Nub of the Argument in the Greenhouse Gas Theory Fallacy

Written by Joseph E Postma

Explained: Greenhouse gases | MIT News

An email exchange worth sharing:

“Dear Joe,

The chap I have been corresponding with has, I think, come to the distillation of his argument and it is below, in his second paragraph, here in italics.

In my opinion he is wrong on many fronts, not the least of which is the lack of any historical correlation between global temperatures and levels of atmospheric CO2.

Be that as it may,  if you could please look at his argument that seems to come down to 1.68 watts/sq meter being held in our atmosphere and let me know what you think, that would be very helpful.

His point:

Let’s concentrate on the unit of measurement of that incoming energy, which is Watts per square meter.  We know that 1 Watt is 1 joule per second of energy. So the unit of measurement by definition tells us that energy is constantly arriving from the Sun. (My comment – Though as I understand, it arrives in packages – quanta) It is not a single finite fixed amount of energy that just hits us once. The Sun is overwhelmingly our main source of energy, and it’s a massive amount of energy as I mentioned in my previous email. If none of the Sun’s energy ever escaped our atmosphere then the earth would have boiled millions of years ago.

But for 12 thousand years that incoming and outgoing energy has been in astonishingly stable equilibrium, never causing more than 0.4 degrees Celsius of variation either side of the average. What the extra bit of CO2 is doing, even though it instinctively sounds like a tiny quantity, is altering that equilibrium just enough to create a surplus retention of energy of that 1.68 Watts per square meter I mentioned in my last email. That’s not new energy. No energy has been created here and no thermodynamic law has been broken. That energy came from the Sun. It’s just that our atmosphere is no longer letting that 1.68 Watts per square meter back out into space like it used to, so the energy can therefore ONLY do one thing, and that is to make the atmospheric temperature go up.

Trust you are well,

Kind Regards

DM”

My reply:

Hi DM,

The problem is that these people have created an entirely false interpretation of data based upon their false theory of the greenhouse effect, which comes from the logically false model of the flat Earth with cold sunshine. You see the progression there, the connection, and how one falsity leads to the others? They’ve created an entire mechanics and theory of how flat Earth must work, but do not recognize or comprehend that the logic is fundamentally flawed from step one, way back. This is compounded because the empirical data can be interpreted in any which way because the empirical data is noise, is the natural statistical variation of the system itself. They’re looking at noise over short time scales and interpreting it as signal. They also just make stuff up, because there is no way of knowing how stable the Sun has been over 12,000 years. The last 12,000 years has also been a warm period, which is unusual because most of the time for the past few million years the Earth sits in an ice-age. And it is not just solar radiance which is a factor in any case, as the magnetic activity of the Sun is what seems to drive the cycles of climate.

Tim Ball: The Evidence Proves That CO2 is Not a Greenhouse Gas

Now here is the fundamental exposure of his argument: If GHG’s emit radiation, but non-GHG’s do not, and do not forget that non-GHG’s make up ~99% of the atmosphere…then GHG’s provide a way for the atmosphere to emit energy. Non-GHG’s have poor or little emissivity…they do not emit, whereas the entire concept of GHG’s is that they do emit. If GHG’s emit half to the surface and half to space, but non-GHG’s do not emit at all…then what gases are holding on to thermal energy and which gases provide a vector for the atmosphere to shed energy?

Non-GHG’s are already holding on to thermal energy and are already preventing the atmosphere from emitting to space and hence are already helping to keep themselves at higher temperature. If you add in GHG’s, which are collisionally-dominated with the other non-emissive gases of the atmosphere, and these GHG’s can emit the energy they pick up from the other gases in the atmosphere, and they can emit this energy to space…then now we have “opened a valve” which provides a vector or method for the atmosphere to lose thermal energy.

So you see: If you look at the real basic physics, their argument falls apart because it is in 100% contradiction to the physics of emissivity, etc.

They said: “No energy has been created here and no thermodynamic law has been broken. That energy came from the Sun. It’s just that our atmosphere is no longer letting that 1.68 Watts per square meter back out into space like it used to, so the energy can therefore ONLY do one thing, and that is to make the atmospheric temperature go up.”

Sun Emits Wave of Dazzling Solar Flares - Guardian Liberty ...

Note that he acknowledges that the energy came from the Sun. But this is the thing: At what forcing potential did it come from the Sun? Did it come from the Sun at -18C worth of heating potential spread over the entire surface of the Earth at once? If you think that, then you must also think that this -18C energy can be recycled a few times to create higher temperature. And this is their flat-Earth mechanics. However, in reality, solar energy came in at ~+121C heating potential and created the entire climate and weather system, and further, if we refer to some basic physics, and you must have seen this quoted by me elsewhere, heat can only flow down temperature gradients and cannot be recycled. The heat from the Sun on the surface cannot come back to the surface again to cause more heating.

They said: “If none of the Sun’s energy ever escaped our atmosphere then the earth would have boiled millions of years ago.

If you want to talk about “radiation being held back from emission which then leads to warming of a surface”, then this is a discussion about a surface’s emissivity, as we touched on above. However, one needs to lower a surface’s emissivity in order to make it raise in temperature. So a few things: A surface’s emissivity is not a tunable parameter – it is a fixed property of the surface itself. The presence of GHG’s does not change another surface’s ability to emit. Secondly, if GHG’s have better emissivity than non-GHG’s, then this means that GHG’s will both be cooler and also provide a mechanism for cooling to rest of the gas where non-GHG’s do not emit.

So they have an argument which they can make, sure. And on its own terms it cannot be defeated, because on its own terms it is entirely logical. But the problem is that its own terms are not connected to reality and leave out significant portions of basic theory, based as they are on a flawed initial model of reality, and also in consideration of their claimed empirical support which is nothing more than the natural noise variation of the system.

Hope this helps,

Joe

Follow on:

This is all about the concept of a paradigm, a “box” within which all thinking takes place so-to-speak, and how the boundaries of the box limit what type of thinking and what type of ideas can be contained within the box. This is intimately related to the idea presented in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave which I wrote about in my books.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paradigm

Definition of paradigm

1: example, pattern

especially: an outstandingly clear or typical example or archetype

//… regard science as the paradigm of true knowledge. — G. C. J. Midgley

2: an example of a conjugation or declension showing a word in all its inflectional forms

3: a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated

//the Freudian paradigm of psychoanalysis

broadly: a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind

We all know the phrase “thinking outside the box.” Outside-the-box-thinking is what is said to be required when a solution to a problem cannot be found within the bounds of assumed knowledge and theory. We all know what this means.

What happens though when we create a box to bound our thinking, and then fight to protect that box’s limited thinking in the face of external knowledge which destroy the edges of the box? Typically we recognize such behavior as the providence of religion.

A few examples:

  • Ptolemaic (geocentric) astronomy is a paradigm within which one cannot envisage or imagine or postulate that the Earth moves in an orbit or rotates upon its own axis
  • Newtonian and Galilean mechanics and physics is a paradigm within which one cannot envisage or imagine or postulate that light speed is constant
  • Scientific materialism is a paradigm within which one cannot envisage or imagine or postulate the existence of mind existing independent of matter
  • Biblical literalist creationism is a paradigm within which one cannot envisage or imagine or postulate evolutionary theory and an incredibly “old” Earth

And pertinently:

  • Flat Earth theory is a paradigm within which one cannot envisage or imagine or postulate that the Sun heats the Earth and creates the climate and weather
  • Flat Earth theory is a paradigm within which one must envisage or imagine or postulate that heat flow can be reversed and that energy can be passively recycled to cause amplified heating
  • Flat Earth theory is a paradigm within which one must envisage or imagine or postulate that the passive atmosphere provides twice the energy input than the Sun provides
  • Flat Earth theory is a paradigm which must ignore and reject existing swathes of known theory in thermodynamics and which must ignore the importance of consistency with empirical physical reality

Don’t let yourself get put into the box!

Questions/responses directed to Joe Postma should be posted at his blog at climateofsophistry.com


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Comments (31)

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    Squidly

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    Great article Joseph! .. and despite the fallacies you illustrate, the other fallacy they continue to make is that a cooler object can heat a warmer one. Ridiculous.

    Keep up the fantastic work Joseph !!

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    Zoe Phin

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    Two problems:

    1) JP doesn’t mind making a hemisphere flat

    2) Invokes N&Z pressure theory to explain why the surface is hotter than the sun alone can make it. But N&Z have it backwards. Atmospheric pressure runs in the opposite direction of gravitational pressure, and relies upon kinetic energy of geothermal plus insolation.

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      Squidly

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      But the surface is NOT hotter than the sun alone can make it. That is just beyond stupid. Holy crap…

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        Zoe Phin

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        Squidly,
        What do you mean? Of course it is.
        Otherwise what was the point of N&Z?

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    Andy Rowlands

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    I find it hard to disagree with anything Joe Postma writes, he certainly has a very good understanding of what he says.

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    Troy

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    Dumb question from a non science guy, his understanding (not Postma’s) is that the co2 gas is slowing the heat from escaping or radiating back to space. How can the energy pass through to earth and not out, are greenhouse gases supposed to be one way check valves?

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      WhoKoo

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      It is called the “Hotel California Conundrum”. ” You can check in anytime you want but you can never leave”.

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      chris

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      They make two statements about it. The first is that co2 absorbs and then sends it out in all directions. They will also claim that it will reflect the sun back at the Earth. They then claim that they will sum with other IR that is traveling in the same direction so as to be at least as hot as the sun. Of course this doesn’t happen. If it could then engineers would design heating systems built around this phenomenon.

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    geran

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    Troy, you may think you’re a “non-science guy”, but you have correctly figured out one of the major flaws in the GHE nonsense. CO2 is NOT a check valve! It does NOT “trap heat”. A radiative gas both absorbs and emits. CO2 does NOT prevent energy from moving to space, it allows energy to move to space.

    More and more people are starting to see through the hoax.

    The ones that don’t we affectionately call “clowns”.

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    T. C. Clark

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    I believe that the drawing should have H2O vapor in it. The average person does not get involved in scientific discussions by “real” or just plain scientists. The the story that Al Gore, Mann, Hansen, all the warmists relate to the average person is man causes CO2……CO2 warms the atmosphere…..it’s like a greenhouse, see?….the temp goes up and melts the ice….oceans flood coasts…storms grow stronger…forests catch on fire….why that corona virus is probably caused by climate change…our sudden climate emergency…don’t you want to climb aboard and save the planet? Of course the atmosphere is not like a greenhouse…a greenhouse does not have weather inside it…no storms…no jet stream…no ocean currents….and is not a model of the atmosphere. However, there is evidence of climate cycles over the last 8000 years that are not related to man in any way…..and the current century is the time that the average temps should turn downward according to past cycles.

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    Jerry Krause

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    Hi PSI Readers,

    I was sitting here reading Joe’s posting and these comments when I looked up and out the window and saw the near full moon (maybe officially 12 or so hours earlier. What made me take notice it was yellow just like the mild cheddar cheese I ate this afternoon for lunch. I remembered that sometimes it has been imagined the moon is made of cheese. So I searched online about this and could not find it ever was because the yellow moon I am now observing in the very clear sky. It is 7:06 pm Pacific Standard Time as I write this and as the moon continues to rise its yellow color is fading toward white.

    So, can anyone explain the very yellow moon before it began to fade?

    Have a good day, Jerry

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    Alan

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    The thermal energy is the atmosphere is contained mainly in the 99% of nitrogen and oxygen and I have difficulty understanding how this energy can be transferred to space through the 1% of radiative gases. Kevin Alexanderman has discussed this, see https://www.climatesciencejournal.com/invalidity-of-greenhous-gas-thy/ and he concludes “The cooling of N2 and O2 similarly shows that these gases are radiating thermal energy into space in the infrared wavelengths, in spite of their lacking level changes in spectral analysis.” I don’t have any background in this aspect of physics, but it seems to make more sense than saying only the greenhouse gases cool the atmosphere.

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      Herb Rose

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      Hi Alan,
      If you look at a chart of the composition of the atmosphere at different altitudes you will see that CO2 and H2O are confined to the troposphere and never interact with space. At just less than 100 km the N2 percentage of the atmosphere declines and at higher altitudes the atmosphere is composed of an increasing percentage of O2, oxygen atoms, and helium. Both O2 and N2 absorb the uv radiation coming from the sun and convert it into kinetic energy.It takes 450 kjoules/mole (14,ooo joules/gram) to split O2 into oxygen atoms. While the energy from the sun penetrates 10 m into the surface of the Earth it is the thermosphere that is radiating heat into space (and to the lower atmosphere) at night.
      Herb

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      Jerry Krause

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      Hi Alan,

      Your question is very good and fundamental.

      We cannot refute Kevin Alexander’s reasoning because there is observed (measured) downwelling IR radiation from the atmosphere. Something up there must be emitting this IR radiation.

      First, the troposphere has never been observed to become supersaturated with water molecules. Hence, it has been concluded that the troposphere always contains minute particles of condensed matter upon which water molecules begin to condense (condensation nuclei) once the atmosphere cools to the atmosphere’s dew point temperature. So I reason that it is these diffuse solid or liquid particles which emit IR radiation according to the S-B radiation law and Plank’s distribution law for radiation from a black body. So, given this possible source the downwelling IR radiation we could reason that ‘no’ gas molecules can emit radiation because their kinetic energy of motion is not related to these molecules’ possible internal energies.

      However, above the troposphere there is stratosphere and the oxygen-ozone molecules system. If we cab assume that there can be condensation nuclei through out the troposphere, stratosphere, and mesosphere, what I propose as an alternative to Kevin Alexander’s reasoning becomes plausible.

      However, it would seem foolish to ignore the ideal gas law and the influence of the earth’s gravity upon the gas molecule’s motions due of their temperature.

      From the data of atmospheric soundings we know that a surface atmospheric layer of variable thickness is cooled by contact with the earth’s surface as it (the surface) begins to cool by radiation and when the atmosphere is cloudless an observed ‘temperature inversion’ forms before sunrise the next morning. Hence we know the volume of this shallow layer of atmosphere decreases as it temperature decreases. Hence, the atmosphere above these shallow layer whose temperatures are decreasing during the nighttime must settle to a lower elevation and this atmosphere’s potential energy (due to gravity) decreases as the kinetic energy of the atmospheric molecules’ motions increase as they ‘fall’ to the lower elevation.

      In the stratosphere there is a different mechanism to propose a decrease of its volume during the nighttime. For the photochemical reactions of the oxygen-ozone molecule system produce a third gas ( oxygen atoms) during the daytime which expands its volume. Which as these atoms react with oxygen molecules to form ozone or with other oxygen atoms to form oxygen molecules decrease the number of gas molecules-atoms so the volume of these gases must decrease during the nightttime.

      All features of my proposed alternative reasoning are consistent with what is known (generally observed). Alexander’s reasoning creates a ‘new’ property of gas molecules.

      Choose one or the other; they are clearly different. Or propose a third alternative.

      Have a good idea, Jerry

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    John Harrison

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    Joseph, The “chap” was on the right lines but lost it at the end as you did pick up on. I know that you believe everyone who does not agree with you on the “greenhouse effect” and “back radiation” is an imbecile but there is something to these effects and only the claimed magnitude should be challenged. Yes, I realise that makes me a despicable, worthless luke-warmer in your eyes but nevertheless an intelligent one and much like others of this ilk, many of whom you have previously crossed swords with and have met with your contempt. Let me take up the “chap’s” case and try a thought experiment on you, a valid one, and will try to be brief. I shall enumerate the stages then when you inevitably dismiss the process try to do so respectfully and let me know which stage causes you the most grief.

    a) A spherical grey body (Earth) rotates in a vacuum illuminated by an arc lamp (Sun) and dynamic equilibrium has been achieved (yes I do appreciate the actual Earth never achieves equilibrium). Consider 1sqcm on the “Earth’s” surface (X). As X passes into “night” it will be cooling by the emission of a broad spectrum of LWIR radiation. As it cools the peak emissions will gradually shift to longer wavelengths. As it returns to “daytime” it eventually starts to warm once more.
    b) Just as it is passing into night a layer of CO2 is introduced which envelops the Earth but is kept from contacting the Earth by a barrier which is transparent to LWIR (it is a thought experiment after all but I don’t want to introduce complications arising from conduction and convection which was a major flaw in your filament experiment). The CO2 is kept at say -20degC or some low temperature of your choice.
    c) A very narrow band of the LWIR emitted by X (centred on approx 15um) will be absorbed by the CO2 molecules and in doing so those molecules will momentarily switch to a higher energy vibrational mode. It will be assumed that the gas is not warmed but merely experiences an increase in internal energy.
    d) As molecules return to their lower energy mode of vibration 15um wavelength IR will be emitted in random directions some of which will impinge upon X.
    e) Some of that impinging 15um radiation will be absorbed by X; after all if a body can emit that wavelength it will also be capable of absorbing it.
    f) As a result of this absorption the rate of overall energy loss at X is reduced and therefore its rate of cooling will also be reduced.
    g) As it is just a very narrow band of IR involved and a low rate of absorption is experience the change of cooling rate will be barely discernable but nevertheless when X now passes into daylight its temperature will now be higher than before CO2 was introduced. This is the so-called “greenhouse effect”, is caused by back-radiation and has nothing to do with “Flat Earth” syndrome.
    h) A new, higher temperature, dynamic equilibrium is achieved and the average surface temperature of the Earth has been raised.

    How significant this effect is heaven only knows but my guess would be miniscule. The climate sensitivity is impossible to determine and figures proposed depend largely on feedback mechanisms which have thus far evaded detection.
    I would propose that denial of the “greenhouse effect” is shelved as it does not contravene any LoT. Alarmists are happy to ignore such denial, no matter how many “victory laps” you perform, as it allows them to continue with the deceit concerning the magnitude of the effect. I would suggest, therefore, that attention is focussed on the possible magnitude of the effect with respect to the much greater effect of the many other variables involved in climate behaviour, particularly with regard water vapour and to historic climate changes.

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      geran

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      John H., you started off okay. Parts a) and b) are digestible. But then at c) you veered off track, heading into pseudoscience. Getting farther and farther from reality, at g) you fully admitted you were pushing the GHE nonsense.

      That may make you “despicable” and “worthless”, as you described yourself, but it also makes you unintelligent.

      (Hint: A 15μ photon corresponds to a WDL temperature of -80 ºC, -113 ºF.)

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        John Harrison

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        Geran, thank you very much for those few learned comments and analysis. Sadly it’s about what I would have expected from you.

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          geran

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          Don’t be sad, John H. Learning should be a happy experience.

          You don’t always want to look like a fool, do you?

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            John Harrison

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            Geran. Don’t you worry about me, I’m a happy old soul. I may be old but with age comes wisdom and good manners. On this scale you would probably be fresh out of college with a pass degree and as miserable as sin. Nice chatting with you again. I thought my post would grab your attention as you are forever haunting this website ready to slag off anyone daring to disagree with your firmly entrenched opinions. Try getting out more and make a few friends.

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            geran

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            I don’t know about your manners, John H, but your wisdom is lacking. It makes no sense to claim to be an “intelligent one”, while also claiming that 15μ photons can cause “A new, higher temperature, dynamic equilibrium is achieved and the average surface temperature of the Earth has been raised.”

            Not much wisdom there.

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        John Harrison

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        Geran. Hint. Examine black body radiation spectrum for 300K. Where did you learn your physics? You needed to pay more attention in lectures obviously.

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          geran

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          John H, you may have meant “288 K”, instead of “300 K”. But who knows? You know so little about the subject that it’s hard to tell where your confusion originates.

          But, you’re hilarious.

          More please.

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            John Harrison

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            German. If you can find an emission spectrum for 288K rather than 300K then fill your boots. You will find that they both have a spectrum which encompasses 15um. I’m surprised you didn’t know that. You must have been asleep in that lecture 😉

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            geran

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            Either one would prove you wrong.

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            John Harrison

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            Geran. Let’s not start this friendship on a lie.It is patently obvious that you know precious little about physics but you enjoy slagging people off. It gives you a little satisfaction in an otherwise sad and lonely existence. I can understand that.

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            geran

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            Why would you say you don’t want to lie, and then start lying?

            It’s that old lack of wisdom thingy, making you look like a fool again.

            More please.

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      Chris

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      I agree that showing the weakness of the thing from within it is good, but the fact that there isn’t any proof of it to begin with means that there isn’t anything to discuss. There are no experiments which indicates that this process exists.

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    Rick

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    A diatribe full of fallacy and misunderstood basic concepts.
    It is similar to an insulation effect. You will ask me to throw my thermos flask away, or not use a blanket, because it will not raise the average temperature over time, were it not there?
    Trust me, I’ve got an MSc. Throw away your loft insulation. It breaks the 2nd Law. It cannot work.

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    Herb Rose

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    All the diagrams are crap.
    Every molecule absorbs radiated energy. The sun emits radiated energy in a broad range of wavelengths. Just because N2 and O2 do not absorb visible light and longer wavelengths does not mean they don’t absorb energy from the sun. They absorb the shorter wavelength of uv and x-rays which have more energy than the longer wavelengths creating the thermosphere.
    The energy coming from the sun penetrates to a depth 10 meters transferring energy to different molecules. When the sun sets before these lower molecules can radiate energy into space the hotter molecules in the thermosphere must lose their energy. The Earth absorbs energy in three dimensions but it only radiates energy in two dimensions, the surface area of the thermosphere.
    Diagrams should show the energy coming from the sun going to the surface of the Earth and below. They should show the Earth radiating energy from the top of the atmosphere, not the Earth’s surface. .
    Herb

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    Norman

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    I tried to reason with the fanatic Joseph Postma on his blog. Most irrational fanatic and he does not understand heat transfer at all!

    Rick you called it. The rant of a fanatic who convinces a couple of scientific illiterates and gains their praises.

    I used empirical evidence to prove to him the GHE but he does not accept it and he was not able to grasp the content of the graphs. Just a fanatic but not very bright.

    In a series of graphs of measured energy fluxes it will be shown the GHE is quite valid and real.

    First graph is a sunny day in the summer of a desert location in Nevada.
    https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/tmp/surfrad_5e68322629a27.png

    The Red line is the total energy of the Sun detected by a sensor. The Blue line is the energy measured that is reflected by the surface and not absorbed. The Green line is how much energy a one meter square area of the surface. To determine the total amount of joules that reaches the area in 24 hours you calculate the area under the curve (2/3 * B * H). The H is 800 watts/m^2 the B is 14 hours or 50,400 seconds (to get joules out of watts convert to total seconds). It is an approximation but will show clearly the GHE is valid science and based upon actual data. If you do the math your will come to the value that a one meter square surface area will receive 26,880,000 joules of energy. If you divide this energy into 24 hours you have 311 W/m^2 or which will give you a surface temperature of 30 F (below freezing). No one likes this sort of math but it does not matter for the reality of the GHE because you can use other measured values to clearly demonstrate the GHE is absolutely necessary to explain the available data (or you could go Conspiracy and believe the data is just a bunch of lies by the Illuminati tricking the Sheeple but the few unscientific fanatics have it all figured out).

    Now we can use the measured value of the upwelling IR at this same location on the same date.
    https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/tmp/surfrad_5e6833bb2dd78.png

    Doing rough calculations under the curve you get a 24 hour energy loss of 38,880,000 joules. You have an input of 26,880,000 joules for a given square meter in 24 hours but in that same time frame the energy lost is 38,880,000 joules. The one meter square is losing much more energy than it gained. This would not be possible based upon 1st Law physics and it is not logical. Something must be going one. Other heat loses from the surface (conduction, evaporation, convection) do not help since they are removing energy from the surface and NOT adding it.

    Now for another graph of measured values at the same location on the same day.
    https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/tmp/surfrad_5e683543091ad.png

    You have three lines.
    Blue: Upwelling IR (loss by surface emission)
    Red: Downwelling IR (energy returned to surface by atmosphere)
    Green: Infrared NET (the actual amount of energy lost by the surface)

    One can see the atmosphere IS NOT HEATING the surface as Joe Postma prophets claim endlessly. The surface is still losing energy via radiant energy even with a GHE, the thing that is obvious is with a GHE it now only loses 17,280,000 joules of energy from the square meter of surface instead of 38,880.000 joules without any GHE. Now it is losing less energy via radiant heat loss than it is gaining from solar input.

    You have a positive gain of energy 26,880,000 joules of total solar input in 24 hours minus 17,280,000 joules lost by radiant energy to space. In 24 hours the surface gains 9,600,000 joules of energy. This energy is removed by the other heat transfer mechanisms and the average surface temperature remains about the same throughout the summer months.

    9.600,000 joules divided by 24 hours would give heat transfer into the atmosphere by conduction, convection and evaporation of 111 Watts/m^2

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      Zoe Phin

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      What about the flux from the measuring instrument to the atmosphere?

      Is it the same intensity as “downwelling” IR?

      If you covered the entire surface with measuring instruments, would you still confuse “downwelling” IR with upwelling-from-instrument IR? Or would upwelling-from-instrument IR teleport to the sky and come down anyway, as cranks believe?

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