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Sun & climate: moving in opposite directions

What the science says...

Select a level... Basic Intermediate Advanced

In the last 35 years of global warming, sun and climate have been going in opposite directions.

Climate Myth...

It's the sun
"Over the past few hundred years, there has been a steady increase in the numbers of sunspots, at the time when the Earth has been getting warmer. The data suggests solar activity is influencing the global climate causing the world to get warmer." (BBC)

Over the last 35 years the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. However global temperatures have been increasing. Since the sun and climate are going in opposite directions scientists conclude the sun cannot be the cause of recent global warming.

The only way to blame the sun for the current rise in temperatures is by cherry picking the data. This is done by showing only past periods when sun and climate move together and ignoring the last few decades when the two are moving in opposite directions. 


Figure 1: Annual global temperature change (thin light red) with 11 year moving average of temperature (thick dark red). Temperature from NASA GISS. Annual Total Solar Irradiance (thin light blue) with 11 year moving average of TSI (thick dark blue). TSI from 1880 to 1978 from Krivova et al 2007 (data). TSI from 1979 to 2009 from PMOD (see the PMOD index page for data updates).

Last updated on 22 February 2014 by LarryM. View Archives

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Comments 401 to 450 out of 1040:

  1. Dan - there is much more certainty about what CO2 does than about what the non-TSI solar effects do.

    It doesn't generally make sense to assume that an unknown is the explanation for something when there is already a known explanation.

    (I'm not saying non-TSI solar effects have zero importance; I am saying there is reason to think they are not so large based on the known forcings and the response observed.)

    thingadonta -

    "With regards to your comment, I would say it is a leap of faith to argue that human affairs and a trace gas is driving global warming to catastrophic global climate change, when human and geological history shows otherwise."

    See previous portion of this comment. And:

    1. modern climatology theories are not rooted in middle age European social and religeous traditions; in fact, the idea of significant human effect on the climate was for a time considered unlikely partly just because 'the Earth is so big and we are so small' (and they initially misunderstood radiative energy transfer, and thought the oceans would just absorb any extra CO2 we put out - partially correct, but 100% wrong in that the remaining change in atmospheric CO2 level is sizable). But that was a belief that people liked because it gave order to their world. And recently, continuing belief in such things and some other disagreements with scientific findings have provided comfort to the fossil fuel industry, giving it a sense of order, the order that they can keep doing what they've been doing.

    2.
    Just because a person believes something - even if it makes their world make sense to them - does not make it wrong. Sure, my own understanding of global warming helps make the world make sense to me, but so does my 'belief' that water is made of molecules that each have two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxgen, bound chemically via electromagnetism, shaped by the quantum mechanical properties of electrons. And so it is for my 'belief' that the moon landings were not faked, my 'belief' that humans descended from other primates, which descended from other mammals, etc, my 'belief' that a rainbow is the result of the way sunlight is refracted and reflected by rain drops, my 'belief' that the Earth is approximately an oblate spheroid that, along with the moon orbiting it, orbits the sun (or some center of gravity between the sun and the Earth-moon system, with perturbations from the other planets), my 'beliefs' that the Earth is a bit over 4.5 billion years old, that North America and Europe used to be adjacent, that there is convection in the mantle, that diamond is the hardest mineral, that stone-age people painted on some cave walls, that dolphins are mammals, that genetics and environment combine to shape an organism's phenotype, that the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on Japan at the end of WWII, ...

    Should I assume that all of these must be wrong just because the world would then make less sense to me?
  2. "Both descriptions produce "free energy" (created energy) "

    I hope you realize that whereever I used the term 'free energy', I was refering to the energy available to do work - in a heat flow from hot to cold, some of the energy in the hot object is free energy - it could be converted to work by a heat engine; if it is just allowed to flow to the cold object as heat, then free energy is destroyed while entropy is increased, but energy is not destroyed - entropy just 'imprisons' the formerly free energy.
  3. Greenhouse Effect Summary

    Ultimately, ALL "greenhouse effect" literature and ALL calculations wind up VIOLATING the Law of Conservation of Energy.

    They ALL CONCLUDE that the Earth Radiates MORE ENERGY than the Earth receives from the SUN....THE ONLY ENERGY SOURCE THAT THE AGW'ERS USE.

    A PHYSICAL IMPOSSIBILITY and VERY COMICAL.
  4. Speaking about "comical", here is what one AGW'er recently posted:

    "...free energy is destroyed while entropy is increased, but energy is not destroyed - entropy just 'imprisons' the formerly free energy."

    I was laughing so hard, it brought tears to my eyes.
  5. Patrick027 and others:

    In the middle ages, every other weather/climate incident was blamed on God's wrath/favour on what we humans were doing/not doing. Other cultures blamed the sun; these cultures were actually closer to the truth, because they got this tradition through centuries of correlation, rather than bureaucratic expediency. (However, in both cultutes humans were sacrificed/murdered, by the prevailing bureacrats). My point is, the blame for climate/weather change today now goes to a new God- "climate change due to human C02", which is in the same old tradition- that it is something to do with humans being bad and the wrath of the heavens, rather than something which has got nothing to do with us (eg the sun). It is bureacratic expediency to say this, associated with deep seated needs to control others. And the same sort of bureaucrats are now trying to control society using a variation on this same old theme, 'the heavens are angry because we humans have sinned', just the way they did in the past.

    Moreover, when people first started noticing that the weather was warming in the 20th century, do you think that the first thing that occurred to them was that it was the sun, or something easier to measure/monitor-eg earth climate? The sun was originally just, if not more, as likely a candidate, however green lobbyists jumped on the oppourtunity to promote their cause by blaming it on humans (the same way old religious leaders did). But as data/effects of the sun, which is more difficult to measure, grows, the shift will gradually go back to the sun.

    A few other, more scientific points (as this middle age argument is getting old).

    You only need to reduce cloud cover by ~1% to explain the rise in temperature since 1980, when the sun activity-temperature correlation decouples. It is important to note that cloud cover has not been measured over a long enough time to correlate with temperature changes. If the theory that cosmic rays form more clouds is correct, this would explain the rise in temperature since 1980, when the sun-temperature correlation breaks down, as solar activity has remained flat and strong (but has not increased), thereby diffusing incoming cosmic rays, reducing cloud cover and warming the earth. This effect is not immediate, but occurs over time (ie decades), and it would also be expected that land temperatures would rise faster than the oceans, which is observed, whereas with a warming atmosphere due to C02-the atmosphere itself has not warmed in patterns consistent with C02 effects, but it has (?) in regard to reduced cloud cover.

    You can see the effect of cloud cover on temperature on any normal sunny/cloudy day. 1998 was aparrently, a year of very low cloud cover. Moreover UV has remained strong since 1980.

    Other points:
    C02 has been much higher (well over 2000ppm) for long periods in past geological history, right in the middle of widespread ice ages, including a snowball earth in the Pre Cambrian. The geological record indicates that C02 effect on earth temperatures is very minor, and pales in comparison to changes in solar activity. The 20-21st century is likely to be no different. Climatologists however, don't bother to consult the longer geological record.

    As far as I know, not one (?) paleontogist contributed to the IPCC reports (but I could be wrong). To take one example, every palaeontologist knows that sea level rises create diversity and thriving corals, whereas sea level falls create extinction. The climate modellers and the IPCC, who don't bother to consult the long geological record, say the opposite.

    Every palaeontologist knows that warm periods and high C02 tend to correspond to biological diversity and not extinction (eg the Carboniferous period), the IPCC climate modellers, who don't bother to consult the geological record, say the opposite.

    There is barely any reference to the longer geological record in the IPCC report. Rather than look at computer projections, wouldnt it be wiser to actually look at what has actually happened under such scenarios???

    No acidicification of oceans occurs with high C02 in geological history, corals and marine life thrive. The IPCC says the oppposite.

    The geological record shows that warm periods correspond with lower global desertification, the IPCC, which doesn't bother to consult the geological record, projects the opposite.

    Antarctica has been completely free of ice in much the same position it is in now, and the world didn't end. Seal levels rose, animals moved inland, and coral reefs thrived. No mass extinctions occurred. The IPCC completely ignores this data.

    I could go on, but i guess i am boring people.

    My feeling is that the sun will eventually be seen to cause most/all global warming, but not without some bureaucrats trying to force the old religion of 'heavens wrath on sinful humans' on us.
  6. ""...free energy is destroyed while entropy is increased, but energy is not destroyed - entropy just 'imprisons' the formerly free energy."

    "I was laughing so hard, it brought tears to my eyes."

    Good, because it was a clever analogy. And also dead-on accurate. (Or maybe I should have said the free energy is lost in that the freedom is destroyed, rather than saying that the free energy is destroyed.)

    (Maybe free energy is referred to as 'available energy' or 'available work' or with the adjective 'availability' in the context of mechanical engineering; in chemistry the term 'Gibbs free energy' is used.)
  7. thingadonta -

    "Moreover, when people first started noticing that the weather was warming in the 20th century, do you think that the first thing that occurred to them was that it was the sun, or something easier to measure/monitor-eg earth climate? The sun was originally just, if not more, as likely a candidate, however green lobbyists jumped on the oppourtunity to promote their cause by blaming it on humans (the same way old religious leaders did)."

    And we shouldn't blame some fraction of lung cancer cases on smoking because that's just the instinct of the anti-tobacco lobbyists?

    Two words: Svante Arhenius (may have mispelled last name). But there were others involved; the point being that scientists were able to anticipate that adding CO2 to the atmosphere would cause a temperature change, before any robust trend was observed.

    And people did think of the sun as well, at least in climatology in general. People tried to find correlations between sunspots and economic conditions. But also, scientists have looked into the effects of the Milankovitch cycles (not changes in the sun itself, but in the way the Earth recieves solar energy).

    "But as data/effects of the sun, which is more difficult to measure, grows, the shift will gradually go back to the sun."

    How do you know that without the data? What about the CO2 data (including laboratory studies of optical properties, etc.)?

    "A few other, more scientific points (as this middle age argument is getting old)."

    Thank you.

    "You only need to reduce cloud cover by ~1% to explain the rise in temperature since 1980,"

    You also only need to have the changes in the known forcings that have actually occured, plus an oceanic heating rate comparable to what has been observed, plus a climate sensitivity close to what it is expected to be based on models and paleoclimatic studies.

    "It is important to note that cloud cover has not been measured over a long enough time to correlate with temperature changes."

    But what we do know is that CO2 has continued to increase, this decreases the escape of heat to space from the surface and troposphere, etc...

    "If the theory that cosmic rays form more clouds is correct, this would explain the rise in temperature since 1980,"

    Sounds like you don't know if it is true or not.

    "and it would also be expected that land temperatures would rise faster than the oceans, which is observed,"

    That's a general expectation applicable to any global warming.

    " whereas with a warming atmosphere due to C02-the atmosphere itself has not warmed in patterns consistent with C02 effects, but it has (?) in regard to reduced cloud cover."

    If you don't know how cloud cover has changed, you can't conclude that the pattern is consistent with cloud cover changes. But I'm not sure how much is actually known about cloud changes offhand. But the observed changes are consistent with the known forcings - CO2, etc, in their known proportions. The greenhouse forcing in particular tends to cool the stratosphere, which has been observed. Of course, ozone depletion in the stratosphere will tend to do the same thing, though not with the same spatial pattern, I think - and anyway, the total changes can be compared to the combined expected changes from all factors.

    "C02 has been much higher (well over 2000ppm) for long periods in past geological history,"

    Yes, and it has been warmer too. But to be accurate, you must also keep in mind that the sun has been getting gradually brighter over 100s of millions of years, so a constant temperature over time would require decreasing CO2, or some combination of other changes.

    " right in the middle of widespread ice ages, including a snowball earth in the Pre Cambrian."

    Yes/No. Once the Earth is in a snowball state, CO2 has to reach very high levels in order to start the thaw, because the albedo is so high. As for the Ordivician ice age(s?), recent studies suggest that the formation of the Appalacian mountains would have drawn down atmospheric CO2 levels at that time.

    "The geological record indicates that C02 effect on earth temperatures is very minor, and pales in comparison to changes in solar activity. The 20-21st century is likely to be no different. Climatologists however, don't bother to consult the longer geological record."

    Wrong, wrong, and WRONG!

    "As far as I know, not one (?) paleontogist contributed to the IPCC reports (but I could be wrong). To take one example, every palaeontologist knows that sea level rises create diversity and thriving corals, whereas sea level falls create extinction. The climate modellers and the IPCC, who don't bother to consult the long geological record, say the opposite."..."Every palaeontologist knows that warm periods and high C02 tend to correspond to biological diversity and not extinction (eg the Carboniferous period), the IPCC climate modellers, who don't bother to consult the geological record, say the opposite."..."There is barely any reference to the longer geological record in the IPCC report. Rather than look at computer projections, wouldnt it be wiser to actually look at what has actually happened under such scenarios???"

    They do consult the long geologic record. See in particular chapter 6 of IPCC's AR4 WGI. But I could also suggest looking at the textbooks on paleoclimate, such as "Earth's Climate - Past and Future" by William F. Ruddiman, or a chapter in "Global Physical Climatology" by Dennis L. Hartmann, or look at mentions of climate in a geology-focussed book, such as "Evolution of the Earth" by Dott and Prothero.

    Any sufficiently rapid sustained change into relatively unfamiliar conditions (as judged by how long ago they last occured) can stress ecosystems to the point of mass extinction. Coral and/or other sea life can die off or be harmed from temperatures that are too high and also from acidification.

    "No acidicification of oceans occurs with high C02 in geological history, corals and marine life thrive. The IPCC says the oppposite."

    The pH change caused by a slow rise in CO2 can be buffered by the dissolution of carbonate minerals (including older coral reefs?) and over long periods, the weathering of silicate minerals to wash Ca and Mg (and Na and K) ions into the sea.

    These processes take time; a sudden injection of CO2 into the water causes a pH reduction because the concentrations of other ions cannot generally turn on a dime.


    "The geological record shows that warm periods correspond with lower global desertification, the IPCC, which doesn't bother to consult the geological record, projects the opposite."

    Warming is expected to cause drying on the subtropical edges of the midlatitude storm tracks in general (regional variations may/will occur), but increased precipitation at high latitudes in general, and increased precipitation globally.

    The spatial variance in the temperature response, along with an increase in water vapor and the resulting changes in convection, will drive changes in atmospheric circulation patterns; regional and seasonal climate patterns will shift or reorganize. It is conceivable that some modes of internal variability may be altered in shape, amplitude, frequency, or existence. There will still be Hadley cells, monsoons, midlatitude storm tracks and jet streams, but they will shift and be altered. Regions and seasons of precipitation will shift. A greater fraction of precipiation will come in high intensity events.

    Both floods and droughts may/will increase - it depends on where and when. Midlatitude continent winters may get wetter but the summers may get dryer.

    The problem is that a rapid change can exceed the ability for species to migrate and/or adapt or stress ecosystems when different species do so in different ways or degrees (as in if pollinating birds or insects start missing the timing of flowers). Trees and soil in particular are not known to travel rapidly, and species with long life cycles cannot evolve rapidly. And then there are farmland, buildings, cities, etc. Of course, we can invest in updates to our buildings, are irrigation and aquaducts, etc... but that costs money. I have an idea for who should pay...

    "Antarctica has been completely free of ice in much the same position it is in now, and the world didn't end. Seal levels rose, animals moved inland, and coral reefs thrived. No mass extinctions occurred. The IPCC completely ignores this data."

    See above.

    Seal levels ? :)

    "My feeling is that the sun will eventually be seen to cause most/all global warming,"

    Why should we pay more attention to your feelings than the scientific knowledge thus far gained?

    "but not without some bureaucrats trying to force the old religion of 'heavens wrath on sinful humans' on us."

    Like we shouldn't care about spending more money than we have, or eating too much, because warnings of debt and obesity are just an old religion of a vengeful math and physics?
  8. thingadonta - (is this a double post?)

    "Moreover, when people first started noticing that the weather was warming in the 20th century, do you think that the first thing that occurred to them was that it was the sun, or something easier to measure/monitor-eg earth climate? The sun was originally just, if not more, as likely a candidate, however green lobbyists jumped on the oppourtunity to promote their cause by blaming it on humans (the same way old religious leaders did)."

    And we shouldn't blame some fraction of lung cancer cases on smoking because that's just the instinct of the anti-tobacco lobbyists?

    Two words: Svante Arhenius (may have mispelled last name). But there were others involved; the point being that scientists were able to anticipate that adding CO2 to the atmosphere would cause a temperature change, before any robust trend was observed.

    And people did think of the sun as well, at least in climatology in general. People tried to find correlations between sunspots and economic conditions. But also, scientists have looked into the effects of the Milankovitch cycles (not changes in the sun itself, but in the way the Earth recieves solar energy).

    "But as data/effects of the sun, which is more difficult to measure, grows, the shift will gradually go back to the sun."

    How do you know that without the data? What about the CO2 data (including laboratory studies of optical properties, etc.)?

    "A few other, more scientific points (as this middle age argument is getting old)."

    Thank you.

    "You only need to reduce cloud cover by ~1% to explain the rise in temperature since 1980,"

    You also only need to have the changes in the known forcings that have actually occured, plus an oceanic heating rate comparable to what has been observed, plus a climate sensitivity close to what it is expected to be based on models and paleoclimatic studies.

    "It is important to note that cloud cover has not been measured over a long enough time to correlate with temperature changes."

    But what we do know is that CO2 has continued to increase, this decreases the escape of heat to space from the surface and troposphere, etc...

    "If the theory that cosmic rays form more clouds is correct, this would explain the rise in temperature since 1980,"

    Sounds like you don't know if it is true or not.

    "and it would also be expected that land temperatures would rise faster than the oceans, which is observed,"

    That's a general expectation applicable to any global warming.

    " whereas with a warming atmosphere due to C02-the atmosphere itself has not warmed in patterns consistent with C02 effects, but it has (?) in regard to reduced cloud cover."

    If you don't know how cloud cover has changed, you can't conclude that the pattern is consistent with cloud cover changes. But I'm not sure how much is actually known about cloud changes offhand. But the observed changes are consistent with the known forcings - CO2, etc, in their known proportions. The greenhouse forcing in particular tends to cool the stratosphere, which has been observed. Of course, ozone depletion in the stratosphere will tend to do the same thing, though not with the same spatial pattern, I think - and anyway, the total changes can be compared to the combined expected changes from all factors.

    "C02 has been much higher (well over 2000ppm) for long periods in past geological history,"

    Yes, and it has been warmer too. But to be accurate, you must also keep in mind that the sun has been getting gradually brighter over 100s of millions of years, so a constant temperature over time would require decreasing CO2, or some combination of other changes.

    " right in the middle of widespread ice ages, including a snowball earth in the Pre Cambrian."

    Yes/No. Once the Earth is in a snowball state, CO2 has to reach very high levels in order to start the thaw, because the albedo is so high. As for the Ordivician ice age(s?), recent studies suggest that the formation of the Appalacian mountains would have drawn down atmospheric CO2 levels at that time.

    "The geological record indicates that C02 effect on earth temperatures is very minor, and pales in comparison to changes in solar activity. The 20-21st century is likely to be no different. Climatologists however, don't bother to consult the longer geological record."

    Wrong, wrong, and WRONG!

    "As far as I know, not one (?) paleontogist contributed to the IPCC reports (but I could be wrong). To take one example, every palaeontologist knows that sea level rises create diversity and thriving corals, whereas sea level falls create extinction. The climate modellers and the IPCC, who don't bother to consult the long geological record, say the opposite."..."Every palaeontologist knows that warm periods and high C02 tend to correspond to biological diversity and not extinction (eg the Carboniferous period), the IPCC climate modellers, who don't bother to consult the geological record, say the opposite."..."There is barely any reference to the longer geological record in the IPCC report. Rather than look at computer projections, wouldnt it be wiser to actually look at what has actually happened under such scenarios???"

    They do consult the long geologic record. See in particular chapter 6 of IPCC's AR4 WGI. But I could also suggest looking at the textbooks on paleoclimate, such as "Earth's Climate - Past and Future" by William F. Ruddiman, or a chapter in "Global Physical Climatology" by Dennis L. Hartmann, or look at mentions of climate in a geology-focussed book, such as "Evolution of the Earth" by Dott and Prothero.

    Any sufficiently rapid sustained change into relatively unfamiliar conditions (as judged by how long ago they last occured) can stress ecosystems to the point of mass extinction. Coral and/or other sea life can die off or be harmed from temperatures that are too high and also from acidification.

    "No acidicification of oceans occurs with high C02 in geological history, corals and marine life thrive. The IPCC says the oppposite."

    The pH change caused by a slow rise in CO2 can be buffered by the dissolution of carbonate minerals (including older coral reefs?) and over long periods, the weathering of silicate minerals to wash Ca and Mg (and Na and K) ions into the sea.

    These processes take time; a sudden injection of CO2 into the water causes a pH reduction because the concentrations of other ions cannot generally turn on a dime.


    "The geological record shows that warm periods correspond with lower global desertification, the IPCC, which doesn't bother to consult the geological record, projects the opposite."

    Warming is expected to cause drying on the subtropical edges of the midlatitude storm tracks in general (regional variations may/will occur), but increased precipitation at high latitudes in general, and increased precipitation globally.

    The spatial variance in the temperature response, along with an increase in water vapor and the resulting changes in convection, will drive changes in atmospheric circulation patterns; regional and seasonal climate patterns will shift or reorganize. It is conceivable that some modes of internal variability may be altered in shape, amplitude, frequency, or existence. There will still be Hadley cells, monsoons, midlatitude storm tracks and jet streams, but they will shift and be altered. Regions and seasons of precipitation will shift. A greater fraction of precipiation will come in high intensity events.

    Both floods and droughts may/will increase - it depends on where and when. Midlatitude continent winters may get wetter but the summers may get dryer.

    The problem is that a rapid change can exceed the ability for species to migrate and/or adapt or stress ecosystems when different species do so in different ways or degrees (as in if pollinating birds or insects start missing the timing of flowers). Trees and soil in particular are not known to travel rapidly, and species with long life cycles cannot evolve rapidly. And then there are farmland, buildings, cities, etc. Of course, we can invest in updates to our buildings, are irrigation and aquaducts, etc... but that costs money. I have an idea for who should pay...

    "Antarctica has been completely free of ice in much the same position it is in now, and the world didn't end. Seal levels rose, animals moved inland, and coral reefs thrived. No mass extinctions occurred. The IPCC completely ignores this data."

    See above.

    Seal levels ? :)

    "My feeling is that the sun will eventually be seen to cause most/all global warming,"

    Why should we pay more attention to your feelings than the scientific knowledge thus far gained?

    "but not without some bureaucrats trying to force the old religion of 'heavens wrath on sinful humans' on us."

    Like we shouldn't care about spending more money than we have, or eating too much, because warnings of debt and obesity are just an old religion of a vengeful math and physics?
  9. "adjective 'availability' "

    Sorry -

    adjective: available
    noun: availability
  10. The website quotation provided by Gord:

    "Absorption of longwave radiation by the atmosphere causes additional heat energy to be added to the Earth's atmospheric system."

    which is more than what left the atmosphere in the same time period if the greenhouse effect was just 'turned on', or if a brighter sun has raised the temperature of the surface.

    If the description is meant to a apply to a steady state climate, describing what happens to a package of energy, then all temperatures remain constant as each transfer of energy is balanced by transfers of other packages of energy, so it is confusing to say that 'additional heat' has been added anywhere.

    "The now warmer atmospheric greenhouse gas molecules begin radiating longwave energy in all directions."

    That is inconsistent with the steady state version, but is okay if it describes a change in which the atmospheric temperature has increased.

    "Over 90% of this emission of longwave energy is directed back to the Earth's surface where it once again is absorbed by the surface."

    The proportionality given is incorrect, but it is over 50%.

    The proportionality could vary if the system is reacting to a change.

    The phrase 'once again' suggests that this is meant to describe the process of a single package of energy as its flow splits, with a portion escaping to space in each cycle between the Earth and atmosphere.

    (PS if this is meant to follow a single package of energy, then this is also a highly simplified picture that glosses over radiative energy exchanges from air to air, although in the end some portion reaches space and some portion is emitted to Earth, and in infinite time, none would be left in the atmosphere of the original package of energy. Some of these details are more easily glossed over (they can be described as a 'subroutine' in the 'program' that for introductory purposes the student programmer can take for granted) if one is not trying to follow a package of energy but simply trying to look at flows of energy.)

    "The heating of the ground by the longwave radiation causes the ground surface to once again radiate, repeating the cycle described above, again and again, until
    no more longwave is available for absorption."

    'once again', 'repeatedly', and 'again and again, until
    no more...' make it seem as if this is meant to describe what happens to a single package of energy, in which case, that package of energy is not the cause of its emission from anything; it is emitted because of the temperature, which is either maintained or changed by the totality of fluxes.
  11. "Ultimately, ALL "greenhouse effect" literature and ALL calculations wind up VIOLATING the Law of Conservation of Energy."

    You haven't been looking at high quality literature. See what I've written here and at RealClimate (and what some others have written there)(start at this comment and continue:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/03/olympian-efforts-to-control-pollution/langswitch_lang/fa#comment-115180 ), etc. See Kiehl and Trenberth. See the IPCC. Or see this online textbook:
    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/ClimateBook/ClimateBook.html
    (from
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/01/our-books/ )
  12. Patrick -

    Gee Patrick, looks like you didn't want to post the most significant parts of my previous post:

    I will re-post it for you:

    Greenhouse Effect Summary

    Ultimately, ALL "greenhouse effect" literature and ALL calculations wind up VIOLATING the Law of Conservation of Energy.

    (This is the part you missed)

    They ALL CONCLUDE that the Earth Radiates MORE ENERGY than the Earth receives from the SUN....THE ONLY ENERGY SOURCE THAT THE AGW'ERS USE.

    A PHYSICAL IMPOSSIBILITY and VERY COMICAL.
    ---------------
    Ever consider "Comedy" as a career?
  13. That cartoon you referenced, Gord:

    http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/ipcc_oven.html

    is one of the most idiotic things I've ever seen. Replace James Hansen and Gavin Schmidt with people like Patrick Michaels, Richard Lindzen, and Fred Singer, and rewrite:

    " No [________], this is EXACTLY what the UN IPCC dogma wants you to believe.
    See The Greenhouse Effect Poppycock for more details."

    As:

    " No [________], this is EXACTLY what Gord wants you to believe.
    See Gord's comments at http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm for more details."

    and then it would make a lot more sense.

    Because, Gord, most people would assume, correctly, that thermal radiation emitted by a hot piece of chicken would be reflected back at the chicken if surrounded by mirrors, and would also assume, correctly, that the process doesn't create energy - but that if the chicken is recieving heat from some other source, partly surrounding the chicken with mirrors will reduce the portion of the chicken's radiation that escapes to a cooler environment, so the chicken's temperature will rise until it can radiate enough radiation for the portion that escapes balances the heat input (plus any radiation from the cooler environment, but let's say the environment is absolute zero so we don't have to deal with that issue). Switching from reflection to absorption and emission - Seriously, Gord, what do YOU think would happen if you wrapped some object (with nonzero albedo in solar wavelengths) in a material that is transparent to solar radiation but has some nonzero absorptivity in the wavelengths that are emitted by the object? Even if the material is porous and some convection occurs through it, the rate of convection depends on a temperature gradient - same with conduction; do you not think the temperature of the object would get higher with such a covering material than if it were exposed? So we disagree on whether sets of electromagnetic waves with opposing group velocities can be considered to have their own energy fluxes - which is important to the microscopic processes regarding thermal radiation - but the mathematics for what I call the net energy flux - what you call THE energy flux - is the same, so for Pete's sake, just take the fluxes from Kiehl and Trenberth and subtract opposing fluxes to find the fluxes you would consider to be real, and you wouldn't have a problem - (well you might, since you should really take solar radiation and terrestrial radiation together if their could only be one electromagnetic wave energy flux at a given place and time, in which case you'd find that the surface is being heated by radiation, but it is less than the total heating of the surface by the sun, so maybe you wouldn't have a problem - I don't care because your understanding of this area of physics is absurd, but anyway... - if you lump convection in with radiation, you'd find zero energy fluxes).

    Do you not feel warmer outside on a cold day if you put a coat on - even though the temperature of the coat never gets exactly as warm as your skin? Or would you rather freeze to death than find out?
  14. Patrick -

    You missed the POINT again!
    Free Energy Oven
    http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/ipcc_oven.html

    The POINT is the very real similarity of the Greenhouse Effect description AND Free Energy Oven description of the physics used in both descriptions!
    (see my post #418)

    I did not even mention James Hansen and Gavin Schmidt (although they probably agree with the Greenhouse Effect description)!

    I consider James Hansen, Mike Mann, Gavin Schmidt and other AGW'ers that run and and post on the Real Climate website to be "science deniers".

    Real Climate should be called Real Comedy.

    The "greenhouse effect" link, obviously, describes a perpetual motion machine in a postive feedback loop.

    This is....Real Comedy.
  15. Without a "greenhouse effect" the AGW'ers use this logic to determine the Earth's temperature.

    Average Temperature of Earth = 255K or -18 deg C (240 w/m^2) due to the Sun and Earth's albedo = 0.3

    However, if the albedo were set to zero the 240 w/m^2 would jump to 342 w/m^2 and the average temp of the Earth would jump to 279K or +6 deg C!

    And, at the equator the w/m^2 would be the Solar Constant of 1367 w/m^2 and would produce an Equator Earth temp of 394 K or 121 deg C!

    With the liquid oceans storing energy and transfering energy between the Equator and Poles the average temp of the Earth would increase above +6 deg C.
    -----
    In fact, during the Ice Ages the Earth average temp was as much as 10 deg C colder than now or +5 deg C!
    -----
    Who needs a "greenhouse effect" to explain the warming of the Earth?....it can easily be explained that all the warming came from the SUN....the ONLY energy source!
  16. Gord -

    You do realize that 1367 W/m2 (setting aside the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit) is the absorbed solar flux if there is no albedo only when the sun is directly overhead. Even at the equator at an equinox, you must divide by pi to find the daily average: 435 W/m2, which corresponds to a temperature of 296 K, or 23 deg C.
  17. ... Let S = insolation at the top of the atmosphere (incident solar radiation),

    S0 = 'solar constant'

    So S = S0 when the sun is directly overhead and when the Earth is on the minor axis of its orbit. (for small ecc = eccentricity values, S directly facing the sun goes from about (1+2*ecc)*S0 at perihelion to (1-2*ecc)*S0 at aphelion. Currently ecc is less than 0.02.

    Annual average direct normal S is affected very little by eccentricity (for the range of values for Earth's orbit).

    Aside from the effects of eccentricity, S=S0 is only experienced once a day at one particular latitude that shifts between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn over the year. At the equator, the highest daily average S occurs at the equinoxes. Interesting fact: the tilt (obliquity) of the Earth's axis is sufficient for the highest daily average S at any time of year to actually occur at the polar regions at their summer solstices (the sun angle is low but there is 24-hour daylight).

    -----

    I think there are sizable portions of the low-latitude oceans with surface temepratures warmer than 23 deg C year-round (so eccentricity doesn't account for it). How could that be if, with zero albedo, the highest daily average temperature one can get is 23 deg C?

    More to the point:

    1.

    Who are you to deny that the Earth has nonzero albedo? Did you think those pictures of the Earth from space were fakes? Those white things are called clouds, snow, and ice.

    2.

    On a related point, it is also true the the emissivity of the surface in the LW part of the spectrum is not perfectly 1. Suppose it is 0.96 - in that case, the equilibrium temperature will be about 1% higher than that of a perfect blackbody emitting the same radiant flux - about 3 K or 3 deg C for Earthly conditions. (The effect is less when the 0.04 LW albedo is reflecting atmospheric radiation back to the atmosphere and the atmosphere's own opacity partly hides the 0.04 surface LW albedo from space...) (PS I'm not quite sure if that is the actual LW emissivity, but... LW albedo is most definitely less than SW (solar wavelengths) albedo.)

    3.

    Heat capacity and heat transport are very real - otherwise, night time and polar winters would be close to absolute zero.

    4.

    You can't just pick one point on Earth where solar heating could raise it above the global average temperature and say that accounts for all warmth (unless the entire rest of the Earth is hidden from space - a greenhouse effect, perhaps? - you could wrap it in aluminum foil, leaving a hole facing the sun). What happens where the sun doesn't shine so much? Heat is stored from when it is recieved (tending to delay and reduce the maximum and minimum temperatures) and is transported from where it is recieved. The entire night side of the Earth is in the dark; the dayside average S is half of S0.

    3.

    But let's suppose we don't know how readily the heat is distributed in time and space.

    There is some variation of surface temperature over space and time.

    But spectrum-integrated blackbody emission varies with the fourth power of the temperature. This means that variations in temperature raise the global time average emitted flux for a given global time average temperature.

    If we introduce temperature variations T' from the global time average, their weighted sum (by area and time interval) must be zero to keep the same average T. But, weighting by area and time interval, the positive T' values add more to the emitted radiant flux than the negative T' values subtract, so their is a net global time average increase in emmitted radiant flux due to the temperature variations for a given average temperature.

    In conclusion, the HIGHEST global time average temperature you can get that is in equilibrium with solar heating is that which occurs when the temperature is the same over the globe over time. And thus, the highest global time average temperature you can get would be that which is in radiative equilibrium with S0/4 * (1-albedo), with some adjustment for the surface's nonzero LW albedo.

    (PS and for wavelength-dependent emmissivity? Well, the same logic applies to emission at any one wavelength, because at any one wavelength, blackbody radiant flux increases more for a given change in temperature at higher temperature - although I think it may approach (but not quite reach) a linear proportionality at long wavelengths and/or high temperatures.)
  18. "the HIGHEST global time average temperature you can get"

    ... without a greenhouse effect, that is!
  19. Patrick -

    First, this calculation is the one the AGW'ers use for an Earth without a "Greenhouse Effect", ie. no atmosphere:

    "Average Temperature of Earth = 255K or -18 deg C (240 w/m^2) due to the Sun and Earth's albedo = 0.3"
    ---
    Second, this calculation is the "Earth Equator Temp" (as I stated) and is without an atmosphere:

    "... at the equator the w/m^2 would be the Solar Constant of 1367 w/m^2 and would produce an Equator Earth temp of 394 K or 121 deg C!"

    Even, with an atmosphere, this quantity is presently measured as 1000 w/m^2.

    Basics of Solar Energy
    "Collection of Solar Energy
    Amount of captured solar energy depends critically on orientation of collector with respect to the angle of the Sun.
    Under optimum conditions, one can achieve fluxes as high as 1000 Watts per sq. meter"
    http://zebu.uoregon.edu/1998/ph162/l4.html

    (see my post#244 for more info)

    1367 w/m^2 is not an average and I did not identify it as such.

    It does represent a maximum heating of Earth (at the equator) due to Solar Energy and will affect the average temperature by heat transfer (conduction and convection) by the liquid Oceans.
    ---
    Third, this calculation, is the Average temp of the Earth, , exactly as I stated, without an atmosphere, and assumes an albedo of zero:

    "However, if the albedo were set to zero the 240 w/m^2 would jump to 342 w/m^2 and the average temp of the Earth would jump to 279K or +6 deg C!"

    You should recognize this number (342 w/m^2) from Trenberth's Energy Budget, it is the in-coming solar radiation above the atmosphere.
    ---
    Further, like I said, the albedo in my calculation is set to zero rather than 0.3, and this assumes no atmosphere for both values of albedo.

    The AGW'ers have assumed the Earth, without an atmosphere, has an albedo of 0.3, exactly what they assume the Earth's albedo is with an atmosphere.

    There is absolutely no evidence that the Earth had an albedo of 0.3 before the Earth had an atmosphere, so my assumption of zero albedo is just as valid.
    ------
    Summary:

    - My calculations of the average temp of the Earth without an atmosphere would be +6 deg C, uses exactly the same method as the AGW'ers have used.

    - My assumption of a zero albedo is just as valid as the AGW'ers assumption of albedo = 0.3 for an Earth without an atmosphere.

    - My assumption that the 1367 w/m^2 would produce additional average warming (above the +6 deg C) is valid because the oceans would already be in liquid form and capable of heat storage and heat transfer by conduction and convection to the polar regions.

    - The calculation takes the Earth temperature to a level above some of the known Ice Age temperature's when an atmosphere was clearly present.

    Like I said:
    Who needs a "greenhouse effect" to explain the warming of the Earth?....it can easily be explained that all the warming came from the SUN....the ONLY energy source!

    And I will add that:

    - The "greenhouse effect" is clearly a perpetual motion machine in a postive feedback loop....an IMPOSSIBLE occurance.

    - The other energy source available (the Earth's molten core) and subsequent Earth warming due to Volcanic activity and heat vents would also contribute to the Earth's warming.
    (This was ignored in my analysis because the AGW'ers have also, wrongly, ignored this energy source in their "faulty" analysis)
    -------------------
    The conclusion is obvious:

    The SUN and the Earth's Molten Core (the ONLY energy sources) are responsible for the Earth's temperature not some "perpetual motion machine in a postive feedback loop".
  20. Patrick 027, 401
    “It doesn't seem like Control Theory has anything additional to add to climate science…”

    Control Theory, with paleo temperature data shows that there is no net positive feedback from temperature. Climatologists believe that temperature increase causes global warming to be enhanced. Control Theory shows that this perception is a mistake.

    “…since climate scientists are fully aware of feedback loops and how they work.”

    Climate Scientists appear to be unaware of Control Theory (which is understandable since it is not in their curriculum) and their perception of feedback is not directly applicable to Control Theory. The calculations that you presented are not directly applicable to Control Theory except that zero net feedback has the same effect in both.

    The Climate Scientist’s use of their definition of feedback allows introduction of feedback factors that may express incorrect amplitude or failure to incorporate feedback factors that would significantly alter the results. Also, their use allows that feedbacks can have different time constants so that the value of net feedback can vary with time. None of this is applicable to the definition of feedback as used in Control Theory.

    Chris 402
    “…we can address your confusion.”

    Failure to understand Control Theory can apparently lead to the misperception that a discussion by someone who does is ‘confused’.

    “Here’s what the data show.”
    Instead of all the words that followed it would have been more enlightening to just look at the data which is graphed in the pdf file linked to http://climaterealists.com/index.php?tid=145&linkbox=true . The sources of the data, all credible, are listed.

    “…even smaller variations.”
    Since atmospheric carbon dioxide level lagged temperature change, what initiated the changes? And don’t say Milankovitch because the trends as identified at 414 and others are way too short to couple significantly with even the shortest Milankovitch cycle of about 23,000 years.

    However, you did concede that “These [trends] seem to occur independently of Milankovitch cycles.” With knowledge of dynamic systems analysis it is immediately obvious that these cyclic entities with substantially different frequencies will not have significant coupling.

    Then you switched to talking about Dansgaard-Oeschger events, prominent in Greenland ice cores, but, as you correctly imply, barely detectable in the Antarctic ice core data (see a comparison at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dansgaard-Oeschger_event)/ . The temperature trends, as archived in the Antarctic ice cores (with or without the questionable DO tickle in Antarctica) are part of the basis for the discovery that added carbon dioxide has no significant effect on average global temperature. Paragraph 8 in 402 is an interesting exercise in creative rationalization. Be cautious of being influenced by the writings of people whose future paychecks depend on continuation of the AGW mistake.

    Gord 403
    I think I get it.
    The clumsy description of the greenhouse effect in http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7h.html is bogus (I agree). The cartoon at http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/ipcc_oven.html ridicules this description.

    The graphic produced by Kiehl and Trenberth which has been updated as shown at http://chriscolose.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/an-update-to-kiehl-and-trenberth-1997/ is still misleading. The graphic shows the 356 W m-2 going all the way to the clouds and from the clouds 333 W m-2 all the way back to the ground. Contrary to what the graphic depicts, since GHGs absorb the IR, the intensity has to decline along the way. Barrett calculates 72.9% is absorbed within 100 meters, http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/barrett_ee05.pdf using the HITRAN database. K&T also assume an emissivity of one which would be correct if earth was a perfect black body. It is close but noticeably different (14 W m-2 less) at a more realistic emissivity of 0.98. Energy balance is achieved with 59 W m-2 of the 382 W m-2 being thermalized, 40 going out through the ‘window’ (as K&T show) and 283 being radiated back to the surface from the atmosphere. For yuks, 283/382 = 74% radiated back. Only about 35 W m-2 gets all the way to the ground through the ‘window’. In the thermodynamic sense, one must attend to where the system boundary is drawn.

    Patrick 027 405
    I don’t doubt that Climate Scientists are sure about “what CO2 does”. However, the science that they are unaware of shows that they are wrong. What they perceive as “already a known explanation” results from incomplete understanding. What is called scientific findings are ‘findings’ by Climate Scientists whose paycheck depends on finding them. The missing science, Control Theory, shows that they have made a mistake.

    thingadonta 409
    I share your insight as to human nature and the instinct to control others that exists in varying degrees in different individuals.
  21. Should say about 35 w/meter sq gets all the way to the ground FROM THE CLOUDS through the 'window'.
  22. SIZE OF THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT

    "Incoming solar energy amounts to 342 Watts per square metre (W m–2) of which 107 W m–2 are reflected by the atmosphere or the surface. Thus, 235 W m–2 contribute to
    the warming of the Earth. On a long-term basis, the Earth is in radiative equilibrium, i.e., it loses the same amount of radiation to space as it receives."

    "The emitted radiation has an intensity given by the product of the Stefan-Boltzmann constant (5.67 ´ 10–8 W m–2 K–4) and the fourth power of the temperature of the
    blackbody. Taking the Earth’s emission as approximately blackbody radiation, the output of 235 Wm–2 is equivalent to a temperature of 253.7 K. The Earth’s surface temperature is generally agreed to be 288 K, thus the resultant global warming due to the effects of
    the GHGs, convection, evaporation of water from the oceans, clouds, aerosols, etc., is
    288 – 253.7 = 34.3 K."

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/barrett_ee05.pdf

    Here is the fundamental problem with all these papers:

    The SUN is the ONLY energy source (used in this paper and others) and it can only provide 342 w/m^2 and only 235 w/m^2 is attributed to actually heating the Earth.

    The Earth temperature is identified as being 288K and would have to radiate about 390 w/m^2.

    Question:

    How can a body that only absorbes 235 w/m^2 radiate 390 w/m^2?

    In fact, the 390 w/m^2 exceeds the entire amount Solar energy entering the atmosphere (342 w/m^2)!

    Instead of, rationally, questioning if their average Earth temperature is correct or if they have under-estimated the energy provided by the ONLY energy source (the SUN), they immediately assume this difference in energy is due to the effects of the GHGs, convection, evaporation of water from the oceans, clouds, aerosols, etc.

    Are GHGs, convection, evaporation of water from the oceans, clouds, aerosols, etc. energy sources?

    No, they are NOT energy sources since their temperatures would rapidly decrease to near absolute zero if the Sun's energy were removed.
    ----
    The inference that GHGs etc can somehow "create" energy is not only an obviously wrong assumption...it violates the Law of Conservation of Energy.

    Further, the assumption that the cooler atmosphere can transfer heat energy to a warmer Earth is a violation of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

    Actual measurements conclusively show that the back-radiation cannot reach and heat the Earth. (see my post #246).

    In fact, all the back-radiation measurements done by the AGW'ers use instruments that comply with the 2nd Law:
    1. Direct measurements require the detector to be cooled below the atmospheric temp.
    2. Indirect measurements measure the loss of energy (eg.Thermistor) to the cooler atmosphere.

    You would think that these "scientists" would be aware that the operation of their measuring instruments contradict the theory they are trying to prove!

    They seem oblivious to the fact that if back-radiation energy actually reached the Earth's surface our energy problems would be over.

    All Solar Ovens (Parabolic Mirrors that concentrate Solar and IR energy at a focal point), including the major Mega-Watt installations, would produce energy at NIGHT!

    In fact, they would produce MORE energy at NIGHT than they do during the DAY.....because the Back-Radiation (324 w/m^2) EXCEEDS the Solar Energy reaching the Earth (235 w/m^2)!
  23. Now, if the Earth's average temperature really is +15 deg C, then maybe time could be much better spent looking for evidence that the Sun and the Earth's molten core (the only energy sources) can account for the +15 deg C temperature.

    Here is one source of evidence:
    Sea surface temp
    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/geology/hh1996/ocean.html

    Look at the graph showing Sea Surface Temperature (Mean) vs. Latitude.
    (It's the first graph in the second row)

    If you take the area under the curve (which I have done using Autocad) you will find an average-mean Sea Surface temperature of +18.69 deg C = 292 deg K.

    This average Sea Surface temperature corresponds to about a +40 deg latitude.

    In watts/m^2 this means that the Average-Mean watts/m^2 is (292)^4 X (5.67 X 10^-8) = 412 watts/m^2 at a +40 deg latitude.

    The Max-Mean Sea Surface temperature is +29 deg C = 302K at a Latitude of 0 deg (the Equator).

    And the Max-Mean watts/m^2 is (302)^4 X (5.67 X 10^-8) = 471 watts/m^2 at the equator.

    Further, the Sea Surface Temperature (Mean) vs. Latitude. shows that a +15 deg temp occurs at about a 48 deg latitude and, obviously, the sea surface temp never drops below zero deg C at any latitude.
    ---
    Here is another source of evidence:
    Basics of Solar Energy
    "Under optimum conditions, one can achieve fluxes as high as 1000 Watts per sq. meter"
    "8 hour summer day, 40 degree latitude, 600 Watts per sq. meter"
    http://zebu.uoregon.edu/1998/ph162/l4.html
    ---
    The average Ocean temp (covering about 70% of the Earth's surface) is +18.69 deg C, at a 40 deg Latitude and this corresponds to 412 w/m^2 of Solar energy (which is within the 600 w/m^2 range of land measurements taken at a 40 deg Latitude).

    I would say that this is strong evidence that the average Solar energy warming the Earth has been vastly under-estimated by the AGW'ers (they claim an average of about 168 w/m^2!).
    ---
    I think this type of evidence and more research done on the effect of under-sea volcanos and heat vents (a largely unknown quantity) should be investigated instead of producing the countless papers that continually violate basic Laws of Science and actual measurements.
  24. Part of the problem is that the flux model does not relect reality. Solar heating of the earth is cyclical and only during a portion of the 24hrs does incoming energy exceed outgoing ( that includes GG effects). Ground surface Tmin just before dawn and Tmax at solar noon. Very roughly some 20 degrees after dawn (angle1) incoming radiation begins to exceed outgoing; at around 35 degrees after noon the situation is reversed.(angle2)If Tmin rises the difference between A1 and A2 decreases in compliance with BB radiation laws.
    So there is no average flux; even in clear sky conditions it varies continuously.
    There is nothing like a few direct measurements.....

    Lat 65N Lon 0(the place so beloved by climatologists)
    TOA max in June 10.6kw/msq
    Average daily flux at surface 4.99kw/msq/20hrs
    =average 399w/msq

    Lat 37N Lon 0
    TOA max in June 11.5kw/msq
    ADF at surface 8.49kw/msq/13.5hrs
    =average 628w/msq

    I guess this is what drives atmospheric/oceanic circulation which of course is impossible using averages.
  25. "The Climate Scientist’s use of their definition of feedback allows introduction of feedback factors that may express incorrect amplitude or failure to incorporate feedback factors that would significantly alter the results."

    Presumably the application of feedback factors is consistent with the definition used. I haven't seen anything to the contrary.

    "Also, their use allows that feedbacks can have different time constants so that the value of net feedback can vary with time. None of this is applicable to the definition of feedback as used in Control Theory."

    In that case, Control Theory is not applicable to climate. So what's your point.
  26. Gord -

    "You should recognize this number (342 w/m^2) from Trenberth's Energy Budget"

    I do recognize the number.

    "1367 w/m^2 is not an average and I did not identify it as such."

    Good, but it seems like you expect the average temperature of the Earth to be proportional to solar flux at one location at one time - which could work if the rest of the Earth were wrapped in aluminum foil (in which case the temperature of the surface of the Earth would approach the temperature corresponding to the solar flux at that one location/time) or a very thick blanket or subject to a strong greenhouse effect...




    -------

    "First, this calculation is the one the AGW'ers use for an Earth without a "Greenhouse Effect", ie. no atmosphere:"...""Average Temperature of Earth = 255K or -18 deg C (240 w/m^2) due to the Sun and Earth's albedo = 0.3""

    The albedo and greenhouse effect are partly linked by atmospheric components and behavior that contribute to both, but they are not automatically proportional to each other, and it is useful to identify their seperate roles.

    "There is absolutely no evidence that the Earth had an albedo of 0.3 before the Earth had an atmosphere."

    And who ever said otherwise? (Without an atmosphere, offhand I think it's somewhere around 0.1).

    "The AGW'ers have assumed the Earth, without an atmosphere, has an albedo of 0.3, exactly what they assume the Earth's albedo is with an atmosphere."

    NO, that is NOT what 'AGW's' are assuming at all. The albedo is known to be about 0.3 (PS this is a global time and area average weighted by TOA insolation, hence equal to the global time average reflection/backscattering to space of all solar radiation intercepted by the Earth.). Since the albedo is known seperately from how the greenhouse effect is known, it can be used in an equation to estimate the greenhouse effect.

    IN OTHER WORDS, The approx. 33 K warming effect is not from the difference between the atmosphere as it is and no atmosphere, it is the difference between the atmosphere as it is and the atmosphere as it is except for the greenhouse effect!

    -------


    "- My calculations of the average temp of the Earth without an atmosphere would be +6 deg C, uses exactly the same method as the AGW'ers have used."

    Which is the (maximum possible global time average surface) temperature (when LW emissivity = 1; you can add about approx. 0.75 K for each 1 % decline in LW emissivity up to a point) with ZERO albedo AND ZERO greenhouse effect. THIS OFFERS YOUR ARGUMENT ZERO SUPPORT, BECAUSE YOU ARE SAYING THAT THERE IS NO GREENHOUSE EFFECT WHILE NOT DISPUTING THAT THE EARTH HAS AN ATMOSPHERE AND DOES HAVE AN ALBEDO OF ABOUT 0.3.

    "- My assumption that the 1367 w/m^2 would produce additional average warming (above the +6 deg C) is valid because the oceans would already be in liquid form and capable of heat storage and heat transfer by conduction and convection to the polar regions."

    Additional average warming relative to what? If that is additional, then remove the 1367 W/m2 insolation at noon at the equator from the global average insolation that you used to calculate global average temperature. The resulting average temperature will be lower, and then when you add the 1367 W/m2 over a limited area, you will get back to the same average temperature (or not, if you allow temperature variations over space, for reasons I previously explained).

    When the surface has a nonzero temperature, it emits radiation; in the approximation of a perfect blackbody at all LW wavelengths, it emits radiation in proportion to the fourth power of the temperature, in a relationship of which you evidently are aware. However heat is distributed from the locations where the temperature may get higher than 279 K (following your calculation for no atmosphere, zero albedo, zero greenhouse effect, LW emissivity = 1, for a temperature in radiative equilibrium with the global time average insolation), whereever the temperature is higher than 279 K, it will emit more radiant heat flux per unit area than is gained from the global time average solar heating. IF the global average temperature is greater than 279 K (for the given assumptions), then the Earth will be losing more heat than it is gaining from the sun and the temperature will drop until it reaches 279 K - or even lower if there are temperature variations, because the emitted energy flux increase for higher temperatures is greater than the decrease for lower temperatures, and thus temperature variation requires a lower global time average temperature for equilibrium.

    "- The calculation takes the Earth temperature to a level above some of the known Ice Age temperature's when an atmosphere was clearly present."

    And when there was clearly higher albedo from snow and ice, and clearly less CO2.

    By the way, maybe I neglected to mention this earlier, or maybe I didn't bother to here because it is in one of my comments elsewhere that I suggested to you, but NOT ONLY CAN THE ALBEDO BE OBSERVED DIRECTLY, the GREENHOUSE EFFECT CAN BE OBSERVED DIRECTLY. SATELLITES CAN MEASURE THE LW FLUXES IN SPACE FROM THE EARTH BELOW AND THE COOL ATMOSPHERE CAN BE SEEN - ON AVERAGE AND IN GENERAL THE EARTH LITERALLY LOOKS COLDER FROM SPACE THAN THE SURFACE TEMPERATURE IS - THERE ARE NOTABLE VARIATIONS IN THIS EFFECT, SPATIALLY in part DUE TO CLOUDS (THOSE INFRARED SATELLITE IMAGES SEEN IN WEATHER REPORTS SHOW CLOUD TOP TEMPERATURE) AND OVER THE SPECTRUM where the SIGNATURES OF H2O vapor and CO2, and some other gases, ARE READILY IDENTIFIABLE - IT CAN BE SEEN FROM SPACE THAT CLOUDS, CO2, H2O, etc, BLOCK THE GREATER RADIATION FLUX FROM THE WARMER SURFACE. THIS CAN ALSO BE SEEN ON OTHER PLANETS (WITH VARIATIONS DUE TO LACK OF H2O, DIFFERENT TEMPERATURE PROFILES, ETC.).

    ------------------

    "Like I said:
    Who needs a "greenhouse effect" to explain the warming of the Earth?....it can easily be explained that all the warming came from the SUN....the ONLY energy source! "

    Maybe you've been getting confused between ultimate source (not quite, since the energy from the sun's surface comes from nuclear fusion, that comes from nuclear potential energy that came from the big bang...) and proximate source. The Earth and atmosphere have some internal energy and enthalpy stored up, and can at any one moment act as proximate heat sources. This is obvious at night, since the Earth continues to radiate to space on its dark side. The atmosphere can in times and places (most obviously whenever a low level inversion occurs) transfer heat to the surface. IF the sun's heating were taken away, the Earth and atmosphere would not go to near absolute zero temperature (or its new colder equilibirum temperature, given geothermal and tidal heating) instantly; the temperature would decay (roughly exponentially) in time toward the new equilibrium as heat leaves the Earth and atmosphere; the geothermal and tidal heat supply to the surface is roughly 1/2400 (or a bit less) of the solar heating of the Earth and atmosphere, so the new equilibrium temperature (with no greenhouse effect) would be approx. 1/7 of 255 K, or about 36 K.

    "- The other energy source available (the Earth's molten core) and subsequent Earth warming due to Volcanic activity and heat vents would also contribute to the Earth's warming.
    (This was ignored in my analysis because the AGW'ers have also, wrongly, ignored this energy source in their "faulty" analysis)"

    NOT WRONGLY IGNORED, JUSIFIABLY IGNORED BECAUSE IT's ONLY ABOUT 0.1 W/m2.

    "The SUN and the Earth's Molten Core (the ONLY energy sources) are responsible for the Earth's temperature not some "perpetual motion machine in a postive feedback loop"."

    AND WHO IS SAYING OTHERWISE BESIDES YOU?

    "- The "greenhouse effect" is clearly a perpetual motion machine in a postive feedback loop....an IMPOSSIBLE occurance."

    THE SAME LOGIC SUGGESTS THAT IF YOU WRAP HOT CHICKEN IN ALUMINUM FOIL, THE CHICKEN STILL COOLS OFF AS RAPIDLY, EVEN IF CONDUCTION AND CONVECTION HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. THE SAME LOGIC SUGGESTS THAT ... WELL, WE'VE BEEN OVER THAT AD NAUSEUM.

    -------------------
  27. "- The calculation takes the Earth temperature to a level above some of the known Ice Age temperature's when an atmosphere was clearly present."
    ...

    Actually, you'd just barely make it to ice age global average temperature if the emissivity in LW were about 0.96, so that the temperature would be about 9 deg C. Or, allowing some uncertainty in the absolute global average temperature ('absolute' - not because deg C is more accurate; I mean 'absolute' as opposed to relative - ie warming or cooling), maybe you just get into the possible range... maybe (?). But that's all undone by the fact that there is an albedo of 0.3, which would be slightly larger during the ice ages than now.
  28. Dan Pangburn -

    I responded to you at:

    http://chriscolose.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/an-update-to-kiehl-and-trenberth-1997/

    But I will also post it here:

    Dan Pangburn - you misunderstood the intent of the labels and flows shown.

    1. clarifications:

    At each wavelength and along each direction, each layer of air emits and absorbs in proportion to (1-transmissivity) (setting aside scattering, which is a minor issue for longwave radiation under Earthly conditions). Thus the portion of energy from any one layer that reaches any one other layer (or surface) decays exponentially with optical path length, and the portion that is absorbed over a distance is equal to the decay over that distance. When integrating over wavelengths and directions, the decay is not quite exponential, though it tends to be qualitatively similar (the exponential decay rate decreases since the remaining portion is increasingly at wavelengths where there is greater transparency, and is increasingly concentrated into the range of directions (solid angle) closer to vertical (optical path length per unit vertical distance is inversely proportional to the cosine of the angle from vertical).

    Even without clouds and aside from horizontal differences in humidity, optical path length per unit vertical distance also varies with height.

    This is partly because some gases - water vapor and ozone in particular, vary in relative concentration greatly with height; water vapor concentration relative to air tends to decrease roughly exponentially with height within the troposphere, and has less effect on radiation that is emitted directly to space than it would if it were evenly distributed (the CO2, etc, and any high level clouds are 'in front' of the lower-lying H2O, etc, in as far as upward radiation to space is concerned).

    This is also because the spectra of gases is affected by pressure and doppler broadening of absorption/emission lines, and these things vary with height - within the troposphere, they both decrease with height, so that the absorptivity and emissivity of an optically thin layer is more concentrated toward line centers higher up. (I think the effect of pressure broadenning dominates even into a portion of the stratosphere - not sure where doppler broadenning becomes more important, but it might be where the air is too optically thin for it to make much difference (?).)

    2. More to the point of your question:

    The fluxes that are shown are not to and from each layer of air or clouds, but the total that reaches the surface and that reaches space from all layers of air, and the total from the surface that is absorbed over layers of air, and does not explicitly show the radiative energy transfers between different layers of air, and thus does not show the fluxes from layers of air that are absorbed by other layers of air.

    1. - on line broadenning consequences - lack of broadenning increases the tranmission in more transparent gaps between line centers and concentrates emissivitity/absorptivity of a thin layer toward the line centers. When, over a sufficient distance, the absorptivity at and near line centers approaches 1 (when the optical path length gets large), increasing the absorptivity of thinner layers does not contribute much more to the absorptivity over such a distance because of overlap (saturation), so the effect of reduced broadenningover a larger interval of wavelengths is to increase transmission.

    2. -

    For example, of the radiation from the atmosphere that reaches the surface, some portion of that is from any given layer of air; the portion that is from a layer of air is only a fraction of the total emitted by that layer of air in the direction of the surface.

    -----------------------

    "K&T also assume an emissivity of one which would be correct if earth was a perfect black body. It is close but noticeably different (14 W m-2 less) at a more realistic emissivity of 0.98."

    Kiehl and Trenberth do use the surface = perfect blackbody simplifying assumption, but not because they don't know it not to be true; it is just a useful approximation. (Though perhaps not so useful in this case, considering it should be relatively easy to use a non-unity emmisivity in calculations, especially if it is wavelength invariant, though it probably varies a little bit... well, there's the complexity, I guess; still, the results are approximately correct in that regard - Kiehl and Trenberth also explicitly note some other simplifications; this calculation is not for an actual 4-dimensional (time included) climate system but for representative conditions for all global area over the full day and full year, represented as a single column of atmosphere in steady-state optical and temperature conditions. They discuss this in their paper. They also mention that the apportionment of solar radiation absorption between the surface and atmosphere is particularly uncertain, as it is hard to constrain by observations thus far, although it must be in balance with convective and radiative fluxes between the surface and atmosphere and radiative fluxes to space. (Note this, Gord: Kiehl and Trenberth use conservation of energy to construct the energy budget.) )

    I have actually been uncertain about the emmissivity of the surface. A LW emmisivity of 0.98 raises the equilibrium temperature of the surface by roughly 1.5 K in the absence of a greenhouse effect (with temperatures roughly near 300 K; it is proportional to the surface temperature). With a greenhouse effect, the effective emitting temperature of the Earth to space is less affected by the surface LW emissivity because it is partly hidden by the atmosphere's own LW opacity; thus, a nonzero LW albedo somewhat reduces the warming from increasing atmospheric LW opacity (by no more than about 1.5 K (in total relative to the temperature with no greenhouse effect, not for each increase that is made in the greenhouse effect) if the surface emissivity is 0.98 and the surface temperatures involved are roughly near 300 K).

    Between the surface and the distribution of absorption of surface radiation within the atmosphere, the reduction in net upward LW radiation between due to the reduced emmission from the surface is partly compensated by the reflection of downward atmospheric radiation back up by the (1 - LW emissivity) LW albedo. In W/m2: with radiation emitted from the surface = 390 (350 to the atmosphere and 40 to space)with emissivity of 1 and radiation from the atmosphere to the surface being 324 (so the net upward LW flux at the surface is 390 - 324 = 66), a reduction in surface LW emissivity from 1 to 0.98 results in (with temperatures held constant): surface emission = 382.2 (reduction of 7.8) (343 to the atmosphere (reduction of 7) and 39.2 to space (reduction of 0.8)); atmospheric emission downward at the surface still 324; atmospheric emission to the surface (and absorbed) = 317.52 (reduction of 6.48), and atmospheric emission reflected at the surface = 6.48; so the net upward LW flux at the surface is 382.2 - 317.52 = 64.68, a reduction of 7.8 - 6.48 = 1.32. Some portion of the atmospheric radiation reflected at the surface goes to space; it is not necessarily the same fraction as the fraction of surface emission that reaches space, because the spectral distribution is difference because the atmosphere - even the part(s) radiating to the surface, are a bit cooler (generally) than the surface, and it is also likely less than the fraction of surface radiation that reaches space because it will be somewhat concentrated into wavelength intervals where the atmosphere is more opaque. But assuming that the fraction of radiation emitted from the surface that reaches space (40/390 = 39.2/382.2 ~= 10.3 %) is an upper limit, of the 6.48 of atmospheric radiation reflected at the surface, less than about 0.65 would go to space. That would partly offset the reduction in radiation to space from surface emission.

    ---------

    "In the thermodynamic sense, one must attend to where the system boundary is drawn."

    Of course. Climate scientists would readily understand where the boundaries are in such a diagram, and reading the accompanying text would illuminate that to others (I realize the updated version is only the diagram and not the text; I can tell you that this diagram treats the atmosphere for the most part as a single component that emits in either direction from varying depths within itself (hence it appears colder to space than from below because the colder part is more visible from space, etc.) as opposed to seperate layers with their own fluxes, except with the portion of radiation to space that comes from clouds being identified seperately).
  29. Gord -

    "Instead of, rationally, questioning if their average Earth temperature is correct or if they have under-estimated the energy provided by the ONLY energy source (the SUN), they immediately assume this difference in energy is due to the effects of the GHGs, convection, evaporation of water from the oceans, clouds, aerosols, etc."

    Immediately assume? No, the optical properties of CO2 and H2O, clouds, etc, have been studied, and from that, calculations - which require much number-crunching but are based on very straightforward mathematics and physics - result in a greenhouse effect model. Futhermore, we have the observations that the Earth's surface temperature is warmer than it would be, by approx. 30 or 33 K (yes, there is a little uncertainty), than it would be if there were no greenhouse effect, PLUS observations from space that show that the emissions to space are as if the Earth were much colder at some wavelengths and where there are high clouds then the temperature of the surface below is, and yet as if the Earth is not so cold between about 8 and 12 microns where there are not clouds - and this is of course because the temperature of the air, and thus the clouds and the gases in the air, are generally colder than the surface, especially higher in the troposphere and lower stratosphere - while no sizable dip in LW surface emissivity - such as a huge drop near 15 microns or whereever there are high cloud tops - has been found. AND THERE IS NO CONFLICT WITH THERMODYNAMICS OR CONSERVATION OF ENERGY.


    "Are GHGs, convection, evaporation of water from the oceans, clouds, aerosols, etc. energy sources?"..."The inference that GHGs etc can somehow "create" energy is not only an obviously wrong assumption...it violates the Law of Conservation of Energy."..."Further, the assumption that the cooler atmosphere can transfer heat energy to a warmer Earth is a violation of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics."

    You're still saying this stuff? - you must either be really stupid, really not want to learn, or have a lot of time to waste.

    1. The energy budgets such as those of Kiehl and Trenberth, for an equilibrium climate, show energy fluxes whose convergences or divergences all sum to zero. That is, take each component besides the sun (effectively the ultimate source) and space (ultimate sink)
    - the surface, the atmosphere as a whole or in seperate layers -
    and add all energy inputs and add all energy outputs and subtract the outputs from the inputs and for each component you get zero. Furthermore, if you got something other than zero, this alone does not constitute creation or destruction of energy - energy can be assumed conserved, implying that what you have is a rate of energy storage, generally (except for phase transitions) corresponding to a rate of temperature change - this would occur over long time periods for a non-equilibrium climate, or for shorter time periods for the daily and annual cycles and for some internal variability.

    Your insistance otherwise shows an unwillingness to do simple arithmetic when the results would not support your desired conclusion.

    2. This bit about the second law - I and many many others would disagree and have reason to do so (such as the emission or nonemission, and absorption or nonabsorption of a photon being dependent on local conditions and not some event in the future or something far away that an individual photon carries no information about - except maybe where quantum entanglement is involved (?), which is not really applicable here so far as I know), BUT we could agree to disagree about whether each individual 'opposing field' constitutes an energy flux in its own right or whether the resultant is the only real flux - the mathematics about the net energy flux works out the same either way. Except for the microscopic processes involved, and assuming approximately steady state conditions relative to the time it takes for photons to travel through the atmosphere, our disagreement could be treated as philosophical and not affecting the measurable outcomes, greenhouse effect or not. You seemed to allow that a hot object loses heat radiatively more slowly to a cooler object if the cooler object is made warmer. You could choose to understand the backradiation from the atmosphere to the surface as being an opposing field whose effect is merely to slow the 'actual' heat loss from the surface. Mathematically, you really have no basis for claiming that the greenhouse effect violates any physical laws because that is ultimately what it is about; the net radiant heat flux from hot to cold depends on each layer's temperature, each layer's emissivity, and the transparency of whatever is between them - how could you deny that?

    "Actual measurements conclusively show that the back-radiation cannot reach and heat the Earth. (see my post #246)."..."In fact, all the back-radiation measurements done by the AGW'ers use instruments that comply with the 2nd Law:
    1. Direct measurements require the detector to be cooled below the atmospheric temp.
    2. Indirect measurements measure the loss of energy (eg.Thermistor) to the cooler atmosphere."..."You would think that these "scientists" would be aware that the operation of their measuring instruments contradict the theory they are trying to prove!"

    All those examples you provided are at best (for you) qualitatively ambiguous with regards to who's version of the climate system energy flow is correct, though it's possible, depending on heat capacity and thermal conductivity, that the enhanced cooling of an object in the mirror that shields it from radiation from near the horizon actually proves that there is backradiation from the atmosphere (or an opposing field that would slow the cooling of the object, if you prefer). But from other physics knowlege, we know how things work...


    "They seem oblivious to the fact that if back-radiation energy actually reached the Earth's surface our energy problems would be over."..."All Solar Ovens (Parabolic Mirrors that concentrate Solar and IR energy at a focal point), including the major Mega-Watt installations, would produce energy at NIGHT!"..."In fact, they would produce MORE energy at NIGHT than they do during the DAY.....because the Back-Radiation (324 w/m^2) EXCEEDS the Solar Energy reaching the Earth (235 w/m^2)!"

    NO,

    1. during the day, the total downward radiation would be solar + backradiation, not just solar, and while most of the atmopshere has a very small diurnal temperature range, the lowest part of the atmosphere would tend to add a diurnal cycle to the backradiation.

    2. Backradiation, as with solar radiation filtering through thick clouds, is diffuse and cannot be focussed much (you could focus radiation scattered by a cloud that does not take up the whole sky, but only to the point that it would take up an entire hemisphere of view from the focal point; likewise, the greater dimness of backradiation from straight up relative to closer to the horizon is what is being focussed by solar ovens used to cool at night; this is much more spread out then the direct rays of the sun, and even if the atmosphere were removed entirely, the maximum possible cooling rate is set by the temperature, size, and optical properties of the object being cooled.

    3. The relative inability to focus diffuse radiation is related to the entropy of the radiation; blackbody radiation from a colder surface has greater entropy per unit energy and thus less of it can be converted to useful work by a heat engine (or photovoltaic device, chemical reaction, etc.) for a given heat sink temperature. If the heat sink is near the surface temperature of the Earth, then except in an inversion, atmospheric radiation could not be converted to work at all. However, a fraction of heat in general from the Earth to the atmosphere can be converted to work, and while this doesn't happen naturally with radiation, a fraction of the convective flux is converted to the kinetic energy we observe as wind (it still ultimately ends up as heat because of where the energy from the winds goes).
  30. Patrick -

    It appears that you still do not understand my post.
    The calculations are for an Earth WITHOUT AN ATMOSPHERE.
    ---
    First:

    You quoted me as saying:
    "There is absolutely no evidence that the Earth had an albedo of 0.3 before the Earth had an atmosphere."

    What I actually said was:
    "There is absolutely no evidence that the Earth had an albedo of 0.3 before the Earth had an atmosphere, so my assumption of zero albedo is just as valid."
    ---
    You asked:
    "And who ever said otherwise? (Without an atmosphere, offhand I think it's somewhere around 0.1)."

    The AGW'ers who did this calculation, used 0.3!
    This calculation is the one the AGW'ers use for an Earth without a "Greenhouse Effect", ie. no atmosphere:

    "Average Temperature of Earth = 255K or -18 deg C (240 w/m^2) due to the Sun and Earth's albedo = 0.3"
    ----
    You said..
    "NO, that is NOT what 'AGW's' are assuming at all. The albedo is known to be about 0.3 (PS this is a global time and area average weighted by TOA insolation, hence equal to the global time average reflection/backscattering to space of all solar radiation intercepted by the Earth.). Since the albedo is known seperately from how the greenhouse effect is
    known, it can be used in an equation to estimate the greenhouse effect.

    IN OTHER WORDS, The approx. 33 K warming effect is not from the difference between the atmosphere as it is and no atmosphere, it is the difference between the atmosphere as it is and the atmosphere as it is except for the greenhouse effect!"

    Answer:

    Greenhouse effect
    "In the absence of the greenhouse effect and an atmosphere, the Earth's average surface temperature of 14 deg C (57 deg F) could be as low as −18 deg C (−0.4 deg F), the black body temperature of the Earth."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect

    Earth's Atmosphere
    Functions of the Atmosphere
    "Makes possible a mean temperature on Earth's surface of +15 deg C instead of -18 deg C as would be without atmosphere."
    http://www.kowoma.de/en/gps/additional/atmosphere.htm

    Why is the Earth so warm?
    "If there was no atmosphere, the Earth's temperature could be calculated by balancing:
    The energy in sunlight absorbed by the Earth
    The energy radiated as infrared photons by the warm Earth.
    Equilibrium Temperature should be T=260 K "

    "The Greenhouse Effect is responsible for making the Earth about 35K warmer than it would be if there it had no atmosphere."
    http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast161/Unit5/atmos.html

    Effect on Surface Temperature
    "The natural greenhouse effect raises the Earth’s surface temperature to about 15 degrees Celsius on average—more than 30 degrees warmer than it would be if it didn’t have an atmosphere."
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/EnergyBalance/page6.php

    --------
    Your post primarily deals with an Earth albedo of 0.3 in the presence of an atmosphere, which is not what was calculated.

    The rest of your rambling post covering your opinions on everything from the "big bang" to "chickens wraped in aluminum foil" are good comedy as well.
  31. Patrick -

    Your rambling post #448 is also rife with errors and a real hoot!

    Far too many errors and unsupported opinions to go into right now (and very tedious).

    Comedy is your strong point.
  32. Gord -

    ---
    "
    You quoted me as saying:
    "There is absolutely no evidence that the Earth had an albedo of 0.3 before the Earth had an atmosphere."

    What I actually said was:
    "There is absolutely no evidence that the Earth had an albedo of 0.3 before the Earth had an atmosphere, so my assumption of zero albedo is just as valid."
    "
    ---

    ... just as valid as some other erroneous assumption - speaking of which:

    About your quotes from:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect
    http://www.kowoma.de/en/gps/additional/atmosphere.htm
    http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast161/Unit5/atmos.html
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/EnergyBalance/page6.php

    So they were sloppy in their explanations to the public on that point. It is obvious from the context that they are refering to the effect of the atmospheric greenhouse effect, seperate from atmospheric albedo contributions.

    Re 450 -

    So any physics that is inconvenient for YOU is "rambling", full of "errors and unsupported opinions"? What else is new. (Go look it up in textbooks and encyclopedias, or "hyperphysics" - I'm really just telling you common knowledge. You *almost* might as well criticize me for stating 1+1=2 without backing it up with examples and/or proof.) If you find it so tedious, maybe you aren't qualified to make those judgements.

    One possible error I made was in not considering that interference patterns among different photons - whose wavefronts will tend to spread sideways as they propagate (diffraction) could affect the absorption (or emission?) of an individual photon even when the other photons continue unaffected; however, if/when this is the case (I presume it is possible, in part because of how a photons' own interference pattern with itself in a double slit experiment affects the probability distribution of where it is absorbed) would still occur via effects on local conditions. It also still doesn't offer a possible mechanism that might somehow someway prevent the absorption by a warmer object of photons from a cooler object, because a hot object with lower emissivitiy, especially at shorter wavelengths, would produce an identical photon population. But again, the second law of thermodynamics is saved because the emissivity of the cooler object, if in local thermodynamic equilibrium, is equal to its absorptivity (at each individual wavelength), so that however much it emits to a a warmer object that is absorbed by the warmer object, it still must absorb more from the emission by the warmer object. Now, if they are seperated by a distance and alternately covered and exposed, and/or change temperature, at some relatively fast rate compared to the time for radiation to travel the distance, then it's more complicated, but...

    -------------

    You're tilting at windmills. It would be comedic if it weren't tragic and perhaps just a bit scary.
  33. Patrick 027 444
    The point is that Control Theory shows that Climate Scientists, in claiming AGW, have made a mistake in not being aware that added atmospheric carbon dioxide has no significant effect on average global temperature. As a result, they have misled a lot of people. The important ones are the politicians who have been crippling the world economy and are contemplating crippling the US economy to solve a non-problem.
  34. Dan - "in not being aware that added atmospheric carbon dioxide has no significant effect on average global temperature" - the point is that I don't see how Control Theory justifies such a conclusion. It would help if you explained what you would expect to see from a system that has positive feedbacks; I see nothing to indicate that the climate sensitivity is not in the range where it is thought to be. (It would also help if you explained how, whatever the cause, the temperature rise of the last century and especially the last few decades can be explained without a positive feedback.)
  35. A simplistic model often suffices better to demonstrate a point:

    At night the earth emits (say) 400w in radiation and its' temperature falls as a result.
    10% goes straight out to space (40w)
    The atmosphere absorbs 360w
    And radiates 180w to space
    And radiates 180 back to earth
    Which absorbs this radiation and rises in temperaure.
    The net effect is that in that portion of time the earth disposed of 220w and thus the rate at which it cools is decreased by the presence of GG's.

    I don't know the exact details of the experiment to determine 'backradiation at night' but there are obviously some difficulties like - how did they ensure the dish wasn't warmer than the sky? Is there a website describing the experiment?
  36. Patrick 027 447
    Apparently you did not notice that nearly all of the numbers on the revised K&T chart are different from the numbers on their 1997 chart.

    For those who did not pursue the link regarding the K&T update, these are the comments that I made there.

    “Are they unaware that most absorption takes place close the emitting surface? The graphic is misleading. Still.”

    “The graphic shows the 356 going all the way to the clouds and from the clouds 333 all the way back to the ground. Since GHGs absorb the IR, the intensity has to decline along the way. Barrett calculates 72.9% is absorbed within 100 meters, http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/barrett_ee05.pdf using the HITRAN database.”

    I am surprised that no one had challenged this chart before. Climatologists discovered long ago that some of the absorbed IR radiation is thermalized, that is, it raises the temperature of the air. Climate models didn’t work at all until convection (heat rises) was included in the mid 60s. “…in the real world by the upward convection of heat.” Spencer Weart at http://www.aip.org/history/climate/simple.htm .

    The chart clearly shows Surface Radiation 396 with 356 of this going clear to the clouds. It is misleading because first it’s closer to 382 than 396 and second there is no indication that some of this (I calculate 59) must get thermalized. The rest, except for the 40 that go all the way out, gets radiated back. The graphic also shows 333 coming from the clouds. This too is misleading since only a fraction of the radiation that leaves the clouds (my guess about 35) gets all the way from the clouds to the ground.
  37. Patrick -

    You said..
    "So they were sloppy in their explanations to the public on that point. It is obvious from the context that they are refering to the effect of the atmospheric greenhouse effect, seperate from atmospheric albedo contributions."
    ---
    No, the thing that is very obvious is that they all say NO ATMOSPHERE!

    "In the absence of the greenhouse effect and an atmosphere.."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect

    "....without atmosphere."
    http://www.kowoma.de/en/gps/additional/atmosphere.htm

    "...it had no atmosphere."
    http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast161/Unit5/atmos.html

    "...it didn’t have an atmosphere."
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/EnergyBalance/page6.php

    See how tedious it becomes to demonstate an obvious point to you?

    Anyone capable of understanding the English language and old enough to know what the atmosphere is would easily understand what these links said.

    Yet, for Patrick, the words "NO ATMOSPHERE" somehow has a different meaning.
    ----------
    Patrick, as I have said numerous times, you just don't have clue about any "established science".

    But, that certainly does not prevent you from trying to continually disprove or re-write Laws of Science....all based on your hilarious opinions.

    For you 1 + 1 = anything but 2.

    It's a good thing that you are an amateur (and that's being very generous in your case).

    At least you are not a threat to public safety.
  38. Mizimi -

    You said....
    "The atmosphere absorbs 360w
    And radiates 180w to space
    And radiates 180 back to earth
    Which absorbs this radiation and rises in temperaure."
    ---
    First, if the atmosphere absorbed 360 w/m^2, it would radiate 360 w/m^2 in all directions...not half up and half down.
    (see Stefan-Boltzmann Law)
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/stefan.html

    Second, it is impossible for the colder atmosphere to transfer any heat energy back to the warmer Earth.

    It violates:

    1. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

    "Second Law of Thermodynamics: It is not possible for heat to flow from a colder body to a warmer body without any work having been done to accomplish this flow. Energy will not flow spontaneously from a low temperature object to a higher temperature object."

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/seclaw.html#c3

    2. Heat Radiation between hot and colder objects

    P = e*BC*A(T^4 - Tc^4)

    Where P = net radiated power (Watts), e = emissivity, BC = Stefan's constant, A = area, T = temperature of radiator in Kelvin and Tc =
    temperature of the surroundings or another body.

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/stefan.html

    3. The Law of Conservation of Energy (Energy cannot be created or destroyed)

    The atmosphere was heated by the Earth's radiation.
    The energy used to heat the atmosphere CANNOT be used to heat the Earth because it came from the Earth.
    If it did heat the Earth, energy would have been created....a violation of The Law of Conservation of Energy.

    It would also violate Electromagnetic Physics, Vector Mathematics etc. and ALL existing measurements.
    ---------------------
    Mizimi, yes there is a website that you can visit regarding the Solar Oven experiment.

    Here is a partial re-post of mine:
    ---
    Solar Cookers and Other Cooking Alternatives

    "The second area of solar cookers I looked at was their potential use for cooling. I tested to see how effective they are at cooling both at night and during the day. During both times, the solar cooker needs to be aimed away from buildings, and trees.

    These objects have thermal radiation and will reduce the cooling effects. At night the solar cooker needs to also be aimed straight up towards the cold sky. During the day the solar cooker needs to be turned so that it does not face the Sun and also points towards the sky.

    For both time periods cooling should be possible because all bodies emit thermal radiation by virtue of their temperature. So the heat should be radiated outward.

    Cooling should occur because of the second law of thermodynamics which states that heat will flow naturally from a hot object to a cold object.

    The sky and upper atmosphere will be at a lower temperature then the cooking vessel. The average high-atmosphere temperature is approximately -20 °C.
    So the heat should be radiated from the cooking vessel to the atmosphere."

    http://solarcooking.org/research/McGuire-Jones.mht

    ---
    This above link shows that heating cannot occur from the atmosphere.

    In fact, the article shows how to COOL items placed in the Solar Oven at NIGHT AND DAY!

    All you have to do is point the Oven away from the Sun during the Day and the Oven will transfer heat from the WARM object in the Oven to the COOLER atmosphere!

    It can even be used to produce ICE when the ambient air temp is +6 deg C!

    "If at night the temperature was within 6 °C or 10°F of freezing, nighttime cooling could be used to create ice. Previous tests at BYU (in the autumn and with less water)achieved ice formation by 8 a.m. when the minimum ambient night-time temperature was about 48 °F."

    This confirms the validity of 2nd Law of Thermodynamics....heat energy CANNOT flow from Cold to Warm objects.
    ---
    PS. This method is also used to measure "Back-radiation" indirectly.

    Ex. Indirect measurements measure the loss of energy (eg.Thermistor) to the cooler atmosphere.
  39. Dan - I did notice the numbers had been adjusted, I just used the older numbers that are nearly the same to illustrate my points. I didn't mean to cause confusion.

    Surface LW emissivity - I had inferred a value of about 0.96 (or maybe 0.95) from another source (Hartmann, "Global Physical Climatology", 1994, p.28) - specifically, this source states a surface emission of about 376.2 W/m2, which, if the temperature is 288 K (at which, blackbody radiation ~= 390.1 W/m2 (1 place beyond significant figures; I am using sigma = 5.67e-8)), implies a LW emissivity of 0.964; - on the other hand, the global and temporal variation of surface temperature might boost the global average surface emission so that it would correspond to a temperature 1 K higher than the actual global average (because radiation varies with the fourth power of temperature, so the areas with T>average T add more to the global average emission than the areas with T
    Yes, the 390 W/m2 and the 396 W/m2 are too high but they are okay for an approximation.

    (PS when dealing with totalities - the global average surface temperature, the radiative and convective energy fluxes, the albedo, etc, - some error is tolerable even if that error is greater in absolute magnitude than changes that may be studied. How so? Well, whether or not the surface has a LW emissivity of 0.95, 0.96, 0.98, or 1.00, , the change in radiative flux due to an increase in surface temperature will still be about the same. Whether the average absorbed solar flux is 235 or 240 W/m2, a change of 0.3 W/m2 would have about the same effect. Whether the total greenhouse radiative forcing is 140 W/m2 or 155 W/m2, a radiative forcing by CO2 and CH4, etc, of 4 W/m2 would have about the same effect on a change in temperature. Whether the global average surface temperature is actually 287 K or 289 K, it can be expected to increase about 3 +/- 1 K in response to a tropopause-level radiative forcing of 4 W/m2 if the climate sensitivity is about 0.75 +/- 0.25 K/(W/m2 tropopause).)

    -----------
    "Are they unaware that most absorption takes place close the emitting surface? The graphic is misleading. Still."..."The graphic shows the 356 going all the way to the clouds and from the clouds 333 all the way back to the ground. Since GHGs absorb the IR, the intensity has to decline along the way. Barrett calculates 72.9% is absorbed within 100 meters, http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/barrett_ee05.pdf using the HITRAN database."

    "I am surprised that no one had challenged this chart before. Climatologists discovered long ago that some of the absorbed IR radiation is thermalized, that is, it raises the temperature of the air. Climate models didn’t work at all until convection (heat rises) was included in the mid 60s. “…in the real world by the upward convection of heat.” Spencer Weart at http://www.aip.org/history/climate/simple.htm ."

    "The chart clearly shows Surface Radiation 396 with 356 of this going clear to the clouds. It is misleading because first it’s closer to 382 than 396 and second there is no indication that some of this (I calculate 59) must get thermalized. The rest, except for the 40 that go all the way out, gets radiated back. The graphic also shows 333 coming from the clouds. This too is misleading since only a fraction of the radiation that leaves the clouds (my guess about 35) gets all the way from the clouds to the ground."

    ------

    A.
    I did address two key points before but I'll go over them again briefly:

    1.
    Of the emitted radiation from a layer of air or from the surface, emitted at one wavelength in one direction, the amount that reaches (specifically, is transmitted without scattering) through an optical path length decreases exponentially with increasing optical thickness of the path (which will tend to correspond to a geometric distance within a given material of given optical properties). As the derivative of an exponential function is an exponential function, setting aside scattering, the absorption per unit optical path length decreases exponentially over increasing optical path length.

    When integrating over directions (solid angle) and over wavelength to find the total flux in the vertical direction per unit horizontal area, the results are qualititatively similar; HOWEVER:

    a.
    Per unit vertical optical path length, the optical path length for a given direction increases for directions farther from vertical. The radiation that is emitted in directions far from vertical...
    ---
    (perfect blackbody radiation is isotropic; the intensity (flux per unit area per unit solid angle) is invariant over direction; contributions to total flux per unit area are weighted by the cosine of the angle from vertical because of the ratio of the area perpendicular to the direction to the horizontal projection of that area)
    ---
    ... decays more rapidly per unit vertical distance. The same will be true for radiation at wavelengths where there is greater optical thickness per unit vertical distance - where the opacity is greater. Thus, the transmission of some portion of the radiation emitted from a layer at height z may decay almost to zero within a short distance, while another portion may decay much less rapidly. So per unit vertical distance, even with optical properties held constant with height, if (for example) 50 % of radiation from one layer is absorbed in the first 100 m, less than 50 % of the remaining transmitted radiation may be absorbed in the nex 100 m, and so on; it is easy to imagine a situation (not that this would be the case for Earthly conditions) where 50 % is absorbed in the first 100 m and only 10 % of the remainder is absorbed in the next 100 m.

    b.
    Optical properties are not constant. Obviously - you probably were aware of clouds, and for that matter, surface material is generally much more opaque than the atmosphere at most wavelengths (which is why it is only necessary to consider temperature at the surface, and not through a depth of material, when figuring out surface LW emission - now, for visible light, absorption in water is distributed over a depth, but it still forces the surface temperature because the heat that goes in has to come out eventually if in a climatic equilibrium. Light absorption in vegetated areas will be distributed between the tops of the plants and the soil level, etc.)

    But even within the air and aside from clouds and any other aerosols, there are compositional variations - most importantly, water vapor is much more concentrated near the surface than higher in the troposphere, and ozone is more abundant above the tropopause (I am refering to relative concentrations - relative to the density of the air).

    Even without compositional variations, optical properties vary with height. There is decreasing line broadening of gas spectra with height at least within the troposphere, which increases the opacity at some wavelengths but tends to increase transmission on average over the spectrum.

    2.
    The diagrams you are looking at do not show all the individual fluxes between different layers of air. They show the LW fluxes out of the atmosphere to the surface and to space, and the LW fluxes from the surface to the atmosphere and to space. They also show only the total SW (solar) absorption by the atmosphere and by the surface, and not how that absorption is distributed within the atmosphere and the over the surface or within surface material.

    For LW fluxes in particular:

    The source of the flux out of the atmosphere is distributed in the same way as would the absorption of the same mix of radiative fluxes over direction and wavelength in the exact opposite directions. In other words, the source of radiation that reaches some location is distributed in a manner matching visibility from that location, weighted by temperature-dependent blackbody emission if the radiation is entirely from emission and not scattering.

    The flux shown from the atmosphere to the surface is the flux that reaches the surface from various levels of air, and does not include the emissions from the air that are absorbed by the air. The same is true for the atmospheric radiation to space. The absorbtion of the flux from the surface by the atmosphere is distributed over the the atmosphere; the diagram is not intended to show that distribution, but only the total flux to all levels of atmosphere from the surface.

    I have explained in more detail how radiative fluxes work in some other comments above and in some referenced links. Basically, there are generally contributions to the radiative flux in all directions; a net radiative flux requires an imbalance between fluxes in opposite directions. For thermal radiation - emitted as a function of temperature - this requires that there is some temperature variation that is visible from the location at which the flux is being considered; the opacity must be low enough that the temperature variation is not hidden from view, but the layers of different temperatures have to have some opacity, and specifically some emissivity, in order to affect the flux by their emissions. However opaque or transparent the atmosphere is, the surface has some emissivity and space can be approximated as a blackbody near or at absolute zero. When, where, and at wavelengths where the atmosphere is transparent, the surface and space can 'see each other' - the surface emits radiation directly to space; when the atmosphere is mostly transparent, it partly blocks the radiation from the surface to space - if opacity comes from scattering (for LW wavelengths, this scattering is a minor issue for Earthly conditions), some of the radiation is scattered but still reaches space; the radiation that is blocks is reflected back to the surface, and from space, the Earth appears colder because a fraction of what is seen is a reflection of the dark of space itself. Assuming the average temperature of the atmosphere is colder than the surface temperature, if the opacity comes from absorption, then to the extent the atmosphere is not transparent, what the surface 'sees' - what it recieves in radiation - has been partly replaced by some radiation from the atmosphere (as opposed to the dark of space), while for what can be seen from space, the same fraction of the surface radiation has been replaced by atmospheric radiation, which is less than the flux it replaces since it is colder. But if the atmospheric opacity is small, than individual layers do not significantly block each other's radiation, so the atmosphere emits about the same radiation upward as well as downward, no matter how temperature varies with height. Because temperature decreases with height over the troposphere and the upper layers where it is warmer again are much thinner, the tendency is that as atmospheric opacity from absorption increases, the atmosphere appears colder from above than from below - as it blocks even more radiation from the surface to space and blocks the dark of space from the surface, the radiation to the surface becomes greater than the radiation to space. This kind of analysis can be quantified and extended to fluxes between individual layers of atmosphere - and this has been done (but not in Kiehl and Trenberth in particular).

    ------------------

    Clarification:

    About the thermalization of radiation -

    Generally, almost all radiation that is absorbed is thermalized. As some gases absorb radiation, they gain energy, which is then distributed by molecular collisions to the air as a whole. When some gases emit radiation, they lose energy, but the energy loss is redistributed by molecular collisions to the air as a whole. The bulk of the atmosphere is dense and warm enough that molecular collisions are sufficiently more frequent than photon absorptions and emissions, so that the various gaseous substances, despite their varying optical properties, are approximately at the same temperature (hence, the air is generally approximately in local thermodynamic equilibrium). When radiant energy is emitted from or absorbed by a unit mass of air, it affects the temperature according to the specific heat of the air as whole.

    The backradiation from the air is not simply radiation that is 'returned' to the surface; it is emitted by the air as a function of optical properties and temperature.

    People often use unclear language when describing these processes.

    ------------------

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/simple.htm

    I'm glad to see you've looked at this website.

    Convection is important and is taken into account in the current understanding of climate and how the greenhouse effect works. I explained this some number of comments ago when I explained the importance of radiative forcing at the tropopause level to surface temperature.
  40. Gord -

    "No, the thing that is very obvious is that they all say NO ATMOSPHERE!"

    I was giving them the benifit of the doubt - maybe I shouldn't do that for the wikipedia source, but I would think the people at NASA are at least as knowledgable on the subject as I am, so I figured they must have meant to refer to the atmospheric greenhouse effect, and not the effects of changing any atmospheric contribution to global albedo. I know that the 33 K warming effect is calculated for a greenhouse effect vs no greenhouse effect with the albedo being invariant at 0.3 in both cases.

    But you seem to be grasping at straws, because - you can calculate the temperature for no greenhouse effect for whatever albedo you like, but you haven't made any case that the albedo is significantly different than 0.3 in actuality. No, I'm not saying that you said that you did. My point is that you were trying to argue that there is no greenhouse effect. But you KNOW the albedo is 0.3. So what is the point of a calculation with an albedo of 0 or 0.1?
  41. Gord -

    "First, if the atmosphere absorbed 360 w/m^2, it would radiate 360 w/m^2 in all directions...not half up and half down.
    (see Stefan-Boltzmann Law)
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/stefan.html"

    First, I haven't checked it just today but I presume that portion of the "hyperphysics" website is accurate (
    I can't say the same of what you think you learned from it), and would also encourage Mizimi to explore that website.

    True that Mizimi is incorrect in the assumption that the upward and downward radiative fluxes are equal (though it's an okay first guess) - they could be under some circumstances, but the upward flux from the atmosphere at the tropopause and the top of the atmosphere will generally be less than the downward flux at the bottom of the atmosphere to the surface.

    But why would the atmopshere emit 360 W/m2 up from it's top and down from it's base, given 1. emissions are a function of temperature, and not directly on how much radiation is absorbed, though their is certainly a causal link - and 2. there are variations in temperature within the atmosphere.
  42. Gord - your comment 457:

    "1. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics"

    "Energy will not flow spontaneously from a low temperature object to a higher temperature object."

    Net energy. Otherwise the website contradicts itself with statements about net radiation loss.

    "2. Heat Radiation between hot and colder objects"

    "P = e*BC*A(T^4 - Tc^4)"

    When both the hot object and colder object have emissivities e and ec that could be less than 1, and there is a layer between with transmissivity T:

    P = (e*ec*T)*BC*A(T^4 - Tc^4)"

    Or let U = e*ec*T*BC*A, so that

    P = U * (T^4 - Tc^4)

    This can be rewritten as:

    P = U*T^4 - U*Tc^4

    (More generally, e, ec, and U could all vary with wavelength, and wavelength-dependent emission is a more complicated function of temperature, thout at all wavelenght an increase in T results in an increase in emission if e is constant.)

    The two terms on the right are opposing energy fluxes - you would call them opposing fields and not consider their energy fluxes to be real in their own right. However, in restating this formula, you have essentially admitted that you have no mathematical basis for denying the greenhouse effect, and in particular, backradiation from the atmosphere, which corresponds to the Tc term above in the fluxes between the surface and atmosphere. Your primary disagreement is a matter of labeling and, except for the microscopic basis of macroscopic phenomena, philosophical; You would have to accept that, at least mathematically, the greenhouse effect works as I and others say it does, even if you disagree about whether two opposing radiation fields can have two opposing energy fluxes.


    "3. The Law of Conservation of Energy (Energy cannot be created or destroyed)"

    "The atmosphere was heated by the Earth's radiation.
    The energy used to heat the atmosphere CANNOT be used to heat the Earth because it came from the Earth.
    If it did heat the Earth, energy would have been created....a violation of The Law of Conservation of Energy."..."It would also violate Electromagnetic Physics, Vector Mathematics etc. and ALL existing measurements."

    1. Perhaps you've been confused by your use of the word 'heat' as a verb. Do you think that the temperature of the atmosphere rises when the atmosphere is 'heated' by the surface and the temperature of the surface rises when the surface is 'heated' by the atmosphere, but the temperature of either does not fall when it acts as the heat supply for the other?

    When radiation is absorbed by the atmsophere from the surface - if this happened in isolation, then aside from phase changes, the temperature of the surface would fall and the temperature of the atmosphere would rise. Energy is conserved. If the atmosphere radiates some energy that is absorbed by the surface, then if this happens in isolation, the temperature of the surface would rise, the temperature of the atmosphere would fall, and energy would be conserved. Of course, both, and other processes, are generally happening at the same time:

    Surface absorbs RSe from the sun and Rae from the atmosphere. Surface loses heat by Rea to the atmosphere, Res to space, and Cea (convection) to the atmosphere. The atmosphere absorbs RSa from the sun and Rea from the surface, and gains Cea from the surface, and loses energy by Rae to the surface and Ras to space.

    THESE EQUATIONS ARE BASED ON THE CONSERVATION OF ENERGY:

    Rate of energy gain by the surface = RSe + Rae - Res - Rea - Cea
    Rate of energy gain by the atmosphere = RSa + Rea + Cea - Ras

    In climatic equilibrium, the average of each rate of energy gain is zero.

    Where is energy being created or destroyed?

    -------

    Oh, how tedious it is to explain anything to you, Gord.
  43. Patrick 027 453
    The assessment is presented at my pdf linked from http://climaterealists.com/index.php?tid=145&linkbox=true . This is entirely different from the usual Control Theory application in that it shows only that the feedback (as defined in Control Theory) from average global temperature can not be significantly positive. Wikipedia has fairly acceptable definitions for feedback as used in Global Warming and for feedback as used in Control Theory.

    In Control Theory, a positive feedback means that the trend will continue in whichever direction it is going (but at a declining rate because of the fourth power of absolute temperature). That is, if it is going down, it will keep going down approaching a new level asymptotically and if it is going up, it will keep going up approaching a new level asymptotically. The only way that the trend direction can change is if there is an external influence that is strong enough to overpower the feedback. Since in the paleo data the temperature trends are seen to change direction, it means that there had to be an external influence that was greater than the feedback and the feedback could not be significantly positive. Thus the climate sensitivity predicted by the GCMs should be the value that they calculate for zero net (Climate Science) feedback (1.2°C). I personally think that it will turn out to be less than 1.0.

    An explanation for the 20th century temperature rise was presented at 371 except I said Maunder Minimum (which refers to sunspot count) when I should have said Little Ice Age (which refers to temperature). The end result corroborated qualitatively the Grand Solar Maximum (which appears to have ended) that others talk about. The comparatively weak in effect on temperature GSM combined with a comparatively strong in effect on temperature PDO (they typically last about 30 years) uptrend to produce the temperature run up from about 1975 to about 2005.

    The last decade has seen no significant change in average global temperature. There are five agencies that report average global temperature. I averaged them all each year from 1998 through 2008 and the trend is flat. The trend from 2002 through 2008 is significantly down (1.88 °C/century) but it probably won’t stay that steep.
  44. "In climatic equilibrium, the average of each rate of energy gain is zero."

    I mean the average of one is zero and the average of the other is zero, not just the average of both.
  45. Dan

    - the climate models that simulate longer-term warming also produce some short term flat and cooling periods such as now. Variations in PDO, ENSO, AMO, etc (modes of internal (unforced) variability), could be contributing to these variations, as could some solar effects, though the evidence and physics backing such things, or non-TSI related solar effects, as major causes of the longer-term temperature increase is not at all as strong and solid as that which supports the known forcings in their relative proportions - anthropogenic greenhouse forcings being the biggest warming contribution and anthropogenic aerosols in total being the biggest cooling contribution, but with the total (net) forcing being positive (causing warming) and significant, and increasing.

    "In Control Theory, a positive feedback means that the trend will continue in whichever direction it is going (but at a declining rate because of the fourth power of absolute temperature)."..." That is, if it is going down, it will keep going down approaching a new level asymptotically and if it is going up, it will keep going up approaching a new level asymptotically."

    The second part of that actually fits with climatological terms; some change in forcing pushes the climate into a different state; feedbacks amplify or reduce the change, but there is some new equilibrium state the climate tends to approach.

    The first part, however, is different. Feedbacks in climate do not cause continuing change (in the long-term state, as opposed to weather, interannual variability, etc.) just by existing (they can cause continuing change by reacting to continuing change such as in internal variability). The equilibrium state the climate system finds is a new constant global average temperature - there will be fluctuations about that temperature but the longer term average is a constant.

    "The only way that the trend direction can change is if there is an external influence that is strong enough to overpower the feedback."

    A forcing shifts the equilibrium that the climate tends to approach; feedbacks modify that shift but still result in an equilibrium that the climate tends to approach. The long-term equilibrium is not itself a trend but a fixed state. Any forcing at any time can shift that equilibrium and if that forcing plus the feedbacks result in a shift that is in the opposite direction as some previous shift, the climate's tendency could reverse if the climate has already shifted far enough in response to a previous change.

    Climate sensitivity is the change in equilibrium climate per unit change in forcing and is thus modified by feedbacks. However, unforced changes always reverse due to negative feedbacks - unless their are multiple equilibria, or the climatic equilibrium is a strange attractor, etc, - but in those cases, the short term variability that results can still be encompassed within a full description of a yet longer-term equilibrium climate state. Maybe that is the distinction we need to go over.

    For example, water vapor: Water vapor is most likely a strong positive feedback (PS I may have been wrong earlier when I identified surface albedo via snow and ice changes as also being a quite strong positive feedback - it is strong regionally and is one of the more obviously observed, but it's contribution to the global average ... I'm not sure offhand).

    What is meant by that? The amount of water vapor in the atmosphere tends to approach an equilibrium value over a period of several days. The equilibrium value increases with increasing temperature.

    If there is a climate forcing - say, an increase in solar TSI or an increase in CO2 greenhouse forcing, as this starts to increase the temperature, the temperature will rise, tending to exponentially approach a new equilibrium temperature in which the change in temperature causes a change in LW radiative cooling that balances the imposed radiative forcing. The time it takes for this to occur is proportional to the heat capacity per unit area of the climate system (PS that varies depending on time scale but let's set that issue aside for now), and the equilibrium temperature increase per unit radiative forcing without feedbacks - because the radiative forcing is an energy supply rate per unit area, and the temperature change times the heat capacity per unit area is the amount of energy that needs to be gained in order to reach equilibrium.

    But as the temperature rises, the water vapor content also starts to rise, and this is a positive radiative feedback - it has a radiative 'forcing' that adds to the initial radiative forcing, so the total temperature change necessary to reach equilibrium increases. Interestingly, this also increases the time it takes to reach equilibrium, because the water vapor feedback to the change is initially zero and increases as the temperature increases. (With some calculus, I could show that the time constant to exponentially approach equilibrium is proportional to the climate sensitivity, which is the equilibrium change per unit externally imposed forcing).

    But what happens when the climate is at equilibrium?

    Remember, water vapor tends to be a function of temperature. Thus, an unforced change in water vapor decays to zero over a short time. There is some radiative effect that raises the temperature, but the time it takes for a significant temperature increase is too long compared to the time that water vapor itself changes in response to temperature.

    And if there is an unforced temperature change - well, that would be like having some forcing and then ending it. In other words, if CO2 is added to cause a temperature increase of 1 K and the water vapor feedback causes an additional increase of 1 K (not sure offhand if that is ther right proportion - this is just to illustrate the concept) - then what happens when the CO2 change is reversed? Well, there is a roughly 1 K decrease in temperature, and the water vapor feedback results in an additional 1 K decrease, returning the climate to where it was before the CO2 increase. Climate sensitivity could vary over temperature, but even if the water vapor feedback is stronger or weaker at the 2 K higher temperature, the senstivity will go through the same range on the way down as it did on the way up; the result is still a return to the initial value. So what if there were some unforced temperature increase of 2 K? Water vapor would increase, but it would not be strong enough to prevent the temperature from falling back - it would only delay the return to the initial temperature. In that sense, the climate, when not being forced to change, could be dominated by negative feedbacks - mainly the negative feedack of the increased radiative cooling in response to an increase in temperature. This is often not called a feedback because it is part of the climate response to forcings and other radiative feedbacks (you have to watch for context - sometimes feedbacks are described as having forcings, etc...).

    Of course, when the full complexity of climate is considered, there is a possibility of hysteresis loops, and things that do not respond fast to temperature over short periods of time may do so over longer periods of time.

    Externally-imposed forcings are boundary conditions. What can be approximated as a boundary condition in the short term may shift to being part of system behavior in the long term...
  46. "So what if there were some unforced temperature increase of 2 K? Water vapor would increase, but it would not be strong enough to prevent the temperature from falling back"

    To be more clear on the matter:

    Using the assumption of constant climate sensitivity for the sake of simplifying the argument:

    If a radiative forcing is able to sustain a 1 K increase without feedback, and the water vapor feedback increases the equilibrium change to 2 K, then that implies that the water vapor response to a 2 K increase is sufficient to sustain 1 K of the 2 K increase in temperature on it's own.

    Thus, if there is an unforced 2 K increase, the water vapor level will increase so as to support 1 K of that increase. Thust the temperature drops perhaps half as fast as it would without the water vapor feedback, but it drops because the water vapor feedback cannot sustain it fully. As the temperature drops, the water vapor drops back, so the temperature doesn't stop dropping as it approaches 1 K - by that point, the water vapor can only sustain 0.5 K, so the temperature keeps dropping. The temperature and water vapor eventually return (or approach) there initial values.
  47. Patrick 027 458
    "Generally, almost all radiation that is absorbed is thermalized." I agree that some is. K&E doesn't show any. That is part of what is misleading. The rest of what is misleading is they show big numbers going from surface to clouds and clouds to surface. It misleads by showing all radiation going a long distance instead of being absorbed close to the surface by greenhouse gases.
  48. I am aware of the complexities of radiative energy transfer...my 'model' was, as stated, simplified to demonstrate the principle that GG's simply affect the rate at which heat is transferred from the earth to space. Semantics possibly, but it is important we all ( and those who come here seeking clarification of a comlex subject) understand the terms expressions and concepts used.
  49. RE 466 Dan -

    "I agree that some is. K&E doesn't show any. "

    When a radiant flux is absorbed, it is assumed to be mostly thermalized; K&E implies thermalization whereever they show absorption. It is not misleading.

    In as far as the fluxes going long distances - this is not a diagram that is meant to be to scale - it is a schematic diagram. (that should be readily apparent - the atmosphere is shown as a layer that is detached from the surface, which appears flat. The solar flux is shown bending and bouncing off of things in an unrealistic manner. But it is correct (or approximately correct) for what it is.) It is only misleading if you misinterpret it.
  50. Patrick -

    Re: Your Post #459

    Right from the NASA website:

    The Greenhouse Effect

    "Scientists have long known that the presence of an atmosphere keeps the surface of the planet warmer than it would be without an atmosphere.
    In fact, without an atmosphere, the surface of the earth would be about 30 degrees Celsius cooler than it is now!"

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Experiments/PlanetEarthScience/GlobalWarming/GW_Movie3.php

    ------------------
    The Earth with an atmosphere has an albedo of 0.3, without an atmosphere it will be less than 0.3.
    I chose an albedo of zero and like I have I have REPEATELY said this number is as valid as the 0.3 assumption in the calculation.
    ---------------
    Patrick said...
    "...but I would think the people at NASA are at least as knowledgable on the subject as I am..."

    Obviously you have "delusions of grandeur" considering your total lack of scientific knowledge and your complete inability to understand what "NO ATMOSPHERE" means.

    It is very, very tedious explaining things to you and backing up my statements with links.

    Your posts are all rife with obvious errors and hilarious opinions that are totally unsupported.

    In short, your posts show a total ignorance of the subjects you babble about.

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