Bottom of Atmosphere is Warmest

On Earth, as it is on Other Planets

On Earth, we can definitely say that there is a significant, and important, direct solar heating of the planetary surface to high temperature by the action of sunlight.  This fact alone allows for a phase of physics to be entered that would not be allowed under the climate science supposition of a sunlight that can only warm the surface by itself to -18 °C (i.e., the ability for sunlight to generate liquid and vaporous water, or not), and this is sufficient to reject the foundation of climate science and its alarmism, and its radiative greenhouse effect, which erroneously dilutes solar power to such a low temperature value.

It must however be simultaneously included that despite whatever temperature-driving force the direct action of sunlight presents on the surface, an atmosphere above that surface has a natural temperature gradient with the bottom of the atmosphere being the warmest region, and the top the coolest.  This fact necessarily results in that any expected average temperature state of the atmosphere thus can not be found at either of its extremities, i.e. the bottom or top of the atmosphere, since the temperature gradient is constant in its direction.  That is, any expected average of a sequential series of values can not be found at either end of the sequence, but must be found within the sequence.

(Please see the last post if you don’t know anything about how the temperature gradient of the atmosphere originates.)

And so if the atmosphere is expected to have a net average temperature state, then we can not expect that the value of that average temperature state can be found at the bottom of the atmosphere; this is mathematically impossible, by the definition of what an average is and how it is calculated.

It is mathematically impossible that any expected average temperature state of the atmosphere can be found at the atmosphere’s bottom.

The expected average temperature state of the atmosphere can only be found within the atmosphere’s middle regions.

Climate science, and climate alarm, and the formulation of its radiative greenhouse effect, however, characterize the atmosphere’s average temperature as that temperature measured at the bottom of the atmosphere.

This is a fundamental mistake of basic mathematics.

Climate science, and its alarmism, attempts to characterize the average temperature of the atmosphere by measuring the temperature of the bottom of the atmosphere.  Not realizing that the bottom of the atmosphere will be warmer than any expected net average of the whole atmosphere by simple mathematical necessity caused by the existence of gravity, climate science concludes that the bottom of the atmosphere is “warmer than it should be”, and thus invents the radiative greenhouse effect in order to explain the difference.

However, the difference was already supposed to be there, it should be there, and is already explained due to the natural temperature gradient in the atmosphere caused by gravity.  The bottom of the atmosphere has to be, is supposed to be, warmer than the expected net average temperature state of the whole atmosphere or whole Earth surface.

It is erroneous to leave the whole atmosphere out of the accounting, and to measure for average temperature only its state at the bottom, its warmest region.  It is erroneous to attribute the higher temperature at the bottom of the atmosphere, as compared to its expected net average temperature, to another new effect called a greenhouse effect, when the higher temperature at the bottom of the atmosphere is already supposed to be there and is already explained by existing physics and mathematics.

Climate science, it’s radiative greenhouse effect, and its alarmism, is entirely based on a very simple but extremely effective mistake.

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7 Responses to Bottom of Atmosphere is Warmest

  1. Alan Siddons says:

    It’s ironic that you write from what “climate skeptics” consider a fringe point of view. Yet the mechanism of a radiative greenhouse effect cannot be found in any physics textbook. As Chris Plante often says, “The most insidious power of the news media is the power to ignore.” Much the same can be said about “climate skeptics.”

  2. Carl Allen says:

    “. . . any expected average temperature state of the atmosphere thus can not be found at either of its extremities, i.e. the bottom or top of the atmosphere, since the temperature gradient is constant in its direction. That is, any expected average of a sequential series of values can not be found at either end of the sequence, but must be found within the sequence.”

    Because the magnitude of the “greenhouse effect” is based on the temperature of ground level air compared to the average temperature of the troposphere as a whole, which is around -18 °C, the fact that water vapor lowers the lapse rate is proof positive that “greenhouse gases” are not causing that difference. (That average temperature is more often than not the temperature of the air at about 5 km in altitude.)

    From a purely mathematical point of view, the difference between the average temperature of a sequential series and the temperature present at the end of that same sequential series decreases as the slope or acuity of the gradient decreases.

    For this analysis one must realize that water vapor only affects the lapse rate of the lowest 4-5 km of the troposphere. I have observed in weather balloon soundings that the average lapse rate of dry air is ~8 °C/km, while very moist air averages < 6 °C/km. What this means, in real world terms, is this. With the average temperature the air at 5 km remaining the same the presence of high humidity in the lower atmosphere will necessarily result in ground level air temperatures being 8-10 °C lower than they would be if the air were bone dry.

    Carl

  3. durangodan01 says:

    Carl, Just to add to your line of reasoning, much of the deception by the climate alarmists is achieved by exclusive use of temperature as a means of portraying “thermal energy content”. You are all familiar with the “urban heat island effect” where historical temperature monitoring sites have had their surrounding environments modified by appurtenances which do not hold water, with the net effect that local relative humidity is severely diminished. As such the diurnal temperature swings including high temperature records are greatly amplified. Witness the difference between rain forest temperature and desert temperatures. Quite dramatic, but I’m guessing that the lower rainforest temperature air actually contains the same or even more “thermal energy”. So, a true measure of the thermal energy content of a given volume of air must include relative humidity. I theorize that if historical temperature records were “corrected” to include the latent heat of the water present, the new data which could be labeled “atmospheric heat content” rather than just temperature, would tell an entirely different story. This fits quite well with Alan’s “power to ignore”. Spot on. Should you be interested, my follow-up paper to the Hydro Flask article is posted over on the Burning Platform at : http://www.theburningplatform.com/2016/04/16/and-the-winner-is-hydro-flask/ .

  4. Alan Siddons says:

    “a true measure of the thermal energy content of a given volume of air must include relative humidity.”

    A most excellent comment, durangodan01. Indeed, this is why, at night, greenhouse operators find it cheaper to remove humidity by heat exchangers instead of trying to maintain the enclosure at an acceptable temperature for their plants. The specific heat of humid air is rather high, meaning that it takes lots more energy to raise its temperature compared to dry air. As you indicate, thermal content is a key concept, not temperature by itself.

  5. durangodan01 says:

    Joe, The AGW alarmists seem to suggest that a photon radiating from the Earth’s surface is virtually identical to a photon arriving from the Sun. My understanding is that an average photon from the sun (at 6000 K) is roughly a million times more energetic than the average photon re-emitted from the Earth’s surface (at 300 K). I’m not conceding that radiation from the Earth’s surface is a significant contributor to surface cooling, just that that even if it was significant, the energy level of these photons do not have any potential for reheating the Earth’s surface if reflected back or back-radiated from the atmosphere. Do I have this right? Is this a key aspect of the mind trick that the alarmists use?

  6. Digitalis says:

    After preparing a Powerpoint presentation about Climate science i stumbled upon a simple observation.
    The greenhouse effect supposed to be the 33 degrees in difference between surface temperature and Black Body temperature is simply the difference between the surface temperature and the visual albedo hight.
    Mars has practically no greenhouse effect, Look at a picture of Mars and you see the surface.
    Look at a picture of Venus and you see the top of the atmosphere. Venus has an albedo located high in the atmosphere and a very big difference in surface vs BlackBody temperature.
    Look at a picture of Earth and you see clouds locatet about 5 km above the surface wich corresponds to the Earts effective emittig hight and BlackBody temperature.

    The difference between BlackBody temperature and surface temperature are a result of the transparancy of the atmosphere. Clear atmosphere = low difference. Unclear atmosphere= high difference.

  7. Yes Digitalis, the question of albedo height is a unique consideration, and I actually discussed it here in the beginning pages:

    http://principia-scientific.org/publications/Absence_Measureable_Greenhouse_Effect.pdf

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