiment is the sole judge of scientific ‘truth’.”

      What happens though when one is confronted with conflicting experimental data?

      Nicholas Schroeder’s conclusions are based on experimental data that he says demonstrates that the SOIL “becomes and remains warmer than the AIR throughout the night until rotating once more into the sun light. I could find no evidence in the physical data that the AIR ever warms the SOIL to any significant degree.” He further said, “I have numerous Excel tables and graphs of USCRN data supporting my comments.”

      I then wrote, “I have made this same observation in scientific experiments that I have done.”

      In response, you have suggested that we are both guilty of scientific malfeasance because you are in the possession of a data set that demonstrates the opposite—that the soil “skin temperature” i.e., the temperature of the very surface of the ground, remains lower than the temperature of the air near the ground during the night. Rather than accusing Nicholas and I of scientific malfeasance would it not be more productive to explore why your data set and mine might be in conflict?

      The operative phrase in my comment to Nicholas was “in scientific experiments that I have done,” which I have previously described to you in great detail. The key element of my experiment, which over a two-year period measured the temperature differential between the soil’s “skin temperature” and the air temperature ~1.5 meters above the surface, was my employment of an actual thermometer that was in direct contact with the “skin” of the soil.

      None of the data sets which you cite, which according to you falsify my finding that the soil’s “skin temperature” stays above the temperature of the air near the ground nearly 24 hours a day, employ an actual thermometer to measure the soil’s “skin temperature”. Rather they employ some form of remote infrared sensing device from which the soil’s “skin temperature” is calculated. This approach introduces the need for correction for variations in surface emissivity (ε), which is a weakness of the instrument that you freely acknowledge, but never satisfactorily resolve, in your article “Problem—Earth Surface Temperature Measurement.”

      The USCRN data that you cite, for example, uses an Apogee “infrared temperature sensor” that is positioned at some distance above the ground and is “pointed at the ground surface.” Since the onboard computers present within infrared thermometers solve for temperature using the Stefan-Boltzmann formula they operate on the Kelvin temperature scale. Consequently, if the soil’s “skin temperature” is ~1 °C (~274.15 K), it would take only a 0.007 error in the emissivity calibration of the instrument to produce a + or – 2 °C error in the temperature reading—a range of -1 to 3 °C. This is a weakness in the instrument that its operator’s manual freely concedes. “Although the ε of a fully closed plant canopy can be 0.98-0.99, the lower ε of soils and other surfaces can result in substantial errors if ε effects are not accounted for.” (Apogee Infrared Temperature Meter Owner’s Manual)

      I went to the USCRN web site and downloaded a random 10 day, hourly data set of both the air and the soil’s “skin temperatures” from the Williams, Az station taken January of 2017 and averaged those hourly readings and put them on a graph. When I adjusted the “skin temperatures” up 2 °C (which represents only a 0.007 error in the emissivity calibration of the Apogee “infrared temperature sensor” being used) the Williams, Az graph looked identical to the graphs that I produced in Chino Valley, Az (53 miles away) over a two-year period using an actual thermometer rather than an “infrared temperature sensor.” The general inaccuracy of infrared thermometers in the measurement of absolute temperatures would also explain why your USCRN data conflicts with Nicholas’ USCRN data. Neither one of you is committing scientific malfeasance; you are simply drawing different conclusions based on conflicting data that is being gathered within the same monitoring system–data that diverges because the instrument that was chosen to be used to measure the soil’s “skin temperature” produces “substantial errors” if they are not calibrated with dead-on accuracy.

      So the real question is this. Which is more accurate 1) an actual thermometer that is in physical contact with the “skin” of the soil or 2) an “infrared temperature sensor” that according to its own operator’s manual states, “Although the ε of a fully closed plant canopy can be 0.98-0.99, the lower ε of soils and other surfaces can result in substantial errors if ε effects are not accounted for.” Can one be absolutely certain that the Apogee “infrared temperature sensors” at the various USCRN sites around the country are absolutely dead-on in their emissivity calibrations since even minute calibration errors produce “substantial errors” in the instrument’s output according to the instrument’s own manufacturer?

      Because of the well-known emissivity issue that infrared thermometers have, their industrial application is usually confined to monitoring changes in temperature, in detecting extreme temperatures (neither of which require a dead-on accurate reading of absolute temperature) and in situations where direct contact thermometers cannot be used. Examples would be “dealing with moving objects ( i.e., rollers, moving machinery, or a conveyor belt), or where non-contact measurements are required because of contamination or hazardous reasons (such as high voltage), where distances are too great, or where the temperatures to be measured are too high for thermocouples or other contact sensors.” https://www.omega.com/prodinfo/infraredthermometer.html Infrared thermometers have never been considered to be superior to direct contact temperature measuring devices.

      The decision that NOAA made to use infrared thermometers rather than a contact temperature measuring device in the gathering of their USCNR “soil skin temperature” data then was not based upon their superiority in measuring the absolute dead-on temperature of the soil’s “skin”, but rather one of convenience–there is less maintenance involved. I assume you have heard the phrase, “close enough for government work.”

      Personally, I choose to trust the accuracy of an actual thermometer that is in direct contact with the soil’s “skin” rather than an “infrared temperature sensor” that can produce “substantial errors” if its emissivity calibration is not dead-on. You, of course, are free to trust the readings of an “infrared temperature sensor” over an actual contact thermometer as is your right as an independent thinker, but if you wish to present a valid challenge to my findings than you need to repeat the actual experiment that I performed using a contact thermometer rather than an infrared thermometer.

      If repeating the actual experiment is too much trouble, then would you please at least stop publicly accusing me of scientific malfeasance because rather than putting blind faith in data that is “close enough for government work” I have chosen to do my own experimentation using an actual contact thermometer?

      Scientific data is only as good as is the accuracy of the instruments being used to gather it. One last time from the Apogee Infrared Temperature Meter’s own Owner’s Manual, “Although the ε of a fully closed plant canopy can be 0.98-0.99, the lower ε of soils and other surfaces can result in substantial errors if ε effects are not accounted for.”

      Carl

    • Avatar

      Carl Brehmer

      |

      Addendum:

      I wrote Apogee’s technical support dept. and ask them a few questions about their SI-111 Apogee Standard Field of View Radiometer Sensor—the infrared thermometer used to collect soil “skin temperature” by the USCRN program run by NOAA. They answered:

      1) The sensors can only be calibrated at the factory and are set to an emissivity of 1.0. Ergo, they cannot be recalibrated in the field to the specific emissivity of the soil whose “skin temperature” is being monitored.

      2) Because the emissivity of these sensors is set at 1.0 their FAQ’s page states, “When measuring objects with low emissivity, however, it is particularly important to apply corrections to the measurement.”

      I then wrote the USCRN Program Manager to find out whether or not the soil’s “skin temperature” data that is collected by their network is raw data or has been corrected for local emissivity as the manufacturer recommends.

      We know that there exists an inverse relationship between emissivity and temperature when the radiation intensity remains the same. Since they are set to an emissivity of 1.0 the raw data from these sensors then will always the lowest possible temperature and all corrections will yield higher temperature readings—the lower the emissivity the higher the actual temperature of the emitting surface.

  • Avatar

    Carl

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    Just to close the loop on this discussion, the program manager for USCRN project that is run under the umbrella of NOAA wrote me the following:

    1) The Apogee SI-111 Standard Field of View Radiometer Sensor that they use to monitor the “Surface (Skin) Temperature” is used out of the box as it were “with factory calibrations.” As stated previously by the Apogee tech dept. the instrument is calibrated to read the temperature of a surface with the emissivity of 1.0.

    2) The local “emissivity is assumed to be 1” and is therefore “not being measured at any of the sites.”

    3) “There is no mechanism or procedure to adjust the emissivity for each of the sites.”

    This third answer was in response to my question that since studies have shown that the emissivity of soil changes when its water content and/or vegetation cover changes, is there any mechanism in place to adjust the calibration of the SI-111 Standard Field of View Radiometer Sensor to adapt to on-going seasonal changes in ground surface emissivity?

    You can draw any conclusions that you like. The conclusion that I draw is that the data collected at the USCRN sites labeled “Surface (Skin) Temperature” will almost always be lower then the actual surface skin temperature because the emissivity of soil is almost always lower than 1.0 and no correction is made to the raw data before it is published on their web site. How much “too low” these temperature readings are depends upon how low the actual emissivity at each individual site is.

    These comments only apply to the surface skin temperatures that are taken using the SI-111 Standard Field of View Radiometer Sensor. They do not speak to nor suggest that the other readings taken at these sites–air temperature, precipitation, soil temperature and moisture readings taken at various depths, solar radiation, relative humidity and wind speed–are errant or unreliable.

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