A Tale of Two Versions

There They’re Their

Spoken language can be confusing because you can have words which sound exactly the same but mean totally different things.  Such words are called homophones, as found in this section title.  At the very least, and if you’re very familiar with the language in question, the differentiation is implicitly understood given the context.  If you don’t understand the language that well then help is provided by a differentiation of the spelling, but this doesn’t help if you’re not reading it.

Bass Lead Wind

Things can get even more confusing for first-time literates when the words don’t sound the same but are spelled the same:  I caught the bass by singing bass (whatever works I guess!); Lead the bird to fill it with lead; Wind the coil in the wind.  These words are called homographs.

The Greenhouse Effect The Greenhouse Effect

There are two versions of “the greenhouse effect” and, obviously, they use both the same spelling and the same pronunciation.  Such words (or phrases I guess) are called homonyms.  However, few people are aware of any distinction in the case of “the greenhouse effect”.  Let us enlighten ourselves, therefore.

The first version of the greenhouse effect is that which is found in a real greenhouse.  For, why would we have such a thing called “greenhouse effect” if it weren’t for the behaviour of a real greenhouse?  This version of the greenhouse effect comes out of traditional science and physics and denotes the effect found typically inside a glass-ceiling greenhouse where the ceiling prevents what would have been natural atmospheric convection, otherwise found in the open atmosphere.  That is, when a surface is heated, the air in contact with it heats by conduction (and radiation but generally this is a much weaker component of the heating at the contact boundary between the surface and the air), and then the warm air rises because it is less dense, and cool air falls from above to replace it.  This is a natural and automatic process in the open atmosphere.  A real greenhouse prevents convection because it traps the warmed air inside the enclosure and in contact with the surface heating it; the warm air is unable to ascend away and cool air is unable to descend and replace it, because of the glass roof.  Thus, the air inside the greenhouse continues to rise in temperature, and the maximum temperature that could theoretically be achieved inside the real greenhouse is the temperature of the maximum solar heating being absorbed by and within the greenhouse.  Any gas trapped inside a real greenhouse can be considered a “greenhouse gas”, although the term is rather passive, and moot.

Figure 1: The greenhouse effect of a real greenhouse.

Figure 1: The greenhouse effect of a real greenhouse.

The second version of the greenhouse effect is that postulated by climate science, and it is an alternative description of the warming process known for a real greenhouse.  In this second version, a real greenhouse and the open atmosphere operate the same way, rather than the opposite way.  Instead of warm air being trapped, the alternative “climate science greenhouse effect” says that radiation is trapped, and since radiation is trapped then the inside must get warmer than the outside.  The same process happens in the atmosphere because “greenhouse gases” trap radiation just like the ceiling of the real greenhouse traps radiation.  In this case, the temperature inside the greenhouse can become hotter than the maximum solar heating temperature.  That is important for the climate science greenhouse effect because climate science thinks that the solar input to the Earth is too cold to ever heat anything above -180C in temperature on its own.

alternative greenhouse effect

Figure 2: The alternative version of the greenhouse effect from climate science.


Now that we’ve learned about the two types of greenhouse effect – the one for the real greenhouse and the alternative one for climate science – it would be nice to label them differently so that they are easier to distinguish and put into the correct context.  Since the greenhouse effect of a real greenhouse is about trapping air, which is physical material, let’s call the greenhouse effect of a real greenhouse the “physical greenhouse effect“.  And then, since the alternative greenhouse effect of climate science is about trapping radiation, let’s call it the “radiative greenhouse effect“.

OK, Now What?

Okay, so, we have two versions of the greenhouse effect.  Are we supposed to do something with this?  Well yes we are!

Logically, we can have A) either one or the other version describes the actual operation of a real greenhouse, or B) both versions describe the actual operation of a real greenhouse and the atmosphere.  Recall that there is an important logical and physical difference between the two versions.  In the physical greenhouse effect, a real greenhouse operates oppositely the way the open atmosphere operates; in the radiative greenhouse effect, a real greenhouse operates the same way that the open atmosphere operates.

If option B is in play, if it is real physics, then it will lead to the same “empirical observable” as if only the radiative greenhouse effect is in operation from option A.  However, if only the physical greenhouse effect is real and in play, then option B is invalid together with the radiative greenhouse effect.

Let me simplify that.  In other words, we can test which greenhouse effect is real, or if they’re both real.  It is an important test because each version of the greenhouse effect says the opposite thing about how a greenhouse and the open atmosphere operates, and, they use different physics and different maths.  (I will not get into the maths here to keep this article readable for non-math people.)  If you want to be perfectly logical, and you should be, it is not really possible for both versions of the greenhouse effect to be real since they contain a mutual contradiction regarding how the open atmosphere operates; however, most people wouldn’t accept that because it is too logical, and so, at best, we can be gracious and allow that perhaps both versions are in play at the same time.

Simplifying further, what it comes down to is a difference in the “empirical observable” that either version predicts.  This is standard science of course – form a postulate, make a prediction, test the prediction.  So easy, right?  It is most of the time.  The two versions of the greenhouse effect operate differently and predict different things about temperature.  What was the empirical observable that is different between the two versions?

In the physical greenhouse effect, the temperature inside the greenhouse can not exceed the temperature of the maximum solar heating.  In the radiative greenhouse effect, the temperature inside the greenhouse can exceed the temperature of the maximum solar heating.


This is actually centuries-old knowledge, because R.W. Wood performed the relevant experiment in 1909 and found that the temperature inside the greenhouse did not exceed that of the maximum solar heating.  A summary can be read here.  I too performed a similar experiment (paper here, where you can see the maths in gory detail, and the details of how to properly perform the experiment) on the ground surface of Earth itself, with the postulate that the radiation trapped inside the atmosphere should induce a temperature on the surface higher than the maximum solar heating, as per the radiative greenhouse effect.  What I found was that the maximum ground surface temperature was only equal to the maximum solar heating temperature, and so the radiative greenhouse effect postulate was not confirmed.  By default these results only support the physical greenhouse effect, and the radiative greenhouse effect becomes a failed hypothesis for both a real physical greenhouse and the atmosphere.

Recall that there is a very good reason for why climate science postulated an alternative version of the greenhouse effect, based on radiation.  It is because climate science thinks that the heating power from sunshine is too cold to heat anything above -180C, (or -400C in some climate science energy budgets).  So, a rather simple associative postulate was formed imagining that the atmosphere might do “something” like what a greenhouse does, to make the air warmer than what they thought sunshine was capable of doing.  However, this needed to be a radiative effect rather than a physical effect because, basically, sunshine, which is radiation, needed to be made stronger.

It was, at the least, a logical stretch to try to redefine the physical greenhouse effect or to create an alternative version of it, but the attempt was certainly an obvious one to take given the position climate science had put itself in with this previous postulate of solar heating being too cold.  The logical propagation goes back from the radiative greenhouse effect being incorrect, to the previous postulate that solar heating is so feeble.  By incorrectly modelling the solar heating as so cold, there was no possible way, by simple logical propagation, that any math, science, or physics based on that postulate would subsequently be correct or represent reality.

Of course, solar heating is not so cold.  It is much, much hotter than -180C, (or -400C).  After-all, a real greenhouse gets so hot because of solar heating!  And most people are familiar with a hot sidewalk, or hot sand at the beach, and all manner of things which are heated to high temperature by the action of sunlight.

In fact, the strength of the action of sunlight is the most important physical force on planet Earth in its own right.  If sunshine were really only capable of heating anything to -180C, then it wouldn’t be able to melt ice into water or cause water to evaporate into vapor and form clouds; i.e., create the water cycle.  Just look at any typical picture of of a cumulonimbus cloud:

Figure 3: Sunshine is strong enough to do this, all by itself.

It takes a huge amount of heat and high enough temperatures to be able to send that much mass of water that high into the atmosphere!  Sunshine could never do this if solar heating was only -180C…the water would never even be melted from ice in the first place.

Modern Philosophical Analysis

In modern philosophical parlance, what climate science did was create a simulacrum of reality.  The theory of simulacra is, I think, the most important knowledge any person can have in the modern world where access to information is so readily available.  By necessity, if you care for a rational world based in reason, this comes with the fundamental requirement of being able to and having to evaluate the truth of all this information.  Information is only that, and the term does not connote truth or value; information always needs to be evaluated.  One of the best books to read to familiarize yourself with the theory of simulacra is called “Hypersex” by Adam Weishaupt – don’t worry about the title, the book is tame, mostly, and is a wonderful read.  You can also read Jean Baudrillard’s book Simulacra and Simulation, but Hypersex is much more fun, and its only $4.

Basically, a simulacrum is copy, a simulated copy, which while appearing to be the same thing as the original, does not actually contain the essence of the original.  A good example of this is, of course, the movie The Matrix, where all of reality is simulated by a computer program and all the people’s minds trapped inside the computer program can’t tell the difference, can’t tell that their reality is not real.  (Well, most people can’t tell…there are a small few who can “see through the matrix”.)

The climate science version of the greenhouse effect, the radiative greenhouse effect, is probably a perfect, modern, real-world practical example of the creation of a simulacrum, which had all of the potential to entirely replace the original, and real, physical version of the greenhouse effect.  And just like the Matrix, only a few people are able to see through it.  Once you can understand the simulacra of the climate science greenhouse effect, you can begin to identity a very large number of other and related examples of simulacra within all of alarmist climate science; for example, the claim that the ice-core record shows that CO2 increases cause temperature increase, when it is actually the other way around…the simulacrum is hidden simply by never plotting the graphs at high resolution, or by never putting the graphs on the same axes!  Another example is when carbon dioxide is vilified as a pollutant, when it is the greenest environmentally-friendly gas that exists because it is fundamental plant food, and the basis of all life!

The importance of this “greenhouse” example to modern science, to intellectualism in general, to the state of the entire human condition, is monumental.  If humanity, intellectualism, academia, etc., ever required a practical lesson in rational critical thinking, it is provided by the climate alarm and hysteria which comes directly and solely out of the simulacra version of the greenhouse effect of climate science.  This is not a simple lesson.  It is the most profound development that can have possibly occurred in modern scientific times, because if the lesson is not learned, then it guarantees that humanity is not capable of rationally and scientifically surviving in this universe.  Humanity may survive in other ways, surely, but the rational scientific option for humanity’s future, the option of rationally fixing the things which need fixing, rationally developing what needs to be developed, rationally finding peace and prosperity, etc., will be cut off, because humanity will have no guarantee that its science and knowledge corresponds to reality.

Such a guarantee doesn’t exist, in any case, but humanity will be helped tremendously by learning this lesson, and it will be harmed tremendously by not.  What it means is that a large fraction of practicing scientists do not have a critical rational faculty as part of their mental schema, or at least they do not have one which they actively exercise.  This is therefore a stupendous state of affairs for the academic establishment, because it is supposed to be what academia is all about.  It indicates a profound, and fundamental, philosophical and pedagogical crisis in modern academia.  That crisis is fully and satisfactorily described by the “God Series” of books found under the author Mike Hockney.

Climate alarm environmentalist policy is all about global austerity, about making energy more unaffordable and inaccessible to persons and countries of low monetary income.  That is the future which awaits if the lesson of the radiative greenhouse simulacrum is not learned.  Things could end up like, say, “The Hunger Games”, where the monetarily “wealthy”, the plutocratic rulers of society, live in luxury and abundance while everyone else lives in destitute poverty.  Why does Al Gore get to fly around in private jets and own multiple mansions when he is one of the leading exponents for climate alarm environmentalist policy which otherwise lambastes such luxury?  Why, because he can afford the “carbon credits”, of course.  And YOU can’t!  So don’t complain if you can’t afford it.  Just like “President Snow”, from those “Hunger” movies, “Welcome! We salute your courage and your sacrifice and we wish you Happy Hunger Games!”.  

Almost the entire set of linguistics surrounding climate alarm environmentalism revolve around how we need to “sacrifice” to “save the planet”.  And lo-and-behold, population reduction is one of the main themes!  See here for a short list of quotations (near the end of the article) from alarmist environmentalists calling for the outright killing of large numbers of people.  “Do you mean to tell me that you have a problem with an American citizen practicing Capitalism in this country!?“, Gore angrily retorted to a senate hearing when questioned on the conflict of interest of promoting austerity for the general populace when he himself stood to make billions of dollars from carbon credit trading austerity schemes.  Can you believe these people!?  It’s called the “Chicken Little Strategy” for world domination…a literal application of the children’s “Chicken Little” story; perhaps this says just as much about the state of general human intelligence as it does the goals of the plutocratic rulers.

All of these things regarding greenhouses have been very well known for some time and are likewise easy to understand.  You can be assured that anyone who doesn’t allow the climate science version of the greenhouse effect to be questioned and analyzed is defending and protecting the policies that the alarmist environmentalist austerity measures are meant to harm humanity with.  People will do this for one of two reasons: 1) they’re too stupid to understand, 2) they’re compromised either or/and morally, socially, financially, etc.  It is quite easy for the plutocrats to generate support for their policies – they merely buy support in the media in programmatic and editorial support, buy coverage and spin of their policies, sell them as something that looks like a “good cause”, and to never allow the fundamental basis of their philosophy to be questioned, and to attack anyone who does.  All that.  It is easy, and powerful in aggregate.  

Much more difficult is being a Neo in the Matrix that can see through it all; the convenience and strength of this, however, is that it only takes One, to expose the lie, and destroy the system of simulacra.

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65 Responses to A Tale of Two Versions

  1. Arfur Bryant says:

    Insightful stuff, Joe.


  2. squid2112 says:

    Nice post Joe!

    I would like to point out a very simple refutation to the “cold sun”. If the radiation from the sun is only capable of heating the Earth to -18C, then why would NASA need to make space suits white and supply those space suits with cooling mechanisms? Why would NASA need to wrap reflective foil around all of their satellites? If sunshine were only capable of -18C, in order for electronics to work well (especially battery systems), wouldn’t NASA wrap satellites in black? Would they not need to provide heaters to keep their systems warm enough to operate? Why do they have such cooling problems to contend with if sunshine is so cold?

  3. Greg House says:

    “You can also read Jean Baudrillard’s book Simulacra and Simulation, but Hypersex is much more fun,”

    Well, if this sort of sex is much more fun, it is definitely worth trying, it is also clear, that Simulation in the process is important as well, not just stimulation 🙂 .

  4. Nice post Joe!
    Better than I had hoped for. I especially liked your take down of the (AAA).
    Being me I must critisize!! You have no explanation of what you mean by “temperature of the maximum solar heating”. I had to go back to Wood’s demo, to see what was being expressed.
    His max box temperature was that of an opaque box with normal emissivity, with heat dissapated to the air by all normal meathods on the earth surface in direct insolation, conductive convective and a bit of radiative.
    If these are also limited, an earth solar furnace can reach 1900 Kelvin. Big and optically fast mother, only heating a pyrometer with little surface area. Keep up the good work!

  5. Greg House says:

    “See here for a short list of quotations (near the end of the article) from alarmist environmentalists calling for the outright killing of large numbers of people.”

    There are no links to the souses there, unfortunately, so let me add one with the link, so that everyone would be able to check it easily: “In order to stabilize world population we must eliminate 350.000 people per day” Jacques Cousteau, the UNESCO Courier, Nov. 1991, p.13 http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0009/000902/090256eo.pdf

  6. Greg House says:

    I meant “links to the sources”, not souses, sorry.

  7. @Will 2013/12/05 at 10:01 AM

    Temperature of the solar heating is the temperature calculated from the solar heat, given the absorption of solar energy on a surface. This is done via the Stefan-Boltzmann Law which of course you know, but I’ll state it:

    F = sigma*epsilon*T4 where F is the absorbed (and re-emitted at equilibrium) flux, sigma is the usual thing (SB Constant) and epsilon the emissivity


    T = (F/epsilon/sigma)1/4.

    This equation works quite well for predicting the temperature of surfaces exposed to solar insolation, as has been discussed in my papers. In fact there is no other equation that exists in physics to perform such a calculation, at all.

    If solar energy is magnified then higher temperatures can of course be achieved.

  8. A good comment from over at PSI which I want to copy here:

    Joe, you say:

    “In the physical greenhouse effect, the temperature inside the greenhouse can not exceed the temperature of the maximum solar heating.”

    On Venus, the physical temperature at and near the surface far exceeds the temperature of ‘maximum solar heating’. If by ‘maximum solar heating’ you mean the physical temperature directly derived from the S-B equation based on the maximum solar flux. Well, even if the full solar flux at Venus’s distance from the Sun (2611 W/m^2) were to strike its surface, this would not be able, according to the S-B equation, to raise its surface temperature higher than 190C. In reality, though, it happens to be at 464C.

    The temperature at the surface of Venus is due to the lapse rate, the 90km thick atmosphere. Possibly also geothermal activity. It is not due to the radiative greenhouse effect since that effect doesn’t exist, of course. If it doesn’t exist in experiments on the Earth, then it doesn’t exist elsewhere. It is neither the physical greenhouse effect (since Venus doesn’t have a solid ceiling) nor the radiative greenhouse effect (since this doesn’t exist) which causes Venus’ high surface temperature.

    The term “greenhouse effect” should be dissociated from Venus and all open atmosphere’s in general.

  9. Greg House says:

    “let’s call the greenhouse effect of a real greenhouse the “physical greenhouse effect“. And then, since the alternative greenhouse effect of climate science is about trapping radiation, let’s call it the “radiative greenhouse effect“.”

    This is a good idea to separate them, but I prefer the term “IPCC “greenhouse effect”” including parenthesis.

    Radiative greenhouse effect sounds like a real thing. And we’d better focus on the IPCC than on climate science in general.

  10. Yah that’s a good point Greg. So it is the “physical greenhouse effect”, and the “alternative IPCC radiative version of the “greenhouse effect””, which doesn’t exist. 🙂

  11. Dang! I just hate it when someone uses logic. (A U.N. Climate Scientist Goon.)

  12. Regarding the vagaries of English: Can you properly pronounce this word — Ghoti. Or do you know this already?

  13. Huh?? 🙂 Looks Indian to me…? Don’t know the word.

  14. Joseph E Postma says: 2013/12/05 at 4:50 PM
    @Will 2013/12/05 at 10:01 AM

    “Temperature of the solar heating is the temperature calculated from the solar heat, given the absorption of solar energy on a surface. This is done via the Stefan-Boltzmann Law which of course you know, but I’ll state it:”
    T = (F/epsilon/sigma)1/4. I get T = (F/(epsilon x sigma))1/4.

    Joe they still have you thinking “radiative”! In the physical!, here on the surface, radiative heat dispersion is negliable! If surface radiationwere possible to space and all other forms of heat dispersion were suppresed, than your approx 1000 watts/m^2 surface direct Solar insolation @ 30 latitude, would result in a 365 Kelvin surface temperature. With no radiative dispersion but just convection of 290 Kelvin air at a lateral velocity of 0.5 meter per second (1MPH) would reduce that temperature to.330 Kelvin.
    “In fact there is no other equation that exists in physics to perform such a calculation, at all.”

    Wrong!! The formula for convective air heat transfer have been in Thermodynamics handbooks for at least 100 years. Do not trust “anything” the Climate Clowns say. Even the punctuation is suspect. Any reference to the S-B equation anywhere in the earth atmosphere is all Clown junk.
    Do not even trust my wods or my conjectures. Do your own work and learn.aw shits are easy once you get used to it.
    I think I can explain why thermal radiation from the earth’s surfacs is so low. It all has to do with aqueous vapor in the atmosphere. Give me some time to think. Please accept that there is no such thing as “back radiation”. Than please accept, for your own considerationn and evaluation, my conjecture of why there is little potential for such surface radiation. It is the same aqueous vapor that radiatsn from the atmosphere to space that keeps the planet from overheating. I will be using the diferential, with respect to temperature, form of the S-B equation. in such conjecture. Yes I hav. measured!

  15. Ghoti: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghoti

    [JP: Oh darn…I accidentally edited out your whole comment instead of replying to it…sorry.]

  16. Greg House says:

    “So it is the “physical greenhouse effect”, and the “alternative IPCC radiative version of the “greenhouse effect””, which doesn’t exist. :)”

    Actually I am thinking now that the term “greenhouse effect” is unfortunately already completely contaminated by warmists, so using it when referring to the real thing would still be confusing and misleading. The climate liars have sort of desecrated this term. Maybe what really happens in the real greenhouse should be described in other words. and just referring to the roof and walls keeping the colder outside air from coming inside would be sufficient. Besides, nobody would say “it is warm in my house in winter because of physical greenhouse effect”. We should keep in mind who our target audience are. Introducing a complicated term for a simple natural thing could well be confusing, and confused people are likely to stop following.

  17. Yes that too is a good point Greg. The term itself has been destroyed and removed from all logic. For us, we can easily logically define it and separate the contexts, but this is meaningless and confusing to most people probably. Well, still I think that an article like this is easy to understand and it written without any maths etc., I think if the average person read this they would get it. But the problem is in getting people to read…

  18. Greg House says:

    Yes, the main idea of the article should be clear to everyone.

  19. Well Will I’m not discussing non-radiative situations, but a radiative situation. If the situation is radiative, there IS a way to calculate the forcing temperature of the radiation, and it is done in the way that I showed. That method is empirically confirmed.

  20. Joseph E Postma says: 2013/12/05 at 9:05 PM
    Well Will I’m not discussing non-radiative situations, but a radiative situation. If the situation is radiative, there IS a way to calculate the forcing temperature of the radiation, and it is done in the way that I showed. That method is empirically confirmed.

    OK Where is it that this was empirically confirmed? Where was the radiative only situation. What temperature did the box get to. In my vacuum environment I had no insolation and no near abs zero. There I would calculate only what I could test. In Wood’s demo his box got only to 64 degree Celsius which is a good number for convective cooling. This temperature could never radiate a kilowatt per m^2 even toi cold space. The Clowns say “radiation” and you jump on radiative, even when it does not apply, like with Woods boxes. Shore seems to lead you around by the nose. Why are you letting the (AAA) is leading you nowhere?. Validate the physical, not the simulacrum of reality. Sorry if I have offended you. -will-

  21. If you have a Wood’s box or a regular greenhouse, convection is not a cooling option for the interior. The interior should rise above the insolation temperature, if the IPCC greenhouse version is correct, so that the outside can convect and radiate the heat that it needs to. That hasn’t been observed.

    What is it that you’re referring to with your vacuum environment? What happened and what did you do?

  22. Max™ says:

    Convective Greenhouse Effect and Radiative Greenhouse Effect?

  23. I would understand what that means…but I think Greg’s problem (the one he explained) would still be there…

  24. Max™ says:

    True, maybe toss “real” and “imaginary” before them?

  25. Real Convective Greenhouse Effect and Imaginary IPCC Radiative Greenhouse Effect?

    I like “the real greenhouse effect of a real greenhouse” vs. “the imaginary alternative version of the greenhouse effect of climate science”…

  26. Joseph E Postma says:2013/12/06 at 3:25 AM
    Real Convective Greenhouse Effect and Imaginary IPCC Radiative Greenhouse Effect?
    I like “the real greenhouse effect of a real greenhouse” vs. “the imaginary alternative version of the greenhouse effect of climate science”…

    Yes Real Greenhouses have nothing to do with IR radiation from the ground. The Clown Greenhouse also has nothing to do with radiation from the ground The radiation part “is” the Clown red herring!

    Joseph E Postma says: 2013/12/05 at 11:40 PM
    If you have a Wood’s box or a regular greenhouse, convection is not a cooling option for the interior. The interior should rise above the insolation temperature, Yes the temperature of the interior can rise and also increase, slightly, the temperature of the box which is collectively not radiatively cooled. The plants have no cold air blowing on them stunting their growth. If you mean by your insolation temperature, your T^4 number of 365 Kelvin, this does not happen inside or to the box itself. Everything is cooled by convection. the surface does not have to radiate at all another Clown red herring. The atmosphereic radiation to space itself can and does cool the earth! Cool to below freezing in icy times.

    “if the IPCC greenhouse version is correct, so that the outside can convect and radiate the heat that it needs to. That hasn’t been observed.” Of course not it does not exist!

    “What is it that you’re referring to with your vacuum environment?”
    I was asking about how “you” did -“That method is empirically confirmed”.- If the situation is radiative, there IS a way to calculate the forcing temperature of the radiation, and it is done in the way that I showed.
    ” What happened and what did you do?’ I never used below -30 Celsius, Some did 77 Kelvin LN2, but eight Kelvin is “hard to do” unless you are Lockheed-Martin.
    The earth surface has never radiated since ” water” most IR is absorbed (93%) within 40 meters of the ground with a radiative potential difference of only 0.5 degree. About 30 MilliWatts per meter^2

  27. Ron C. says:

    Joe, I found the following comment posted by bobl on a WUWT thread. I wonder if you find it credible. I take him to say that even if one accepts the IPCC calculation of energy imbalance, the climate effects are impossible.

    “Be aware that there is an established law of physics called the law of conservation of energy, be also aware that we are talking about a piddling 0.6W energy imbalance per square meter. That’s less than the light of a christmas LED bulb spread over a 1/2 m circle, that’s it. With that piddling bit more energy you are wanting the temperature of the atmosphere to rise, the entire ocean to expand, more water to evaporate, storms to get bigger, storms to be more energetic, more wind, more evaporation, more rain, more lightning, deep oceans to warm up, gigatonnes upon gigatonnes of ice to melt, more algae to grow, rocks to erode faster… and only the good lord knows what else is claimed. Each effect however takes energy OUT, heat expressed as increased wind speed is no longer heat, heat absorbed by growing algae is no longer heat, it is matter, locked up in chemical bonds. Every effect you claim SUBTRACTS from the heating effect. All these effects and the warming too is supposedly powered by an extra LED christmas light per square metre.”

    Joe, I wondered where the 0.6W/m2 came from and I found this:

    “Earth is out of energy balance by at least 0.5 W/m2. If other forcings are unchanged, atmospheric CO2 must be reduced 30 ppm, to a level approximately 360 ppm, to increase Earth’s heat radiation to space by 0.5 W/m2. However, the measured energy imbalance was 0.59 W/m2 in 2005-2010, during a deep solar minimum. We estimate the energy imbalance averaged over a solar cycle as ~ 0.75 W/m2. In that case, CO2 would need to be reduced to about 345 ppm to restore energy balance, if other factors are fixed.”

    From Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications , James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Pushker Kharecha

  28. Peter Weggeman (Petrus) says:

    Joe, good stuff, merci encore. It is amazing how the big lie of “climate change” permeates society. It is sustained by a propaganda campaign Herr Goebbels would be proud of. Two central metaphors, “greenhouse”, and “climate change” and several dramatic images repeated over and over; global warming, melting ice, rising oceans, violent weather, increasing CO2 in the atmosphere from fossil fuels, etc. A recent edition of The Economist mentions a “climate change crisis” and “CO2 as a climate changing gas”. I expect better from them. These sum up the issue for the public. More CO2 in the air makes it warmer and most of it comes from man’s use of fossil fuels. The alleged mechanism is that CO2 in the air acts like a roof by capturing heat rising from the warm Earth and sends it back down to the surface via CO2 back-radiation making/keeping the surface warmer. The gullible public accepts this simple explanation. This makes it a super greenhouse where the roof also acts as a heater and the propagandists love the metaphor. Global energy balance, 2nd LoT, convection, water vapor, solar radiation, etc., have nothing to do with it. The big lie is based on a single phenomenon: CO2 back-radiation. Science from the late 19th century. That’s what needs to be shot down to kill the lie. It is mentioned almost as an aside in some your and your colleagues work. I think it needs a frontal attack.

  29. Greg House says:

    Max™ says: “True, maybe toss “real” and “imaginary” before them?”

    Guys, the terms are secondary. The reference to the real greenhouse is secondary. The primary issue is that people do not know how exactly according to the IPCC certain gases are supposed to warm the “world”. This is what should be made clear to them in the first place. Then many of them will understand almost immediately how they have been fooled by all this AGW propaganda. Others will need some simple explanation and a few examples from the everyday life. That is all.

    As for the term “greenhouse effect”, it is essentially a propaganda tool to create certain impression, even if historically it maybe was just a mistake. To connect something real and this propaganda term is like talking of “real unicorns” when referring to horses 🙂 .

  30. Greg House says:

    Sorry for OT, but I have just found this one: “Let’s look close to home, in orbit around the planet, at the International Space Station. A piece of bare metal in space, under constant sunlight can get as hot as two-hundred-sixty (260) degrees Celsius.” (http://www.universetoday.com/77070/how-cold-is-space/)

    This does not fit well the 1367 W/m² value …

  31. Greg House says: 2013/12/06 at 5:20 PM
    Sorry for OT, but I have just found this one: “Let’s look close to home, in orbit around the planet, at the International Space Station. A piece of bare metal in space, under constant sunlight can get as hot as two-hundred-sixty (260) degrees Celsius.” (http://www.universetoday.com/77070/how-cold-is-space/) This does not fit well the 1367 W/m² value …
    Why not? What number do you get for a two sided grey body with one side facing thr Sun?

  32. James says:

    One poster here on another thread mentioned that his musings on CO2 however correct they might be were just opening up another can of worms and he ended his point there. Yes, this is one major problem. No matter how hard people try to simplify the climate conundrum, the field is amazingly non simplified. If there IS no GHE then why talk so much about it? Better to talk about what really explains global temperatures.

    Since the planet is essentially a spinning rock in a vacuum with an insulator covering it, why can’t elegant solutions measuring surface temperature of said rock, verifiable in a basic lab setting be done?

    Does Huffman’s work elegantly transcend this whole mess by looking at the atmosphere and temperature in terms of density, pressure and distance from the Sun?

    I think when you had Curt and was it Neutrino, you had the golden opportunity to work with them until they saw the light. I do note when care, time and effort are taken in responding to Neutrino as an example, however in many discussions there is a bilious response to the warmists as if this were a street fight. Wasted opportunities fellows. Most effective debaters could care less if they are right, as long as they win the debate. Many of you miss so much nuance in your quest to deliver the quick TKO. You wonder how to convince warmists but you ignored everything they said that shed light on their thought process. Better to call them nut cases and smarten them up eh?

    I’ll point out a truism from Allan Eltor:

    “You all each and every one of yas need to understand:
 and potentially REALITY BASED RESULTS of such thinking 
in a


    Basic question: who is your audience? Do they like being called clowns? Can you get some of these people to admit their version describes an over-unity system of energy production? Get them to admit that to themselves first, that they are talking about a hyper reality where physical and arithmetical laws don’t apply, where energy bifurcates and replicates or clones itself – somehow. And it is this ‘somehow’ that is the hand waving of the theory of a GHE.

    If someone like that, someone like Curt or Neutrino bail at such a realization that clearly the assumed ‘well established’ theory is highly unlikely, then maybe they would be open to a new model of explaining observed reality – such as in Mr. Huffman’s work:


    De-bunking non reality should only go so far, until you step outside that box of self illusion and all it’s accompanying concepts and terms, and transition to better models that at least obey physical laws. Trying to simultaneously de-bunk a non reality with the same language that you then prove a reality, is perhaps impossible, if not politically futile.

    The debate with the warmists shouldn’t be whether non reality exists (faith), but whether there is over unity going on – or a more likely scenario. If they grudgingly admit they’d rather believe in a concept that makes reality based sense, then spend more time fleshing that out – have a better model to show them.

  33. @Ron C. – Well yes, the alarmists are getting very alarmed at what amount to negligible changes even if they’re true (and they’re probably not), and, in complete ignorance of the beneficial effect of CO2 fertilization of the air which is good for life. Alarmism is a political tool, it is not science, or reality.

  34. Peter yes I agree it needs an attack. I think this article is good for framing what are actually the conditions of the argument, because it has never really been made as clear as I have presented here. With this, now we have a way forward something to test. Test the damn postulate again. It has been before, but do it again. If the radiative postulate isn’t reality, and it isn’t, then they have no basis. Of course this is already known anyway, but it doesn’t matter, because they just “SAY” whatever they want, and do whatever they want, and no one really cares or pays attention. The masses are attracted to the spectacle, and alarmism is a great spectacle; hum-drum empirical science and statements of basic theory that don’t inspire a spectacle of fear and entertainment are worthless to the media and the mob.

  35. Greg the reason is simply because of emissivity. Many/most metals have very low emissivity. The perfect blackbody case of directly converting 1367 W/m^2 to +121C is the lowest temperature something could have; anything else with lower emissivity than unity will be higher temperature. This is important of course for the atmosphere of which 99% is said unable to radiaite (O2 and N2), meaning the atmosphere must have very low emissivity and can therefore have higher temperature than the -18C which comes from 240 W/m^2 “average”. Anything that emits, such as CO2, or clouds, has high emissivity and therefore serves to cool!

  36. Greg House says:

    Joe, I suggest you urgently delete your last comment and take some time to think over it.

  37. Low emissivity is not the greenhouse effect, if that’s what you’re implying Greg?

  38. Well those are all very good points James, but this got abusive towards us almost instantaneously. It was a tactic that they used to win with, because when we got defensive and hurt and angry in response, they just used that to say we were crazy cranks…when it is they who verbally abused the heck out of us all. Yes, we tried nicely asking them to consider the over-unity aspects, the non-real aspects that a real greenhouse doesn’t operate the radiative way even though it should, according to them(!). These were always obvious, simple, and kind things to ask and point out. In response, vitriol and ridicule, and that stuck to US, to the Slayers etc, because we defended ourselves with as much vigor as we were irrationally ganged up upon. We were naive but pointing out basic logical truths, they were experts at debate and making sh*t bounce of them and stick to us.

    Look at how plainly this article is written. This is a very pleasant, kind, relaxing read, the kind of read you could have beside a wood fireplace with a cup of tea, and feel good about reading it. I offer you a challenge. Bring it to a warmist, alarmist, etc. whatever, pretend you “stand by” it, make a point of the logic and the two versions, one of which is empirically disproven, and SEE if you can get a response that doesn’t involve some form of hate.

  39. Greg House says:

    James says: “If there IS no GHE then why talk so much about it? Better to talk about what really explains global temperatures.”

    Really? Apart from trends in “global temperatures” never been proven to be a real thing, the non-existent GHE is used politically and there is a huge propaganda promoting it. That’s why.

  40. Pingback: Logical Physics Maths | Climate of Sophistry

  41. James says:

    [JP: My emphasis 🙂 ]

    Yes Joseph I understand there are likely a majority of climate science activists who are just running with their passion and facts be damned. This pattern is repeated throughout society with many different issues before us. They spew their vitriol because they have a new religion, and a purpose in life for perhaps their first and only time ever. They are blinded. The more effectively you point out flaws in their logic, the angrier they get.

    The mind is repelled by a variety of things, and this hits an emotional chord because people want to ‘do the right thing’ for society, for the tribe. And you heathen are standing in the way! We are talking religion, not logic here. I have noticed before, that it is not the hardest thing to unravel some of the various mysteries in our world – but relay them to other people. It requires a whole other set of abilities, some of which are obviously out of our control. So we have to work with what the other people have – they do want to do the right thing.

    The majority do not want to confront new ways of thinking about well established (presumed facts). It seems that is because of our school experiences where if we followed the authority, the teacher, and got an A we were a) smart and b) correct.

    There is a former physics professor from U of Ottawa, he likely still has a blog, who found out how giving people marks for their academics subverts the learning process. Typical schooling seems to set up a hierarchical system where the student learns how to please the teacher, not the fundamentals of the subject. Students tend to put the majority of their effort into the task at hand – pleasing the teacher and acing the exam. There’s rarely the luxury time in really knowing the subject fundamentals.

    My exposure to applied science was that it was all ‘surface’ knowledge, no depth of understanding explored or expected. At higher levels of University the silo effect intensifies – where’s the context of one’s specialty? Who gives the grants, the real question.

    It will always be a minority who want to know the truth.

    This minority are found within all walks of life, not just within a sub division of science. Our side should just try to win over the brave, willing to think and question types, not the stuffed shirt, punch the time clock, intellectually lazy and timid to authority types. Even though the truly thinking – and intellectually responsible are a minority, the herd will follow them eventually.

    It’s a sad but true realization that one’s peers and friends may not (yet) be able to see what you can. Which is why I ask people on our side to step back from their current viewpoint and look at the bigger picture.


    I think I gave a good possible tact in making some headway in my previous post. Maybe there’s a subtlety here. People who are illogical and crazed with their religion can’t really be converted with logic. But they sometimes do convert to another religion that fits their sensibilities better.

    If you understand the person’s viewpoint that way, and get them to relay their religion to you, maybe it starts the ball rolling where they like YOUR religion better – where the math adds up, where energy isn’t created out of nowhere.

    So here’s the hard hard part, in examining the big big picture. I came here from a PSI link, a credit to John’s tireless work. At one time for some reason a couple of the Slayers asked me to give a layperson’s slant in their book, perhaps it could help somehow. My view then was that the effort should be tailored more to the lay public to help expand the debate, but more of the hard science hitting the traditional wall effort was preferred.

    I still think that clarifying the GHE issue so a grade school student can understand it will pay far greater dividends than engaging specialists in ever torqued rants. But more importantly, simple lab demonstrations on a youtube channel should also be worked out for the layperson. These were my ideas at the time, that in effect we needed a multimedia effort, and clear tangible proofs that people could verify themselves.

    We don’t actually have to debunk the GHE, we just have to specify exactly what it says – what the leap of faith is, and let the public reject it when they see fit. If alternative views of what explains our global temperature do not have this BS component are publicized (such as Huffman’s) then the public is well on the way to letting the politicians know that they don’t buy the scam – and then the specialist scientists you debate will be forced to see the light. That’s the order I see things changing, which is the opposite flow to how scientists think things ‘should’ go…

    Children > Adults > Media > Politicians > Scientists

    If a person can’t properly explain the science to a child, how well do they really know the topic?

  42. That’s wonderful and brilliant clarity James, thanks for that. Yes indeed, I am beginning to head down the road you describe and things should eventually begin turning up that children can understand, etc. Brilliant analysis all around, particularly in describing the religious aspect of it all, and the tribe, etc. I’m going to bold all of your text to make it stand out 🙂

  43. Joseph E Postma says: 2013/12/06 at 10:14 PM
    Low emissivity is not the greenhouse effect, if that’s what you’re implying Greg?

    Greg was not refering to any effect or any houes except the shithiuse. I agree
    go to the shithouse and think about what you wrote in response to Greg Go for seven hours, then return with a explanation of why a low but uniform spectral emissivity males no difference.
    and the low temperature is only because the emitting surface area is twice the absorbing surface area. No GHE, a thin peice of metal in space NEO with no futther description of the geometry.. If you wish to calculate the metal temperature with one corner of the sheet pointing at the Sun we will; hear from you in a few years. What would be the temperature with the surface grey and spinning with an axis containg the large surface of the plate but not not nornat to the Sun? Even radiative Thermodynamics is 97% geometry,. With no geometry you have no single answer. If the plate has finite emissivity at some frequency band in the direction of the Sun and zero in all other directions the plate “must’ reach the temperature of the Sun. Why? Can it reach a temperature higher than the Sun? No! Will it only reach a temperature less than the Sun? Every time you make any mistake!

  44. Ghoti is pronounced fish. The gh from laugh is pronounced as an f. The o from women is pronounced as the short i sound. The ti from inertia is pronounced sh. Ergo: ghoti sounds the same as fish. Isn’t English wonderful. 🙂

  45. D.M. says:

    Joe, isn’t there a “small” error in your greenhouse diagrams? I assume that your real greenhouse has 2500 panes of glass in the roof. Shouldn’t your similar IPCC greenhouse have 2499 of these panes removed to simulate real earth atmosphere conditions?

  46. It could but the result is the same anyway 🙂

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  48. blouis79 says:

    The “on earth” greenhouse effect is just the effect of convection blocking. Is a real greenhouse warmer or cooler than a tin shed?

    I am perpetually annoyed that “radiaitve equilibrium” temperature is considered to be temperatue on the ground under the atmosphere when it should be the integrated temperature of the optical radiating surface of earth as measurable from space.

    I still would like to see experimental results of core temperature (as a proxy for average urface temperature)of a shiny metal sphere in space and a dull black sphere in space, both illuminated by sunlight. By my calculations, assuming equlibrium absorptivity=emissivity (Planck Law), both should be the same temperature.

  49. johnmarshall says:

    Great picture of a Cb top. And they can build well above the tropopause, contrary to popular belief.
    I witnessed, and measured, a Cb building above 70,000ft over the Indian Ocean. When I reported this to a senior meteorologist, in fact the senior UKMO forecaster at the time, he stated that it was impossible and changed the subject.

    The openmindedness of scientists knows no bounds.

  50. Wow 70,000ft? That’s like 20km! Now consider that that air rises with water vapour, but then comes down emptied of water vapour. That means there is an ongoing, continuous, differential in the lapse rate of rising air vs. that of falling air. In Calgary we call it a Chinook and it makes the air much warmer on the way down than when it went up. That might be the whole explanation of the atmosphere and near-surface temperature right there.

  51. Air goes up with a slow lapse rate due to water vapour content; air comes down with a fast lapse rate because it has been emptied of water vapour content. And this happens permanently, everywhere, all the time; we call it weather and precipitation. Et voila.

  52. TomP says:

    re: https://climateofsophistry.com/2013/12/04/a-tale-of-two-versions/#comment-4794

    D.M: I quite agree – JP’s Figure 2 doesn’t make clear that all the solar energy absorbed at the surface escapes at some point through the “roof”, otherwise known as Top of Atmosphere. JP also makes the comment here: https://climateofsophistry.com/2013/12/04/a-tale-of-two-versions/#comment-4609 that “the temperature at the surface of Venus is due to the lapse rate, the 90km thick atmosphere”. This is absolutely correct. So would JP not agree that the same mechanism could be at work on earth? The lapse rate on both planets is very similar, and the earth’s atmosphere is around 1/12th the thickness of the Venus atmosphere. If you work out the numbers, you find that the numbers match: at the top of the troposphere on both planets, the temperature of the layer radiating into space matches the incoming radiation. Given the altitude of this layer, the lapse rate determines the temperature of the atmosphere at the surface.
    This is a much simpler and more comprehensible way of understanding the planetary greenhouse effect, and bypasses the rather dogmatic arguments about the radiation balance at the surface.

  53. Sure Tom I’ve written about that previously. It’s certainly more plausible than the existing, debunked, radiative reinterpretation of the greenhouse effect.

  54. johnmarshall says:

    I was in a crew flying in a Vulcan, over the Indian ocean, and we tried to get clear of the clear air turbulence associated with these massive clouds. We failed at 63,000ft and we saw actively building Cb well above us and the day was but young, plenty of solar heat to still arrive.
    The service ceiling of the Vulcan was 65.000ft. Our safety equipment was good to 45,000ft so we chickened out and returned to a very rough flight at 45,000.

  55. Pingback: Climate Alarm and the Abomination of Desolation | Climate of Sophistry

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  58. Andy Hurley says:

    Thanks Joe, every little helps on the learning curve !
    And for your delectation , how about “The Fraudulent Greenhouse Effect”

  59. EF2B says:

    Joe did you know that the atmosphere has more than one layer?

  60. EF2B, do you like asking stupid questions?

  61. Pingback: The First Law of Thermodynamics Debunks the Climate Alarm Greenhouse Effect | Climate of Sophistry

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