The Alarmist Radiative Greenhouse Effect’s Final End

In the previous two posts (first, second) we have looked at the climate alarmist’s “steel greenhouse” which they mathematically solve in such a way as to lead to what they think is an alarming behaviour about temperature, which they call a radiative greenhouse effect. Well, they should call it a “radiative greenhouse effect”, but they actually only ever call it a “greenhouse effect” thus sowing confusion over how a real greenhouse functions (physical stoppage of convection) vs. how their solution functions (via radiation which can’t be stopped) which is not like an actual greenhouse.  The steel greenhouse is a perfect model for demonstrating the non-existence, the thermodynamic impossibility, of the radiative greenhouse effect of climate alarm.

In the first post we demonstrated the correct solution which utilizes the complete set of laws of thermodynamics, and this solution quite clearly mathematically proved the non-existence of the alarmist radiative greenhouse effect.  In the second post we examined the alternative climate alarmist solution which we identified only partially uses the law of conservation of energy in such a way that it then ignores the full statement of the First Law of Thermodynamics which is the actual law about conservation of energy.

The alarmist solution invents an alternative accounting of energy flows which treats all energy to behave like heat and thus to be able to raise any object’s temperature no matter the source of the energy.  This is contradictory to the actual statement of the First Law which specifically states that an object can only raise in temperature if it receives heat, where heat is then defined only as the balance difference of energy intensity between two objects, that is, the energy which spontaneously flows from hot to cold, thus disallowing the energy from a cooler body to raise the temperature of a warmer body.  The alarmists go to create this solution because they dispense with the thermodynamic concepts and definitions of heat and specifically of thermodynamic equilibrium, and thus their solution is thermodynamically incomplete and hence does not connect to reality.  Logically, they are thus required to come up with a solution which is impossible, and this we can now immediately mathematically prove.

From the last post in equation 4, the mathematical solution for the temperature of the shell showed that it would be

1) Tsh4 = PspO/4πRsh2σ

So, if the shell had the radius of the sphere, then the solution shows that the shell would have the same temperature of the sphere because the temperature of the sphere by itself is simply

2) Tsp4 = PspO/4πRsp2σ

That is all well and good, and is what you would expect for the shell.  This is the same result in both the alarmist’s solution and the correct solution from the first post.  That is, the temperature of the sphere is given simply by its internal power generation spread over emission from its surface, and if the shell is identical with the surface of the sphere then the shell must equate to the surface of the sphere and hence have the temperature of the sphere.  However, the ontological error of their non-utilization of the complete and proper set of thermodynamic laws is exposed when we look at their solution for the temperature of the sphere (equation 6 from the last post):

3) Tsp4 = (Psp0/4πσ)((Rsp2 + Rsh2)/Rsp2Rsh2)

Let us make the shell radius the same as the sphere radius, i.e., Rsh2 = Rsp2, and then equation 3 becomes

4) Tsp4 = 2PspO/4πRsp2σ

Equation 4 should have been identical to equation 2 since what we’re doing in equations 3 and 4 is the exact same thing as in equations 1 and 2, i.e., making the shell radius the same as the sphere radius. Instead what we have is a contradiction, a paradox, i.e. an impossibility, thus indicating that something has gone fatally wrong – there is a factor of two in equation 4 which should not be there.

At the stage of arriving at the equation 1 above in the previous two posts, everything is OK.  The flaw in the alarmist’s radiative greenhouse effect physics comes in after that, when they develop a solution with a mathematics which does not utilize the definition and concepts and maths of heat flow and thermodynamic equilibrium.  What else can happen but deriving an equation which contradicts and hence disproves itself when the premises going into the solution aren’t based in the mathematical laws of physics and the logic of reality, i.e. the logic of that which can exist?

Remember, this is their solution, their mathematics which they create by ignoring the definition and equations for heat flow and thermodynamic equilibrium, their result, and their own paradox which exposes their radiative greenhouse effect scheme as false.

It is finished.  And they are finished.



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64 Responses to The Alarmist Radiative Greenhouse Effect’s Final End

  1. ilma630 says:

    Until someone manages to get one of these crooks, eg Gore Mann, Hanson, Schmidt, etc. into a court, under oath, and have them fail to contradict this, ie agree, then they will ignore this and continue, as the political tide is very strong.

  2. Thanks Joe, BRILLIANT reasoning which confirms what Hertzberg, Siddons and I wrote earlier this year in two peer reviewed papers: and

  3. In the face of such basic mathematical treatment, I predict that the typical response of “greenhouse theory” proponents will be to say that this is all math trickery — theoretical bullshit, and then they will divert the focus into some other direction that does NOT involve math, such as a particularly strong hurricane, or a particularly sparse arctic sea-ice season, as they try to prove a generality using a very isolated specific. Business (i.e., self delusion) as usual for many, I’m afraid. But maybe a few more will wake up, … which would be a little progress, I guess.

  4. Now about “peer review”. Some people give this validity, only when THEIR peers are the ones reviewing.

    Ever notice that the initials of “peer review” and “public relations” are the same? — PR

    I think, in some cases, we should call it “PC review” — “PC” for “Politically Correct”

  5. I would really like to see Eli work out the answer himself.

    And I’d really like to find Willis and give him an earful for just blatantly violating conservation of energy and calling it a rounding error…

  6. At least the claimed error involves the idea of “round” and not “flat”, or maybe not — it IS a sort of “flattening error” too, I guess. The error, in its rounding, thus, flattens. (^_^)

  7. Just for clarity, our papers mentioned above demolish the idea that there is an atmospheric “greenhouse effect” and demolish the idea that any warming at all is possible off atmospheric carbon dioxide. As per Joe’s extensive work, any and all claims by catastrophic global warming/climate change “scientists” are 180 degrees off reality.

  8. Unfortunately, demolition is easily countered by delusion, until some practical application forces the deluded to hit a brick wall of consequences. For example, many people would have to face, head on, the failure of the Paris Agreement fully executed, before they started to question its underlying premises. And even then, there would be stages of further denial trying to reconcile why reality was not changing, … possibly to the point of collapsing key segments of civilization, causing civilization to fall, killing off a large proportion of people, … to leave a clean slate for others to rebuild on a different foundation of beliefs.

    Otherwise, the process of unfolding the truth will continue very slowly at a snail’s pace, driven by competing forces of finances and politics, in a struggle between opposing sides, where whoever has the most money and influence wins big, while the less financially and politically powered souls endure the idiocy of powerful wealthy deluded people.

    Physics, thus, succumbs to politics and fiscal forces, where the truth does not set you free.

    Yeah, that’s a bleak outlook, but that’s where I am on this today. A strong faction of truth seekers, then, might be the best hope, rather than thinking that a paradigm change is possible in our lifetimes or even in multiple lifetimes. Truth seeking has to become the counter-religion to oppose the religion of human-caused-CO2 climate change, and the resultant opposition becomes the way of life.

    Changing a religious mind set, in other words, is near impossible. The best you can do is stick to your own guns and be prepared to justify your beliefs.

  9. A comment I get from the alarmists is CO2 absorbs IR, then re-emits it back to the surface. Those IR photons hitting the surface would raise the surface’s temperature, even though that surface has a higher temp than the CO2. I try to explain it is like pissing into fast flowing river, but they still think CO2 is imparting energy to the surface. What would your response be to this?

  10. Joseph E Postma says:

    That’s what this blog and our effort has been all about. What you describe is the fundamental, sole foundation for all of alarmism, and it is called the “radiative greenhouse effect” or RGHE. Your own rebuttal is correct, and is what it amounts to. Nevertheless, there has been an ongoing battle of the sophists on the alarmist side and real science on our side, with each side attempting to find the argument strategy that finally destroys the other side. The alarmists use sophistry and redefinition of terms, etc., while we use logic and mathematics and most especially the laws of thermodynamics. Their strategy rests on the attempt to redefine heat in such a way that the 2nd law no longer applies to it, and they do this by claiming that ANY emission at all is heat, including that from the cold atmosphere, and therefore if the atmosphere emits energy it must heat the surface since all energy will heat. When that argument fails, then they switch to saying that the radiation from the atmosphere “slows down” emission from the surface, thus requiring the surface to get warmer.

    An important thing to distinguish is between light and matter – matter does indeed build up, but light only has an effect dependent upon its frequency and so as in the photoelectric effect one can have much much more “red” light, but it has no effect on the metal until “blue” light comes in. Radiant heat flow and heat flow in general is much like this. Lower frequency energy from a cold source cannot increase the frequencies of a warmer object, etc. As someone said in another comment:

    “Would the concept of vibration help the discussion? Are not the molecules of warm and cool vibrating, one faster then the other. The radiation from the slower vibrating cool object is not going to make the vibration of the faster warmer object molecules vibrate faster.”

    You can also read though the previous two posts and this one to see how the math works out, and how their own math refutes them by contradicting itself.

    Alas, the alarmists don’t care about logic or reason or math. They are sophists and purposefully so. They have an agenda, and it is an agenda of power only, not anything else; having people believe their lies only gives them their sense of power, and so that’s why they keep lying. It is a con, and the number 1 rule of the con is to never give up the con! You think at this point they will admit they were wrong? They never intended to be right so why would they care about being wrong? Their intention is power, no matter the destruction.

    The maths of the steel greenhouse debunks them. A much simpler and shorter argument and demonstration of their maths refuting themselves could be distilled from this and the previous two posts.

    I will be publishing it all soon in review or in a book, etc.

  11. A fast-flowing river is unleashed in front of your face. You piss in it. Pissing IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION of the river’s flow gives the river more energy.

    Those are some mighty strong pubococcygeus muscles that can do this.

    … an even bigger set of balls to assert that this is truth.

  12. Mark Shooter says:

    I like the following thought experiment.
    Take two steel bars, one 50 degrees and the other 100 degrees, place them one on top of each other in a vacuum chamber. As you know, the cooler one will warm and the hotter one will cool till they each reach the same temperature. (Conduction but no convection)
    Now take these bars (back to 50 & 100) and place them an inch apart in the same vacuum chamber. (No conduction or convection) The steel bars will repeat the above outcome but much more slowly this time. (Radiation)
    Now I ask you, is there any chance the 100 degree bar would increase in temperature?

  13. I use the following on the alarmists. A heated pool, 30C, in a room with ambient air CO2. Then up the CO2 to 100% of the air, will the pool’s temp go above 30C? Nope.

  14. Yes those diagrams are called “flat Earth physics” because that’s literally what they are. I have addressed them numerous times.

    One place I discussed it was here:

    Also discussed it in my video presentation and in this unpublished (soon to be published) paper.

  15. nickreality65 says:

    The ONLY^3 reason RGHE theory even exists is to explain how the average surface (1.5 m above ground) temperature of 288 K/15 C (K-T balance 289 K/16 C) minus 255 K/-18C , the average surface (now ground) temperature w/o an atmosphere (Which is just completely BOGUS!) equals 33 C warmer w/ than w/o atmosphere.
    That Δ33 C notion is absolute rubbish and when it flies into the nearest dumpster it hauls RGHE “theory” in right behind it.
    The sooner that is realized and accepted the sooner all of us will have to find something better to do with our time and the taxpayers’ money. Maybe that’s what keeps RGHE staggering down the road.
    The genesis of RGHE theory is the incorrect notion that the atmosphere warms the surface (and that is NOT the ground). Explaining the mechanism behind this erroneous notion demands some truly contorted physics, thermo and heat transfer, i.e. energy out of nowhere, cold to hot w/o work, perpetual motion.
    Is space cold or hot? There are no molecules in space so our common definitions of hot/cold/heat/energy don’t apply.
    The temperatures of objects in space, e.g. the Earth, Moon, space station, Mars, Venus, etc. are determined by the radiation flowing past them. In the case of the Earth, the solar irradiance of 1,368 W/m^2 has a Stefan Boltzmann black body equilibrium temperature of 394 K, 121 C, 250 F. That’s hot. Sort of.
    But an object’s albedo reflects away some of that energy and reduces that temperature.
    The Earth’s albedo reflects away about 30% of the Sun’s 1,368 W/m^2 energy leaving 70% or 958 W/m^2 to “warm” the surface (1.5 m above ground) and at an S-B BB equilibrium temperature of 361 K, 33 C cooler (394-361) than the earth with no atmosphere or albedo.
    The Earth’s albedo/atmosphere doesn’t keep the Earth warm, it keeps the Earth cool.
    Bring science, I did. (5,700 views and zero rebuttals.)—We-don-t-need-no-stinkin-greenhouse-Warning-science-ahead-

  16. Thx, I have seen those, but the new paper.

  17. Another argument they use is to say that CO2 is like a coat, which makes you warmer. But they got that wrong too, it doesn’t make you warmer, a coat just reduces the rate of heat loss. The coat KEEPS you warm, it doesn’t MAKE you warm.

    It’s a glass half full/half empty argument. I lay an explanation here:

  18. AfroPhysics says:

    When they tell you co2 is like a blanket and a blanket keeps you warm, just ask them how warm does it make you? 100.6°F, 105.6°F, or 110.6°F. Same question for multiple blankets.

    That should shut them up. Sophistry is hard to argue rationally, attitude helps.

  19. Thanks guys, this is great what you are all doing for science. I’m hoping this will eventually pay off and AGW will go down in history as the largest fraud ever. But a lot of people making a lot of money stand in the way of that happening soon. Keep up the great work!

  20. Gary Ashe says:

    ”Another argument they use is to say that CO2 is like a coat, which makes you warmer. But they got that wrong too, it doesn’t make you warmer, a coat just reduces the rate of heat loss. The coat KEEPS you warm, it doesn’t MAKE you warm.”

    I asked my 12 yr old niece whilst baby sitting last weekend this question. just out of the blue.

    ”Does a blanket make you warm or keep you warm Ellie”
    ”Keeps you warm” she replied……….without hesitation.

  21. Joseph,

    The year of the date on your paper is 1017, which you might have already noticed by the time this post goes up.

    And you know how a sophist deals with innocent typos – by assassinating a person’s character for typing “1” instead of “2”, while boasting about their own character for saying that the thickness of Earth’s atmosphere is a “rounding error”, when doing calculations involving spherical radii.

  22. J. Richard W., and JP,

    That Trenberth diagram is fine, as far as it goes. To be fully applicable to the modern era, however, it needs a slight addition, in order to put it into the proper context. I have made this much needed addition, and I invite all who use the original diagram to now use this updated version:

  23. Seriously though,

    That diagram is labelled as Global Energy Flows Wm^2.

    But even the <Wm^2 part is wrong, isn’t it, IF we are talking about ENERGY … FLOW.

    Isn’t FLOW a measure per unit time of a volume?

  24. In other words, the physical meaning of “m^2” seems to get lost over all the different surface areas, and so what would be the proof that this meaning is preserved over all those different surface areas?

  25. I know that Watts has a time unit in it, but the time unit seems to get distorted from its original meaning too, … by the “m^2”.

  26. Yes, Watts is Joules per second. Essentially that graphic is saying the sun is shining on the surface the same as two 100Watt lamps over each square meter. Sounds rather on the low side to me, or is that because they have taken an “average” over the whole earth including at night & winter? If so this is one of the reasons that graphic is pure BS. Averages dont tell you what is physically going on. Such as the claim the global average temp is going up, the “warming”. Yet you can have an increase in an average when the lower numbers are higher, and even with the higher numbers going down, as long as the lower numbers go up more than the higher go down. Thus the “warming” is actually because winters are shorter and less cold. Tmax. in Canada at least, is going down since the 1930s.

    What we need to counter that graphic is a more realistic one. I have yet to see a good one that accurately displays what is physically going on.

  27. I suspect that a graphic that better depicted what is physically going on would have a few question marks on it.

  28. I’m involved in the political side of things up here in Canada, the conservatives. I have many times asked MPs to publicly make a proclamation that AGW theory has serious problems. I cited that when ever AGW comes up in the press there are far more comments by the public against AGW than for it, and those who are against it have rational well thought out rebuttals including links such as this. But not one of those MPs will even touch this topic publicly. Too afraid to be labeled a “denier”. We need to continue to pressure these politicians and show them how to counter the AGW cultist’s BS.

  29. AfroPhysics says:

    Joseph, I was hoping you’d get to debunking this assclown:

    Just a friendly reminder from Afro, now in Missississipi.

  30. AfroPhysics says:

    Erhum, Mississippi. lol.
    Same latitude as Arizona, but it doesn’t get as hot. Must be all that cooling water vapor. GHG theory is dead. Long live physics.

  31. The people who make policies and who sustain official movements, unfortunately, are often innocent victims of scammers who have gained positions of power, where information distribution is concerned. Their emotions have been teased to highly active intensities that override any appeals to logic. The scammers have hooked these victims, and the sheer momentum of the large flow of scammer information keeps the victims charged, .. for what they think is a good cause. The good, however, is solidified by the emotional charge, NOT by the logic.

    This is a tough gig to deal with. How do you break the emotional grip of the scammers?

  32. Just yesterday, I was pondering the question, “How would I even begin to write a letter to the governor of my state that might convince her to reexamine her commitment to the United States Climate Alliance?” I consider such a commitment as an embarrassment to intelligent people who might live here. Emotional commitments are so difficult to budge, once they are established into a set of physical, daily habits.

  33. AfroP,

    I would show the guys at Skeptical Science the same consideration that they show JP, as follows:

    John Cook and company at the website, Skeptical Science
    pride themselves in having given a fair review of Joseph Postma’s paper, The Model Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect

    Typical of their review of the paper are statements such as, “The claims are of course extraordinary.”

    “Extraordinary” seems like a gross overstatement of Postma’s delivery of convincing facts that overturn the greenhouse theory. Characterizing Postma’s presentation as “extraordinary” further seems like tactical rhetoric designed to give readers the impression of a confident expert, when, in truth, the person critiquing Postma’s paper lacks both justified confidence and relevant expertise.

    Cook and friends follow a rather predictable path in their opening few paragraphs, in trying to convince readers to stop before they even read the details, because, as they allege, the reputations of both Postma and his associates are inferior to the reputations of those whom Cook and friends hold in higher esteem. In other words, the Skeptical Science guys try to assasinate the character of the person they are pretending to critique.

    This, in itself, should throw up a red flag for any truly intelligent person who might want to gain insight into alternative arguments concerning the greenhouse theory. Anytime a critic tries such a tactic so early in a presentation, one has to wonder what is the true motivation for writing the critique — is it to give a balanced review, or is it to bolster a personal bias by trying to recruit others to share this bias, without applying the necessary logic to weigh its merits?

    I would suggest that Cook and company’s opening lines alone should deter readers from trying to ingest the Skeptical Science review and, instead, should encourage readers to click on Postma’s paper first. And realize that if a critic suggests that readers use the critic’s judgement of character as a reason for not even pursuing an alternate path of inquiry, then the critic himself is of questionable character.

  34. In my … 2017/11/13 at 10:20 AM … post, I referred to the governor of my state as a “her”. I was thinking about the MAYOR of my CITY, who is, in fact, female. The comments still apply to the governor too (a male), but the mayor of my city is also on board with the United States Climate Alliance — a further embarrassment to intelligent people.

    This “alliance” is a knee-jerk reaction to Trump’s now-old announcement about the USA withdrawal from the Paris Accord. Basically, fourteen states allied themselves to continue working towards the goals of that ill-conceived Accord. I cannot begin to describe the confusions in all this — the conflation of different views, misapplied definitions, mislabeling of substances, delusions about renewable energy — very scary.

  35. AfroP,

    In case you missed it (I just found it for the first time), JP’s debunking of the Skeptical [Non]Science Website article was done here:

  36. The following passage from the Skeptical “Science” critique of JP’s paper has the most ridiculous implication:

    Skeptical Science: “Postma then goes on to describe fictitious “boundary conditions.” In particular, he seems to have serious objections to the averaging of the solar radiative flux over the Earth. In essence, he would prefer we had one sun delivering 1370 W/m2 of energy to the planet, with a day side and a night side, noon and twilight, etc. instead of the simple model where we average 1370/4=342.5 W/m2 over the planet (so that the whole Earth is receiving the appropriate “average” solar radiation).”

    Utterly ridiculous is the suggestion that rational minds OUGHT to accept a simple, grossly distorted model of reality, rather than a model that incorporates the most basic observations about reality. Highly rational people, thus, are at fault for wanting a “simple” model that accounts for the simply UNDENIABLE FACTS that there IS one sun, … there IS a day side and a night side. But no, let us just mush it into an average that ignores all this, because this is the most rationally simple thing to do. Seriously?!

    Skeptical Science guys seem to have serious objections to the most fundamental requirements of modeling reality. They would prefer we had no clue how stupidity can be dressed up in correct grammar and syntax to appear like proper discourse.

  37. Skeptical Science: “Postma is simply tackling a non-issue, just as how people criticize the term “greenhouse effect” for not working like a glass greenhouse. Postma objects to teaching this simple model because it is not real.”

    Let us, therefore, NOT object to calling jelly made from pears “apple jelly”. Let us NOT object to calling skin burned beyond recognition “a good complexion”. Let us NOT object to calling hamster wheels “combustion engines”. Let’s just choose any word we want, regardless of its understood, functionally derived, long-standing meaning, and apply this word to any situation where we want a label whose sound we prefer. Forget history, forget context, forget new knowledge, forget everything that relates to the rational delineation of this word in its proper context, related to all that has come before to define it.

  38. Joseph E Postma says:

    Great stuff Robert.

    Can you believe that they say these things!!??

    They are literally saying “Postma objects to models not being based in reality.” As if that is evidence against me. Total inversion of reality, words, thought, etc. Disgusting insect goblins.

  39. Okay, one more:

    Skeptical Science: “To summarize so far, Joseph E. Postma did not like a simple model of Earth’s radiative balance where we approximate the Earth as a sphere with uniform solar absorption. Of course, this is never done in climate modeling or in more detailed analyses appropriate for scholarly literature, so it is more an exercise in complaining about undergraduate education than an attempt to correct what he calls a “paradigm” in climatology.”

    Now the Skeptical Science guys are switching focus from the “simple model” that starts the training of minds … to the complex computer models that these simply-modeled minds somehow advance to, in order to produce the grossly distorted predictions of future temperature anomalies. Somehow switching focus from a simple model to a complex model that fails adds little credibility to their line of … “reasoning”.

  40. This type of long-winded display that Skeptical Science produces is yet again a prime example of how words can be fabricated into the appearance of rational thought, via the sheer mechanics of language, where the deeper substance of this language is pure crap.

    The culinary equivalent would be to set a stage of mixing bowls, high-end food blenders, the finest cookware, the best stove, with mood lighting, state-of-the-art sink, etc., … and then begin to use all these resources meticulously in accordance to manufactures’ guidelines, and in accordance to well established cooking practices, … EXCEPT your main ingredient would be horse manure that you just scraped from the pasture.

    You follow all the cooking directions. You proceed as though making a hearty soup, with your vegetables, and homemade chicken stock, imported whole spices that you grind by hand, … BUT your main ingredient is shit. No matter how you try to frame it, organize it, reconstitute it, flavor it, or present it, the final REAL impact is the impact of shit.

    Now some people might be convinced by all the framing and presentation, even to the point of being talked into thinking that what they are consuming tastes good. But other people know the taste of, … well …, I don’t need to spell it out again, … when they taste it.

    Bon Appétit !

  41. Joseph E Postma says:

    That’s exactly it. Skilled sophistry. Maximum sophistry.

  42. To review: sophistry = reasoning by clever but fallacious arguments

    The fallacious character of the Skeptical Science critique lies in the article’s implied assumption that a simple model — even simple to the point of defying fundamental perceptions of reality — is an adequate model, as long as a consistent narrative can showcase it.

  43. Joseph, I have an excellent example of why averaging things, such as the energy input/output, is completely meaningless.

    Take a photograph of anything, some mountain view for example. Then add up every pixel’s colour number, and divide by the number of pixels. Apply that average to every pixel and what do you get? A flat grey image of nothing. This is what the flat earthers are doing.

  44. Exactly! Spot on.

  45. AfroPhysics says:

    Good stuff, Robert. All true.

    But you see, the whole point of debunking it is to never have to debunk it again.

    Thanks for the link. The next time some asshat links the skepsci article, I will send them your link; although JP does not debunk every piece of it, such as the shifting vs. rotating lapse rate.

    I love this blog. I disappear for two days, and Robert smashes skepsci to pieces.

  46. Here’s my go at the Sleazy Science lapse-rate thing (correct me if I’m not quite right):

    Lapse Rate Confusion

    He claims that observations of the atmospheric lapse rate (the rate at which temperature declines with height) disallow the greenhouse effect. His reasoning is that the atmosphere is at a fixed height.

    Actually, I believe that his characterization of the atmosphere is one of fixed DEPTH.

    When greenhouse gases warm the surface, and cool the upper atmosphere, that height still remains fixed, but obviously the temperature difference between the bottom and top of the atmosphere must increase.

    This assumes, of course, that greenhouse gases do warm the surface. For the sake of constructive argument, okay, let’s assume that this is true.

    Postma then claims that this necessarily implies that the lapse rate must have a greater slope than the theoretical value that he derived of about -10 K per kilometer (which is about right for a dry air parcel ascending). That is, if the atmospheric height remains fixed, and the temperature difference between bottom and top is increased, then the rate at which air cools with height must increase. Since this is not observed, then we have a problem, right?

    This is NOT observed. Right.

    In actuality, the atmospheric height is a distraction. The adiabatic lapse rate does not extend beyond the point where convection breaks down, which is the tropopause. The whole point of the greenhouse effect is that increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases does increase the “average” height at which emission to space takes place (and the tropopause increases in height too), so one IS allowed to extrapolate further down the adiabat to reach a higher surface temperature.

    Again, I believe Postma’s term was “depth”, NOT “height”, and I believe that he was referring MASS of the atmosphere, … and actual “depth” within this actual mass. Talking about average height of emission is a DIFFERENT “height” that the Skeptical Science guys now bring up to make a point, even though they say that “atmospheric height is a distraction”.

    Apparently, average “height” of emission is NOT a distraction, even though Skeptical Science brings it into an argument to distract from the distinction between actual depth in actual mass and imaginary “height” in mathematical conception. Skeptical Science is confusing distinct lines of argument, thereby conflating terms (or implying such conflation) that should not be conflated. THEY are the ones doing the distracting. Also, they are deflecting attention to “the point where convection breaks down”, which really is not necessary to bring into the discussion — it just serves to parade terminology and to suggest expertise [Oh wow, these guys really know their stuff. … NOT !]

    If the “greenhouse effect” increases average “height” at which emission to space
    takes place, then the “greenhouse effect” also increases average SURFACE AREA from which emission to space takes place. If they acknowledge the significance of the “height” increase, which is the radius increase with respect to the globe, then they MUST acknowledge the significance of the surface-area increase that this “height”/radius increase causes. More average surface area would now radiate to space.

    By merely extrapolating down, while ignoring this surface-area increase, they defy mathematical and physical logic by preventing a sphere of increasing radius from increasing in surface area. They would say that the surface-area increase is insignificant, at which point I would say that the “height” increase leading to the “insignificant” surface area increase would also appear to be insignificant. Otherwise, we would have an insignificant surface-area increase produced by a significant “height”/radius-increase.

    One dimension of reality must be more significant than another. I suppose that thought habits in other areas of science might contribute to this seeming contradiction. After all, am I not correct in believing that string theory operates on the idea of entities that have extension without thickness? .. or that atomic physics conceives of particles that have zero sensible mass? In the micro-world this somehow seems workable, but in the macro-world, it somehow seems even more absurd.

  47. Joseph E Postma says:

    They’re not trying to do science or physics…they’re just sophists looking to make an appearance.

    If the lapse rate is fully explained by the equation with gravity and thermal capacity, but the RGHE claims responsibility for the RGHE, then the RGHE is debunked because what it is supposed to explain is already explained by other physics.

    Then, acknowledging the physics which explains the lapse rate, then if there are other factors which would change the lapse rate they should then be observed by a modulation in the lapse rate, but they’re not, and the lapse rate is ONLY that which is already explained by the other physics.

    Not only that, but when the strongest so-called “greenhouse gas” is present, i.e. water vapour, the lapse rate is still that calculated from the other existing physics of gravity and thermal capacity.

  48. Joseph E Postma says:

    And, when water vapour is present, it *lowers* the lapse rate, whereas if the RGHE were real it would have increased the lapse rate.

  49. AfroPhysics says:

    I was referring to this diagram:

    First he mislabels your tropopause as “top of the atmosphere” to make you look like a fool, while his version goes into the stratosphere.

    Of course I know you’re right.

    Their shifting lapse rate curve is disgusting and obscene.

  50. Greater height of emission would mean more area from which to emit, thus no reason to extrapolate down, because a compensatory amount of radiation would follow from the INCREASE in average emission-height SURFACE AREA. And if you say that my surface-area increase is insignificant, then I ask you to justify how your height/radius increase is not thereby also reduced to insignificance. How can one dimension of physical, sensible reality (and its effect) be more significant than another dimension of physical, sensible reality (and ITS effect)?

  51. … sort of like a boiling water bubble, even if you entertained the claimed mechanism.

  52. Joseph E Postma says:

    “Greater height of emission would mean more area from which to emit”

    That’s a good point. More area emitting at the same temperature means more energy being emitted which requires more energy input…but…there’s no more energy input since the sun is constant, and they’re pulling a Willis Eschenbach!

    This is why the tropospheric hot-spot was never found. Because if it could have ever existed it would have violated the law of conservation of energy…which means it could never have existed hence could never be found.

    This is a nice tie-up up their emission height argument Robert, thanks. After all this time never thought about it because of dealing with other arguments. But with our refresh of the Willis debacle violating energy conservation with his “rounding errors”, it applies directly to their emission height argument. Just as with Willis, if the same temperature is emitting over a larger surface area, then more total energy is being emitted which therefore requires more input to match…but there is no more input. The scheme is false.

  53. I thought the “more energy being emitted” would be from a COOLER temperature, since the emission height would increase, hence the temperature at that height would DEcrease.

    The argument, as I have understood it, seems to be that emission from a greater height lowers the energy of the emission at this new emission height, which means that more emission at higher temperatures are happening somewhere deeper in the atmosphere and are “held back” , propagated downwards to increase surface temperature. But this seems to ignore the fact that surface area of emission would also increase AT THAT LOWER TEMPERATURE, and the greater surface area over which the lower-temperature emission would occur compensates for the reduction in energy of emission at the new height.

    They try to hold the surface area the same, while increasing the height/radius-of-emission-sphere and lowering the temperature, but, seemingly, the correct way to think would be to increase the height, lower the temperature, and INCREASE the SURFACE AREA of emission at that LOWER TEMPERATURE. No need for extra energy. The surface area increase at the lower temperature of the increased height would seem to hold things in check. Even if you do not add more energy, the idea fails, when all the dimensions of reality are accounted for.

    They are ignoring a major implication of their own model, namely that an increase in area requires an increase in surface area, and an increase in surface area requires an expansion outward/upward of the imaginary emission-height shell, which places the emission shell in a lower-temperature region of the atmosphere but NOW with GREATER SURFACE AREA than before.

    A greater surface area emitting at a now lower temperature would seem to come to equilibrium the same as a smaller surface area emitting at a previously higher temperature, right? They want you to believe that the surface area does NOT change “significantly”, but rather stays the same, so that the SAME surface area emits at a lower temperature.

    But, NO, this would NOT be the case. Rather, a LARGER surface area would now emit at the LOWER temperature. No Stefan-Boltzmann retro-engineering mathemagic can save the premise now.

    … if I’m thinking correctly.

  54. No but see…if the altitude of emission increased but was at a cooler temperature, then nothing actually changed and the near-surface air temperature would still be the same. So we need more than just that the emission height increased and but a lower temperature. Remembers it’s the emission temperature which must remain constant because this is defined by the effective temperature which is determined only by other things which are constant (sun, albedo, distance). You need the previous emission height to become warmer, so that the average emission height corresponding to the effective temperatures increases, so that the bottom-of-atmosphere increases in temperature. So if the height of the emission temperature increased so that the new average emission occurs at a higher altitude, then you have more energy being emitted that isn’t actually provided, etc. Pulling a Willis.

  55. Phil Clark says:

    I cannot imagine why so much effort is expended on attempting to counter the “radiation physics” view of what makes climate tick. Who are you or anyone else trying to impress with that sort of detailed analysis? Forget the nonsense about CO2, greenhouses and radiation. With 70.8% of our planet water and 75% in the Tropics, evaporation, convection, vertical latent heat transfer nicely stabilises our climate, aided by 60 year ups and downs due to solar perturbations.

  56. I think that I see your point, but now I’m thinking that this reveals an even greater plethora of contradictions. Not to confuse things, but I’m really trying to understand this. Here’s what I’m thinking now:

    The emission temperature MUST remain the same, as this defines the EFFECTIVE temperature. So, first, we must get through the first denial by the GHT guys, who say that no “significant” emission-surface-area results from the increased emission height/radius. But the area MUST be significant, if the height/radius is significant. They cannot escape that there is an emission surface-area increase to that imaginary spherical shell whose surface is the defining surface of the “average height of emission”.

    BUT, big BUT, this admission of reality forces the height of emission into a lower temperature, which now seemingly lowers the EFFECTIVE temperature, which seems like a contradiction. Because how could the effective temperature be what it is defined to be, if it now moves to a lower temperature? CONTRADICTION.

    So, give them the delusion of NO emission-surface-area increase, but greater height and lower temperature, which now forces the layer where emission occurs to be located higher up in the atmosphere but lower in temperature, which requires MORE energy from a magical reservoir that does NOT exist to warm the layers below, so that the effective temperature might still be resurrected from those layers below.

    Is this anywhere near correct?

  57. I guess my confusion could be a system of counter-sophistry, … like counter-terrorism.

    … performing sophistry on the sophists.(^_^) … like conning the con.

  58. [to entertain the GHT claims] You need the previous emission height to become warmer, so that the average emission height corresponding to the effective temperatures increases, so that the bottom-of-atmosphere increases in temperature.

    I’m just not seeing why this would require the bottom-of-atmosphere to increase in temperature. It seems like everything would just adjust, layer-by-layer upward, in accord with he new emission altitude (height), … NOT a cascading temperature increase downward, but a cascading, compensatory emission-surface-area expansion upward throughout the entire thickness of the atmospheric mass, to keep equilibrium. No temperature increase at surface, because of an offset by mass adjustment to the increased emission demands.

    Do you like my counter-sophistry?

  59. So if the height of the emission temperature increased so that the new average emission occurs at a higher altitude, then you have more energy being emitted that isn’t actually provided, etc. Pulling a Willis.
    If the new average emission occurred at a higher altitude, would this higher altitude not be at a lower temperature, which would redefine the emission temperature and NOT be the SAME effective temperature anymore? Would it not require continually redefining the effective temperature? — a cyclical fallacy? or continual contradiction?
    Yours truly,
    Count Sophisticus

  60. I’m beginning to think that the whole “effective height of radiation” concept is one big piece of sophistry anyway, and so I won’t spend anymore time trying to dissect faults in its application.

    In and of itself alone, it is faulty to begin with. If sophists can use it to make claims, then I can use it to make counterclaims that contradict by using confusion and conflation to mistakenly conceive of a mathematical fiction as a real physical shell somewhere “up there” in the air.

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