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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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Has the greenhouse effect been falsified?

What the science says...

Select a level... Basic Intermediate

The greenhouse effect is standard physics and confirmed by observations.

Climate Myth...

Greenhouse effect has been falsified

"[T]he influence of so-called greenhouse gases on near-surface temperature - is not yet absolutely proven. In other words, there is as yet no incontrovertible proof either of the greenhouse effect, or its connection with alleged global warming.

This is no surprise, because in fact there is no such thing as the greenhouse effect: it is an impossibility.  The statement that so-called greenhouse gases, especially CO2, contribute to near-surface atmospheric warming is in glaring contradiction to well-known physical laws relating to gas and vapour, as well as to general caloric theory.' (Heinz Thieme)

At a glance

Did you know that in the late 1700s, astronomers calculated the Earth-Sun distance to within 3% of the correct average value of 149.6 million kilometres? That was an incredible feat for the time, involving painstaking measurements and some pretty serious number crunching, with no help from computers.

Why is that mentioned here, you might ask. It's because not long afterwards, in the 1820s, French physicist Jean Joseph Baptiste Fourier made another crucial calculation. He worked out that at this distance from the Sun, Earth should have been an uninhabitable iceball.

Fourier suggested there must be some kind of insulating 'blanket' within the atmosphere. By the end of that century, Eunice Foote and John Tyndall had proved him quite correct through their experiments with various gases and Svante Arrhenius quantified matters in 1896, even calculating the effect of doubling the concentration of CO2. They had it largely figured out all that time ago.

If you are still sceptical about the existence of a greenhouse effect on Earth, there's something you can do in order to double-check. Go to the moon.

Well, you don't have to go personally, thanks to remote sensing and lunar landings by both unmanned and manned craft. Such intrepid expeditions mean we have a stack of data regarding lunar properties. The moon is pretty much the same distance from the Sun as Earth, but the lunar atmosphere is so thin it may as well not exist at all. There's virtually nothing to inhibit heat transfer, in or out.

In addition, the Moon turns but slowly on its axis compared to Earth. While a mean Solar day here lasts 24 hours, on the Moon it lasts just under a month. You get the best part of a fortnight of relentless Solar heating followed by a similar period of cooling in the long lunar night. So what's the temperature?

In the vicinity of the Lunar equator, daytime temperatures eventually reach a boiling hot 120oC. During the lunar night, that temperature drops away to -130° C. No atmosphere so no greenhouse effect. All that heat accumulated in the long lunar day just shoots straight back out into space. Nights on Earth may be much shorter, but nevertheless in the absence of a greenhouse effect they would be brutal.

Our approximately Earth-sized near neighbour, Venus, closer to the Sun, is different again. It has a massive dense atmosphere mostly consisting of CO2 with a side-helping of sulphur dioxide. Surface atmospheric pressure on Venus is so great that on Earth you would need to go a kilometre down in the ocean to find similar values. The planet rotates very slowly on its axis so days and nights are even longer than on the Moon. But unlike the Moon, Venus is always a hot place. Its surface temperature is over 450oC, day or night. An extreme greenhouse effect maintains that heat.

Remember: no atmosphere, no greenhouse effect and unimaginably cold lunar nights - but the example of Venus shows you can also have too much of a good thing. Earth really is a Goldilocks planet.

Please use this form to provide feedback about this new "At a glance" section. Read a more technical version below or dig deeper via the tabs above!


Further details

Some climate science deniers dispute the existence of the ‘greenhouse effect’. This is where their arguments lurch from silly - to beyond silly. The greenhouse effect keeps the surface temperature of Earth approximately 33oC warmer than it would be if there were no greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In other words, without the greenhouse effect, Earth would be effectively uninhabitable.

attacking the wrong greenhouse effect

Fig 1: The greenhouse effect is an analogy not meant as a scientific model of effect; hence, detractors have attacked the wrong model. (source: jg)

How do we know for sure this effect is real? The principle is demonstrated through basic physics, because a bare rock orbiting the Sun at the Earth-Sun distance (mean = 149.6 million kilometres) should be far colder than the Earth actually is. This was realised by Jean Joseph Baptiste Fourier in the 1820s, but the explanation why it was the case was not forthcoming for a few more decades. Fourier considered it to have something to do with the atmosphere having the properties of a kind of insulating blanket.

The existence of Fourier's hypothetical 'blanket' was confirmed by the experimental studies done by Eunice Foote and John Tyndall, working independently on either side of the Atlantic in the 1850s. Foote's results were announced at the 1856 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and published in the American Journal of Science and Arts in the same year. The paper was entitled, ‘Circumstances Affecting the Heat of the Sun’s Rays’, with an excellent recent review by Ortiz and Jackon (2020). A key passage is as follows:

“The highest effect of the sun’s rays I have found to be in carbonic acid gas. An atmosphere of that gas would give to our earth a high temperature; and if as some suppose, at one period of its history, the air had mixed with it a larger proportion than at present, an increased temperature from its own action, as well as from increased weight, must have necessarily resulted.”

In his 1861 paper, “On the absorption and radiation of heat by gases and vapours, and on the physical connexion of radiation, absorption, and conduction” (PDF here), Tyndall stated:

“Now if, as the above experiments indicate, the chief influence be exercised by the aqueous vapour, every variation of this constituent must produce a change of climate. Similar remarks would apply to the carbonic acid diffused through the air; while an almost inappreciable admixture of any of the hydrocarbon vapours would produce great effects on the terrestrial rays and produce corresponding changes of climate.”

Tyndall had in his own words identified methane as an even more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. Later that century, Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius put the numbers on the relationship between greenhouse gas concentrations and surface temperatures. He was able to calculate the effect of doubling the CO2 concentration in the air. The result was a globally-averaged figure of 5-6°C of warming, not that dissimilar to modern values.

Empirical Evidence for the Greenhouse Effect

We only have to look to our moon for evidence of what the Earth might be like, without an atmosphere and greenhouse effect. It's not as though we're short of data about our satellite. While the moon’s surface reaches 120oC (248oF) in direct sunlight at the equator during the long lunar day, when it gets dark the temperature drops down to a frigid -130oC (-202oF).

Since the moon is virtually the same distance from the sun as we are, it is reasonable to ask why at night the Earth doesn’t get as cold as the moon. The answer is that, unlike the Earth, the moon has no insulating blanket of greenhouse gases, because it has virtually no atmosphere at all. Without our protective atmosphere and its greenhouse effect, the Earth would be as barren as our lifeless moon. In the absence of the heat trapped overnight in the atmosphere (and in the ground and oceans) our nights would be so cold that few plants or animals could survive even a single one.

Conclusive evidence for the greenhouse effect – and the role CO2 plays – can also be seen in data from the surface and from satellites. By comparing the Sun’s heat reaching the Earth with the heat leaving it, both things we can measure with great accuracy, we can see that less long-wave radiation (heat) is leaving than arriving. Since the 1970s, less and less radiation is leaving the Earth, as the levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases build up. Since all radiation is measured by its wavelength, we can see that the frequencies being trapped in the atmosphere are the same frequencies absorbed by greenhouse gases.

To conclude, disputing that the greenhouse effect is real is to attempt to discredit centuries of science, the laws of physics and indeed direct observation. Without the greenhouse effect, we would not even be here to argue about it.

Last updated on 26 November 2023 by John Mason. View Archives

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Comments 126 to 150 out of 175:

  1. michael sweet @125.

    It is difficult to know how to react to the likes of fake reality. My first take is that such folk are trolls. Consider his continued holier-than-though stance on being snarky: - the passages that precipitated his warning are marked. Who cannot see they are crossing the line by suggesting somebody does not tell the truth and saying that this is instead of calling them a liar. Or suggesting that somebody is corrected by providing for them an alleged 'no bullshit approach'. If somebody truly cannot see the line they cross with such comment, then they are beyond help. But is that likely?

    As for this alleged measured value - 1000W/m^2 - "a common value in a pretty big area from the equator and outward towards the poles" - what is that about? If it's measured, who measured it? A reference please!

    And the bizarre objection to my comment "you must account for the 'something' that is "cooling" which allows the night-time to be 'warmed'." - Does this mean we have to explain conservation of energy as well as basic geometry?

    Stupidity I can cope with. Yet I have to say that for somebody to be so incredibly stupid not to know they are entirely out of there depth in such comment; to be that and also sincere could only be true if they are repeating the nonsense of others. I see no sign of that. The other and more likely explanation is an insincere commeter - a troll, who cannot spell rhetoric.

  2. Fake,

    I see from your response that you have no desire to learn about the heat flux into the atmosphere of the Earth.  What you have to say has no relationship to the reality that scientists have learned.  If you cannot recognize that scientists that have worked their whole lives on this problem have learned more than you picked up in High School it is a waste of time to try to engage with you.    I will not respond to your posts again.

    MA Rodger,

    I agree.

  3. fake reality, claims @116 that:

    "If we use measured values from real observations of solar irradiation at the surface, we find that 1000W is a median value when we look at variations from pole to pole."

    If you take an arc from solar terminator to solar terminator such that, for all points in the arc it is local noon in an airless world (so we do not need to worry about diffusion), then the length of the arc is π times the radius, while the sunlight intercepted represents a distance of 2 times radius.  It follows that the mean solar irradiation along that line at 1 astronomical unit from our Sun is 2/π times 1360 W/m^2, or approximately 865.8 W/m^2.  

    Of course, fake reality makes a claim regarding the median rather than the more relevant mean.  So, if we take the inverse cosine of 1000/1360 we find that in any area of the daylight surface of a planet where the solar zenith angle is less than 42.67o, the surface insolation (ignoring the effect of the atmosphere) is 1000 W/m2 or greater.  Using the formula for the area of a spherical cap defined such that the solar zenith angle is less than 42.67o, we find that just 32.22% of the daytime hemisphere fits that condition.  As 32.22% is much less than the 50% required for the median to be 1000 W/m2, there is no interpretation of fake science's words in which they are not refuted by geometry.

    fake science claims his values are justified by "measured values", but he gives no link to the data nor description of what is being measured.  If the value measured in insolation falling on a collector held perpendicular to the Sun's rays, he may well be correct.  Ignoring the effects of atmosphere, the insolation falling on such a collector in daytime will always be 1360 W/m2.  However, except when the solar elevation is 90o, the shadow of such a collector will have a greater area than the collector.  If it is near nightfall or the poles, the area of the shadow will be much greater.  The insolation on the surface (ie, the area of the shadow) will be the insolation on the collector held perpendicular to the Sun's rays divided by the cosine of the zenith angle of the Sun (ie, the ratio of the area of the collector to the area of its shadow):

     

    (Source)

    If, however, fake reality is not discussing measurements of insolation on collectors perpendicular to the Sun's rays, but rather those perpendicular to the radius of the Earth, his claim is simply false.  Here, for example, are the mean monthly values for 2010 measured hourly insolation at Lafayette, Indiana:

    The latitude of Lafayette is 40.42o North, so Lafayette lies within "pretty big area from the equator outward to the poles" where supposedly measured values are 1000 W/m2 (fake reality @123).  Despite this, measured values are approximately 700 W/m2 at peak daily insolation in July; and much less than that for most of the year and most of the day even in July.

    fake reality may consider Lafayette to be too northerly.  In that case his "pretty big area" doesn't even extend to the 32.22% of the sunlit area discussed above.  Nevertheless, we can consider Singapore (1.28o North) where mean measured hourly insolation does not exceed 650 W/m(see figure 2).

    To summarize, at best fake reality is using data for insolation on a collector perpendicular to the Sun's rays (equivalent to two angle tracking on the graph below); but the relevant data is that for a horizontal plate (horizontal on the graph below) and on that data his claim in glaringly false:

    (Source)

    To this point, the refutation of fake reality applies nothing more complicated than simple geometry.  If he cannot even cope with that discipline which has been in existence for over 2000 years, it is pointless to expect him to give consideration to conservation of energy or other "recent" discoveries.  I therefore suggest that his discussion be restricted to the geometrical points only until such time has he shows some semblance of coherence in thinking about it.  Further, given his flood of posts, all endlessly repeating the same claims and appealing to 'measured values' which he nowhere describes, cites or links to, I suggest that the comments policies on sloganeering and excessive repetition be scrupulously applied.

  4. @126

    I use real measured values in calculation of temperature. I am not trying to make reality fit with the co2-molecules being dominant, while your calculated value for surface temperature is a mathematical model of 4 weak suns irrradiation at 4*240W/m^2.

    That is very long from reality. The model of real irradiation from our star is one sun heating the surface with a flux density of 1000W/2m^2 * 0.8.

    I use the value of 0.8 for emissivity is also from real observation at the surface400W OLR = (1000W*0.8)/2m^2.

    That is 80% left from 1000W in SW.

    The absorption results in an excited state with a distribution that induce emission at a temperature of 290K.


    Where am I making an incorrect description of anything included in the system.

    Only measured values. I am fitting the theory to reality, you calculate 4 small weak suns that heat 4m^2 with a hazy foggy light that delivers only -18C worth of heat transfer.

    It is a really big leap to be lojal to a theory buildt on getting the wrong value of solar irradiation. 255K=4*240W/m^2

    When measured real value is at a maximum level reached by the whole system, that divided over twice that area is equal to flux density of an averaged 288K, that is a good model for mean temperature in the graybodys emitting surface in far-ir.

    you see who is using a model that does not fit reality. One of us has four small suns that hardly gives light.

    The other has One sun with high density flux. You choose, 4 or 1 sun. Which one is more true to reality.

    As for accounting for what is heating "something" or whatnot, I was of the belief that the level of knowledge would reach an understandning in you, that you know that there is only 1 heat source available. The sun does the heating. All of it.

    The vague view of "something has to heat....."-problem is answered and clear.

     "Stupidity I can cope with. Yet I have to say that for somebody to be so incredibly stupid not to know they are entirely out of there depth in such"

    You are the one saying that a model of 4 weak suns is a correct description of reality.

    "comment; to be that and also sincere could only be true if they are repeating the nonsense of others. I see no sign of that. The other and more likely explanation is an insincere commeter - a troll, who cannot spell rhetoric."

    You are the one showing decreased spectral intensity saying that intensity is increasing.

    You are claiming that the earth absorbs it´s own emitted radiation and explains it with icecold gas of average -18 degrees as a very cold source of heat transferring to a much warmer surface.

    This is not my language so I apologize for my poor writing

    Response:

    [PS] It is not your writing, it is your comprehension that is the problem. People are not making the claims you that you state. You are not understanding what the science actually claims and instead replacing it with nonsense.

  5. @128 Tom Curtis

    "there is no interpretation of fake science's words in which they are not refuted by geometry."

    So lets go with the idea of 4 weak suns, that seems like the right thing.

     

    You can not find any made up numbers in my calculation.

    You start out with an analysis claiming that 4 suns is the way to describe reality when we actuallly have one strong sun.

     

    The rest is irrelevant. 1000W from one sun is shown to a correct description of irradiation that results in a temperature of 290/m^2-

    4 suns is not even close.


    1000W i reached everywhere at sea level under irradiation. That is the right one to use. Any other flux density would drift off.

     

    Show me and everyone why a model of 4 suns irradiating with no light, only far-IR and a mean @-18C flux density, can heat the earth to 290K by emitted photons from an icecold gas.

     

    I don´t think you should focus anything else than explaining what your model is based on. It doesn´t work, it´s even saying that cold is heating something because 4 weak suns without any light.....

     

    And I present an alternative model. That works.

  6. fake reality - Sunlight covers the disk of the Earth as seen from the Sun, with an area of pi*r^2. The surface area of the Earth, a sphere, is 4*pi*r^2, or 4x that of the intercepting disk, therefore averaging over the day to ~240 W/m^2 insulation. That's basic geometry, and until you understand that, there is little reason to go on to your many other errors (such as claiming 80% surface emissivity in IR, when the ground actually has a _measured_ emissivity between 95-99% at those wavelengths, depending on the exact surface composition). 

    Your basic assumptions are flawed - and your conclusions simply don't stand up as a result.

  7. @131

    Which parts about the difference in number of suns is mostly flawed. That you have four and I have one? Or opposite?

    Response:

    [PS] This 4 suns stuff is a nonsense argument. You are simply demostrating that you dont understand the geometry. Please actually take the time to understand what is going on. Open a text book. Tom's reply is best, including actual data.

    Explain this data in light of your understanding. If you cant get your head around basics,  then you have no hope sensible discussion of science.

    Any further rubbish about multiple suns will be deleted.

    There is a simple online reference here for solar calculations.

  8. fake reality - One sun, four suns at 1/4 the intensity (assuming identical spectra), it makes no difference to the daily average of 240 W/m^2 insolation as the Earth rotates. Your harping on that _irrelevant_ point indicates, IMO some basic lacks in high school geometry.

    If you can work past that, perhaps then we could discuss other issues, such as your misunderstandings of the interactions of the lapse rate and effective emission altitudes. But, quite frankly, I'm not optimistic in that regard...

  9. fake reality @130:

    "So lets go with the idea of 4 weak suns, that seems like the right thing."

    Let's not.  The four weak sun model is not used by anybody in climate science.  It is only used by you in the false supposition that four weak suns would yield uniform illumination, but climate science does not use a model of uniform illumination of the Earth, and neither do I.  The only think climate science points out is that the integral of energy from the Sun on the Earth equals the sum of the energy recieved at each unit area, which in turn equals the mean recieved across all areas multiplied by the total area by definition of 'mean'.  It follows that as the average across all areas is the TOA insolation divided by four and times (1-albedo) (by virtue of geometry), that is the mean that should be used.  End of story.

    As an aside, here is the illumination pattern on a sphere using four distant light sources to illustate the point that it does not result in uniform illumination:

    (Source)

    "You can not find any made up numbers in my calculation."

    What I can find and have demonstrated is that the 1000 W/m2 uniform illumination on the day side of the planet that you assume in your calculation is a fiction contradicted by geometry and also be actual measures of hourly insolation at various locations (specifically, Lafayette, Indiana; Singapore).  It is also shown to be false for Albaquerque.

    It's OK.  I get that you do not understand that you have been thoroughly refuted; and that for reasons of ideology you cannot admit error.  Unfortunately for you, so does everybody else reading this discussion.

  10. KR @133, the point is not irrelevant because while one or four weaker suns makes no difference to total energy input, it makes a significant difference to negentropy and also to day/night temperature cycles.  That is why fake reality's claim that we are using a four weak sun model is fake climate science to go with his fake reality.

  11. I don't know why you are dealing with Fake Reality's word salad argument.  Let him post and just put a strikethrough html tag through his arguments.   Every teaching assistant has learned that it is impossible to educate those that do not wish to be educated.

  12. The concept of "4 weak suns" was introduced by fake reality @116 and he has since often restated it but entirely failed to explain it. I would suggest that the "4 weak suns" (which as KR points out @133 is conceptually a bit of a dog's breakfast if taken literally) is probably better described as a "quarter strength sun" and is being applied to, for instance, the usual account of the planet's energy balance, as per IPCC AR5 fig 2-11.

    Earth Energy Balance

    The irradiance here is given as an average over the sphere of 340Wm^-2 rather than the average over the disc of 1,360Wm^-2. Anybody with a normal grip on reality would understand that a sphere with a surface area of 4πr2 will on average receive a quarter the irradiance projected onto the disc of the planet which has a surface area of just πr2 .

    As for the "measured" 1,000Wm^-2, my thought is that fake reality is grasping at a rough value that has not been "measured" but rather is inferred through measurement. The Earth's irradiance is measured at 1,360Wm^-2 normal to the flux (& onto the disc). The albedo is also measured and that averages to about 0.30 irradiance. Thus in NASA's words (they being the measurers) "the remaining 240 watts per square meter is absorbed by land, ocean, and atmosphere,"  that being 240Wm^-2(spherical) = 4 x 240 = 960Wm^-2(discal), or roughly 1,000Wm^-2.

    I could continue attempting to make sense of nonsense (and without even a mention of elephants stood on the back of the turtle) but if fake reality is unable to begin to explain his crazy assertions or assist in their explanation; if he cannot I am with Tom Curtis @128 and would "suggest that the comments policies on sloganeering and excessive repetition be scrupulously applied."

  13. @132

     

    "[PS] This 4 suns stuff is a nonsense argument. You are simply demostrating that you dont understand the geometry."

     

    Ok. Then I wonder what happens when dividing by 4?

    If we ignore pi and that you are using the sphere geometry, because that just makes things worse, and see what happens when we divide 1370W/m^2 by 4. =we get four equal parts of ~350W/m^2.

    How is that not a model with four equal suns that emits 350W/m^2 each?

     

    "Please actually take the time to understand what is going on. Open a text book. Tom's reply is best, including actual data."

    I think you all should read up on maxwell-boltzmann distribution instead. Then you will realize why having (1370W/m^2)4pi*r^2 as a model for the density of flux, is not the right way to do it.

    Draw a simple graph with two axis of W/m^2 and temperature in K. See how the curve is developing with increased temperature, then you see why 260W/m^2 is not a good way to calculate flux density..

    "Explain this data in light of your understanding. If you cant get your head around basics, then you have no hope sensible discussion of science."

    You show me what is wring with my model instead. I have shown what is wtong with yours. My model works, yours doesn´t.

    "Any further rubbish about multiple suns will be deleted."

    So everyone must ignore that (1370W/m^2)/4pi*r^2 is equal to 4*260/m^2

    You cannot be serious.

    "There is a simple online reference here for solar calculations."

    That also give a value of 260W/m^2?

    I say thank you, but no thanks.

    I don´t think that (w/m^2)/4pi*r^2 is describing a correct irradiation of any radiating body in the universe. I will use real values instead of trying make reality fit the model with fudgefactors like GH-effect.

    I know that I´m pushing it and you soon will kick me out, since I am making it very uncomfortable for you. But I beg you to stay scientific and address my statements. Where am I wrong?

    Everyone knows that dividing by four gives four equal parts. Do you still stand by your statement that dividing TSI by 4, is not equal to a model of irradiation from 4 suns in 4m^2 @ 260W.

    I am very excited(!) about reading your answer.

    Response:

    [PS] Repetition, sloganeering and moderation complaints.

    You only get banned by not abiding with the comment policy. At moment, what you are demonstrating is that you dont understand the real model; put up a misunderstanding of what is being postulated instead and then unsurprizingly finding your caricature unsatisfactory. You are simply annoying everyone by not making any effort to really understand and grandstanding instead. You arent "making us unconfortable" with supposed "new truth" just disbelief at your astonishing hubris.

  14. Fake reality’s claim about 1000 watts is pure nonsense. That value is only reached near the middle of the day at low latitudes. No places on Earth have an insolation nearly that high on a daily or annual basis.

    Figure 1 below shows the annual insolation on top of the atmosphere and on the surface (but before albedo is accounted for). Note that even the tropics only receive a little more than 400 w/m2 on top of the atmosphere (yellow), and no places get more than about 300 w/m2 on the surface.

    Figure 2 shows the daily insolation over the year for 4 latitudes. Again, no places get near 1000 w/m2 at any time of the year, but it’s interesting to note that the North Pole gets more than any other place in the NH near summer solstice.

    Figure 1

    Global annual insolation

    Figure 2

    If the Earth’s rotational axis was perpendicular to the ecliptic (no seasons) the average insolation could easily be calculated by multiplying the TSI (1361 w/m2) by the sine of the latitude and divide by π. This gives 433 w/m2 at the equator, but the seasons make this value slightly smaller, while higher latitudes get more.

  15. [JH] Moderator's Comment

    Fake Realitys posts of today have been deleted for multiple violations of the Comments Policy including argumentative sloganeering, excessive repetition, and moderation complaints. 

    Fake Reality is about to relinquish his/her privilege of posting comments on this site.

  16. @142 HK

    Finally, somone else in here that is not deleting my comments.

    "Fake reality’s claim about 1000 watts is pure nonsense. That value is only reached near the middle of the day at low latitudes. No places on Earth have an insolation nearly that high on a daily or annual basis."

    Tell me what is wrong with a thousand watts. That is about the amount that has to be the value of irradiation from the sun to get a T of 288K, if you don´t claim that earth is a blackbody. You´re not doing that, do you?

    I get the heat from the sun only in my calculations, because I don´t see any other source of heat. That means that the sun has to provide a value of 1000W/m^2 for a T of 288K.

    Where do you get the extra heat that fix up your model?

    "Figure 1 below shows the annual insolation on top of the atmosphere and on the surface (but before albedo is accounted for). Note that even the tropics only receive a little more than 400 w/m2 on top of the atmosphere (yellow), and no places get more than about 300 w/m2 on the surface."

    So, you say that the sun provides only enough energy to heat the surface (400W/m^2)/2m^2=243K, in the tropics. That is even less than 255K.

    Or do you mean that it gets an even 400W/m^2 in the tropics, that is irradiation worth of minimum 800W under ideal blackbody conditions.

    In that case, you agree with me(almost). I never said an even 1000W si needed, as maxwell-boltzmann-distribution points to the fact that density is question of probability for different states of excitance in matter at a certain flux. I think that makes room for a level of radiation at 1000W/m^2 that not has to be even to deliver a mean probability for the excitance needed for a mean 288K.

    It is the result of the probability of excitance levels in fluxdensity of 364^4K transformed in a mean excitance overall with the probable levels of excitance @288^4K.

    That is not the same as evenly irradiation level of 1000W. Although I must point out that it is needed, the surface T of 288K needs to get irradiation at the surface of overall mean value 1000W/m^2 when just calculating straight. So that is the appropriate amount to use.

    Unless you know of another heat source.

    "Figure 2 shows the daily insolation over the year for 4 latitudes. Again, no places get near 1000 w/m2 at any time of the year, but it’s interesting to note that the North Pole gets more than any other place in the NH near summer solstice."

    So you say that a T of 288K does not need irradiation at 1000W/m^2, and that we get extra energy from some flux elsewhere than the sun?

  17. A correct treatment of fluxdensity is handling it like instantaneous constant flow anytime anywher of a thousand Watts/m^2, because that is what it takes to keep earth going at the surface.

    Do not involve time, which you do when you make an average over day and night, because that is not irradiation/heating, use the surface as is. Use 1m^2 and 1kW. It is the right way to do it.

    Response:

    [JH] If you do not document the source(s) your oft-repeated assertions, they will be deemed to be sloganeering/excessive repetition and will be summarily deleted.   

  18. 1 kW is like peak wavelengths, it is the peak intensity, apart from fluktuations in both ways the spectral maximum density of an equivalent blackbody radiator. That is why 1000W is the right value to use.

    A peak is the mean power intensity  corresponding to peak wavelenghts in the radiationfield, in this case it´s solar irradiation at a fraction of the source, equivalent to a blackbody @394-ishW/m^2. Toa 1370W/m^2, at sea level 1000W/m^2

    Can you read in that darkness surrounding your 4 suns. With all that darkness radiating its cold photons burning your skin.

    It is not surprising that the model use heat transfer from cold to hot based on quantum functions of the photon. Since cold is the only thing that exists.

    But quantum functions is never used in such big scale to describe energy flow and especifically not in heat transfer. We can say with confidence that there is no transfer of heat to the warm surface from the cold atmosphere. We alsp know with certainty that a cold body that absorbs heat from the radiationfield is the only place where there is rising temperature  when it is an open system.

  19. Fake reality:

    1. The TSI has been measured directly by satellites. This updated graph clearly shows that the average value over the last four solar cycles has been close to 1361 w/m2.

    2. The formula for the area of a sphere is 4 π r2, while the formula for the area of a circle is π r2. Therefore a sphere (the real 3-D Earth) has four times larger area than a circle (the 2-D cross section of the Earth) with the same radius.
    3. The Earth’s Bond albedo is close to 0.3 or 30 % according to any reliable sources.
    4. The Earth’s surface emissivity depends on the type of terrain, but is mostly between 0.95 and 0.99, at least for wavelengths between 4 and 16 microns.
    Emissivity

    Why is it so hard to understand the following implications of the points above?
    1 + 2: Each square metre of Earth receives 1361 / 4 ≈ 340 w/m2 of solar radiation before the albedo is accounted for.
    3. When albedo is accounted for, this number drops to 340 x (1-0.3) ≈ 240 w/m2. That radiation flux is what you get from a blackbody at 255 K, or 33 K colder than the real Earth.
    4. Even though the Earth is not a blackbody in the IR part of the spectrum, it’s sufficiently close to make the impact from emissivity very minor. An average surface emissivity of 0.96 would only raise the temperature by about 2.5 K on an airless Earth with evenly distributed insolation. The cooling impact from the uneven insolation is probably somewhat larger than that (it’s about 70 K at the Moon’s equator!), so there is at least 33 K of warming that has to be explained in other ways than by insolation, albedo or emissivity.

  20. JH] If you do not document the source(s) your oft-repeated assertions, they will be deemed to be sloganeering/excessive repetition and will be summarily deleted.

    The sources are there, blackbody radiation and heat transfer mainly.

    Seriously? You need sources?

    Repetition of what, that dividing by 4 generates an impossible situation that has nothing to do with earth.

    Even if you don´t agree, the 240W/m^2 alone or as a quartet, is a model of earth in darkness since the only sourc(es) available are way below in energy that it´s not even a source that is close to getting red hot.

    Why do you use a model that is so totally different from reality?

    It´s staring you in the face, you can check for yourself. No one is forcing you to use a number of 240W when measurements show 1000W/m^2. It´s fine to abandone a model when it doesn´t perform.The reason for wrong results is clear, you are calculating earth in a universe that is dark and cold. 240W/is dark and cold. And obviously not the right value.

    Where should we look for bugs? In reality?

    Or in your model?

    Definately not in my model.

  21. Moderator Response @142.

    There was within the fake reality comments deleted for sloganeering two references that presented that 1,000Wm^-2 figure although not to its actual measurement. These references don't actually change much as they do not provide the support fake reality requires but for completeness they are as follows:-

    (A) A web page from The Institute of Agriculture - University of Tennessee. This presents a calculation for the total sunlight energy that would hit Texas (so including ground albedo energy) under clear skies and with the sun slap overhead. The page states "At the Earth's surface, the energy density is reduced to approximately 1,000 W/m2 for a surface perpendicular to the Sun's rays at sea level on a clear day[1]."  Texan sunlight is almost "perpendicular" at the summer solstice so the situation is not impossible. The reference cited in the quote [1] is actually to the second reference (B) that fake reality cited, the Wikipedia Sunlight page but this reference is to a different paragraph (Composition & Power) that itself mentions no power quantities but does in turn reference Buffo et al (1972). "Direct Solar Radiation On Various Slopes From 0 To 60 Degrees North Latitude". This is a 75 page PDF full of tables, charts and graphs presenting values of Direct Solar Radiation. A quick scan appears to show the highest value given to be 848 cal/sq cm/day which I make = 411 W/m^2.

    (B) The Wikipedia Sunlight page does also say in the Summary "...the direct sunlight at Earth's surface when the Sun is at the zenith is about 1050 W/m2, but the total amount (direct and indirect from the atmosphere) hitting the ground is around 1120 W/m2.[3]" The Wikipedia reference [3] is to a commercial company's archived archived web  entitled "Introduction to Solar Radiation"  (the company is into optics) and it does quote the values but provides no source. The 1120W/m^2 value would be correct if there was very little albedo from the atmosphere and zero ground albedo. But sadly for fake reality, the value again is only correct for a clear sky with the sun slap overhead.

  22. @144

    "2. The formula for the area of a sphere is 4 π r2, while the formula for the area of a circle is π r2. Therefore a sphere (the real 3-D Earth) has four times larger area than a circle (the 2-D cross section of the Earth) with the same radius."

    I made clear that I know why you do it like that.

    And I made clear that it doesn´t matter what you think is right, when we can see that without doubt that you have a defect model.Your result gets us the useless information about earth in darkness heated @240W.

    We know when that state appeared in your calculations, and we know what value it should have been /m^2. That is all the reason we need to come to the conclusion that it is not the right model of earth. Apart from the dividing by four.

    I don´t disagree with you about the method in general, but here it is an apparent problem.


    "3. The Earth’s Bond albedo is close to 0.3 or 30 % according to any comreliable sources."

    I think that can wait as we dont have a working agreed model yet. I refuse to use a 240W sun as it is dark. And with that darkness we don´t have to worry about albedo.

    First we focus on blackbody radiation and all that it  applies to. Because that is a complete model for radiating bodys and heat transfer.

    Instead of relying on your dysfunctional model and making reality the culprit, when you get the wrong results.


    "4. Tehe Earth’s surface emissivity depends on the type of terrain, but is most ly between 0.95 and 0.99, at least for wavelengths between 4 and 16 mitcrons."

    I wouldn´t waste your time if that would be news to me. Should I ignore that you don´t mention that SW is from 500nm< and up. With 53%-ish of the energy in IR. Mostly SW-IR(NIR). the flux density is a minor fraction in Far-IR compared to NIR and it is all thermal radiation. We get a lot more input power than output.

    Are you saying that we should use a value for all wavelengths that is 0.9?

    We know what is going in and out. That is emissivity.

  23. @144 MA Rodger

    Are you saying that there never is 1000W/m-2 in any place?

    Are you saying that the required 1000W for 288K is not all coming from the sun?

    That is a bit spooky.

    Are you saying that a model of earth in darkness is our best available alternative?

    Sorry, can't do that.

    Read carefully:

    To have a medan surface tempel of 288K, as a greybody, it is necessary to have 1000W/m-2 fluxdensity of solar irradiation on 1/2 surface area. It is not like you can have different opinions about that,that is a fact. Irradiation has to be 1000W/m-2. Or are you saying that there is heat transfer at night from air to grund.

    In that case, what T(air) and T(surface) dö you use?

  24. @145

    "(B) The Wikipedia Sunlight page does also say in the Summary "...the direct sunlight at Earth's surface when the Sun is at the zenith is about 1050 W/m2, but the total amount (direct and indirect from the atmosphere) hitting the ground is around 1120 W/m2.[3]" The Wikipedia reference [3] is to a commercial company's archived archived web entitled "Introduction to Solar Radiation" (the company is into optics) and it does quote the values but provides no source. The 1120W/m^2 value would be correct if there was very little albedo from the atmosphere and zero ground albedo. But sadly for fake reality, the value again is only correct for a clear sky with the sun slap overhead." 

    I can only interpret your words as:

    You do not think that it is likely that we get irradiation @ fluxdensity of 1000W in enough amount, you think that such a number is likely to be wrong? 

    And you say that knowing that 1000W is the density that has to irradiate 1m^2, 1/2 the sphere. To get 288K surface mean temperature?

    Please tell me were you get the extra energy. You must have a hidden stash somewhere.

  25. @ 137 MA Rodger

    The concept of "4 weak suns" was introduced by fake reality @116 and he has since often restated it but entirely failed to explain it. I would suggest that the "4 weak suns" (which as KR points out @133 is conceptually a bit of a dog's breakfast if taken literally) is probably better described as a "quarter strength sun" and is being applied to, for instance, the usual account of the planet's energy balance, as per IPCC AR5 fig 2-11.

    I think I have answered how you get the model with 4 suns. Do you still wonder how?

    I´ll tell you again, because this is the funniest part in GH-theory.

    Whenever you divide something in 4 parts you get equal parts of the initial number if you do it like you do.

    Only way to get rid of those fractions is to multiply by four. That your result is written like W/m^2 doesn´t mean that the other 3 parts dissapeared. Pay attention to the fact that you are trying to describe reality correct. If you divide the sun by 4, then you have 4 suns. They irradiate 4m^2.

    The waveform of the radiated intensity has a peak value, a probable maximum, that corresponds to peak intensity/wavelength. I say that everything points at 1000W being the right value for maximum intensity/wavelength for mainly two reasons.

    First, it is what is needed for mean 288K. Second, it is a commonly observed number all over the earth. That is enough to use it until something better shows up. Your 4 suns @240W is not what I define as "better". On top of that, the fudge you apply is the most contradicting set of functions that is the opposite of observations.

    We never heat anything up with a colder gas. We never use water in large amounts when we describe what heats a gas like air. Never do we pour water at something hot expecting it to get hotter.

    All of greenhouse-functions cannot be confirmed in experimental trials. There is no information that shows co2 as a heating agent in any system in heat transfer. It only gets heated and never gets hot enough to heat something.

    You are showing spectral distribution of intensity from the atmosphere that has the clear sign of co2 acting in IR-wavelengths around 15micrometer and claiming that it shows how much it´s heating.

    But the spectrum shows that co2 lowers spectral  intensity efficiently in peak wavelengths OLR. That is nothing but a sign of lower temperature and since it radiates equal in all directions, we know that radiation downwards must be at the same intensity.

    In the midst of all that you use emissivity as a tool for explaining an increase in temperature, when the definition of emissivity is that it equals absorption and always is <1.

    No matter what the explanation is, using emissivity as the thing that increase intensity is the opposite of what kirchoff´s law is about.

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