Postma’s Climate Model Paper – Discussion
Written by John O'Sullivan
Here on PSI we welcome reader discussion on Joseph E Postma’s newly-published paper, ‘An Alternative Global Mean Energy Budget Model Which is Incompatible with Existing Ones.’ The paper has been accepted for review at Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
Any questions for Joe should be directed to him at his blog, climateofsophistry.com.
Over on Facebook, Joe is engaging in lively discussion with fellow skeptics. Here is his latest:
“A response to my paper which you guys might like to read. This isn’t from official peer-review, just another anonymous review that someone else gathered for me:-
“One of Postma’s criticisms of it is that surface radiation out and back radiation by GHGs are about twice as large as the insolar reaching the earth directly.
His hemispherical model gives 4X higher average heat flux intensities and the consequently calculated black body radiation temperatures are closer to the global actual average of about 15C.”
The hemispheric model does not merely give 4X higher heat flux…it gives the real, actual, empirical, and theoretical astrophysical, heat flux. This is a mutually exclusive difference to the fictional -40C solar input of the IPCC or K&T scheme. And yes, this is the fundamental difference to think about: is the climate created mainly by the 2X greater backradiation than solar input, or, is it created by the solar input. This is a mutually exclusive difference of absolute magnitude.
“However, the IPCC spherical heat flux numbers are only for a schematic illustration of the heat balance, and are not actually used literally in the calculations, so the difference in the input heat fluxes is irrelevant.”
As a schematic illustration of the heat balance, it represents something that doesn’t actually exist and does not actually occur. It is a schematic of a fiction. Thus, what relevance does it have to understanding reality? The fact of the matter is that these flat-Earth solar-averaged diagrams exist as schematics for understanding the supposed “heat balance” therein, and as such, they are merely schematics of fiction for understanding a fiction. Further, these diagrams (I referenced 3 in total) exist as the fundamental derivations for the concept of a climate “greenhouse effect” via back radiation. They are fundamental to deriving the concept of the climate greenhouse effect, and its functioning via back radiation 2X stronger than solar heating. But they are fictions, representing a fictionally cold sunshine diluted over the entire surface area, which is empirically impossible and certainly not consistent with astrophysical theory and how sunlight falls onto planets.
“And, although they are closer, Postma’s equivalent temperatures do not agree well with reality either.”
The difference between my diagram and the other is binary: in one, we would never experience warm sunshine let alone sunshine creating climatological/meteorological responses, whereas in the other we do get that effect from sunshine. That’s the point.
“Question: is the temperature forced on a black body at equilibrium by a given heat radiation flux the same as what a black body would be at radiating the same heat?”
My diagram and paper makes it clear: No. The real-time input is hot and non-uniform, and sunshine can directly create meteorological responses. The total energy in and out is the same, however, one cannot use the output flux as if it is equivalent to the input flux because the input flux is capable of producing physical responses that the output flux cannot. The total energies are equal, but the fluxes are not, and it is the local real-time flux which determines physical responses..
“One way heat transfer from hot to cold is a limit for conduction and convection. But radiation from the earth that excites GHG atoms can be and is re-emitted in all directions, including some back to earth at the same frequency and wave length.”
This is a common claim which is used to defend the climate greenhouse effect of “back radiation”. Let it be clear, and you read the quotation about heat flow in the paper: there is no caveat in the discussions of heat flow which state “except for radiation”. You will not find a caveat of except for radiation in any thermodynamics textbook. If you consider heat flow via conduction of molecules in a lattice, say down a metal rod, the molecules on the cooler side of the gradient also vibrate and bounce randomly in all directions thus including in the direction of the warmer side of the gradient, yet, the heat flow is only down the gradient. This is because the molecules on the cooler side of the gradient do not have the increased multiplicity they would require to send heat up the gradient. Further, conduction is mediated in any case electromagnetically by virtual photons between electrons in the lattice, and radiant heat is also mediated electromagnetically but by photons which escape the lattice on the exposed surface. It’s the same force of physics with any mode of heat transfer: electromagnetism. This is why when heat is discussed, the discussion regards heat as a universal concept where the properties of heat apply to all modes of heat transfer. There is no caveat which allows radiant heat transfer to behave oppositely of any other mode of heat transfer: it is from hot to cold only. Just as with conduction, when the photons can escape via the exposed surface instead of being trapped inside the lattice as “physical” conduction, the photons emitted from a cooler object do not have the multiplicity they would require to increase the temperature of the original source of heat.
“In any case, the back radiation is less than the outgoing so there is an increase of entropy as required by the Second Law.”
It is not only the second law, it is also the first: the first law states that either heat and/or work is required to increase temperature. The cooler atmosphere has no heat to send to the surface…let alone 2X the heat of the Sun. The Sun heats the Earth, and the heat continues to flow down the temperature gradients, creating meteorological and climatological effects along the way – this is so simple, but has been entirely destroyed as a concept by the diagrams and derivations of the climate greenhouse effect as discussed in my paper. They are just making a claim. The cooler atmosphere does not have the greater multiplicity it would require to cause an increase of temperature of the surface itself…and this idea only originates in the first place in the models where the Sun does not create the climate.
“An analogy would be dropping a rubber ball on a hard surface and for it to bounce up and back down, again and again, less high each time, until it finally came to rest. Each time on the way down it loses potential energy and gains entropy, and vice versa on the way back up, always less each time, so at the end there has been a gain of entropy, and energy has gone into the ball as heat which it then loses with more gain of entropy.”
What the greenhouse effect requires is that after the initial impulse of the ball drop, supplied by the Sun first raising the ball, then the ball bounces higher afterwards because of “back-bounce”.
Now with all that covered…this email gave me an aneurism. I do not understand what it is with these people’s inability to think, to reason, and to appreciate logical facts. I even had a PhD in physics at my university look at the paper, and then they replied with “Doesn’t the K&T diagram and yours reduce to the same thing?”
Did they not read the table? The entire point is that there are mutually exclusive concepts at play here, and thus both concepts cannot both be correct! Is the Sun so feeble that it cannot create meteorological and climatological responses directly, and so back radiation of 2X solar intensity is required to create the climate? Or does the Sunshine directly create meteorological and climatological responses due to its heat, with heat then flowing down all gradients. I do not know why this is so difficult for people to understand. One concept is based on a fictionally-cold sunshine spreading over an entire spherical surface at once, which is impossible by basic optical theory, astrophysics, thermodynamics, and geometry. The other is empirically and theoretically consistent.
Do people reason so poorly that they truly cannot cogitate, cannot comprehend in their mind’s eye and in their internal mental conceptual apparatus, the difference between cold fictional sunshine unable to create a climate vs. intense real sunshine which does? I’m flabbergasted that otherwise educated people cannot comprehend the relevance of basic things. Hence the end of the paper:
“The reader is left to consider whether or not it is relevant, or useful, or at all scientific, to value such differences.”
And so I suppose that the answer is that the reader is unable to consider and cogitate upon such differences. It simply eludes them. I assume that people are capable of thinking what I can demonstrate…but perhaps this is similar to expecting people to swim like an Olympian after the Olympian demonstrates it to them.
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