The Atmosphere does not “Pile Heat”

What is Insulation, And what Does it Do?

People (well, the climate alarmists) don’t seem to understand what “insulation” is. They think that it means that it makes heat “pile up” inside the source of heat, or in the medium between the insulation and source of heat, so that the source of heat and/or the medium will get hotter than the source of heat and power input.

There is no such thing as “heat pile up”. This is a non-existent concept. You can think of it, like you can think of a unicorn, but it doesn’t exist.  Heat does not pile up, it readily and freely flows into whatever is around it.

Insulation is something that only works in a gaseous environment – it is all about a gaseous environment. Insulation, a blanket, a greenhouse, all work the same way, and that way is preventing convective cooling and air circulation.  Insulation in the form of a blanket, a sweater, a greenhouse enclosure, home insulation, etc., is about reducing and eliminating convective cooling, i.e. the loss of warm air.  A blanket, or insulation, etc., is about doing the opposite of what the atmosphere does!

In your house, insulation helps prevent the furnace-heated air from escaping your house and being replaced with cold air from outside. It doesn’t make the furnace burn hotter.  In your water heater, it helps the water retain its temperature after it has been heated.  It doesn’t make the water hotter than the heater.

You can wrap a heat source with as much insulation as you want.  All that will happen is that the insulation will reach the temperature of the heat source, and the heat source will not rise in temperature.  Insulation is just matter, just material like anything else.  When exposed to heat, it will warm, and will conduct that heat outward via diffusion.

Free Energy

People have claimed that if you have a heating element inside a mug of coffee, that if you then wrap the mug in insulation, the coffee and heating element will get hotter and hotter and hotter, because of “heat pile up”.

Rather, the insulation would simply help keep the mug from cooling once the power is removed from the heating element, otherwise, the insulation will simply attain the temperature of the heating element, if left long enough.

Imagine if we could heat coffee, i.e. water, this way? You just wrap enough insulation, and then a heating element at 60C inside the water can cause the water to boil because of “heat pile up” in the water due to the insulation around it!

This violates all of thermodynamics.  We’ve been trying to do stuff like that for hundreds of years. The discovery of the laws of thermodynamics are the result of those attempts.

Same with the steel greenhouse. The claim is that if you keep on adding shells, the inner sphere will get hotter and hotter by a multiple of the number of shells.

If the steel greenhouse worked that way, then you could power a steam engine and get more work out than you put it. You could layer a few shells around the inner source, make the inner source multiple times hotter than the tiny input at the centre, then flood it with water and have instant explosive steam generation. Then repeat over and over. They found back in the 1700’s and 1800’s that reality didn’t work this way.

Diffusive & Radiative Transfer are not Opposite Thermodynamics

If you add a new layer of steel physically directly touching an internally heated sphere, this new layer will simply heat to the temperature supplied from the interior sphere.  In fact, the new layer will be a little cooler because it will have a larger surface area than the original sphere.

The interior won’t get hotter because it heats a new layer of steel on top of it.  In this case you have the diffusion transfer equation, which similarly has a differential of hot and cold terms describing the heat flow, as does the radiation transfer equation, and we all understand that heat does not physically diffuse from cold to hot and that physical contact between a cold object and warm object does not make the warmer object warmer still.

Visually, think of it as in the following diagrams (read the captions please):

t0

Initial configuration. There is a heated element (left, yellow rectangle) with constant power input thus holding a constant temperature. There is also a passive, unheated, cold object being brought in (right, blue square).

diffusive

The passive block is brought into physical contact with the powered heat source. Heat begins transferring via diffusive (conduction) heat transfer from the powered source (rectangle) to the passive block (square) and raises the temperature of the passive block. At 3 sequential times, the temperature of the passive block is equilibrating to equal the temperature of the heat source. Neither the block nor the heat source can become hotter than the original temperature of the heat source, since there is no additional power being supplied to the heat source.

Putting a vacuum gap between the objects does not invert the laws of thermodynamics!!

radiative

With a vacuum gap in between the source of heat and the passive block, radiation transfers heat from the heat source to the passive block and the block rises in temperature to that of the heat source. The heat energy then continues conducting through the block to its other side: this is how and why energy is conserved without the passive block “back-heating” the source.

Insulation, the passive block, does not cause “heat pile up”.  Heat transfers one way only, and cold does not lead to hot becoming hotter still because it is being heated up.

The atmosphere is not a blanket. The atmosphere does not have heat piling up inside it.  And we’re not wrapping the atmosphere in insulation. And adding “insulating cream” to coffee does not make the coffee have a higher final temperature than what it is heated with, etc.

There is no radiative climate science greenhouse effect.  The entire field of climate science is a scandal which exploits the lack of knowledge of the Laws of Thermodynamics in the general populace, and even in the scientific community itself.  Climate science, as based on its radiative greenhouse effect and its “heat pile up” postulate, is founded on an entirely irrational and non-existent premise, as we see the result of for example in the last post.  The foundation of its ontology is wrong, the foundation of its physics is non-existent, thus, none of its alarmist claims which are directly based on that false ontology can be correct.  The alarmism is directly dependent upon that false ontology.  Hence, alarmism is false, along with much of the rest of the field of climate science itself.

Climate Pseudoscience Thermodynamics

The following diagram is how climate science thinks of heat flow and thermodynamics, and all others who subscribe to “steel greenhouse” ideas and the climate science radiative greenhouse effect:

climate thermo

Top: A passive cold object (blue, square) is brought near a heat source (rectangle, yellow). Middle: As the passive cold object is warmed by the heat source, it presents back-resistance to heat flow from the source of heat. Bottom: This requires the source of heat to heat up some more so that it can continue sending heat energy to the passive object.

There’s no end to this process – it results in a constant runaway mutual heating that never ends.  Think of that: mutual heating!  There is no mutual heating.  Heat is only one way, fellas.

Don’t you think we would have noticed that all we needed to do to make a source of heat hotter still was to simply to bring something cold nearby?  Well, we’ve tried to notice that, we’ve spent hundreds of years trying to notice that.  The discovery of the Laws of Thermodynamics have been the result.  There is no such thing as back-resistance to heat flow.

We have the mathematics of heat flow.  We know how it works, we know why it works.  It has been known for around 200 years.  The differential equations of heat flow and conservation of energy simply do not do what is claimed by the climate science radiative greenhouse effect.  Look at the diagrams above, and think about it.

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179 Responses to The Atmosphere does not “Pile Heat”

  1. Pingback: The Atmosphere is not Insulation or a Blanket | Skeptics Chillin'

  2. plazaeme says:

    Lets imagine all your arguments are right. You haven’t considered the case of insulation on a material without a heat source (the source is off) and colder surroundings. You use a thermos bottle for a reason. The heat lasts longer.

    So, at Earth, during the night, the heat will last longer with a “blanket”. And next morning it will be hotter than it would without the “blanket”. Thus, you have a hotter average temperature on earth.

    I know this is not the “greenhouse” argument but it negates yours also, I would think.

  3. No that doesn’t negate my argument or have much to do with it, and you are right that it is not the greenhouse effect in any case. That’s not the issue which debunks climate science. The issue which debunks climate science is its radiative greenhouse effect violating basic thermodynamics, not whether the atmosphere retains heat overnight because it doesn’t have time to cool to 2.7K.

  4. plazaeme says:

    Thank you.

    But the blanket does make hotter the planet, on average. With your arguments.

  5. The question is why, and the question is what is the actual input, and what does it do. Climate alarm is not even wrong, it’s not in this question at all.

    That the bottom of the atmosphere is necessarily its warmest part does not mean that the planet is hotter. The bottom of the atmosphere is not representative of the entire planet. Humans think it is because that’s where we live, but our sensory context is wrong. The planet is neither hotter nor colder than what it is supposed to be, in the context of the planet. The bottom of the atmosphere is warmer than the average of the atmosphere for reasons which are not due to a “radiative greenhouse effect”, not the least of which reason that that greenhouse effect doesn’t exist and violates the laws of thermodynamics.

  6. plazaeme says:

    I haven’t seen the “alarmists” talking about the whole planet. They say the stratosphere will be cooler. And, they don’t care about the Earth’s core (neither do I).

    But, if you accept that the surface air (up to some Km.) will be hotter with a blanket, according to your thinking, that’s OK with me.

    We can call it the “Postma’s greenhouse effect”. 😉 It is unavoidable with your insulation reasoning.

  7. There is no blanket around the atmosphere. Hence no insulation reasoning.

    There is no greenhouse effect anything. Words have been misused and now it has confused everybody and created climate alarm from the confusion which has allowed for a new vector of control system by the old world order powers that be to limit human progress and development.

  8. Thomas Homer says:

    “There is no radiative climate science greenhouse effect.” – Thank you for that! Again, if there were something to measure, we would be measuring it and be well on our way to establishing the “Laws of Radiative Greenhouse Effect”. There are no such Laws, Axioms or Postulates, which should be proof enough that: “There is no radiative climate science greenhouse effect.”

    A fluid gaseous atmosphere is very effective at extracting heat from the Earth’s surface.

    To continue with my Captain Obvious musings, I recently considered the term “lifeblood”. It’s almost always used as an analogy in comments like: “He’s the lifeblood of the team”. But what does lifeblood actually mean itself? I found one definition: “the blood, considered as essential to maintain life”. In terms of life in general, is there anything that fits this definition more so than CO2?

    CO2 is Lifeblood.

    CO2 is the lifeblood of carbon-based life forms, and “Carbon forms the key component for all known naturally occurring life on Earth.” We’ve established that CO2 is the single bottleneck in the carbon cycle of life. Carbon-based life consumes CO2, and is necessarily dependent upon its existence. I then considered how NASA likes to fuel the idea that we’re looking for life on Mars, and realized that with an atmosphere of 95% CO2, any current life would be thriving. It wouldn’t be hiding under a rock. (Signs of past life perhaps.) Then I reflected on how precarious life on Earth is with CO2 being just 0.004% of the atmosphere.

    It should not be that Climate Science can make claims of “Carbon Pollution” and demonize CO2 because it seems like there could be some science that we haven’t discovered yet, it’s that the Climate Science needs to be sound enough to trump the fundamental truth that CO2 is Lifeblood.

  9. plazaeme says:

    I understand you say there is no insulation because you said “Insulation, a blanket, a greenhouse, all work the same way, and that way is preventing convective cooling and air circulation”.

    So, you think a coffe placed on the outer space and without sun will cool at the same rate, no matter it has a thermos bottle or a normal glass bottle. Either case is without convective cooling, so the thermos bottle is not a thermos bottle any more. But, the normal glass bottle will be much hotter on the outside than the thermos bottle, so emitting a lot more heat — and cooling faster.

    It doesn’t sound too good.

  10. That’s not the concern here plazaeme.

  11. plazaeme says:

    Well, either (1) there is insulation without convective cooling, either (2) there is not. If there is, either (3) GHGs are capable of slowing the rate of radiation (insulating), or (4) not.

    If you have 1 and 3, you have a hotter average temp on Earth’s surface air (up to some Km.) with “the blanket”, and you don’t have the medium getting hotter than the source of heat.

  12. blouis79 says:

    In the instance of an oscillating heating and cooling cycle, even insulation in the real world makes zero difference to the mean temperature of the passively heated and cooled object.
    if we change the scenario to add a third block on the other side – a sink at absolute zero, can any property of the middle object be altered to change its temperature?
    I belive the answer is not and have yet to see any physical evidence to the contrary.

  13. There is no such thing as radiative insulation, outside of emissivity effects. Thermal radiation shielding is temporary and still results only in the same temperature as the source for all the shields and in between them.

    The climate alarmist greenhouse effect is about the medium getting hotter than the source of heat, actually, about the medium making the source of heat hotter still. That’s the problem here.

  14. @blouis, only if you add something like a latent heat phase – then you can have a change in average temperature over oscillatory cycles:

  15. Rosco says:

    Seriously – if this heat pile up and CO2 radiative trapping of heat really worked AND it is essential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions then Engineers – who are actually smart unlike climate scientists – would have easily built a “Greenhouse gas coal fired power station.

    Such a concept has enormous benefits and could easily be engineered.

    1. Capture ALL stack emissions of CO2 and trap them in a capsule surrounding the boilers; and,

    2. Make this capsule in the same manner as dewar flasks – that is a vacuum layer between all the radiation shields; and,

    3. Build many shields, each vacuum sealed.

    This MUST reduce the coal consumption by several orders of magnitude !

    EXCEPT the whole concept is bullshit !

    If it had ANY merit at all Engineers would build them – at the very least they would reduce emissions and the extra “free heat” and pressure could be utilised to catalyse CO2 into diamonds thus ending one of the scourges of mankind – the blood diamond trade.

    This concept makes as much sense as all the “heat pile up” bullshit !

  16. Rosco says:

    I just love how people have spun climate alarm from back radiation heating the Earth’s surfaces more than the Sun can to an argument about blankets.

    You can put as many blankets on a rock and it still manages to attain whatever ambient temperature exists.

    But the “Greenhouse Effect” is about back radiation overpowering the Sun’s radiation with its petty minus 40 C heating potential.

    This is EXACTLY what climate scientists Trenberth et al have explicitly stated ! It is exactly what the IPCC used to create alarm in ill-educated politicians !

    NASA makes claims such as –

    “Greenhouse gases absorb some of the energy and trap it in the lower atmosphere. Less heat radiates into space, and Earth is warmer.” – and then produce their own actual satellite data proving the Earth is actually emitting more to space over the 1979 to 2005 period – which is the end of the Nimbus satellite program !

    There are only 2 ways the Earth’s temperature is influenced to my mind :-

    1. The energy from the Sun varies – which is obvious as it does every year – there is NO solar constant – it varies due to the Earth’s orbit. And it is indisputable it varies over solar cycles and longer periods.

    2. The Earth’s albedo changes primarily due to cloud cover and perhaps other particulates in the atmosphere.

    Hell – “climate scientists” don’t even consider Earth’s period relevant and compare Earth to the Moon or Venus with their stupid GHG alarm. Go and talk to any of them about the period of rotation and they insult you by claiming you are constructing a straw man argument.

    And I am always amazed how believers in climate alarm tell us that ~83% of Earth’s radiation to space is from greenhouse gases which at most represent a few % of the atmosphere.

    Why does increasing the amount of coolant cause warming ?

    We know a cold atmosphere does not heat the significantly warmer ground and 99% of the atmosphere apparently can’t cool down except with the help of GHGs so I want to know – Why does increasing the amount of coolant cause warming ?

  17. geran says:

    There is a blogger (I won’t mention the name) who recently tried to “prove” the GHE. He used the example of a dam blocking a river. He said that if you raised the dam (increased the “insulation”) then you would raise the level of the river (“pile up the heat”). He thought that was how the atmosphere works.

    And, he represents himself as a “skeptic”. What’s up with that?

  18. They tried that there at wuwt? Did AW himself write it? Yep, these people are poor lost souls, never having taken a class or read a book on differential equations and heat flow.

  19. geran says:

    Actually, it was one of his “disciples” that went on to build a blog of his own. But, like Watts, the poor fellow has no physics background.

  20. Having no physics background seems to get certain people a long way while they pose as skeptics ignoring the fundamentals.

  21. Truthseeker says:

    Plazaeme, your frame of reference is wrong.

    The Moon gets the same energy from the Sun as the Earth (on average). The “day” side gets to higher temperatures and the “night” side gets to lower temperatures than the Earth does. This is because there is no atmosphere. Atmosphere has mass and therefore has heat capacity. The Moon does not have an atmosphere to speak of. Therefore there is no mass between the energy source (the Sun) and the surface of the Moon and so it takes up all the energy from the Sun very efficiently during the day and releases it just as efficiently during the night. You get a diurnal cycle with higher peaks and lower troughs in terms of surface temperature. Adding an atmosphere modifies both processes. It means a slower heat gain by the surface during the day and a slower heat loss at night. The peaks are lower and the troughs are higher at the surface. Having a gaseous atmosphere does that. The composition of it does not matter (vapours have an effect, but that is a different discussion).

    If you put your insulation around a cold mug of coffee and try to heat it with a blow torch, will the coffee take more or less time to warm up? Once it is hot, the heat loss will be slower with the insulation than without it, but it will not go up because it is insulated.

  22. geran says:

    I, and many others, have tried to explain things to these two, only to get “censored” because we show them their science is wrong. And, I am aware you have been treated even worse.

    It’s sad.

  23. Martin Clark says:

    plazaeme, here at 19° South 146° East, we know about heat. Heat is the problem, cold is a novelty. For decades I have been working in the field of climate-responsive design, eg maximising a building’s passive response to climate, and minimising the cost of mechanical response.
    If the alarmists were right, none of us would be able to live here any more. (And, in spite of all the alarmism, 2014 hottest evva etc, the last decade has been cooler than the previous one.)
    Sure, if there is low cloud cover and still air, yes it takes a bit longer for everything to cool down after sunset, but it is all gone by sunrise, except where the daytime heat has been stored by high thermal capacity materials such as concrete. That stuff might take 6 months to cool down.
    Radiative “climate science” leaves out convection. Airflow is convection. Here the northeast trades blow in from the Pacific with a 60% probability. Major heat and humidity leads to major turbulence and storms. The turbulence can reach 60,000+ ft, and, as we have seen, at a speed greater than that of a passenger aircraft. Don’t you get thunderstorms where you live?

  24. KevinK says:

    Joe, I like to explain that what thermal insulation actually does is to slow the velocity of heat energy flowing through the insulation. This is reflected in the intrinsic material property known as thermal diffusivity. Plastics in general have lower diffusivity and make good thermal insulators. The diffusivity of still air is higher (i.e. faster). So in the absence of air currents the insulation in the walls of your house slows the travel time for the heat that is moving to the colder outdoors (in the winter). Thicker insulation slows the time because the distance times the velocity defines the delay. And the delay defines how often your furnace turns on to “re-fill” the interior with heat (in the warmer air). And the insulation also blocks air flow (convection) but a good vapor barrier performs that function just fine.

    See here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_diffusivity

    Note some typical examples;
    Copper: 111 mm^2/sec
    Aluminum: 84 mm^2/sec
    Air: 19 mm^2/sec
    Sandstone: 1.15 mm^2/sec
    Typical plastics: ~ 0.1 mm^2/sec

    This is why (in the absence of convection) things wrapped in plastic insulation are easier to keep warm than things wrapped in air (an un-insulated house) for example. This is also why cooking pans sometimes have a copper layer imbedded in aluminum layers to make a more uniform heated surface so you don’t scorch your omelet. This is also why high performance electronics use copper heatsinks to move the electrically generated heat to an interface with moving air (from fans) faster, thus keeping the electrical junctions temperatures below the maximum survival temperature.

    So a thermal insulator to be effective must have a lower diffusivity that the item being insulated. One could argue correctly that aluminum next to copper actually insulates the copper thermally (assuming convection acting faster than the aluminum).

    Now, when thermal energy from the Earth’s surface is emitted as LWIR it travels away at the speed of light (very quick) and the gases do not slow this in any appreciable way (speed of light in air is very close to speed of light in a vacuum). Thus the gases do not act as a thermal insulator, in fact as the LWIR gets further up in the atmosphere the air density drops and the LWIR accelerates.

    There are many misconceptions about how thermal systems work. One common one is that if you insulate a “heater” it will get “warmer”, there is some truth behind this. An electric baseboard heater is designed to operate in free air and it depends on air currents passing by to limit the maximum exterior temperature it will reach (for safety reasons). Inside the baseboard heater (hidden at the very middle) is a resistor, this has a maximum temperature that it can reach without melting and is surrounded by a material that is electrically insulating (usually a ceramic). Then there are “fins” which act to spread the heat around to a larger surface area. This is to improve the convection efficiency. And finally an exterior case to protect the heater from vacuum cleaners, dogs, soccer balls, etc. So when operating normally the resistor inside might reach 200 degrees (for example), the fins might be 140 degrees and the exterior case 90 degrees (all in degrees F). Now if you stuff a bunch of blankets, window coverings, furniture against the exterior case of the heater it will get warmer simply because it was designed to be at 90 degrees in free air and it is now no longer operating in free air. And the resistor inside will reach a higher temperature, BUT as you correctly point out the heat is coming from the resistor itself, not the insulators. Remember it was designed to reach 200 degrees in free air. This is why modern electric baseboard heaters include a thermal cutout (a device that opens the circuit temporarily if the temperature is too high). The thermal cutout is there to protect the heater from deviations away from the free air environment it was designed to operate in, and to prevent fires. So some folks are partially correct even if they don’t really understand what’s happening in that example system.

    You are correct that heat is not “piling up” and that the insulator is not “warming” the thermal energy source, but if the insulator can slow the velocity of thermal energy flowing away from a thermal energy source more than the velocity of thermal energy entering the system at that point a higher temperature could result. This is the nature of the “it slows the rate of cooling so it gets warmer” argument, which is incorrect for a passive reservoir of thermal energy like the surface of the Earth.

    Now, the big difference between an electric heater (or a light bulb) and the surface of the Earth is that heaters consume a steady stream of electrons and emit a steady stream of thermal energy WITHOUT COOLING in the process, this makes them true thermal energy sources as opposed to a thermal energy reservoir.

    A thermal energy reservoir like a rock, or a pond cools while emitting LWIR, note: it may also be absorbing visible sunlight or LWIR while emitting LWIR and its temperature could be going up if the absorbed flux is larger than the emitted flux. But every LWIR photon that leaves the rock takes some thermal energy with it, whereas every LWIR photon leaving an electric heater has the thermal energy it took along for the ride IMMEDIATELY replaced by thermal energy converted from the electric current.

    So an electric heater (or a light) bulb essentially has an infinite thermal diffusivity and rock has a lower (i.e. slower) thermal diffusivity than any gases in the atmosphere (even without considering convection) so there is no thermal insulator effect going on in the atmosphere, as you correctly point out; “See them GHG’s over there, they AIN’T NO INSULATOR….

    There is a small effect from the radiative properties of the “GHG’s”, but they simply act as a sort of hybrid thermal/optical delay line which delays the flow of any single photon through the Sun/Earth/Atmosphere/Universe system by causing it to make multiple “bounces” through the system: surface/GHG/surface/GHG/escape to the energy free void of space. Given the dimensions of the atmosphere and the speed of light and allowing for multiple bounces this delay is probably a few milliseconds and it might change the response time of the gases in the atmosphere causing them to warm up slightly faster after sunrise. But it has no effect on the average temperature of the Earth. There is no Radiative Greenhouse Effect.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  25. Rosco says:

    geran

    How about Robert Brown PhD proving the Steel Greenhouse effect with bank account transfers of money ?

    Since when did the transfer of money involve the fourth power ?

    These people will sink to childish levels of stupidity to “prove” their point !

    And Martin Clark – take a trip to 12.39 South 141.53 E – gets a bit warm there as well.

  26. geran says:

    “Since when did the transfer of money involve the fourth power?”

    Exactly!

    And Warmists all talk about 400 ppm CO2 “trapping” heat from LW (low energy photons), but never any mention of the 200,000 ppm O2 “trapping” heat from SW (HIGH energy photons).

    There’s probably a banking analogy there also…

  27. Yes KevinK things are a bit more complicated, not usefully so for understanding the fundamental principles, when we’re working in a gaseous environment and all these considerations.

    Willis’ steel greenhouse in vacuum really is the best representation of the climate science radiative greenhouse effect. Got to give him credit for making the point so clearly, although he didn’t understand it himself.

    This is what happens:

    just like the diffusive case, and there is no “build up” from “back radiation” or “back diffusion” that will make the source hotter, and this simply and directly violates everything we know about heat flow and thermodynamics. Why don’t we ever hear about them talking about “back diffusion” or “back conduction”?? lol

    Really, exploiting the non-understanding of thermodynamics of most of society including scientists is brilliant in its own way.

  28. And even if you do put air or some other medium between the gap, and even if you call that medium “insulation”, you still only get the result depicted in the figure above.

  29. KevinK says:

    Yes, Willis spins many very entertaining yarns, but his science understanding is “challenged” to be kind. We routinely (every few weeks) roll large satellites (with lots of thermal capacity) into vacuum chambers (aka “steel greenhouses”), pump the air out and see no difference in the temperature of the device under test.

    I think these folks just can’t stand the blow to their Ego’s to really accept that the “climate science radiative greenhouse effect” really is a HOAX. Lots of egg on faces. So I expect them to slowly and quietly “walk away” and mention it less and less often. That’s the way these things go.

    Of course all the signs of pseudo science are there; claimed effect is nearly undetectable, it can’t be replicated (too “difficult”), there is a “consensus”, we have a computer model, there is no list of alternative hypotheses to compare/contrast, no way to make it falsifiable…

    Heck, I’m starting to find the Sasquatch hunters more believable; “Nobody can prove that Sasquatch does not exist” and I have a computer model that predicts in 50 years we should see one on every other street corner, so we MUST ACT NOW and tax anyone that might be supporting Sasquatches by using fossil fuels….

    Cheers, KevinK

  30. Greg House says:

    KevinK says: “So some folks are partially correct even if they don’t really understand what’s happening in that example system.”
    ====================================

    Some folks, KevinK, who invented the non-existing warming by back radiation are not just partially but completely incorrect, because, you know, the non-existent warming by back radiation is completely non-existent.

    On the other hand, in some sick minds even the equation 2×2=5 can be seen as partially correct, why not. It goes like that. We can see 2×2=5 as 2×2=(4+1), right? Well, +1 is definitely incorrect, but 4 is correct, isn’t it? Hence 2×2=5 is partly correct.

  31. KevinK says:

    Greg, with respect, the example system I described was a simple electric heater depending on free air convection to determine the nominal operating temperature. It is a simple fact that if you decrease the amount of free air convection the heater will assume a higher temperature, that is why they install safeguards so your house does not burn down if you shove your sofa against an electric baseboard heater. I do not believe I mentioned “back radiation” at all in that example.

    As another example; when you put a light bulb inside an optical integrating sphere you can observe a third order effect known as “self absorption”. This is a well documented effect whereby “back radiation” from the reflective interior of the sphere does indeed warm the light bulb. This changes the “Efficiency” (photons per electron) of the light bulb which becomes slightly brighter because of the presence of a fixed source of electric power.

    Of course the surface of the Earth is not like a light bulb (as I explained above) and it’s “Efficiency” does not change so the back radiation has no effect on the average temperature.

    I do not believe in the “radiative greenhouse effect” but photons do travel in many different directions in a complex system.

    Cheers, KevinK

  32. Greg House says:

    KevinK says: “I do not believe I mentioned “back radiation” at all in that example. … This is a well documented effect whereby “back radiation” from the reflective interior of the sphere does indeed warm the light bulb. … I do not believe in the “radiative greenhouse effect” but photons do travel in many different directions in a complex system.”
    ===================================

    LOL! The same old crap put differently. Now your 2×2=5 is completely correct! Why am I not surprised?

  33. This never goes well…

    Reflected radiation is a very different scenario than absorption and thermal radiation. In the latter case it is about heat transfer and the way climate science has bungled the thermodynamics, in the former it is not about the radiative greenhouse effect as that is not about reflection.

    Let’s just stick with the heat flow problem since that’s what the fundamental error of climate alarm is about.

  34. Mindert Eiting says:

    As Richard Feynman once said, the easiest thing to do is to fool your self. I do not think that people like Spencer and Watts try to fool their audience but that they are fooling them selves. In this debate there are some difficult pitfalls, one of them concerning the wrong model, which is the greenhouse. There exists an universal model, i.e. with many applications, and very easy to explain. The example mentioned here by Geran is a case.

    If you have a dam in a river, and make the dam a bit higher, the water level in the lake behind the dam must rise till it overflows again. You have created an extra buffer by depriving the sea for a short time from mountain water. You can give it back to the sea by blowing up the dam. The rise of the water level has nothing to do with extra water from the mountain or a mysterious back-flow of water from below.

    How universal this model is, can be seen by an example I used in your former post. In financial budgeting you can create more cash by a short delay of expenses, which has nothing to do with creating additional income. In the same sense you can get a higher pressure in a tyre by fixing some holes. You can do the same by inserting a capacitor or battery in an electrical circuit. By insulation you also delay your heat expenses. Even squirrels utilize this model by storing some food in the summer in order to survive the winter. Let’s call it the Buffer Model.

    The K&T budget model could have been saved by substituting for the fancy loop between earth and atmosphere, a buffer. The best example of this buffer are our oceans. What do you think why climatologists are looking now for the ‘missing’ heat in our oceans? I have read somewhere that if the sun would stop shining, it would take centuries for the earth to cool down till about zero. These are our delayed expenses. To the oceanic buffer we should also add the land and atmosphere.

    The question how some additional CO2 in the atmosphere (making the dam higher) could increase our buffer content, is for me the only issue. However, I would ask a follow-up question first. Suppose, additional CO2 would increase the average ocean temperature with delta degrees. Then the temperature of the atmosphere cannot increase by more. Am I correct, Joseph? If so, then I cannot call my self more than a tiny lukewarmer (climate sensitivity may be rounded to zero).

    It is obvious that we cannot increase our buffer content by dragging more land, air, and water to our planet. What remains is the heat capacity. What I do not understand is that the specific heat capacity of CO2 is less than that of normal air. Could that be the reason alarmists invented the back-flow story, violating the Second Law?

  35. anng says:

    This is completely illogical.

    To use your style of language:-
    The sunlight that gets past clouds and ice is the Earth’s “heating element”. So the “blanket that slows down cooling” is on top of a heated object. Which means that the atmosphere isn’t “piling on heat” – the heat is external, whizzing straight through the cloudless bits of atmosphere.

  36. @Mindert; Radiation and any other form of heat flow doesn’t behave as in the delayed expense idea such as to raise temperature. Energy can be thermally held within objects of course, that’s the definition of having a temperature, but it can’t be bottled to increase beyond the temperature forcing input. As in the diagrams in this OP.

    There is however one place where heat is actually bottled up, and that is in the latent heats of H2O – both liquid and vapour. This latent heat “bottle” doesn’t increase the temperature beyond the forcing temperature from sunlight, however, it does give some “payout” overnight while there are no “funds incoming”. In the day time your incoming funds are saturated at maximum temperature, which also then fills up the latent heat bottle and beyond that the incoming funds are shed back out and transferred around while still incoming. Then overnight the “reserve account” pays back out, protecting the main account from having to pay (as much) out. In the day time, both the main account and the reserve account are filled back up.

  37. @anng;

    Sunlight is the power source; the surface is the heating element, where the power is converted to heat and inducing a temperature within the matter; the atmosphere is always the atmosphere, and it cools the surface. We always use blankets to protect against the atmosphere because the only thing that a free gas can do, is convect, and thus cool. Actually, the atmosphere doesn’t even delay cooling at the surface overnight either – we found that the surface temperature dropped ten times more than if it simply cooled at a direct rate without delay in cooling, and so therefore, it is not delaying cooling at the surface at all, but enhancing it.

    The only thing that can delay cooling is latent heat release from H2O condensation.

  38. markstoval says:

    People have claimed that if you have a heating element inside a mug of coffee, that if you then wrap the mug in insulation, the coffee and heating element will get hotter and hotter and hotter, because of “heat pile up”. ~ J.P.

    Three things.

    1) I wonder if anyone has ever done an experiment with modern, sensitive gear to try to demonstrate that. Perhaps A.W. and his sidekick W.E. will do that soon.

    2) The thing that confuses us, I think, is that we add insulation to our house to reduce the amount of power needed to keep the temperature at a given level. I want to buy less electrity! Is this exactly the same thing as saying that the insulation makes the house hotter?

    3) Why do people always end up conflating radiation and convection in these discussions?

    ~ Mark

  39. @markstoval,

    1) Just as long as it is done with actual scientific and logical competence, unlike what was done before.

    2) The semantics and logic one must be very careful with. Look at the diagrams in the OP – that is how heat flow works.

    3) It is important to distinguish them, and not doing that is how the resulting illogic lends sophistical defenses for the radiative greenhouse effect.

  40. Greg House says:

    Markstoval, the “greenhouse effect” as presented by the IPCC in their reports is a fake, it is non-existent. If you have not understood that yet, I recommend reading some recent posts and comments again. If you do understand that, why bring the irrelevant stuff into this discussion again?

    The “greenhouse effect” fiction has nothing to do with reality at all, including insulation.

    If you want to know whether there are some CO2 effects, then ask the climate pseudo-scientists for facts, numbers, hypothesis. I predict they will not give you anything, because if they had had something, they would not have invented such a fake.

  41. KevinK says:

    Markstoval wrote;

    “2) The thing that confuses us, I think, is that we add insulation to our house to reduce the amount of power needed to keep the temperature at a given level. I want to buy less electrity! Is this exactly the same thing as saying that the insulation makes the house hotter?”

    If I might, the insulation does not make the house hotter. The furnace is the only thing that makes the hot “hotter”, simple proof; build a house with 20 feet of insulation in all directions with no furnace and try to live comfortably in it. In most climates this does not work.

    What the insulation does is to slow (via reduced velocity) the inexorable loss of heat from inside to outside. This means that your furnace has to “re-fill” the heat inside less often and you save money. If you ever watch closely your furnace comes on less often after you add insulation (for the same outside temperatures). The furnace with the thermostat is a control system that attempts to keep the temperature inside where you want it by cycling the furnace on as necessary to replace the heat lost through the walls. Same thing happens with AC except in reverse, the AC unit turns on to pump heat from inside to outside and more insulation delays the flow of heat back into your house.

    There is no equivalent control system for the Earth.

    PS Joe, I’m not attempting to hijack your blog, just trying to help folks understand things better, if you prefer I don’t just say so. I do agree with all that you have explained.

    Cheers, KevinK.

  42. KevinK says:

    Greg wrote;

    “LOL! The same old crap put differently. Now your 2×2=5 is completely correct! Why am I not surprised?”

    Greg, with respect, I DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE IPCC RADIATIVE GREENHOUSE EFFECT, OK ? I agree with you, “back radiation” does not determine the temperature of the Earth, it’s all a bunch of bovine excrement/sophistry.

    But there are some radiation effects in play and understanding them takes quite a bit of explaining.

    I have used optical integrating sphere’s for decades, the physics is well understood. I am not adding 2 plus 2 and getting 5.

    So let’s just return to Joe’s excellent explanation and forget about radiation for now.

    Cheers, KevinK.

  43. That’s why it’s best not to bring up more complex stuff unrelated to the main point. For one thing you can be sure the climate sophists will reinterpret it incorrectly and lie with it, trying to use it for their cause. …once I had one of them tell me that the radiative greenhouse effect was proved by cavitation off of a nuclear submarine propeller…be aware that this is what they will do, how low they will go.

  44. KevinK says:

    Joe, yes I have had the IPCC GHE explained as; “It’s just like a CO2 Laser in the atmosphere”.

    Given that there is no optical resonant cavity and no external energy supply in the atmosphere I was pretty sure I could safely dismiss that hypothesis.

    Point well taken, I think I have attempted to explain things at too high a level on occasion. I should have known; when you get no questions the audience probably has no clue what you are explaining.

    Thanks for your efforts, KevinK.

  45. squid2112 says:

    Great article as always Joe! … and wonderful discussion by a bunch of fine folks. This is precisely what I was getting at with my comments on that last article utilizing the coffee cup analogy. Heat doesn’t pile up like the snow in my backyard. 🙂

  46. markstoval says:

    “Greg House says:
    2015/01/22 at 7:42 PM

    Markstoval, the “greenhouse effect” as presented by the IPCC in their reports is a fake, it is non-existent. If you have not understood that yet, I recommend reading some recent posts and comments again. If you do understand that, why bring the irrelevant stuff into this discussion again?”

    ————————————

    Greg, I have understood the hoax since the 70s when we were to fear a “new ice age” and then we switched to a “death by fire”. All fraud to make us give governments more power over us.

    But I did not bring up anything “irrelevant”. Talking about what the “common man” gets out of the discussion is the reason J. P. posted this post in the first place I wager. He is talking about insulation and I pointed out that the alarmists are always using the insulation argument in a backwards sort of way. As Joseph P. wrote, “The semantics and logic one must be very careful with.” —- and being careful with semantics is exactly what the luke-warmers and the alarmists never do. They use the language to confuse, conflate, confound, and otherwise fool people. This is just as George Orwell pointed out in his great essay on the use of the English language for political reasons.

  47. pgriffiths43 says:

    Joe, has climate science sunk to such depths as to not understanding the basics of insulation and heat flow. Their models allow the building of heat engine not conforming to the second law . As a humble mechanical engineer that is first stuff. What do they teach on climate courses?

  48. Greg House says:

    markstoval says: “They use the language to confuse, conflate, confound, and otherwise fool people.”
    ========================================

    Right, so we should not help them by losing the focus when they bring insulation. As a countermeasure I suggest making 2 key points in one comment: a) the IPCC “greenhouse effect has nothing to do with insulation at all, it is (see above) and b) to demonstrate their deceitful nature additionally by showing that their “warming insulation” message is wrong either, since insulation can keep things colder as well.

  49. Mindert Eiting says:

    Greg House said ‘Right, so we should not help them by losing the focus when they bring insulation’.

    The rocks, oceans, and atmosphere of the earth are a reservoir (see my former comment). Can we do something to expand the reservoir? Anything by which we could delay the radiative output for a while, up to a new equilibrium, with constant input from the sun, would suffice (Q-out < Q-in). It does not matter whether we call that insulation.

    If someone asserts that we cannot delay the radiative output, this implies that (1) nothing can delay radiative output by its very nature, or (2) we have reached the limits of the reservoir. Because the only way for the earth to cool is by radiative output into space, and because of the present heat content, we have stored energy in the billions of years behind us. Unless that content would be a left over of the earth's creation or the result of nuclear fission, this falsifies (1). Our oceans have a moderate temperature far below the input temperature. The oceans and atmosphere can become warmer still. This falsifies (2).

    So the question is of whether we can delay radiative output by changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere. Although the IPCC is wrong on back radiation, it may be right in this aspect. It is not clever to reject all arguments of your opponent by an emotional appeal regarding his intentions.

  50. You can not delay radiative output. Other than by emissivity, and lower emissivity is not the greenhouse effect or the theorized cause of AGW etc. You can not delay radiative output outside of emissivity.

    Latent heat in H2O however does give the system a reservoir to use overnight and in cool regions.

  51. Greg House says:

    Mindert Eiting says: “Although the IPCC is wrong on back radiation, it may be right in this aspect. It is not clever to reject all arguments of your opponent by an emotional appeal regarding his intentions.”
    ======================================

    If there had been anything else (significant), the climate fraudsters would not have come up with their “greenhouse effect” nonsense.

    What were/are their intentions in your opinion?

  52. geran says:

    “The rocks, oceans, and atmosphere of the earth are a reservoir (see my former comment). Can we do something to expand the reservoir? Anything by which we could delay the radiative output for a while, up to a new equilibrium, with constant input from the sun, would suffice (Q-out < Q-in). It does not matter whether we call that insulation."
    <<<<>>>>

    NO! The atmosphere is a relatively fixed mass. Mass has temperature and radiates (emits photons). If you try to increase the mass of the atmosphere, things happen. See “gas laws”. If you try to increase the temperature of the atmosphere, things happen exponentially (to the fourth power). See S-B law.

  53. Mindert Eiting says:

    Greg: their intentions only matter in an Ad Hom.

    Geran: if you have a battery in an electrical circuit, and it is loaded, you know that in the history of the circuit there must have been for shorter or longer duration a condition Q-out < Q-in. Similarly, if you have spare money, in your history you must have at least once earned more money than you expended. Basic applications of conservation (1). Because the earth (rocks, oceans, atmosphere) contain huge amounts of (latent) heat, in its history there must have been conditions Q-out<Q-in. With constant Q-in, it follows that you can reduce Q-out. My physics knowledge is no more than high school level, so you may explain what's behind that reduction. It's not necessarily insulation, e.g. reducing convection in the lower atmosphere. By growing biomass, converting some part of Q-in into chemical bonds in fossil fuels, you also get that reduction. If you would add to the upper atmosphere many microscopic mirrors, these will keep IR photons for more time in the atmosphere. This is the same as delaying your expense to your landlord, producing more cash (and debt). Everybody understands that your extra cash was not caused by your landlord, paying you your money back. Well, only the IPCC may think that, witness their theory of back-radiation.

    (1) 'Conservation refers to a logical thinking ability which, according to the psychologist Jean Piaget, is present in children during the preoperational stage of their development at ages 4–5, but develops in the concrete operational stage at ages 7–11' (Wikipedia).

  54. geran says:

    Mindert, you seem be trying to come up with some methodology (mysticism!) whereby you could show mankind can raise the temperature of the Earth. Joseph’s whole point is that heat does not “pile up”. You keep trying to create some false scenario that proves him wrong. You have to ask yourself what your motive is. Do you not want to understand how the atmosphere works? Or, worst case, are you somehow hoping AGW is real?

    Maybe I just don’t understand where you’re going with this.

  55. Is this a Marxist blog; where ”Glasnost / openest” is not allowed? Listen to this: Extra heat in the planet’s atmosphere is not accumulative, guys; don’t be scared from the truth: https://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/cooling-earth/

  56. Mindert Eiting says:

    Thanks for your concern, Geran. I consider my self a lukewarmer of the second kind (with knowledge at high school level). Lukewarmers of the first kind believe the back-radiation explanation. Don’t underestimate lukewarmers as they may be professionals like Lindzen, Spencer, or Motl. On high school level you may think of people like Watts, or Nova. Joseph must find it a bit disturbing that he did not convince me in this post, with a title violating the First Law of Thermodynamics, as far as I can see. In a dynamic system with Q-out<Q-in, you pile up energy in whatever form, latent, potential, or heat. You may find something of this mysticism explained by Kristian Oculaer at his site. I cannot help it that the number of skeptic sites already exceeds the number of Protestant churches and sects in Reformation time.

  57. Mindert the only problem is that you can not stop radiation, you can not force Q’out < Q'in.

    Please, look at the diagrams for visual reference. You have high school education – ok that's fine. I have a Masters degree in physics, and I can tell you with 100% certainty that heat flow does not behave as in the last diagram "piling up", and I can also tell you that if Lindzen, Spencer, et al. were to actually calm down and remember their courses in differential equations of heat flow (did they ever take them? perhaps not!), that they would agree with what I've written here. The diagrams I have in this post tell the whole story.

  58. Greg House says:

    Joe, please keep in mind that you can neither convince the general public nor politicians by referring to differential equations of heat flow.

  59. geran says:

    Okay Mindert, I think I understand your confusion now. You are a Lukewarmer of the “second kind”, meaning that you do not believe the Earth is warming due to back-radiation, but you do believe it is warming from some other source, which involves the (perceived) fact that the excess heat cannot get out.

    In other words, your “analogy” of Earth’s atmosphere allows more heat to be put in than can be taken out. Therefore, the atmosphere must be heating. So, your confusion comes from your invalid analogy. The fact is the atmosphere emits energy (EM radiation) in proportion to the fourth power of its temperature. The hotter it gets, the more it radiates (cools). It cannot “trap” heat. And heat can NOT “build up”.

    Just as folks must get away from the back-radiation nonsense, you must get away from the concept that you can somehow put more energy into the atmosphere than it can radiate away. It just doesn’t work that way.

    Does that help?

  60. Greg House says:

    I do not think there is a confusion. The guy does not have a point at all. He is simply trying to drag us away from the climate hoax. Typical.

  61. squid2112 says:

    So, in my house I have extraordinarily insulated hot water pipes. LOTS of insulation from water heater to faucet. Now, according to Mindert, the temperature of the water coming out of the faucet in my bathroom sink should be HOTTER than the water in my hot water tank. Alas, a quick measurement indicates a drop of about 3°-4°F … why is that Mindert? I thought you just told me that heat can “pile up”. Should heat not be piling up as in my hot water pipes? The pipes are insulated very well. The water has a continuous heat source (virtually unlimited). Water is an excellent heat conductor. I just don’t get it. The heat in my pipes is not piling up at all. Perhaps there is something wrong with my water? My pipes? Or maybe physics in my house doesn’t work the same as it does in the rest of the universe?

  62. squid2112 says:

    It is a shame that I cannot express these things properly in mathematical terms (like Joseph does). I have an extremely clear conceptual picture in my mind that perhaps someday I can illustrate through animation. But the concept is really quite simple, and irrefutable on its basis.

    I will leave Mindert with this:

    Heat is like a rotating bicycle wheel. The faster the wheel is turning equals the higher the temperature. In order to make that wheel turn faster, I have to exert more energy to spin it (slap my hand along the tire). If I slap the tire with less energy (lower heat) then wheel slows (cools). It does not matter how efficient the ball bearings are, even perfectly frictionless bearings and in a vacuum I have to exert more energy to increase the speed (temperature). Slapping the tire at any energy less than the wheel transfers energy to my hand, not the wheel. Additionally, the faster the wheel is turning (the higher the temperature) the ever increasingly more energy it takes to increase the spin rate (temperature).

    This is exactly how the atoms work in vibrational states in terms of thermal energy. Exactly how they work. There is no amount of sophistry that can get around this extremely basic and fundamental natural law of our universe, and is precisely why a Perpetuum Mobile is impossible in this universe, and also precisely why heat cannot pile up, and precisely why a “radiative greenhouse effect” is also impossible in this universe.

    This is demonstrably irrefutable. Joseph can probably explain this concept mathematically much more elegantly. But alas, tis’ undeniable and self evident.

  63. That’s a really great explanation Squid, it is actually a valid physical analogy. The rotation of the wheel literally represents energy flux density and energy flux density is equivalent to temperature.

    Indeed, you need to apply higher velocity slapping the wheel to get the wheel to spin faster. Higher velocity means higher temperature, literally, and it means a higher flux of energy. Yes, there is energy in your hand if you slap the wheel at a slower rate, but that energy doesn’t add to the wheel – the wheel’s energy would add to the hand in that situation, and the wheel won’t spin faster because of any “energy pile up”.

    That’s really smart Squid. Really an incredibly high degree of proper scientific intuition and lateral thinking. Impressive.

  64. Mindert Eiting says:

    Squid, you are doing an experiment. This implies an experimental and control condition. In both you provide comparable hot water systems with the same amount of heat. In the experimental condition (E) you have insulation, in the control condition (C) you have not.

    Insulation reduces heat loss (by convection). After some time the system in the experimental condition is warmer than in the control condition. Or, the system in the control condition is cooler than in the experimental condition.

    If you would permanently register the temperatures, E’s temperature curve is always above C’s curve. If you would shut off the power in both conditions, you may use Newton’s cooling law, with different parameters for the conditions, as an approximation. The fact that E’s descending temperature is always above C’s descending temperature, means that insulation reduces a cooling rate. This is a relative concept.

    Do you agree that ‘E-now is warmer than C-now’ is not the same as ‘E-now is warmer than E-then’? Insulation does not mean that E’s temperature should increase. It may even decrease. I never said what you suggest in your comment.

    Let’s now return to the E system. With the heater you may warm it for a few seconds. Apply Newton’s cooling law to see how it cools without further input. With a thermostat you may next manipulate the heater so that the temperature becomes a horizontal line. Here you have Q-in = Q-out. There is no reason why you should stop here. You can turn up the heater in order to get an ascending curve. Of course, you cannot go further than the boiling point. Now you have Q-in > Q-out. The temperature must rise.

    May I suggest that you read my text several times? You should precisely understand the conceptual errors you made in your comment. Next, you may cast your wheel experiment in a similar design.

  65. KevinK says:

    Squid, you have it exactly correct. The tire is always slowing down, the Sun (when it’s up) is “slapping” the tire at a higher velocity thus making it turn faster (for a while).

    Now let’s see some “kitchen table” experiments with folks slapping their bike tires (of course without proper instrumentation) ha ha ha. Maybe if they are bike tires from certain NFL team they will spin faster when slapped…..

    The GHE is the equivalent of a CO2 powered motor making the tire spin faster.

    Cheers, KevinK

  66. Mindert the only time you can have Q’in > Q’out is when the 2nd object (Q’out) is colder, thus gaining heat and raising in temperature from the Q’in from the hotter object. The most that can then happen is Q’in = Q’out = 0.

    Q’ is the heat flow between two objects. It is not the power input to a single object.

  67. Mindert Eiting says:

    Joseph, of course I know that Q-in and Q-out apply at the flame and the water in my central heating system, as well as the water and my home. We have flame -> water -> home.

    In the evening I turn the thermostat far down and the flame stops burning. During the night my system cools approximately according to Newton’s cooling law. With insulation this goes slower than without insulation. During the night Q-out (water/home) >Q-in (flame/water) = 0. We do not have to consider flows, violating the Second Law.

    The next morning I set the thermostat at 20 degrees Celsius. The flame starts burning at a very high temperature and the water starts to heat, with Q-in (flame/water) >Q-out (water/home). At 20 degrees I get an equilibrium with Q-in (flame/water) = Q-out (water/home). I do not know the limits of my system but 50 degrees may be possible. At 100 degrees it becomes a steam engine. Did you note that several of your readers here and in your former post denied with all kind of example that I can warm my home in the morning?

    My home will not be at zero Kelvin during the night. Otherwise Q-out (water/home) would be enormous (difference of fourth power of temperatures). Only because the difference between temperatures of flame and water is still greater, I could warm my home in the morning, since it still would be the case that Q-in (flame/water) > Q-out (water/home).

    In its most simple form we may write sun -> earth surface -> atmosphere -> space.

    During the night when the sun does not shine, the earth surface is perhaps ten degrees warmer than the atmosphere. Compare this with the difference between atmosphere and space (with radiative transfer). Unless we had magical insulation or back radiation, in the simple model no heat could pile up in the atmosphere during the night. Q-in (earth surface/atmosphere) < Q-out(atmosphere/space).This is an important point. We could think of an eternal night. In a few centuries the whole system (including oceans) would arrive at about zero Kelvin. The fact that we live at a comfortable 15 degrees Celsius implies that somewhere heat piles up and that must be at day time.

    You may explain what happens at day time. As a fact, in the morning the air becomes warmer and so heat piles up like in my central heating system. Anything suppressing Q-out (earth surface/atmosphere) compares with insulation and will slow down the earth surface's cooling rate. A reduction of convection would already suffice. If you could explain that this insulation is impossible by CO2, I will stop to be a lukewarmer.

  68. squid2112 says:

    Thank you Joseph and Kevin for your kind words. That bike tire picture just kinda popped into my head the other day while I was in the garage thinking about this article and all the comments. I have bikes hanging from the garage ceiling. I am always trying to think these things in terms of things we can observe in our everyday lives. I believe that sometimes we have a tendency to over complicate much of the understandings of our universe. One of the reasons why I like these writing by Joseph is, he is able to pull these things down to their very fundamental behaviors, down to the very basics. If the physical behavior cannot be seen at its very basic elements, then no amount of stacking “steel greenhouses” or any other such sophistry can change the fundamental properties that govern the physical fundamentals. Just like the golf swing, it’s all about fundamentals people!

    It has occurred to me that what I described above is exactly how the whole thermodynamics system works, and as I mentioned, is precisely why a Perpetuum Mobile is not possible. Even for a wheel, in a vacuum, with a perfect bearing, you cannot get more spin without exerting more energy. This, in my mind is analogous to the 1st Law of Thermodynamics (conservation of energy). Further more, energy applied to the spin that is less than the inertia of the spin itself will only serve to transfer energy away from the spin and into the entity attempting to apply additional spin. This, in my mind, is analogous to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (energy always flows from warm to cold), while also maintaining the 1st Law of Thermodynamics (if you take from one side, you must also give to the other side, the very basis of mathematics itself).

    Well again, thank you all for your kind words and the time and mental effort it has taken you all to educate me. Even folks like Mindert serve to broaden my knowledge as he compels me to consider alternatives and think deeper and harder about what must be real and why.

    Keep up the good fight folks! … and have a wonderful Super Bowl / Phoenix Open weekend!!!

  69. Mindert, actually the problem is that your terminology is all wrong. There is no Q’in and Q’out terms. There is only a power in, Pin term, and then a Q’ term between the source of heat and whatever else is being heated.

    When the power is on, the heating element will heat to maximum temperature, and then everything in the vicinity will be heated to, at most, that temperature, and that heat will continue on outward from the vicinity. The heating element is never made hotter because it heated its surroundings though. Heating is not “piling up heat”, it is just heating.

    What holds heat overnight is the mass of soil, the mass of atmosphere, latent heat from H2O condensation, etc. Heat doesn’t pile up overnight, there’s just a lot of energy in the system, and latent heat release from H2O puts some heat back into the atmosphere overnight, like having a reserve expense account etc.

  70. markstoval says:

    “Insulation is something that only works in a gaseous environment – it is all about a gaseous environment. Insulation, a blanket, a greenhouse, all work the same way, and that way is preventing convective cooling and air circulation.” ~ J. Postma

    As I read and re-read your work, the work of other skeptics, the work of the “Slayers”, and others who are fighting the current madness over the magic molecule CO2; I find that the above statement of yours may be one of the most important concepts. The simple statement “a cold object can not heat a warmer object” does not seem to resonate with the lukewarmers but perhaps the above quoted statement might.

    In my view, the lower atmosphere (and the oceans of course) moves heat around the system and so mitigates the highs and the lows so that we don’t see the extremes that are seen on the moon. (and a faster rotation helps as well) There is no need to invent “heat coming back down from the atmosphere” at all.

    There are explanations of why our system is as it is that does not involve the “insulation properties” of the so-called greenhouse gases. So, a well reasoned, simple, documented explanation of why “Insulation is something that only works in a gaseous environment” might be the final straw that breaks the back of this horrible delusion. Does anyone have a good way of explaining this?

  71. markstoval says:

    In my last comment, I of course meant that what we need is a short way of hammering home the idea that Insulation is all about reducing or eliminating convective cooling which is the loss of warm air as the original posts shows and why this is not what the atmosphere does.

  72. Hugh Eaven says:

    With the example of adding insulation for example double glazing or heat resistant materials inside the walls of a house, air temperature definitely could rise a few degrees if the heater would keep running the same of course. Only the thermostat will shut it off quicker and then I might save money.

    But by using it as analogy for the earth climate (not my idea) it would just demonstrate temperatures DO rise when “material” is added which SLOWS heat transfer to the outside while there’s no similar slow down of heat supply. There’s an optimum though because there’s only limited “build up”. With the example of a living room, I couldn’t create a sauna as with higher temperature convection rates will increase as well and the heat capacity of the insulation layers might change when it obtains the same temperature as the inside air through and through (?). It will not contain in the increased air pressure for sure. But for the first few degrees it will!

  73. Alberta Al says:

    Mindert said…..”If you could explain that this insulation is impossible by CO2, I will stop to be a lukewarmer.”
    He is in the same category as my brother. That being, according to them, Luewarmers2. That means that they do not believe in back-radiation, but believe that CO2 acts like insulation.
    I do not believe in the GHG Theory. I am with the GHE skeptics.
    SO.. here is the challenge. Explain why CO2 is not an insulator. Then Mindert and my brother will stop being Lukewarmers2.
    To me, CO2 is a gas and expands when heated in an open system and rises, carrying “heat” to the upper atmosphere where it is radiated to space. It is a coolant. IMO.

  74. CO2 is a gas, thus it is not insulation. Simple as that. And even if it was insulation, this wouldn’t do what is postulated by the radiative greenhouse in any case.

  75. Greg House says:

    Alberta Al says: “Explain why CO2 is not an insulator. Then Mindert and my brother will stop being Lukewarmers2.”
    ==============================================

    Alberta, being Lukewarmers2 or LukewarmersX is the result of not looking into the primary sources of warmism. Whoever claims this CO2 insulation effect is welcome to present the scientific numbers. It very easy to find out that warmists never do that. They only start talking about insulation when it is getting clear in a debate, what the “greenhouse efeect” really is as presented by the IPCC in their reports and the “climate science” in general: the “greenhouse gases” intercept the outgoing IR from the earth surface and send it almost DOUBLED back. This is how they get their warming, an absolutely absurd thing even on the junior high school level. The emperor has no clothes.

  76. josh rid. says:

    author wrote:
    “They think that it means that it makes heat “pile up” inside the source of heat, or in the medium between the insulation and source of heat, so that the source of heat and/or the medium will get hotter than the source of heat and power input.”

    i don’t know anyone who believes
    that — can you provide a quote?

    insulation reduces heat loss. that’s one
    way of keeping an object warmer — like you,
    or like me, when we put on a jacket.

  77. markstoval says:

    An Experiment of the metal “greenhouse” that can be done (maybe)

    This is a cross-post comment that I posted on https://okulaer.wordpress.com/2015/01/25/to-heat-a-planetary-surface-for-dummies-part-3/

    I would appreciate any comments on the experiment.

    _____________________________________________________

    As a recap, let me tell why I disagree with Okulaer in his analysis of the steel “greenhouse” warming up due to a shell. I posted here that I had an experiment in mind and would post it when time allowed me to. Today is that day. So, here goes.

    Part One:

    1) Please imagine a very large sphere with a constant heat source at its center which is located in deep space with no other objects near it. Sit and wait until the system stabilizes and measure the surface temperature. Let us call that temperature X. (not very creative)

    2) Now imagine that there are some pockets or “bubbles” in the sphere that are vacuums.

    In this case I can see no reason to suspect that the vacuum “bubbles” will effect the equilibrium surface temperature at all. As radiation will travel at the speed of light, I suspect that the surface temperature remains X in this case.

    Part Two:

    1) Now imagine the same large sphere with a constant heat source at its center which is located in deep space with no other objects near it.

    2) Now imagine that the pockets or “bubbles” in the sphere that are vacuums separate the mass of the sphere into 100 shells.

    I see no reason why the system would not have exactly temperature X on the surface just as in part number one. The reason I think this is that the transfer of heat in the system is not impeded at all by vacuum. One hundred shells or just one sphere seems to me to be the same.

    Part Three:

    1) If one hundred shells are the same as one sphere, then one sphere and one shell are also of no real difference and the temperature will remain the same.

    Now there has been a lot of argument, emotion, ad homs, anger and so on over this issue for some time. I think it time to do an experiment to see what reality tells us about the situation.

    We can not use the same temperature as deep space (unless we imagine one hell of a large budget experiment) so let us start with a large commercial freezer. If one of those could get down to 0 F degrees then that would be enough for this demonstration I think.

    We do not have an anti-gravity device to suspend the steel ball in the freezer, but we could use an aluminum ball and set it on top of a column of Styrofoam like they use to package up computers or other devices when they are shipped by freight. Sure, the sphere will now be touching some mass and there will be a tiny bit of conduction, but it would be so small that we can ignore that.

    Next, drill a hole in the sphere and insert a heat source. Then attach a very sensitive thermometer to the surface of the sphere — perhaps inside a drilled hole for better measurement.

    Let the system come to a steady state and measure the temperature. Wait some time and measure is over and over to make darn sure it is in a steady state.

    Now take a metal shell that is open and flat on its lower side — I am thinking that the part cut away from the shell needs only be enough so you can set it over the sphere. You set it down on a large ring of Styrofoam.

    Now measure the temperature and look for a rise in temp. I say it will not be there.

    Now redo the experiment with the freezer and a vacuum pump to get as much air out of the freezer as your budget will allow. I think you will see no temperature rise on the surface of the sphere.

    ===========

    Okulaer, what do you think of this amateurish little experiment to see if you are right on the sphere heating up?

  78. Josh, that is the premise of the radiative greenhouse effect. The last diagram in the OP is exactly how the climate greenhouse effect is postulated, in violation of the laws of thermodynamics which indicate that the first two figures are how heat actually flows.

  79. markstoval – don’t ask them about made up experiments…they will only reinterpret things the way they desire them. The steel greenhouse and the climate greenhouse effect are already debunked. It is simply a matter of waiting for the believers to die off.

  80. josh rid. says:

    “Josh, that is the premise of the radiative greenhouse effect. The last diagram in the OP is exactly how the climate greenhouse effect is postulated, in violation of the laws of thermodynamics which indicate that the first two figures are how heat actually flows.”

    a jacket keeps the wearer warmer than he would be without it.
    because it reduces heat loss.
    ghgs do something very similar, they emit some radiation back to the surface, reducing its heat loss.

  81. A jacket feels warm because you warm it up. It doesn’t emit radiation back to you thus warming you up, because heat doesn’t flow from cold to hot. You warm up the jacket and then you carry around on your person next to your body a warmer local ambient environment. That’s why wearing a jacket feels warmer – because you create a warmer ambient environment in close proximity that is protected from convective heat loss.

    Thus there is nothing similar in the physics at all with what is claimed about the climate greenhouse effect. And in any case, heat does not flow from the cold atmosphere to the warmer surface, either by conduction, or radiation.

    Heat energy does not flow from cold to hot either by conduction (diffusion), or radiation.

  82. Greg House says:

    Joe, as far as I understand their argumentation, the heat is supposed to flow from the warmer surface to the colder air, but because of back radiation from CO2 less heat flows from the surface than otherwise, which makes the surface warmer than otherwise. As for me, I do not believe in that “both ways” thing for the reason I explained earlier, but it is not the IPCC/”climate science” “greenhouse effect” anyway.

    The second thing is about CO2 trapping heat. If we look at the specific heat values, then yes, it does. CO2 in its present concentration in the air makes it like 0.001-0.0001°C warmer, input being equal. It is not the IPCC/”climate science” “greenhouse effect” either, of course.

  83. Squid2112 says:

    Greg, Joseph,

    I do not believe that the back radiation from the magical gas CO2 (or any other gas for that matter) actually slows any cooling at all. I don’t believe this can occur, for the very simple reasons laid out in my spinning bicycle wheel analogy. The outgoing radiation doesn’t even see the incoming back radiation as they are at two different vibrational states. The outgoing radiation can only “see”, and hence be impeded by, back radiation that is > or = it’s own energetic state. Since the back radiation has made collision before contacting the surface again, it must have lost energy in the process. The back radiation cannot be as great (energetic) as it was when it left the surface to begin with. It must have lost something, at least a tiny something. And since it has, the surface radiation and the “back radiation” cannot even see each other nor can they act upon one another.

    If I am wrong about this, then the only possible conclusion left is that they do indeed impinge upon one another, but like a bicycle wheel, the “back radiation” would necessarily have to act to cool the outbound surface radiation since the back radiation cannot be of an energetic state greater than the outbound surface radiation. In the end, just like the Law of Thermodynamics describe, it is a zero sum game. Even the back radiation cannot act to even slow the cooling of the surface. It just cannot work that way. If it could, one could “pile” heat, and you cannot pile heat.

  84. Squid, totally brilliant explanations out of you lately. Great stuff.

    There is no such thing as slowed cooling – there is no such thing. This is pseudoscience. Any time you hear that phrase or see it used, call it out as pseudoscientific sophistry.

    There is only heating. There is not slowed cooling. Heat transfers readily and can not be slowed or stopped.

    The jacket does not heat you. You heat the jacket and then carry around a warmer ambient environment. You heated the jacket, and that is the only thing that happened. Heat loss wasn’t slowed, cooling wasn’t slowed, heat wasn’t trapped – you readily heated, at the full speed of heat transfer, the jacket, and thus you’ve created a warmer ambient environment, hence feel warmer. That is all that happens.

  85. squid2112 says:

    Joseph, well thank you very much for the kind words. But were it not for you, and folks like you, I too would be ignorant of such things. Granted, the more I learn, the more I realize the less I know, but, I am learning these things, slowly but surely. For it is folks like you that selflessly teach those like me, and to whom I am eternally grateful!

    (not sure if I used “whom” properly there. Perhaps after I master physics I will work on English … yeah, that’ll be real soon, I’m sure .. haha)

  86. Arfur Bryant says:

    squid2112

    Kudos to you for your bicycle wheel analogy. I normally hate analogies in the climate debate because they don’t work but yours goes a long way in trying to explain to anyone who believes radiation from a cooler object can add any form of thermal energy to a warmer object.

    **Great stuff, well done indeed.**

    Back radiation is simply irrelevant to the warmer object (Earth) unless the Earth happens to be cooler than the emitted radiation from CO2. This simple concept seems too difficult for (luke-)warmers to understand.

    I am obviously not the only one who has seen the (luke-)warmers try to manipulate the debate away from their original error – backradiation warming the surface – to one of ‘insulation reduces the heat loss’. Any analogy which tries to imply CO2 acts like an insulator is false. Sleeping bags and thermos containers are ‘blockers’ whereas CO2 is a trace gas. It would be like claiming your sleeping bag is made out of 99.96% air and 0.04% cotton. Except for the fact that, as CO2 is a good emitter as well as an absorber, the cotton in this case is actually also helping to cool the surface. This is why Mindert should stop being a lukewarmer: [If you could explain that this insulation is impossible by CO2, I will stop to be a lukewarmer.].

    Mindert, CO2 cannot be an insulator because it readily emits the radiation it absorbs, and mostly away from the surface. The radiation emitted toward the surface can have no warming effect because it is emitted from a generally cooler source (the atmosphere) and thus does not possess the energy required to raise the thermal energy level of the receiving atoms. See squid2112’s bicycle wheel. If in doubt, see interaction of radiation with matter on the hyperphysics site.

    Q1: How many cooler objects do you have to place around a warmer object before the warmer object gets even hotter?

    Q2: How much of the so-called Greenhouse Effect is due to CO2, both now and back in 1850 (IPCC date)? This question alone should be enough for you to question your belief.

    Regards,

    Arfur

  87. “Q1: How many cooler objects do you have to place around a warmer object before the warmer object gets even hotter?”

    Exactly…idiots. I like that question…….exactly.

  88. Greg House says:

    Arfur Bryant says: “Q2: How much of the so-called Greenhouse Effect is due to CO2, both now and back in 1850 (IPCC date)? This question alone should be enough for you to question your belief.”
    ================================================

    Arfur, your question Q2 is build on a false premise. It does not make sense at all to ask “how much of the greenhouse effect is due to whatever”, because the “greenhouse effect” does not exist.

  89. josh.rid says:

    joseph: cold objects radiate according to the
    stephan-boltzmann law, same as
    warm objects.

    that radiation is a transfer of energy. pretending it does not exist
    is noy at all convincing.

  90. josh.rid says:

    greg house: if the greenhouse effect does not
    exist, why is the earth’s surface temeperature 60 deg F
    warmer than the sun can make it?

  91. Arfur Bryant says:

    Greg,

    I know! I also know you know. However the question is specifically chosen to make (luke-)warmers (and the question was directed at Mindert) think inductively about the so-called Greenhouse Effect. If I had asked you, or Joe, or squid2112, I would have called it the Atmosphere Effect.

    If a (luke-)warmer tries to answer the question, he or she will soon realise – by reasoning alone – that the GHE as advertised by the pro-cAGW brigade cannot work.

    There is no point in just shouting at them and gainsaying what they believe is wrong, we should be educating them and showing then how to figure out for themselves they are wrong. Obviously the use of ‘proper science’ by itself has not worked as a persuasive tool, so I wish to elicit from the warmist camp why their theory isn’t working. If they can figure it out without being ridiculed, there is a chance they may accept the proper science from a less-defensive position.

    The false premise is contained within the question for a reason.

    Regards,

    Arfur

  92. squid2112 says:

    Greg, I agree that there is no “greenhouse effect”.

    As of late, I have been troubled by the additional notion that so many people have posited, that back-radiation will slow cooling. For whatever reason, this has just never sat well with me. As I tried to explain above, there are only two possibilities within the context of back-radiation.

    1) Back-radiation can have no effect on the radiation being emitted from the original source (surface in this case).

    ..or..

    2) Back-radiation can effect the source radiation.

    If the answer is #1 (which I believe it is), then case closed.

    If the answer is indeed #2 (which my gut tells me is not so), then it must, according to the Laws of Thermodynamics, and the laws and properties of radiation physics, matter and energy, act to decreasethe energy of the source radiation. Again, case closed.

    Back-radiation is in no way capable of increasing the energy of the original source radiation. It is simply not possible. The back-radiation cannot be more energetic than the source, and in fact, must be of lesser energetic state than the original source, for it has shed some energy by collision with other forms of matter (absorbed, re-radiated, etc…). As we know, anytime something changes (state, status, vector) energy is transferred somewhere away from the origin (in other words, it is shed), there for, it MUST be true that Sr > Br, where Sr=Source Radiation and Br=Back-radiation … It cannot be any other way. And in so doing, if Br is to have any impact upon Sr, the only result has got to be that Sr becomes less energetic, just as in the bicycle wheel analogy. These things simply cannot be any other way, or a Perpetuum Mobile would indeed be possible.

  93. squid2112 says:

    Further, as I continue to think about these interaction (radiation vs. back-radiation), if you consider your daily observations, sitting in the backyard in the evening eating BBQ and sipping on a good beer, I think you can ponder and realize that answer #2 above is not possible either, which only leaves 1 logical conclusion. Back-radiation cannot affect the original radiation in any manner. Back-radiation is simply transparent to the source. I would think that a fancy dandy laboratory somewhere would have the tools and instrumentation to actually validate this hypothesis. Perhaps it has already been done. If someone knows of such research and experimentation, I would be greatful if they would point me to the resource.

  94. squid2112 says:

    Arfur, thank you very much for your kind words. I am just attempting to visualize how these things actually work within nature. I am not capable of the fancy mathematics that Joseph is so skillful with. Instead, I need to visualize these concepts in a physical way, at least so I may convey my thoughts and concepts to others. I am hoping that what I have said may help others to simply expand upon their own thoughts and either correct my conceptions or refine them. You, Joseph and others that comment on here certainly foot the bill for both. Well done folks!

    Thank you!

  95. josh.rid:

    “cold objects radiate according to the
    stephan-boltzmann law, same as
    warm objects.

    that radiation is a transfer of energy. pretending it does not exist
    is noy at all convincing.”

    Hey Josh, see this radiant heat flow equation?:

    Q’ = σA(Thot4 – Tcool4)

    Do you see that the cold term is right there, right in the equation, labelled as the cold term, totally 100% accounted for, and that heat energy still doesn’t flow from cold to hot, and cold won’t make hot hotter still?

    You claimed that we pretend that the radiation from the cold object doesn’t exist at all. You are thus a liar and a fraud, a real piece of crap. The cold term has always, always, been right there in the heat transfer equation, always indicating that heat flows only from hot to cold.

  96. josh.rid:

    “if the greenhouse effect does not
    exist, why is the earth’s surface temeperature 60 deg F
    warmer than the sun can make it?”

    The surface of the Earth is not the ground surface if you think like a photon. The surface of the Earth, if you are a photon, is up in the atmosphere at altitude. The ground surface is only the surface if you’re a human, but humans aren’t photons and our sense perception labelling of things is arbitrary.

    Since the real radiative surface of the Earth is up in the atmosphere at altitude, then the natural adiabatic gradient caused by gravity guarantees that the ground surface, where humans live, will be warmer in temperature than the radiative surface at altitude, where the surface for photons is.

  97. The important part Squid is this:

    “Back-radiation is in no way capable of increasing the energy of the original source radiation. It is simply not possible. The back-radiation cannot be more energetic than the source, and in fact, must be of lesser energetic state than the original source”

    Therefore it can not increase the temperature of the original source. Case closed.

  98. Heat transfer works like this:

    not like this:

  99. Greg House says:

    josh.rid says: “greg house: if the greenhouse effect does not exist, why is the earth’s surface temeperature 60 deg F warmer than the sun can make it?”
    ================================

    It is not. It can not be since there is no other more powerful than the Sun source of heat. The “greenhouse effect” is simply absurd, absolutely unscientific.

  100. Greg House says:

    Arfur Bryant says: “If I had asked you, or Joe, or squid2112, I would have called it the Atmosphere Effect.”
    ==============================

    This would not help, because renaming a physically impossible thing does not make it possible.

  101. Greg House says:

    Arfur Bryant says: “There is no point in just shouting at them and gainsaying what they believe is wrong, we should be educating them and showing then how to figure out for themselves they are wrong.”
    =================================

    That’s exactly what I have been doing. The impossibility of the “greenhouse effect” is very easy to demonstrate to anyone. The problem is that Internet trolls have put significant effort in obfuscating this simple issue.

  102. Squid2112 says:

    Arfur Bryant says: “If I had asked you, or Joe, or squid2112, I would have called it the Atmosphere Effect.”
    ==============================

    Arfur, I would not consider our atmosphere to be any such thing. As Greg rightly points out. The “greenhouse effect” is impossible in this universe. Changing the name to the “Atmosphere Effect” doesn’t change the physics and reality. It is still impossible.!

  103. Arfur Bryant says:

    Squid2112,

    You misunderstand me. The Greenhouse Effect as proposed by the warmists is impossible. An ‘Atmosphere Effect’ of some sort is perfectly possible – it just doesn’t have anything to do with backradiation (which is the cornerstone of the radiative GHE).

    It is not a case of just changing the name. The effect of having an atmosphere is to make this planet a more habitable place for us. The impossibility of the ‘Greenhouse Effect’ is because the radiative theory makes no sense. Of course we have an ‘Atmosphere Effect’ – a very different feature which does not depend on false physics. In the context of my question above, CO2 may play NO contribution to an Atmosphere Effect but it plays a huge part in the false ‘Greenhouse Effect’.

    I hope I’ve made my position clearer. The GHE is totally different to the AE.

    Regards,

    Arfur

  104. Arfur Bryant says:

    Greg,

    [“The problem is that Internet trolls have put significant effort in obfuscating this simple issue.”]

    I couldn’t agree more…

  105. Arfur Bryant says:

    Greg,

    [“This would not help, because renaming a physically impossible thing does not make it possible.”]

    Why do you think I have renamed it? See my response to squid2112 above. It is totally different concept.

    If you think having an atmosphere does not affect our climate, you are wrong. Can’t help you here. Seriously.

  106. Arfur Bryant says:

    squid2112,

    [“Back-radiation is simply transparent to the source.”]

    Correct! When SW radiation from the Sun interacts with matter (the Earth, for example) it imparts energy to the receiving molecules which can increase the thermal energy of the matter – it fills the ‘energy gap’ required to reach the next energy level (warm). LW radiation from cooler atmospheric CO2 cannot do this, so the radiation is either transmitted or reflected (and this can mean absorbed and re-emitted for no energy gain). To go back to your bicycle wheel, the slap required must be greater than the rotational velocity of the wheel for it to go faster. If the slap is made at the same rotational velocity, the wheel will not speed up, no matter how many times it is slapped at that speed. These slaps are therefore irrelevant to the wheel.

    Backradiation from a cooler source simply does not possess the energy required to elevate the internal energy of the receiving matter.

    Regards,

  107. Great stuff guys.

  108. geran says:

    josh.rid says:
    2015/02/11 at 11:26 PM
    greg house: if the greenhouse effect does not
    exist, why is the earth’s surface temeperature 60 deg F
    warmer than the sun can make it?
    *******
    Josh, if you are referring to the IPCC 255K/288K = 33 K (33 ºC, 59.4 ºF) difference, the 255 K is BOGUS. That makes the 33K/33C/59.4F BOGUS. They “misuse” the S-B equation to get that figure. The S-B equation does not provide an “average” temp. It provides a maximum temp for a blackbody at equilibrium.

    For example, a flat, perfect, blackbody, receiving 965 W/m^2 would, at equilibrium, have a temperature of 361.2 K (88 ºC, 190.5 ºF)

  109. markstoval says:

    Greg House says:
    2015/02/12 at 8:25 AM

    josh.rid says: “greg house: if the greenhouse effect does not exist, why is the earth’s surface temeperature 60 deg F warmer than the sun can make it?”
    ================================

    It is not. It can not be since there is no other more powerful than the Sun source of heat. The “greenhouse effect” is simply absurd, absolutely unscientific.

    This one aspect of the whole “debate” is one that we need to explain much better than we do apparently. I see this all the time. The believers will say something like, “well, something makes the planet warmer than what the sun can do by itself — what else can it be other than greenhouse gases; CO2 in particular?”

    Perhaps Joseph will do a post on that in the near future.

  110. squid2112 says:

    Arfur Bryant says:
    2015/02/12 at 1:06 PM

    You understand what I was getting at perfectly

    As for the “atmospheric effect”, I disagree completely. There is no atmospheric effect that makes the surface warmer than it would otherwise be. None … nadah … nill … The only thing our atmosphere can do, is moderate temperature, like a capacitor, but unlike a capacitor, it cannot “PILE” thermal energy.

    Put it this way, if there were no atmosphere, counter to what all of the sophists claim, the temperature of the surface of the Earth would not be less than what it is now, and as a matter of fact, it would be considerably hotter than it is now. You can calculate this relatively easily using data from the Moon. I know, I know, you are going to say, but the “average” temperature of the surface of the Moon is less than the temperature of the surface of the Earth. And to that you would be correct. However, the Moon has a rotation about the Sun of 28 days, but it reaches its minimum temperature in about 320 hrs. So, if you were to speed up the rotation of the moon to a 24hr period, you would find that the average temperature of the surface is greater, much greater than that of the Earth. Our atmosphere as a whole, acts to do two things, 1) It moderates temperature changes, and 2) Acts to cool the surface. Without this cooling transport, that the atmosphere provides for us, we would be nothing more than cooked eggs on the surface, as the atmosphere provides us with a very good thermal transpiration system, without which, we would be very hot, not cold.

    Just as Greg says (and Joseph on many occasions), and rightfully so, the Sun must provide at least enough thermal energy to the surface to melt ice, or we could not exist here. And what they mean by that, and again, rightfully so, without any sort of effect at all, “greenhouse” or otherwise the Sun provides more thermal energy to the surface than what it takes to melt ice… It simply cannot be otherwise! … we could not exist otherwise!

    The sophists claim that the Sun is not capable of melting ice, and that without the so-called (and impossible) “greenhouse effect”, we would all be popsicles. A completely ludicrous and asinine conjecture for sure.

  111. Arfur Bryant says:

    Squid2112,

    I assure you we are thinking along exactly the same lines, there has just been a misunderstanding. I didn’t say the Atmosphere Effect made the Earth warmer, I just said there was an Atmosphere Effect.
    In fact, I described it thus:
    [“The effect of having an atmosphere is to make this planet a more habitable place for us.”] This is in essence the same as you saying:
    [“The only thing our atmosphere can do, is moderate temperature…”]
    So I hope you can see we are in complete agreement.

    I repeat, my question re the contribution of CO2 to the (yes, impossible) ‘Greenhouse Effect’ was directed at (luke-)warmists (in this case Mindert) to make them think rationally about the fallacy of their argument. They cannot logically claim a large contribution to a (false) warming effect from CO2 and then explain why a 40% increase of this ‘powerful warming agent’ has produced no empirical, causative increase in temperature. Therefore, their own theory fails them. I simply prefer to let them come to that conclusion themselves, rather than just shouting them down. Over the years, I have seen that the shouting approach does not work. In this debate, I suspect inductive learning will be better than attempts at deductive learning.

    Unfortunately, when it comes to religion and belief, no amount of logic and reason will prevail.

    Kind regards,

    Arfur

  112. Greg House says:

    Arfur Bryant says: “They cannot logically claim a large contribution to a (false) warming effect from CO2 and then explain why a 40% increase of this ‘powerful warming agent’ has produced no empirical, causative increase in temperature.”
    ==============================

    Like I said, it is so easy to demonstrate that the “greenhouse effect” as claimed by the IPCC and the climate pseudoscience is impossible that there is no need to go around it. Besides, warmists can perfectly debunk that claim about no increase in the nonsensical “global temperature” fake skeptics like so much. This is simply a false claim people like Monckton repeat so often, a clever tactic of Internet trolls designed to obfuscate the most obvious non-existence of the “greenhouse effect”.

  113. Arfur Bryant says:

    Greg,

    As much as you wish we are, we are not in disagreement about how poor the IPCC stance is. I get the impression you think I am a troll. If that is your belief, you are entitled to believe so but you couldn’t be more wrong. I don’t follow anyone in this game, I prefer to think for myself.

    You and I just use different tactics, that’s all. I wish you well with yours…

    Arfur

  114. I’ve got a couple of good posts for you guys. No eta but stay tuned. I’ll be demonstrating something no one has seen before over this entire fiasco…

  115. Greg House says:

    Arfur Bryant says: “I get the impression you think I am a troll.”
    =====================================

    You have offered invalid argumentation referring to “no warming”. This is the usual trolls argumentation. No short term warming does not refute the long term trend.

    Worse, this talk you suggest about “how much” and “warming pause” legitimizes both the impossible “greenhouse effect” and the nonsensical “global temperature” calculations, both being the very foundation of the climate alarm.

  116. Arfur Bryant says:

    Ok Greg,

    As you are just looking for a puerile, schoolyard argument over absolutely nothing…

    Please point out where I have offered the ‘invalid argumentation’ noting the context with which I have made such an argument.

    Please point out where have I legitimized their arguments without explaining the point that I am trying to use their own theory against them?

    I will then try to explain to you – very patiently – why I am not a troll… or are you just not fully reading what I have written?

    I repeat, we have different tactics. I’m sorry if you don’t like mine. Try to get over it. Its very easy to chuck labels (such as ‘troll’) at people when you have a single-track mindset.

    Arfur

  117. Opinionated says:

    This is a great comment on Dr Roy Spencer’s blog about why calling CO2 a “greenhouse gas” is wrong …

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/02/what-to-call-a-nyt-reporter-of-climate-science/#comment-182661

    Well worth the read …

  118. Greg House says:

    LOL! Quote: “The greenhouse effect theory would have us believe that trace gases in the atmosphere can absorb enough of that immense surface radiative flux to slow it down, which is nonsense, or to radiate enough back to warm the surface to a temperature higher than it is warmed by solar energy. The latter theory is worth examining…” Exactly the latter theory is absurd for simple arithmetical reasons, because it would mean more energy output than input.

  119. Guys, chill out. Snipped a couple of posts.

    Just understand, Greg is just making the point that the entire discussion and mindset around warming, why there is warming, why it should be warm(er) at all, what causes warming, etc., is wrong. The entire phase space of the entire climate debate is wrong. Every single element. It is not a matter of refuting the climate greenhouse effect and explaining “warming” or “why it is warmer” in some other way. There is no warming and there is no “why is it warmer”. There is no alternative to the radiative greenhouse effect required and there is no alternative reasoning required to explain “extra temperature”, since there is no extra temperature at all.

    There is no question about why the Earth is as warm as it is that needs answering at all, because the Sun fully heats the Earth. They’ve manufactured the idea of this question so that they can insert human influences into the manufactured answer.

    We need to discard everything, and start back at the initial position that the Sun’s heat will explain the temperature on the Earth. They do the averaging thing and confuse themselves and create a mess with a cold sun, and once they realized that the sun was too cold to heat the Earth in their maths, they should have realized that that approach was wrong, discarded it, and started over. Because obviously, only the Sun heats the Earth. Instead, they actually believed that the Sun was too cold to heat the Earth, and so manufactured the idea that the atmosphere is also a source of power. The Sun is a power source, yes. Is the atmosphere a power source? Does it have raw energy being liberated from within its material due to chemical or nuclear means etc? No of course not, the atmosphere is not a source of power. A simple, obvious, incredibly simple, incredibly incompetent/perverse mistake.

    I will show you exactly how the Sun heats the Earth, in real-time. Stay tuned.

  120. Arfur Bryant says:

    Joe,

    [“…and once they realized that the sun was too cold to heat the Earth in their maths, they should have realized that that approach was wrong, discarded it, and started over.”]

    Absolutely correct! But this is where Greg (and maybe you) and I have a different idea tactics.

    In my honest opinion, just telling them they are wrong, and even trying to prove they are wrong using ‘good’ physics, has not worked. So there is another route – that of trying to make them realise they are wrong by allowing them to follow their own (il)logic pathway to open their eyes as to the invalid science.

    Inductive learning.

    Simply telling them they are wrong and refusing to discuss on their terms should have worked by now. It hasn’t because they are true believers. Telling them a hundred times will not work. Allowing them to prove to themselves they are wrong MAY work, maybe not. But I am happy to give that tactic a try. At the very least, it may allow some ‘fence-sitters’ to start thinking along reasonable lines…

    Until the media realises the stupidity of the IPCC argument, the important thing is that there are people like you (and Greg) who are trying to change the mindset. Keep up the good work.

    Regards,

    Arfur

  121. markstoval says:

    “I will show you exactly how the Sun heats the Earth, in real-time. Stay tuned.” ~J.P.

    I am looking forward to that post and the comments thread that will follow it.

  122. Arfur Bryant says:

    [““I will show you exactly how the Sun heats the Earth, in real-time. Stay tuned.” ~J.P.

    I’m also looking forward to this. The pro-cAGW brigade do not seem to consider ‘why’ (or how) the Sun’s radiation heats the Earth and, therefore, why atmospheric CO2 cannot…

  123. I’ve read this article several times and many of the comments as well. It’s all very interesting. I’m going to dumb it way down. This is how I understand it.

    The atmosphere (between the sun and earth) deflects a portion of the suns heat preventing the surface of the earth (in direct sunlight) from heating up as rapidly as it would with less or no atmosphere. Conversely, the atmosphere (above the dark side of the earth) prevents the surface of the earth earth (no longer receiving direct sunlight) from loosing it’s heat as rapidly as it would with less or no atmosphere.

    Any change in the amount of stuff in the atmosphere has no effect on the average temperature of the earth’s surface because there is a balance at work. The more atmosphere the less heat gets in, but also the less heat gets out. The less the atmosphere the more heat gets in, but also the more heat gets out.

    The more atmosphere the more consistent the surface temperature will be (the difference between the lowest and highest temperature will be less). The less atmosphere the less consistent the surface temperature of earth will be (the difference between the lowest and highest temperature will be greater). But importantly, the average temperature will remain the same, baring any changes in the output of the sun. Wrap the earth in 10 atmospheres, it makes no difference. The sun will get the earth’s average temperature up to the same spot either way.

    The moral of the story is man cannot change the average temperature of earth by altering the atmosphere because the atmosphere effects earths temperature in both directions. If one were to argue that man can raise the average temperature of earth by adding to the atmosphere, the obvious rebuttal should be simply that while adding stuff to the atmosphere can prevent the earth’s surface from cooling – to the exact same extent that increase also limits the temperature to which it can rise. It’s a wash.

    If one were to argue that man can either increase or decrease the average temperature of the earth by adding stuff to or removing stuff from the atmosphere the same holds true. It’s always a wash.

    The reason it’s a wash is that the atmosphere is not a the heat source in the system. The average temperature of earth is effected only by the output of the heat source. The heat source is the Sun.

  124. @light – right, the atmosphere does nothing additional to being a passive receiver of heat

  125. Greg House says:

    onesquarelight says: “the atmosphere (above the dark side of the earth) prevents the surface of the earth earth (no longer receiving direct sunlight) from loosing it’s heat as rapidly as it would with less or no atmosphere. …
    The average temperature of earth is effected only by the output of the heat source. The heat source is the Sun.”
    =================================

    So, if you light a cigarette, you do what to the “average temperature of earth”? By the way.

    The second thing, what the colder air does to the warmer surface is cooling it by conduction and convection. No air means no convective cooling, more convection like when using a fan means faster cooling. All that in addition to radiative cooling.

    This is why I think we should suppress our natural desire to make creative science and instead just look closely into the “greenhouse effect”, which is a much easier task.

  126. I’m no scientist but I do know that besides the evidence presented here disproving man made climate change its just plain illogical to believe.

    When someone talks about climate change and warming in particular it would only make sense if they meant that the average temperature accross the earths surface is warmer than it used to be at some point in the past. What I experience day to day is fluxuating local temperatures. This is what everyone experiences. We all say it was a colder winter than last year or it was a hotter summer than I can recall for quite some time. The ice age is evidence of huge regions being much colder in the past. It seems irrefutable then that temperatures on earth fluctuate. With those regional fluctuations I’m sure the average earth temperature has gone up and down as a result. One could conclude easily that its natural for earth to cycle through these changes.

    But when an alarmist speaks of climate change they are not speaking of the historical fluctuations. No. They are saying that right now somewhere on earth the temperature is other than what it should be right now – that the temperature would be different and correct if man had never existed. Odd how such a self loathing sentiment emerges from what amounts to mans arrogance to think we are significant enough to alter earths climate.

    Think about it. If man’s actions and their subsequent impact on earth is sufficient to alter it’s climate, it stands to reason that, at least a portion of the time, we must have done something right –we’re still here. But never have I heard someone discussing the concept of man made global climate change in a positive light. It is always presented as if man’s impact on earth’s climate is entirely negative. However, such a notion does not withstand even the slightest scrutiny simply because, historically, earth’s temperature has fluctuated both up and down. Logic demands that those who blame man for negative climate change aught also be singing man’s praises, for to them, it is man who has collectively averted one catastrophe after another for what they would say has been millions of years. If they are right and climate is effected by man, I say we deserves a pat on the back and a hearty applause for lasting so long without melting or freezing our planet into oblivion.

  127. squid2112 says:

    @onesquarelight says:
    2015/02/20 at 8:03 PM

    Details also matter here OneSquareLight. While the atmosphere on the “dark” side does indeed slow the rate of cooling, it doesn’t do so through it’s radiative processes. What I mean by that is, you cannot use radiation (back-radiation) to slow the cooling of another object, anymore than you can stop or slow the light from one flashlight by shining another flashlight at it. Radiation doesn’t work that way. The opposing radiation doesn’t even see each other. The incoming and outgoing radiation doesn’t even know the other exists, it can’t see it, it can’t feel it, they have absolutely no effect on one another.

    Just a fine point I wanted to point out, since it matters a great deal to the so-called “greenhouse effect”, which, as Greg rightly points out consistently … is impossible … There is no thermal process within our atmosphere that acts like a “greenhouse”.

    In a lot of ways, Greg has an extremely strong point and valuable suggestion when he says “keep it simple” … there is a lot of merit to what he is saying, and I would agree. Because these things that I (and others) have cited (see above) cannot exist, there cannot be any sort of “greenhouse effect” on this planet. Case closed. There is no “global warming” from CO2 or any other gas. There is no “climate change” based upon CO2 or any other gas in our atmosphere. There is no “greenhouse effect” on our planet (or any other planet in our universe). Because the very basic fundamental laws of physics (nature) prohibits it!

  128. @light – Well yes their entire metaparadigm, the entire basis of their ontology, their whole outlook on existence, is in fact anti-existence. Science believes in randomness as the basis of existence, and so with humans doing non-random things, and having a meaning and purpose we perceive to our lives, and taking actions that we understand will lead to desired outcomes, then they have rebelled against humanity for the sake of their randomist meaninglessness ideology. This reaction has been mainly from the “new crop” of scientists, those that came after the baby boomers – the product of the and 70’s and beyond. The older guys of course almost universally do not buy into it, and this is a situation where the old is right and the new is stupid.

    The end fact of all of this, is in fact that most scientists today, the scientific paradigm as it is, wants to kill humans, and it wants to justify an ideology and politics to make it happen. Their direct, and often even stated outright(!) goal, is the mass murder of humanity. You see or encounter a climate alarmist, and beneath everything else, beneath all the bluster about helping the environment by removing carbon from it (lol, doesn’t that contradiction give them away!), is someone who wants to see you and lots of other people murdered. Murdered because the air might not be behaving as randomly as it would without humans – for that, they want to impoverish you, and then murder you. For the sake of maintaining a random climate, for the sake of maintaining a random temperature signal, they want you dead. Because they believe in randomness as the basis of existence, and they despise any thought of meaning or purpose or direction.

  129. Graham W says:

    I think you guys have pretty much got this sewn up but I have three questions, to whoever:

    1) Mr Squid says the atmosphere in the dark side slows the rate of cooling and not through a radiative process. How does the atmosphere slow the rate of cooling?
    2) I notice that a cloudy night is warmer than a clear night. How do clouds slow the cooling rate at night?
    3) Warmey people claim there is an observed pattern in the temperature record of nights “warming faster than days”. This they claim is a GH fingerprint. How is this accounted for in your explanation (I appreciate the answers to 1) or 2) may pretty much answer this anyway but I’m going to ask anyway for complete clarity)?

    Apologies if you have answered these already in other posts.

  130. Greg House says:

    onesquarelight says: “The ice age is evidence of huge regions being much colder in the past. It seems irrefutable then that temperatures on earth fluctuate.”
    ===================================

    The warmists and climate science in generall talk about “global temperature” or “global mean temperature”, which is often reduced to just “temperature” thus causing confusion.

    The difference between the “greenhouse effect” nonsense and “global temperature fluctuation” nonsense is that the “greenhouse effect” is impossible, but “global temperature fluctuation” is theoretically possible. However, they can not really scientifically calculate it and get nervous when asked how exactly they do that.

    Which leads us again to the point that we should better focus on the easy “greenhouse effect” part.

  131. @Graham,

    1) Mr Squid says the atmosphere in the dark side slows the rate of cooling and not through a radiative process. How does the atmosphere slow the rate of cooling?

    Slowed rate of cooling is still not the correct terminology to use. A 1 square meter column of atmosphere is about 10,000 kg, and it radiates out about 240 W/m^2 plus or minus a bit depending on latitude. Given the total thermal energy contained within that column, and given 12 hours of cooling over night at 240 W/m^2, then the whole column should cool by only about 1 Kelvin. I calculated all this in a paper. Now, as it is, cooling at the surface is actually 10 Kelvin or more over night, which means that the bulk of the energy loss of the column cooling overnight actually occurs right at the surface! The higher altitudes of the atmosphere then need to be, and are actually, much more constant in temperature and don’t drop in temperature at all overnight.

    So there’s two things: 1) the atmosphere is 10,000 kg for every square meter, and it cools in the normal way given its radiative energy loss out to space. It can’t slow itself down from radiating out to space, of course. But there’s a lot of it – 10,000 kg – and it radiates at about 240 W/m^2, and so given all the thermal energy it contains at a rough average for the column at -18C, then it simply doesn’t drop much in temperature in 12 hrs. 2) Most of the cooling overnight still occurs at the surface anyway, and so the atmosphere still in fact does not slow the cooling at the surface given that there’s an atmosphere on top of it. It is better than being in vacuum such as on the moon, yes, but given the atmosphere’s presence on the Earth, it is not slowing down cooling at the surface within its own parameters.

    2) I notice that a cloudy night is warmer than a clear night. How do clouds slow the cooling rate at night?

    Presence of clouds means higher water vapor content which means more efficient heat retention given the massive heat capacity of water vapor and its resulting much slower cooling rate compared to dry air, and in addition, water vapor will release its also-massive latent heat of condensation as it condenses out of the air. This is why gardeners will put water vapor in the air and water liquid on the ground around their garden on a clear cold night – it protects the local area from cooling as fast because water vapor and liquid both 1) cool much slower than dry air due to their massive heat capacity, and 2) cool even slower because they release their massive latent heat, which means that heat energy is released from them without requiring a drop in temperature – once they’re in the latent heat release phase, they just keep shedding energy without dropping in temperature any further.

    On a clear night, radiation is free to leave to outerspace. With clouds, they also present a ceiling which prevents radiation from the surface from leaving straight out to space. Clouds could perhaps be likened to a blanket…although the tops of clouds are very good emitters and so they (the cloud tops) are what gets much much colder overnight anyway.

    3) Warmey people claim there is an observed pattern in the temperature record of nights “warming faster than days”. This they claim is a GH fingerprint. How is this accounted for in your explanation (I appreciate the answers to 1) or 2) may pretty much answer this anyway but I’m going to ask anyway for complete clarity)?

    Well that’s a very nice claim. They’re still just looking at noise variations even if there is such a signal. And have they removed the heat island effect? None of their claims are trustworthy.

  132. Greg House says:

    Graham W says: “This they claim is a GH fingerprint.”
    ==================================

    There can not be any “GH fingerprint” because there is no GH, logically. Do we agree on that?

  133. Ephi Bandeius says:

    “I calculated all this in a paper.”

    Just to be clear — this isn’t a paper — it’s a blog post.
    Real papers are submitted to journals, and peer reviewed, and defended against any and all comers.
    That’s what scientists do — at least, those who are fearless.
    Replies to your “paper” are blocked and censored here, which is against science’s code of ethics.

  134. Ephi, the calculation is high-school level physics and math, and doesn’t need to be peer-reviewed. You take 10,000 kg of atmosphere on 1 square meter (you can look that up with a google search, common knowledge, easy to calculate, etc), multiply by the specific heat capacity of air, multiply by the average temperature (255K), and you get the total energy. Then subtract 240 W/m^2 * 12 hours of energy away from the air column. Then convert to a change in temperature – it’s all linear scaling.

    This blog is all about replying to comments on my papers. I do throw out obvious trolling and sophistry though.

    I put my papers for review on the internet, which is pretty much infinitely more hostile with many, many, many more critical comers than the friendly peer-review of one or two other scientists for a journal pub. This isn’t for anyone who is worried about fear. And in any case, the paper was critically peer-reviewed by other scientists before publication anyway.

    Get aware.

  135. Opinionated says:

    Fantastic video. Suddenly computers do not seem to be as useful as we thought …

  136. Graham W says:

    Thank you very much for your detailed answers. I’m happy with the answer to 1). With 2), there’s still something I don’t get…and this applies just as much to your answer as to any answers you would get from climate science, since clouds are clouds (i.e droplets of water), and water vapour is a gas, so their back-radiation explanation doesn’t even apply in the case of clouds (not saying it physically could apply anywhere but hopefully you get what I mean)…what I don’t get is, you liken them to a blanket, but a blanket is next to you, clouds are separated from the surface by quite a bit of atmosphere – so why is it warmer the next morning at the surface when the clouds are there? How does the heat stay at the surface more than otherwise (without clouds), rather than just being warmer further up in the atmosphere? This is maybe just a very basic thing and perhaps I should know already but honestly I get no straightforward answer anywhere I look.

  137. squid2112 says:

    1) Mr Squid says the atmosphere in the dark side slows the rate of cooling and not through a radiative process. How does the atmosphere slow the rate of cooling?

    Sorry Graham, perhaps you are somewhat new to the party and haven’t seen prior comments that mention these things. Joseph’s reply is spot on to this. There are several ways that cooling can be slowed, radiation (or back-radiation) just isn’t one of those. Water vapor provides a whole lot of effect in this area, as one can attest on a warm, humid summers eve. Consider the comparison between the cooling of a desert at night, to that of the tropics at night. That will pretty much answer your question.

  138. Computers today are like books in 500 BC – if someone goes to the trouble of making a computer program about something, then it must be truth, right?

  139. Graham yes I was worried about the part where I likened clouds to blankets, and I see I shouldn’t have done that. The solution is that I retract that statement, and that the idea should be struck from the conceptual apparatus of your mind. Get rid of it, and of likening things to other things that are not the same thing.

    So for #2, re-read the bit about water vapour and the properties and effects it has. And also simply that they block the direct emission to space from the surface. But it is the water vapour thing that probably has the larger effect, as you can do the water vapour/liquid thing even on a clear night and it still works.

  140. Graham W says:

    So the answer to 2) really is that clouds are kind of a red herring. In fact it’s water vapour that slows the cooling at night, when clouds are present. The fact that clouds are present is merely evidence that water vapour is likely there in greater abundance. Air with water vapour has a greater heat capacity than air without, and hence loses heat more slowly. So it’s a heat capacity issue and not a radiative effect from “back-radiation” issue is your answer. That’s fine I understand your answer to 2) now as well, thanks.

    As regards 3), and to answer Mr House specifically, yes. We are in agreement Mr House.

    If there is no GHE then there is of course no “GH fingerprints”.

    So these “fingerprints” are in fact, either:

    1) Not really observed but climate scientists using flawed methodology/misinterpreting the data.
    2) Really observed, but cannot be caused by the fictional GHE.

    If the answer is 2) above, then some other mechanism must be causing these observations.

    Thanks for all the help.

  141. Graham W says:

    I’ve taken on board Mr Squid’s comment and looked more carefully through prior comments. To Mr Postma (I’m going to keep up with this “Mr” thing for some reason)…so with this latent heat idea…if it contributes additional energy at night during condensation without a reduction in temperature, then in the daytime the sunlight evaporating the water is “removing” (locking into the phase change) energy without an increase in temperature…then overall there is no net additional energy “created” out of anywhere, clouds are not an overall “source” or “sink” of energy, and hence don’t contribute to any net “warming” or “cooling” over a whole 24 hours. However what this would mean is that “days would not heat up as fast as nights”…were there to be a reason for the Earth to warm.

    So in fact 3) does have an answer that ties into what you’re saying and doesn’t involve the need for any magical back-radiation process. If the observation mentioned in 3) were to be taken as valid of course.

  142. Graham, it only works out as an even balance on both warming and cooling sides if the flux input and timescale are such to make it so. What I mean is, if the input flux (sunlight) is intense (hot) enough and for a long enough time, then the latent heat barrier or latent heat “anchor point” is breached better than half, meaning that the sunlight can fill up the latent heat reservoir and go past it, plus still have energy left over to heat the surface and air to the temperature that it has the power to. In this case, the latent heat barrier becomes a platform on top of which the temperature oscillation doesn’t not prefer to go below. I modeled this for the sunlight at the Earth’s surface for various masses of water:

    Caption for above plot:

    The oscillations are the daily input of sunlight, and the flat area is where solar energy is being soaked up into latent heat of liquid water. Eventually the latent heat plateu is breached because real-time solar power has the ability to do that, and heat the water to still higher temperature. When things cool overnight, then the sun had left things hot enough during the day that the latent barrier is only touched for a while, and then temperature increases again from it in the morning. Thus the average temperature is higher than if there were no latent heat preventing further cooling. If sunlight were less powerful, then the opposite would happen, and the average temperature would be cooler because the latent heat barrier couldn’t be breched to higher temperature. Now, apply this concept to the Earth as a whole, and considering that the North pole has water flowing through it that releases its latent heat there as it freezes; thus, the poles are warmer than they would be without latent heat from water.

    If the Earth were a little further from the Sun, then the power of sunlight wouldn’t breach the latent barrier so easily, and that barrier you see in the top plot at 273K (0C) would then become a ceiling above which it would be very difficult to penetrate. This would result in the lower plot having a negative, rather then positive, “latent heat anomaly”, which is the term I invented to label the phenomena of how much higher (or lesser, if the situation was so with less intense sunlight) the latent heat barrier keeps the temperature in relation to what the temperature would be without the presence of latent heat storage in a molecule.

  143. Important edit to my last comment regarding the 1st plot:

    The oscillations are due to the daily input of sunlight, and the flat area is where solar energy is being soaked up into latent heat of liquid water. Eventually the latent heat plateu is breached because real-time solar power has the ability to do that, and heats the water to still higher temperature. When things cool overnight, then the sun had left things hot enough during the day that the latent barrier is only touched for a while, and then temperature increases again from it in the morning. Thus the average temperature is higher than if there were no latent heat preventing further cooling. If sunlight were less powerful, then the opposite would happen, and the average temperature would be cooler because the latent heat barrier couldn’t be breched to higher temperature. Now, apply this concept to the Earth as a whole, and considering that the North pole has water flowing through it that releases its latent heat there as it freezes; thus, the poles are warmer than they would be without latent heat from water.

  144. Ah, this is the plot I was looking for:

    Latent heat prevents the temperature from dropping all the way down into those dips, thus, the average of those temperature numbers for a given oscillation (day & night) with latent heat will be a higher number than those oscillations which have values which go lower.

  145. I gotta say that that is all pretty brilliant work right there…I mean no one else has ever demonstrated these concepts anywhere or ever in this entire debate, or even in any textbooks or physics classes I am aware of. That latent heat anomaly thing is brilliant, original work. 🙂

  146. Graham W says:

    I am not aware of these concepts being discussed anywhere else either, though my knowledge isn’t exactly great, but if it is indeed original work, then fantastic stuff. Given your knowledge of latent heat, could you please answer the following question…would it be possible that if there were some reason for the Earth to warm, that you would observe nights to warm faster than days while it warmed, and for latent heat to be the reason for this/involved in this?

    Sorry if the answer could have already been inferred from your responses, if so I am not bright enough to see where. Thanks again.

  147. squid2112 says:

    Joseph, I like your presentation on latent heat. This is something I have been arguing for quite a long time. I am amazed at how many people just don’t get it. Water holds heat, for a time, in some conditions, and sheds heat under other conditions. You can clearly see these things when comparing arid climates to tropical climates at same latitude and elevation. In arid climates, during the heat of the day, temperatures will soar much higher than in tropical climates. During the night, the effect is opposite. Your illustrations show why that is. On the one hand, water acts to cool, but on the other hand water acts to help retain thermal energy. There is a boundary (as you illustrate) that dictates much of this.

    Water is to climate what a shock absorber is to your cars suspension. Water is a thermal dampener.

  148. @Graham,

    That is only one possible way that the average temperature number might come out higher…it isn’t the only way.

    If the water vapour content were higher, then the nights would cool less, but the days would warm less too though, as we see in the tropics as compared to deserts. The net effect might however be a higher average temperature number. But with a system that is already saturated with water and water vapour, which our system is, then it wouldn’t be rational to immediately make any connections.

  149. Yep neat idea…H2O is a shock absorber.

  150. Graham W says:

    Well that’s a lot to think about. Good stuff. So I have one idea, just file it in the suggestion box, if you have the time, perhaps you could create an FAQ section for the blog. Just so you don’t have to keep answering the same things and can just point people in that direction.

    Keep on keeping on. Cheers.

  151. Jane says:

    In the case of climate change, the insulation element is made by the “blanket” of CO2 which is fed every day by our polluting activities.
    If we don’t stop polluting the environment, this insulation made of greenhouse gases will become so thick that we feel like a chicken wrapped in foil and put inside the oven.
    http://www.alternative-energies.net/a-few-solutions-to-fight-climate-change-in-2015/

  152. Arfur Bryant says:

    Jane,

    Too funny for words! How much insulation do you think you can get from 0.04% of a blanket?

    Great sense of humour, though.

  153. squid2112 says:

    Jane, did you forget a [/sarc] tag in there somewhere? … ROFLMAO … “blanket” … ahahahaha … that just cracks me all up. And I am sure you can demonstrate this “blanket” right?

  154. squid2112 says:

    Jane, by the way, I just love the phrase “fight climate change” … really? … you’re going to “fight climate change” ??? …. again .. ROFMLAO .. We can’t even fight ISIS and the like, and you want to “fight climate change”?? … ahahaha … no with MY money you’re not!

  155. They want us to have a war on the air….war on drugs, war on terror, war on education, a war on the air. We shall war with the air. Straight out of Orwell.

    The truth is that either the human race goes extinct, or these people who want to war on the air are …

  156. Squid2112 says:

    So, I have this room, it’s almost perfectly insulated and measures 10m^3 (10 meters cubed) and has current ambient temperature of 20C (68F).

    I also have a plentiful supply of 1m solid iron cubes (1m^3), enough to completely fill my 10m^3 room.

    Now, if I perfectly heat each of my 1m cubes to exactly 20C (68F), how many cubes must I place in my 10m^3 room to raise the room temperature to 24C (74.2F) ?

    The math geniuses out there that believe that heat can pile should be able to whip out an answer for me in a matter of minutes.

    Good luck! ….. ready, set, go!

  157. markstoval says:

    @ Squid2112

    Ok, here is your answer. First, you are trying to heat the room with iron when you should be using the magic molecule CO2 — it can do anything. But we can still do the job.

    You take as many or as few of the iron cubes as you think your argument needs and toss them into the room. Then you adjust the thermometer to were it reads 4C warmer than it used to read and now you have “heated” your room. This is the “climate science way”. Just ask “Dr.” Mickey Mann.

  158. Mr. Pettersen says:

    If the atmosphere piles heat it would have to expand the hotter it gets. Like the debate on ocean level. What would happend to an expanding atmosphere? Will the top escape into space ?

  159. Yes and according to their logic, the expanded atmosphere should have more surface pressure and therefore heat up some more again…lol.

  160. Mr. Pettersen says:

    i always wonder why nobody ever talks about thermal expansion of the atmosphere but always makes it a point talking about sea level.

  161. Opinionated says:

    Maybe the message is getting out there …

    https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/venus-deniers/

  162. Squid2112 says:

    Opinionated, I find it funny that Heller banned me from commenting on his site specifically for arguing that the so-called “greenhouse effect” (and most specifically the “back-radiation” version) does not, and could not, exist. Now comes along this particular post about Venus? … ROFLMAO

    Heller is not quite what he presents himself to be. Case in point. He claims to be a super duper computer expert, has been involved in processor designs of some of the most popular micro-processors utilized today, and yet just within this year he has posted a few posts about technology that have just left me scratching my head, wondering if this moron has ever seen or used a computer. Very strange indeed. At this point I really don’t know what to make of our friend Steven Goddard/Tony Heller. I do like a lot of what he posts however. He continues to PROVE our point that there is no such thing as a “greenhouse effect” (although, he himself believes there is), and he maintains an excellent library of empirical data and information showing just how badly the Global Warming Nazis are lying to us (temperature records, etc…).

  163. squid2112 says:

    @markstoval,

    ROFLMAO … good one! … That is the ONLY way you are going to get there, moral of the story; heat does not pile!

  164. tom0mason says:

    Squid2112 says:
    2015/03/13 at 12:49 PM
    “Heller banned me from commenting on his site specifically for arguing that the so-called “greenhouse effect” (and most specifically the “back-radiation” version)”.
    I find it funny how he never has the time/energy to fight his corner with logic and reasoned argument to demonstrate exactly how the “greenhouse effect” and “back-radiation” are supposed to work, and the empirical evidence to back it up his claim.
    I was never banned from the site I chose to leave before that happened.

  165. markstoval says:

    tom0mason says: “I was never banned from the site I chose to leave before that happened.”

    It is something that so-called skeptics will ban any scientific discussion that questions the prevailing James Hansen mythology of CO2 warming the earth by 33 degrees via “back-radiation”.

    They can not see that they largely agree with the alarmists and only disagree in degree of the supposed effect. It is like the man who argues that we should all drive our cars while drinking alcohol. He says he is dead set against driving while intoxicated, but in favor of driving while a little tippsy. He can not see that he is advocating driving while drinking.

    To drive a stake though the heart of this vampire beast (CO2 will fry us all), we must educate the public on how the earth is really warmed. Unfortunately many of our “allies” are not helping much.

  166. Exactly right Mark. If it talks like a duck and walks like a duck, then it is a duck. And what is a climate alarm duck? It’s a duck that doesn’t allow and even ridicules scientific analysis of the radiative greenhouse effect, because that radiative greenhouse effect is the very basis of their being a climate alarm duck in the first place. Without a radiative greenhouse effect, there is no climate alarm duck.

    I think it is time that we start calling these pseudo-scientist fake-skeptics out.

  167. There is no way that they’ve (skeptics who defend the greenhouse effect) gone this long without ever being able to imagine analyzing the radiative greenhouse effect for legitimacy, particularly when the climate models, which are based on the metaparadigm of a radiative greenhouse effect, have failed for 18 years. That is no longer an accidental oversight, especially if you call yourself a skeptic.

    They have to either admit to incompetence, or being accessories to fraud.

  168. D.M. says:

    Principia recently did an article on “Eminent climate expert, Professor Murry Salby” and thanks to Greg he found this in Salby’s book is.gd/SalbyGHE and commented:
    [I did and found there the same unscientific nonsense as in the IPCC reports: the “greenhouse effect”. Check out the pages 48-49:

    “The 169 W/m² absorbed at the ground must be re-emitted to maintain thermal equilibrium of the Earth’s surface. At a global-mean surface temperature of Ts =288 K, the surface emits 390 W/m² of LW radiation according to (1.29). This is far more energy than it absorbs as SW radiation. Excess LW emission must be balanced by transfers of energy to the surface from other sources. Owing to the greenhouse effect, the surface also receives LW radiation that is emitted downward by the atmosphere, in the amount 327 W/m² .”]

    I then went further into the book (I knew what I was looking for) and found this in the section explaining radiation. You would be impressed Joe – absolutely filled with differential equations which would baffle most readers! Then came this which is relevant to your article here:
    [Sect 8.2, P215/216.

    “To SW radiation, the atmosphere is transparent. Passing freely through the atmosphere, that radiation is absorbed at the Earth’s surface. To LW radiation, the atmosphere is opaque. Re-emitted by the Earth’s surface to preserve thermal equilibrium, that radiation is trapped by the overlying atmosphere, which absorbs at those wavelengths (Prob. 8.21). To offset reduced transmission, the surface must emit more LW radiation, which requires a higher temperature (8.15). Surface temperature must therefore increase, just enough for the LW radiation that is rejected to space at TOA to balance the SW radiation that is absorbed. The increased surface temperature represents the greenhouse effect. It is related directly to the difference of atmospheric opacity to SW and LW radiation (Prob. 8.22)”

    (8.15) Flux F = πB(T) = σT4,]

    We have 2 different explanations for “the greenhouse effect” in the one book! The 1st is the usual “backradiation” one and the 2nd is because the atmosphere traps and reduces outgoing radiation transmission then the surface temperature must increase to emit more radiation to compensate. (So the atmosphere piles up outgoing radiation and we must create more to keep it flowing out to space!)

    My conclusion is that the book is a “cut and paste” from other sources throwing in lots of (mainly irrelevant) technical stuff without actually understanding its relevance or the basic physics involved. Otherwise how could you account for 2 opposite explanations for the “greenhouse effect”. Did this guy ever study thermodynamics?

  169. Yes that is indeed how it goes – just copy and paste and continue on.

    That is very funny that they have two contradictory statements about how the radiative greenhouse effect even functions! How perfect. Amazing. They’re just not thinking about it! So bizarre. Like witnessing brainwashing.

  170. Greg House says:

    That’s a good one, D.M. It sounds like the surface has a sort of contract with the space to deliver certain amount of radiation and if it can not, it raises its own temperature (like productivity in economy) to fulfill the obligation. LOL. The idiots do not care about where the additional energy should come from, which is out of nothing.

    Please anyone, show me a single non-stupid climate professor.

  171. Wonderful, Greg 🙂

  172. SkepticGoneWild says:

    I remember reading in one of your earlier articles about photons being a particle known as a boson. I came across this simplified explanation (for people like me) :

    “There are two kinds of elementary particles in the universe: bosons and fermions. Bosons don’t mind sitting on top of each other, sharing the same space. In principle, you could pile an infinite number of bosons into the tiniest bucket. Fermions, on the other hand, don’t share space: only a limited number of fermions would fit into the bucket.”

    http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/article/january-2013/bosons

    So would this also be an explanation of why heat does not “pile up”?

  173. Squid2112 says:

    SkepticGoneWild, “Heat” is not a “thing” like a particle is. “Heat” is a result of an action, and that action is the energy of the particle. The more energetic the particle (the more it is vibrating), the more “heat” it is capable of emitting. While you may be able to “pile” particles, you cannot pile their “heat”. For example, if particle (A) has temperature 30C and particle (B) has temperature 30C (simply a measurement of their “heat”, or energetic state), piling particle (A) with particle (B) cannot give you a temperature greater than 30C. Particle (A) cannot further excite particle (B) and vice-versa, so they cannot increase the “temperature” past 30C. The highest possible temperature is simply less than or equal to the greatest energized particle of the group.

  174. squid2112 says:

    SkepticGoneWild, here is another way to look at it. If you have a 3 Musketeers candy bar (I like those) and heat it to 30C (assume that it doesn’t melt) and you cut it into 3 pieces, all 3 of those pieces will still be 30C. I used a 3 Musketeers candy bar for this example, but you can use any material you wish with the same result. Just like you cannot add 3 pieces of 3 Musketeers candy bar together to increase beyond the 30C temperature, you also cannot divide that 3 Musketeers candy bar to decrease the temperature. So when Joseph says heat does not “pile”, he is also saying that heat does not “divide” either. I contend the reason for this is that “heat” is not a thing that can be summed, it is a result of the sum of the energy that is causing the heat (eg. heat is a result, not a thing).

    And a cooler object cannot make a warmer object even warmer still simply because molecule (A) being of lesser energetic state than molecule (B) is not capable of exciting molecule (B) anymore than it already is. Until you can somehow get around this physical FACT, you cannot get a cooler object to further warm a warmer object, if you could, you can make energy out of nothing.

  175. D.M. says:

    Hi Joe,
    I’ve been looking in my files for this related reference, but couldn’t find until now. When you published “The Steel Greenhouse Revisited” at Principia there was a very critical comment by this guy:

    “Leonard Weinstein 2013-12-11 08:55
    This writeup is a typical example of why actual scientists that understand radiation Physics have no respect for many of the Principia Scientific Institute publications. The article is basically wrong, and I have explained in detail on previous responses why. The only comment I agree with is that the shell does not transfer “heat” to the sphere (by definition of heat transfer), but it does cause the sphere to heat up due to the transfer of back radiation energy (you can have energy transfer both ways, but heat transfer only refers to NET energy transfer), and this requires a higher sphere equilibrium temperature for a given energy net transfer for net energy balance. This concept seems beyond the present authors ability to understand.”

    Here is the reference to his published story about how insulation increases the source temperature – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WPeBO_Ra9mkhWjv0J0SNmyRzHFVE9zPP8xRDUpR08jc/edit?pli=1

    This document doesn’t quite match up with what you’ve written here Joe, and to paraphrase his words “is a typical example of why actual scientists that understand radiation Physics have no respect for some arrogant ones holding DrSc degrees”. He and I hold very similar degrees (from the same period, but different countries) in exactly the same subjects, but I would have failed mine if I had written that document! He had the arrogance to criticise you Joe using his false thermodynamics!. But ordinary people reading stuff like that are going to believe that insulation has the effect of increasing the source temperature because the equations and assumption are very believable using subtle sophistry. The trouble with the internet is that there is unscientific rubbish there which the student cannot discern fact from fiction. Unfortunately there seems to be more fiction than fact, and quantity wins.

  176. No worries, DM, I have something to shut them up soon. And Weisntein is an idiot.

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