First Law of Thermodynamics Refutes Climate Alarm – Proof of Nikolov & Zeller

This has been posted before, but repetition is one recipe for success.  Especially one so simple.

Climate alarmism is based, of course, upon its alternative conception of a greenhouse effect from that of an actual real greenhouse.  A real greenhouse is warmed by the sun and remains warmer inside than outside because it physically traps warmed-air inside, whereas outside that air warmed in contact with the sunlight-heated surface is immediately diluted with cooler air from the entire atmosphere.  Inside a greenhouse there is trapped a much, much smaller quantity of air than the entire atmosphere, and so this air trapped inside can be warmed quickly to the temperature at which it is being heated from sunlight, which is typically fifty degrees Celsius and higher.

The climate alarmist alternative greenhouse theory, however, is based upon sunlight not being able to heat anything to a temperature above minus eighteen degrees Celsius.  Climate alarmism begins with this position because they treat the Earth as flat.  Yes, it is actually flat Earth theory.  From there the theory develops a scheme where the radiation passively amplifies itself to a higher temperature.

In any case, aside from these existing fatal flaws which already make the postulate of an alarming climate pseudoscientific, let us consider the First Law of Thermodynamics:

  1.   ΔU = W + Q

ΔU is the change in internal energy of a system, and W and Q are the work (W ) performed upon and heat (Q) sent to the system.  And so that is:

In order to increase a system’s internal energy, i.e. to increase its temperature, it must have work performed upon it and/or heat sent to it.

Thermal radiation from the atmosphere satisfies neither of those requirements in order that the atmosphere may behave as a temperature-increasing function for the surface of the Earth: thermal radiation from the atmosphere is not performing any work on the surface, and nor does the cooler atmosphere have any heat to send to the warmer surface since heat can only be sent from a warmer object to a cooler one.

Thus it is all extremely simple:  there is no mechanism, in thermodynamic law, that the cooler atmosphere could cause the warmer surface to increase in temperature.  Look at equation 1: this is algebra for 5 year old’s.  It is so, so simple.

There are no heat (Q) sources other than the Sun and sunlight (aside from the negligible geothermal heat making to to the surface).

However, the atmosphere does have a temperature gradient where the gas is warmest at the bottom of the atmosphere, coolest at the top (of the troposphere, where Ideal laws apply), and the average temperature is, of course, in the middle.

And so, since there are no other heat sources around, what is the only possible thing left which can perform work upon the atmosphere in order to affect its energy and temperature?

The only phenomenon left is gravity.  And we already know the physics of how this works, and how to derive the effects, and what is derived is likewise empirically confirmed.  Thus there’s neither need nor room for any alternative and/or additional phenomenon, such as an alarming radiative greenhouse effect, in order to explain the temperature distribution of the troposphere.

This is precisely what Nikolov and Zeller found in their independent research.

In summary:

The thermal radiation from the cool atmosphere has no heat to send to and performs no work upon the warmer ground surface.  Therefore, there is no alarming radiative greenhouse effect.  The First Law of Thermodynamics refutes political climate alarmism.

Furthermore, only gravity can perform work upon the atmosphere, and this explains the temperature gradient of the atmosphere with theory matching observations, and this leaves no room for any additional influence from a supposed radiative greenhouse effect notwithstanding that said effect is not supported by theory in any case.

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31 Responses to First Law of Thermodynamics Refutes Climate Alarm – Proof of Nikolov & Zeller

  1. historyscoper says:

    It’ s sad that an entire generation of college students is being miseducated to be “climate scientists” when they have to start out on the wrong foot vis a vis basic thermodynamics and never try to question it if they want to stay employed. If they sell their souls they then will enjoy a well-funded career chasing gnats and feeding doomsday alarmist climate models based on a wrong paradigm as their handlers use them like cage hens to lay rotten eggs (scientific papers peer-reviewed by each other) to fool and blackmail trillions out of the developed world.

    How long until this sick hijacking of science by the globalist Marxists goes poof of its own weight when their Armageddon predictions don’t materialize? Or have they become a religion that can never change because their brains have turned to stone and facts no longer matter?

    https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-climatic-conditions-and-how-long-would-they-have-to-last-that-would-be-required-for-climate-change-alarmists-to-be-satisfied-that-there-is-no-problem-and-no-further-actions-need-to-be-taken/answer/TL-Winslow

    This article shows how simple it is to refute the CO2 Greenhouse Warming Theory. I do it my own way in the following free article:

    http://www.historyscoper.com/climatetlw.html

  2. The climate alarmist alternative greenhouse theory, however, is based upon sunlight not being able to heat anything above minus eighteen degrees Celsius.

    … not being able to heat anything to a temperature above minus eighteen degrees Celsius, yes?

  3. Joseph E Postma says:

    Yes.

  4. Joseph E Postma says:

    Updated. But I originally assumed without thinking about it that the reference to Celsius framed the sentence as referring to temperature.

  5. Joseph E Postma says:

    Haha 🙂

    Yah seriously though…that IS their physics! That really is it!!!!

    And that surface is two-times distant from the Sun than the Earth actually is.

    I have to use that pic in a new post actually. Next day or two. Maybe tonight. PERFECT!

  6. Regarding your last comment, yes, I figured that, but the added phrase clarifies it for me.

  7. Tom - Not That Tom says:

    Hi Joe – how do you rebut the theoretical heat transfer from the layer(s) of the higher atmosphere which are at more than 2000K? Is it an edge effect to do with the necessary average speed of the molecules in the super-rarified layer(s), yet the total heat content there is tiny?
    I’ve always had difficulty in closing this one out with the afflicted. What prevalence of radiative gases could be up there?

  8. Joseph E Postma says:

    Yes…the gas is so rarefied that it carries very little net thermal energy and emits almost nothing. Even the sun’s corona, which is millions of degrees, can have spacecraft fly through it with relative ease.

    That being said, a high temperature system can indeed transfer heat to a lower temperature one, and those warm rarefied layers have NOTHING to do with the alarmist fake radiative radiative greenhouse effect.

  9. Tom - Not That Tom says:

    Thanks Jo – a helpful reply.

  10. Joseph E Postma says:

    It’s Joe.

    Jo is the spelling for a female.

  11. Joseph E Postma says:

    And you’re welcome!

  12. Bryan says:

    The alarmist is quite careless about ‘physics’ and finds wild claims about temperature rise quite acceptable.
    Increased Ocean temperature claims of several degrees within a decade are often quoted.
    Yet if we accept for a moment their claims of a net radiative balance and use the first law of thermodynamics to work out how long it would take to raise the Ocean temperature by one degree Celsius it comes out at 860 years.
    So even using their own figures we end up with a result that is far from any cause for alarm.
    Guess they have never heard of the first law of thermodynamics or are too lazy to do the calculation

  13. Carl says:

    “Furthermore, only gravity can perform work upon the atmosphere, and this explains the temperature gradient of the atmosphere with theory matching observations”

    While gravity plays a necessary role in the formation of the Troposphere’s lapse rate one cannot rightly say that gravity “performs work upon the atmosphere”.

    Your article is built around the notion that the first law of TD is valid and immutable.
    ΔU = W + Q. One aspect of the first law of TD is that energy cannot be created out of nothing.

    Since energy cannot be created out of nothing, when one thing “does work” on another thing—which transfers energy to that other thing—the thing doing the work must lose as much energy as the other thing gains. Gravity cannot therefore be warming the lower atmosphere because gravity is not losing any of its energy.

    If air near the ground is gaining energy via “work”, what is doing the “work” and what is consequently losing energy? The answer is ascending air. When air is heated by sunlight (or heated by the ground which was heated by sunlight) it ascends like the upgoing leg of the Hadley Cell near the Equator due to the operation of Charles Law. That ascending air encounters air aloft that is at a lower pressure and it does “work” on that air until the pressure of the two masses of air equalize. This “work” causes the ascending mass of air to lose thermal energy and thus cool. This is the well-known, well-documented adiabatic process that is studied in every introductory class on thermodynamics when they cover the Ideal Gas Law.

    The reverse happens to descending air like the down-going leg of the Hadley Cell around 30° latitude north and south. Descending air encounters air that is at a higher pressure than it self and thus the higher pressure surrounding air “does work” on it, which raises the temperature of the descending air.

    Neither of these two processes can work independent of the other, because in order for air to ascend anywhere other air must descend somewhere else. The most massive example of this are the above mentioned up-going and down-going legs of the Hadley cell.

    Since “work” does not create energy out of nothing but only transfers it, we can rightly say that ascending air, which is cooling adiabatically, is continually “doing work” on descending air, which is warming it adiabatically and this creates the rather stable temperature lapse rate that one sees in the Troposphere. Gravity’s role is simply to create the air pressure differential through which the air is moving, while it is the vertical movement of air through that air pressure differential that results in the adiabatic transfer of thermal energy via “work” from ascending to descending air.

    This is not unlike the operation of an air-conditioned/”heat pump” with its high pressure side and low pressure side. Unless the coolant is being forced to circulate through the high pressure and then through the low pressure and than through the high pressure again, etc., no temperature differential (no temperature lapse rate) will be created between the inside of a refrigerator and the room in which the refrigerator is placed.

    The temperature lapse rate within the Troposphere stops at the Tropopause because that is as high as ascending air goes–that is the altitude at which air stops cooling adiabatically. The temperature lapse rate then reverses in the Stratosphere because there is very little vertical air movement in the Stratosphere even though it is within the same gravitational field as the Troposphere. Without vertical movement of air the adiabatic process cannot operate.

    While Nikolov and Zeller observed that the Tropospheric lapse rate is, indeed, relative to the acceleration of gravity, their research does not suggest that said lapse rate would or could form in “static” air, i.e., an atmosphere in which there is no vertical air movement. This is their statement, “According to Eq. (10b), the heating mechanism of planetary atmospheres is analogous to a gravity-controlled adiabatic compression acting upon the entire surface. This means that the atmosphere does not function as an insulator reducing the rate of planet’s infrared cooling to space as presently assumed [9,10], but instead adiabatically boosts the kinetic energy of the lower troposphere beyond the level of solar input through gas compression.”

    First, notice the conflicting language in their first sentence. It says that the “heating mechanism” is “adiabatic compression”. As you point out in your article, the first law of TD identifies “work” and “heat” as being two different and distinct methods of energy transfer; the word “adiabatic” in fact itself means “without heat”. Beyond that though they do not identify from where the energy is coming from that is warming the surface of the Earth. They do not, for example, observe that there is simultaneous and corresponding cooling of the upper Troposphere.

    To repeat, the energy that is warming surface level air cannot be coming from gravity because gravity is not losing any energy in the process.

  14. Joseph E Postma says:

    Yes it is not warming per-se but it is creating the temperature lapse rate due to its influence.

    Work and heat are different methods of energy transfer, but they both can result in increased temperature. Heat is actually better thought of as work, than work is as heat.

    Yes adiabatic means “without heat”, which is to say instead, “by work”.

    “Since “work” does not create energy out of nothing but only transfers it, we can rightly say that ascending air, which is cooling adiabatically, is continually “doing work” on descending air, which is warming it adiabatically and this creates the rather stable temperature lapse rate that one sees in the Troposphere. Gravity’s role is simply to create the air pressure differential through which the air is moving, while it is the vertical movement of air through that air pressure differential that results in the adiabatic transfer of thermal energy via “work” from ascending to descending air.”

    Yes that is a great explanation, thanks!

    However, there is the lingering question of what a “static” air column would evolve to. Of course, the molecules of the air are not static, but we mean no bulk movement caused by convection, etc. This should be an easy thing for someone to test, with an insulated vertical tube of some appreciable height.

    I had previously presented a mathematical thought experiment, where we consider beginning with a tube of air at thermal equilibrium, i.e. equal temperature throughout the tube. And then we insert this tube into a gravitational field g. Initially the gas will have a Maxwellian distribution of velocities of the molecules with average speed V for a given temperature. If you then consider an infinitesimal cross-sectional slice through the tube of air, and the velocities of the molecules passing through it, the upward-moving molecules will have a speed of V – g*dt, that is, their speeds will reduce by g*dt where dt is the infinitesimal time it takes to pass through the slice. The downward-moving molecules will simultaneously have their speed increased by g*dt.

    This means that the molecules which pass just below the slice will have a slightly higher mean speed, and the molecules which passed above will have slightly lower mean speed. And so if the mean speed corresponds to the temperature via the Maxwellian distribution, then it would seem that a temperature gradient should form for an air column even without bulk movement.

    I think that instead of temperature, we should consider thermal equilibrium as a state of uniform entropy, rather than uniform temperature. Remember, temperature is the rate of change of internal energy with respect to entropy and it is entropy which tends to a state of uniformity. Usually we substitute temperature for entropy and think of temperature being equalized for equilibrium, but this is because we’re never thinking in the 3rd dimension, at least over any appreciable distance. So if it is entropy which tends to uniformity, and T = diU/diS, then diS = constant = diU/T. And so, if some molecules increase in U due to gravity giving them a higher mean V as they move downward, then T increases too and diS doesn’t have to change. And same idea for molecules moving upward. And so perhaps the “thermal equilibrium” condition is satisfied with a gravity-induced gradient at the molecular scale if what must tend to uniformity is entropy, rather than temperature.

    It IS temperature which tends to uniformity when considering a flat plane and small vertical distances…and temperature and entropy could be considered as having the same limiting qualitative condition of uniformity in this case, however, over an appreciable vertical distance the qualitative coupling between temperature and entropy might decouple such that one must consider the quantitative equalization of entropy as the boundary condition and then consider what this says about the temperatures at that point.

  15. Pingback: First Law of Thermo Backs Nikolov & Zeller, Refutes Climate Alarm | PSI Intl

  16. Ross Handsaker says:

    My understanding is the lapse rate in mining ventilation shafts is the same as the lapse rate above the surface and that the increasing heat with depth is due to “auto-compression”. How does this phenomenon fit with Carl’s explanation of work done by ascending/descending parcels of air?

  17. Well, the bulk behavior of gas still has to originate at the individual level of the things which can be acted upon, i.e. the molecule level.

  18. Herb Rose says:

    Hi Joseph,
    I disagree with you on this one Joe. The temperature recorded by a thermometer does not give an accurate measure of the kinetic energy of a gas like the atmosphere. A 100 degree C oven and a pot of boiling water have the same temperature but since there are fewer molecules (less mass) transferring heat to the instrument in the oven they must have more kinetic energy than the molecules in the water.
    Before you call me an idiot you should go to PSI and read my argument in the article THE TEMPERATURE OF THE ATMOSPHERE.(I can’t do links.) In it I argue that the way to find the correct temperature of a gas is by using the universal gas law.
    Have a good day,
    Herb

  19. Joseph E Postma says:

    Well Herb, temperature is NOT a measure of the kinetic energy anyway. Temperature is a measure of how free internal energy changes as normalized to entropy.

    “A 100 degree C oven and a pot of boiling water have the same temperature but since there are fewer molecules (less mass) transferring heat to the instrument in the oven they must have more kinetic energy than the molecules in the water.”

    This is not correct though. It’s not coherent either. If you have 100C gas and 100C water, they have the same temperature, obviously. The kinetic energy of the individual molecules, though, depends on the masses of the molecules involved. And then again, the total energy in the gas vs. the water is different still. The kinetic energy of the gas, or any thing, isn’t a function of the number of molecules at all when considering equal temperature – the kinetic energy is a function of the mass of the molecules when temperatures are equal.

    It’s not clear what you’re trying to say.

    I do generally subscribe to the ideal gas laws though 🙂

  20. Herb Rose says:

    Hi again,
    What I am trying to say is that for every molecule in a gas transferring kinetic energy to the thermometer there are over 1000 molecules of water (with less mass) transferring kinetic energy to the thermometer. Since a thermometer records the total kinetic energy received from the medium being measured, if the temperature recorded is the same the molecules of gas must have 1000 times the kinetic energy of the molecules water.
    I don’t know if that makes it any clearer. The problem with writing is that you know what you want to say and believe that is what you are saying.
    Have a good night,
    Herb

  21. Joseph E Postma says:

    “Since a thermometer records the total kinetic energy received from the medium being measured”

    That’s not what a thermometer does. Average kinetic energy of the medium would be a closer idea. A thermometer in equilibrium measures how energy is normalized to entropy.

    ” if the temperature recorded is the same the molecules of gas must have 1000 times the kinetic energy of the molecules water.”

    That is not at all how the gas laws work, or what they say. It is not the density or number of particles that affects the kinetic energy of a substance for a given temperature, but the mass of the particles. Your idea is incoherent.

    For a given temperature, the ratio between the kinetic energy of the molecules of one substance to that of another is proportional only to the ratio of the molecule’s masses. It is not dependent on their number.

  22. Herb Rose says:

    Hi Joesph,
    We will just have to disagree which is fine in science. I still maintain that the universal gas law says that the density of an unconfined gas (no/V) is inversely proportional to the kinetic energy (1/t). Thermometer will give an accurate reading of the mean kinetic energy in a liquid or solid where the entire measuring surface of the thermometer is exposed to the media being measured but in a gas there are two variables: the kinetic energy of the molecules and the number of molecules striking the measuring surface.
    Dissent produces thought and discussion which is a good thing.
    Have a good day,
    Herb
    P.S. I don’t understand i so I cannot comment on your latest article.

  23. Rosco says:

    No matter what anyone says reality is that on every planet, or moon, with a substantial atmosphere the atmospheric temperatures increase as height decreases. Solar radiation cannot explain this on virtually every planet except possibly Earth but even on Earth the Universal Gas Law gives accurate results – the Solar radiation does indeed perform work on Earth’s atmosphere constantly changing the parameters of the Gas Law.

    If gravitational compression of an atmosphere isn’t the cause of the extremely high temperatures in the atmospheres of the “Gas Giant” planets then what is ? It certainly isn’t the Solar radiation or any ridiculous “greenhouse effect” or the other absurdity I often hear – “they retain the “heat” of their formation – LOL.

    I laugh at the last absurdity because what caused the “heat” of their formation if it isn’t gravitational compression of the atmospheres ?

    The other absurdity is that somehow an “ocean” of primordial gases somehow accretted into a self compressing mass of gas with no concentrated central mass – a claim which defies all of the known properties of gases.

    So many mysteries yet the science is “settled” – LOL.

  24. Carl says:

    “My understanding is the lapse rate in mining ventilation shafts is the same as the lapse rate above the surface and that the increasing heat with depth is due to “auto-compression”. How does this phenomenon fit with Carl’s explanation of work done by ascending/descending parcels of air?”

    You state that there is a lapse rate in “ventilation” shafts of mines that is similar to the lapse rate above the surface. The fact that it is a “ventilation” shaft means that the air in the shaft is being pumped vertically through the shaft, i.e., it is not a static column of air. Thus the air in the shaft is being forced to transition through a pressure differential. Consequently the ventilation air warms adiabatically when being forced down to the mine and it cools adiabatically when being forced from the mine up to the surface. Why would the rate of adiabatic warming and cooling of air moving vertically through a gravity induced pressure differential be any different in a ventilation shaft than what is seen above the surface in the open atmosphere?

    One also has to consider the ambient temperature of the bed-rock along the walls of the shaft and the temperature of the rock-face of the mine itself.

    Take, for example, the TauTona Mine in South Africa. At approximately 3.9 km deep the temperature of the rock-face at the bottom of the mine reached ~60°C. They had to employ air-conditioners to bring the temperature down far enough for the miners to work the mine. Simply pumping 20 °C surface air down a 4 km ventilation shaft would have been no value because the air being pumped down the shaft would warm adiabatically up to circa ~60 °C by the time it reached the bottom of the ventilation shaft anyway.

    With regard to abandoned mines that are no longer being ventilated, in which the air within the mine’s shafts is static, i.e., not moving vertically, can we not assume that any lapse rate seen in that static air column is simply a result of the air within the shaft maintaining equilibrium with the surrounding rock face?

  25. Carl says:

    Whether a thermally isolated column of “static” air within a gravitational field will spontaneously become isothermic or will instead develop a temperature lapse rate, with the bottom of the column being warmer than the top, has been a subject of debate for well over a hundred years when it was vigorously debated by Maxwell and Boltzmann vs. Josef Loschmidt. Maxwell and Boltzmann held the view that such a column of air would spontaneously become isothermic and Loschmidt held the later view.

    Loschmidt’s hypothesis, called the “gravito-thermal” effect, never evolved into a law of physics because there are too many empirical examples of the spontaneous formation of temperature lapse rates opposite to what the “gravito-thermal” effect predicts.
    1) Within one’s own dwelling, within which the air is relatively static, it is always warmer near the ceiling than it is near the floor since cool air is more dense than warm air and gravity striates static air by density.
    2) The temperature lapse rate seen within the Troposphere stops at about 11 km and the air becomes isothermic within the Tropopause which itself can be 10 km thick according to U.S. Standard Atmosphere
    3) A temperature lapse rate opposite that predicted by the “gravito-thermal” effect hypothesis is seen in the Stratosphere which itself can be 25 km thick according to the U.S. Standard Atmosphere. Needless to say both the Tropopause and the Stratosphere are within the same gravitational field as the Troposphere.
    4) When weather balloons are launched at night when the air is relatively quiescent, it is not uncommon to see a temperature inversion near the ground (cooler air at the bottom of a column than at its top) that extends upwards as high as a km. Needless to say gravity does not reverse itself when the sun goes down.
    5) Loschmidt also predicted that the “gravito-thermal” effect would be the same within liquids yet we see the reverse of it within the world’s largest bodies of water—its oceans and seas—which are all colder at the bottom than they are at the top, because once again gravity striates matter based on density and cool water is simply more dense than warm water. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bN7E6FCuMbY

    A universal rule of science is this: hypotheses are falsified when they are contradicted by empirical observation. Ergo, the “gravito-thermal” effect is falsified by the multiple real-world, empirical observations that contradict it. A temperature lapse rate, with the bottom of the column being warmer than its top, will not spontaneously develop in a thermally isolated column of “static” air within a gravitational field.

    This reality was brought home with clarity in an experiment that I did in 2013. I built a centrifuge that spun a meter long thermally isolated, sealed tube of air. Inside the tube at both its proximal and distal ends I placed both temperature and air pressure data recorders.

    Upon initiation of the spin the distal, higher pressure end of the tube almost immediately became 0.7 °C cooler than proximal, lower pressure end of the tube. I presume that this was because the air within the tube was not uniform in temperature and the cooler, more dense air was drawn to the distal end of the centrifuge. This, of course, is what centrifuges do; like gravity they striate matter by density.

    Over the course of ~30 minutes, while the air pressure differential was maintained, the temperatures of the distal and proximal ends of the tube equilibrated and stayed equal for the remainder of the experiment. At no time did the air at the distal, higher pressure end of the tube become warmer than the air at the proximal, lower pressure end of the tube, which falsifies the the “gravito-thermal” effect hypothesis.

    This experiment can be easily replicated by anyone so inclined and encourage those who are interested in this topic to do so. Should you replicate this experiment I would be interested in knowing what results you obtain even if your results differ from my results.

  26. Truthseeker says:

    Wonderful post and comments. Well done everyone.

  27. cas says:

    I think I can follow the argument but whatabout Venus? Doesnt venus surface temp far above what it should have from solar flux alone?

  28. The radiative temperature of Venus is exactly what it is supposed to be. Neither warmer nor cooler.

    The high temperature at the bottom of Venus’ atmosphere is because it has 90 times the atmosphere than Earth does.

  29. squid2112 says:

    “Doesnt venus surface temp far above what it should have from solar flux alone?”

    – “Solar flux” doesn’t reach the surface of Venus.

  30. Pingback: Three Big Nails In the CO2 Global Warming Coffin | PSI Intl

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