Spreading Solar Energy Over Whole Earth is Pseudoscience

This is a follow-up to the previous video where I respond to Roy Spencer’s accusation that I am incorrectly and needlessly “ranting” about the fraud of flat Earth theory. I have some better graphics and a little bit more detail to discuss.

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39 Responses to Spreading Solar Energy Over Whole Earth is Pseudoscience

  1. Hans Schreuder says:

    It is neigh impossible to convince any person who believes in whatever it is they believe in to make them change their mind. That WUWT comment exactly indicates a blindness that befits the profile of a climate alarm believer. These people have no concept of facts or science, they believe and their friends believe and their alma maters believe. Thanks all the same to you Joe for continueing to try and explain reality to people who blindly believe in mathematics, even if such maths does not represent reality. GIGO, at all times, everywhere, for everybody; 342 Watts per sqm does not create water vapor, does not create clouds, does not make the Sahara desert as hot as it is, etc. etc. etc. etc. as infinitum..

  2. [“It is neigh impossible to convince any person who believes in whatever it is they believe in to make them change their mind.”]

    Neigh impossible, maybe, but not absolutely impossible, because I am a living example of one instance where a made-up mind was changed on this issue, because I actually started to focus on what some very intelligent people were telling me.

  3. “The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” — Bertrand Russell

  4. kcunneen1969 says:

    What many people do not seem to get is the use of narrow pure mathematics is problematic when used in science .
    Observational reality intrudes …requiring yet more math ( in this case geometry )
    Given that climate science starts from a false premise there is a cascade of errors which follows ( violating fundamental thermodynamic and gas laws ) this abortion of a scientific field.
    Postmas critique is one of core scientific philosophy rather then mere simple numbers on a piece of paper.
    I applaud your efforts .
    I suspect resistance to your observations is a mix of pure malice from the inner circle and popular scientists who sadly lack a broad education.

  5. That is so very well said. Love the phrase “cascade of errors” – precisely. All climate science is interpreted through that cascade.

  6. Christopher Marshall says:

    Just a heads up YouTube is starting to purge channels for anyone who goes against the propaganda machine (aka the leftist agenda) which is what they always do when they are losing badly. So I have no doubt anti climate change channels will be purged at some point. I’n sure you’ve heard this before.

  7. I like the phrases, “nested errors” or “embedded errors” too.

    So, “cascade of nested errors” or “cascade of embedded errors” might be even more fitting. That is errors within errors, within errors — an error fractal, if you will. (^_^) … or errors on top of errors, on top of errors.

  8. Rosco says:

    This is how a lecturer at UCLA describes the greenhouse effect – http://people.atmos.ucla.edu/liou/Lecture/Lecture_3.pdf

    This is the last page of the presentation – “Radiative Equilibrium (for extra credit)”

    Clearly the INCOMING solar radiation (of 1370 W/m2) over the “Earth’s Disk ” is “balanced” against the OUTGOING infrared energy emitted over the “Earth’s sphere “.

    Clearly all those “silly climate scientists who believe the solar constant is 342.5 W/m2” missed out on the Extra Credit – they confused input with output !

    To explain to Roy if you increase the Earth’s disk area to 4 times of a new plane that and lower the input by four the only real mechanism to achieve the four time reduction in insolation is to move the new plane to a distance twice that of Earth’s orbit !

    Any other explanation for “spreading the sunlight over th earth’s surface at the same time” is nothing more realistic than belief in magic – gobbledygook !

  9. Zoe Phin says:

    Could somebody please explain this to me:

    Assuming the heights [and widths] of curves are the same (they’re not), and given that E=hv, doesn’t the fact that Sun is centered at 0.5 micron, and Earth is centered at 10 micron, mean that Sun has 20x the energy @ TOA?

    Energy In = Energy Out

    How does equating 20X with X even possible?

    I don’t understand. Am I the first to notice this? I can’t find an answer.

    Thank you. -Zoe

  10. Konrad says:

    I don’t believe I have commented here before, but having seen the attack on your work at the lukewarmer site WUWT, I felt I could lend some support as I feel you are on the right track. (I was banned from commenting at WUWT years ago for using empirical experiments to disprove the foundation AGW claim of “surface Tav of 255 K without radiative atmosphere”. Willis really didn’t like that).

    You are correct in claiming that the methods used in believer and lukewarmer climate modelling are essentially “flat earth physics”, however the phrase seems to have triggered mathematical pedants hoping to find fault with your work. Yes, dividing solar power by 4 does give the average energy reaching the surface of a rotating sphere, but this is useless for calculating the critical figure for surface Tav in absence of radiative atmosphere. Indeed any attempt to calculate this critical figure via instantaneous radiative balance calculations like the Stefan-Boltzmann equation are doomed to failure.

    Undeniable proof of this is given by comparing the S-B estimate for lunar average temperature to the empirical results returned by the DIVINER radiometer flown on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Using and albedo of 0.15 and solar irradiance of 1370 w/m2, the S-B calculation (flat moon physics) returns 268 K for surface Tav. Compared to the empirical radiometer data, this is around 80 K too high.

    A good paper on the DIVINER data:

    If the S-B calculation won’t work for the simple surface of the Moon, there is zero chance it will work for the far more complex surface of the Earth. It is worth researching the subsequent papers on modelling Lunar temperatures that followed the DIVINER results. The Moon had to be treated as a rotating sphere, surface texture taken into account, actual radiative properties modelled and critically surface conduction. Modelling the Moon as a simple grey-body and ignoring the critical variable time/b> simply didn’t work.

    This is where Dr. Spencer is most easily challenged. He can give no rational explanation as to why the S-B calculation fails so badly for the simple surface of the Moon, but is assumed to work for the more complex surface of the Earth. Nor will he be able to supply any empirical experiment in support of the “surface Tav of 255 K in absence of radiative atmosphere” using the surface materials of this planet.

  11. Rosco says:

    These graphs are deliberately deceptive – the energy of the solar radiation is many orders of magnitude order more powerful than Earth’s infrared emissions.

    If the graphs were correctly scaled the emissions from the Earth would be almost indistinguishable from the Wavelength axis.

    As the graphs are in wavelength the equation for the energy of a photon at any wavelength is E = h x speed of light/wavelength. It is easy to grasp shorter wavelength photons have larger energy.

    Therefore at the “E” of a 0.5 micron photon is 20 times the energy of a photon at 10 microns so you are partly correct however there is more than just this.

    This is a graph of the solar radiation, GREEN, scaled to 1368 W/m2 TOA versus the emissions from Earth at 303 Kelvin, RED, or 255 Kelvin, BLUE.

    As you can see the graph you posted is deliberately deceptive – the emissions from Earth are barely discernible from the axis.

    As objects become hotter they emit shorter wavelength photons and many many more of them.

    Here is a reference on how to plot Planck curves and using a spreadsheet you can easily plot graphs and see that comparing Earth’s IR emissions to the solar radiation scaled to the value at Earth’s orbit is ridiculous.

    It should be self evident there is no comparison between the solar radiation and Earth’s IR unless you’re a climate scientist who believes the Earth’s IR has equivalent heating power to sunlight – they are simply insane to claim that.

  12. Zoe Phin says:

    Thank you Roscoe, but I was already aware of the height manipulations. BTW, did you already apply inverse square law to solar radiation (1/215)^2 in your graph?

    It’s safe to say that they never really do
    Solar Energy In = Earth Energy Out ?

    They actually just do:
    Solar Flux In = Solar Flux TOA * (1 – Albedo) / 4

    They be charlatans mistating what they actually do?

    I have wondered how you can equate two things that are at least 20x different for quite some time now. Couldn’t find an answer because no climate “scientist” is smart enough to ask that.

    After more research I find that the sun provides 99.97% of energy. A ratio of 1 to 3333.

  13. John OSullivan says:

    Many thanks Joe! The videos are a great additional resource: https://principia-scientific.org/spreading-solar-energy-over-whole-earth-is-pseudoscience/

  14. Zoe and Rosco,

    I had never focused on how deceptive such diagrams are. I did a quick search, and, with my new insight, I was amazed at how various representations disguise what is being shown, allowing a visual impression to dominate over the actual numbers representing them, to the point of being an outright false representation. Here look:

    Pay particular attention to the diagram on the right, which uses the SAME graphical distance to represent the interval from 0.1 to 0.2 and 200 to 500. Seriously ! — the exact same space represents an interval of 0.1 units as if it were an interval of 300 units !

  15. Rosco,

    You wrote:

    “As objects become hotter they emit shorter wavelength photons and many many more of them.”

    So, am I correct to write, “As objects become cooler, they emit longer-wavelength photons and far far fewer of them.” ?

    And, further, would I be correct to write (?):

    “Thus, a cooler atmosphere radiating photons towards a warmer Earth surface is radiating longer-wavelength photons and fewer of them than the Earth surface, which is radiating shorter-wavelength photons, by comparison, and more of them.

    The atmosphere’s fewer, longer-wavelength photons move towards the surface’s more abundant, shorter-wavelength photons, but they cannot add any more energy or any greater intensity of energy to those surface photons, which already have this energy intensity and more of it. Those atmospheric photons, then, just join the energy gradient that is already there, without adding any heat or doing any slowing or magically (some other way) making the surface warmer than it would otherwise be.”

  16. squid2112 says:

    @Robert …

    Yes, I believe you would be correct in stating that. This goes back to my molecular example. Given 2 molecules, A&B .. the only way A can further excite B is if, and only if, A is of greater energy state than B. There is no way to get around this without additional work (energy). This is the very fundamental principle that renders the so-called “greenhouse effect” absolutely impossible within our known universe. Nothing more need be said. Unless you can get around this fundamental and undeniable fact, you cannot have a “greenhouse effect” .. period!

  17. Someone just made an ass-face comment about the videos over at Tallbloke’s Talk Shop, and I just couldn’t resist responding.

  18. Joseph E Postma says:

    “and given that E=hv, doesn’t the fact that Sun is centered at 0.5 micron, and Earth is centered at 10 micron, mean that Sun has 20x the energy @ TOA? Energy In = Energy Out”

    I think that the answer here is that there is simply a smaller number of high v photons absorbed than the number of low v photons emitted.

    E = hv is for single photons but you can also sort of use it for the average energy given the average frequency.

    If vo and vi are the average frequencies out and in but the total integrated energy is the same, then that ratio you calculate gives the ratio of the number of photons.

    A gamma ray might require only a single photon to contain the entire energy absorbed by the Earth from the sun from “lower” frequencies, for example.

  19. Joseph E Postma says:

    Well said @Konrad

  20. squid2112 says:


    I wandered over to TallBloke’s but I didn’t see your response .. got a link?

  21. Joseph E Postma says:

    You guys aren’t going to believe what Roy doubled-down on today on his FB page…

    New vid this aft incoming. It will be a good one.

  22. squid2121,

    I just made the comment a few minutes ago (as of this writing) — still in moderation, I guess, possibly rejected, I don’t know. It wasn’t vile or disgusting or anything, … just contrapuntal

  23. Zoe Phin says:

    Nevermind, I see my mistake.
    Sun is tall and skinny, and
    Earth is short and fat.

    But integrating over could result in equality. My mistake came from the variety of charts and scales.

  24. Zoe,

    Glad you said it. That’s what I was thinking. Now everybody can have the same anchor of understanding. Earth = lots and lots of lower-energy radiation. Sun = really small lot of super-higher energy radiation.

    Earth is to sun as M&M’s candy is to Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper® hot peppers.

  25. Christopher Marshall says:

    You people fascinate me…

  26. Rosco says:

    Zoe said “BTW, did you already apply inverse square law to solar radiation (1/215)^2 in your graph?”

    Yes I did.

    This curve is for solar energy scaled down to the absurd “average” input of 239 W/m2 versus IR from objects at 255 K and 303 K. Hope the scale is OK.

    The total P for the temperatures is the area under the curve and Planck’s equation played a vital part in determining the value of the Stefan-Boltzmann “constant” sigma by numerical integration of Planck’s equation. Similarly Wien’s law is derived by differentiating Planck’s law.

    I tried to explain it here https://principia-scientific.org/publications/Ross-GHE-Experiment.pdf

  27. tom0mason says:

    So from energy in = energy out, eh?
    I wonder when that applied?
    In about 1800 the human population was about 1 Billion individuals, currently the population is about 8 Billion. Increasing human population, increasing food, housing, clothing, requirements etc.,etc. The human population has doubled 3 times since 1800 but apparently it took ZERO increase in solar energy coming in and ZERO going out, to do it.
    Yer, right.
    More BS about energy balance!
    &lt sarc-on &gt
    Life and nature doesn’t need solar energy in this unreal world, life can’t store solar energy for many, many centuries, which is why there’s no coal, peat, natural gas, or oil on this imaginary planet. It takes NO sequestering of solar energy for this human population to grow.
    &lt /sarc-off &gt

  28. Rosco, I know this is going to suck, but your graph (I think) has a typo in it — “497.4” should be “479.4”, right?

    My brain was going crazy, reading the PS article where this graph appears, and I think I finally stopped the craziness, when I realized the typo.

    Don’t ever do that again. (^_^) (^_^)

  29. S. Holzhauer says:

    This is really pretty simple.
    Suppose you want to capture all the energy from the sun that could possibly hit the earth using solar panels. There are two competing ideas.
    1. Make a space-based flat and round solar panel exactly the shape of the profile of the earth, hence the radius is R where R is the radius of the earth. The surface area of this solar panel is exactly pi*R^2. In this case, each square meter of the solar panel receives the same 1,370 W, so the total amount this panel recieves is pi*R^2*1370*W. Just to be pedantic, the average received per square meter is
    Total W/Total Area=pi*R^2*1370*W/pi*R^2= 1370*W
    2. Cover the earth with solar panels. In this case we will need to cover the entire earth to get all the
    W, which requires an area of 4*pi*R^2 solar panels. How many Watts does each capture? Well, now it is complicated. The earth is spinning and tilted and round, so clearly not every square meter of solar panel is going to capture the same amount. But we can still compute the average amount per square meter which is again
    Total W/Total Area = pi*R^2*1370*W/4*pi*R^2=342.5W
    So each square meter of solar panel in case 2 on average receives a quarter of the Watts as in case 1. That is all that is going on here.
    If you are uncomfortable with averaging, this is no more complicated than the following. Two cars complete a 500 mile trip in 10 hours. The first car travels exactly 50 miles an hour for ten hours. The average speed of this car is 50 miles an hour. The second car travels at a non constant speed, but still arrives in ten hours. We don’t know exactly what the instantaneous speed of the second car is, but the average speed is still 50 miles an hour.

  30. @Holzauer

    And so since the average speed of the car is 50mph, then the engine must not be powerful enough to make the car go faster than 50mph, and if at any point the air moved out of the way of the car at a speed greater than 50mph, it was because the air moved itself out of the way with it’s own moving power, since the engine of the car can’t make anything move at greater than 50mph since that’s the car’s average speed. We will model the car engine as only powerful enough to go 50mph since that’s the car’s average speed. Anything that happens greater than 50mph is because the air moves itself.

  31. Christopher Marshall says:

    I am in a conversation with a fellow who is not belligerent at all but leans on the side of global warming may be a concern. This is our last conversation and I’m curious if I got confused somewhere or he is confused somewhere or we both got confused somewhere. Anyone care to explain so I have me ducks in a row before I respond back. I did like his comment on back body radiation he said he was fine with it as long as they don’t treat molecules like little heater engines.
    “”The atmosphere of planet earth has work done it by the force = gravity” No, gravity does not provide work, because it is constant. If gravity changed (locally), then it would be work. Otherwise we could use gravity to set up a perpetual motion machine. Two asteroids orbiting each other in space in equilibrium would produce no energy from their mutual attraction. Same with pressure. If pressure changes you get work. If the pressure is constant (as it is globally averaged over the Earth), then no work is done. You wrote: “The Greenhouse Effect can’t calculate the amount of solar radiation energy needed to prove its validity” I don’t understand what you mean by this. The solar constant is well known, and its incidence on a sphere (the Earth) is one quarter its total value. That’s very straightforward. No need to invent anything. On the laws of thermodynamics – I thought we had agreement there. Yes, a change in temperature of a cooler object can effect the temperature of a warmer object, by slowing its rate of heat loss. Have you never had a car that was more likely to overheat on a hot day than a cold one? Even though the ambient air temperature on both days is much less than the car engine? The reason the engine is more prone to overheat on a hot day is that the rate of heat loss from the engine is reduced when the ambient air temperature is warmer. Notice – I am not saying that the air heats the engine. The semantics would be (in terms of classical thermo) incorrect. But while heat does not flow from hot to cold, cold can moderate the heat flow of hot. Which is how blankets and clothes work. They don’t provide any heat – they slow heat loss. Let me quote the man who wrote the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics: “What further regards heat radiation as happening in the usual manner, it is known that not only the warm body radiates heat to the cold one but that the cold body radiates to the warm one as well, however the total result of this simultaneous double heat exchange is, as can be viewed as evidence based on experience, that the cold body always experiences an increase in heat at the expense of the warmer one.” That’s Rudolf Clausius expounding on the 2nd Law in 1887. Classic thermo deals in NET exchange, it does not touch on discrete exchange. 150 years ago, Clausius, who wrote the second law, understood that energy flowed both ways, and that the NET result was that heat flowed from hot to cold. The 2nd Law is not broken when we observe that the atmosphere radiates energy in all directions, and that this energy is absorbed and re-emitted throughout the atmosphere, and also by the ground. When the radiative energy is absorbed, that energy is added to the absorbing property, which then re-emits it. This is back-radiation. It’s a very real phenomenon.”

  32. S. Holzhauer says:

    Mr Postma,
    I explained your confusion with the solar constant and all you can do is reply with a nonsensical rant about average versus max speed of cars? Sorry I wasted my time.

    This is all very simple applied math/physics/astro-physics or whatever yo want to call it. I don’t understand how you can be simultaneously so confused by it and so unaware of your confusion.

  33. @S. Holzhauer https://wordpress.com/comment/climateofsophistry.com/42769

    I am sorry that my reply to you was so confusing for you. I will simply repeat it:

    Climate theory would then state that since the average speed of the car is 50mph, then the engine must not be powerful enough to make the car go faster than 50mph, and if at any point the air moved out of the way of the car at a speed greater than 50mph, it was because the air moved itself out of the way with it’s own moving power, since the engine of the car can’t make anything move at greater than 50mph since that’s the car’s average speed. We will model the car engine as only powerful enough to go 50mph since that’s the car’s average speed. Anything that happens greater than 50mph is because the air moves itself.

    The air-moving-itself phenomenon is called the atmospheric greenhouse effect, even though it is not how an actual greenhouse functions.

  34. What’s pretty simple is that S. Holzhauer is in error from the get go in comparing miles-per-hour to joules-per-second-per-square-meter. How is an average of the former, in any way, relevant to an average of the latter? Just because you can calculate an average does not mean that any average is meaningful, and, thus, a meaningless average is all that’s going on here.

    In creating a solar-paneled Earth, we would be interested in the total power obtainable in a given time to run whatever we wanted to run with this much power. An average power per solar panel would be of no use to us. The power of panels at the North Pole could not do the same thing as the power of panels at the Equator. We would want to know how much power those North-Pole panels could produce for a given job, IF we wanted to focus on those panels. An average would never be of interest to us for any practical, functional reason.

  35. An average does not do the actual work we are interested in. An average flux cannot power the climate. An average flux cannot evaporate water — a flux of this value would freeze water, wouldn’t it?
    Are climate scientists, then, saying that water would not evaporate without CO2 in the atmosphere?
    Clouds would not form, without CO2 in the atmosphere?

  36. Joseph E Postma says:

    Yes that is indeed what they say, Everything that happens above -18C is from the atmosphere creating itself…from water vapour mostly and also CO2. And, the water vapour created itself because the Sun didn’t.

    In that silly vehicle average speed example…the vehicle may have crept along in idle for several hours, and then floored it for a minute to get to the end. So the average speed would be quite low even though it went 100mph+ for a minute. By climate physics reckoning, when the vehicle went above the average speed to 100mph+, it was because the air pushed it along that fast…lol!

  37. Wait, I need to dwell on the car thing. What pushed the air? The air pushed itself? Where did the push come from? The air would have to be in a constant state of pushing at this intensity. But where would the power to push come from? – the air — but, no, the air had NO push to start with, and so how did it push itself with nothing to start with? ANSWER: “the air”.

    Hot air is magical. Hot-air talk is magical. Hot air is the product of unicorn flatulence. Walla ! By dwelling on absurdity, I have arrived at a tenable answer.

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