Hyperphysics Fails at Basic Science, Logic, Reasoning, and Math

From HyperPhysics on the “Greenhouse Effect”:

“A major part of the efficiency of the heating of an actual greenhouse is the trapping of the air so that the energy is not lost by convection. Keeping the hot air from escaping out the top is part of the practical “greenhouse effect”, but it is common usage to refer to the infrared trapping as the “greenhouse effect” in atmospheric applications where the air trapping is not applicable.”

Note, of course as we all know and have seen it a million times, how ambiguity and double-language cognitive dissonance is inserted right at the very beginning. The very foundation of Climate Science is that of cognitive dissonance…it is entirely predicated upon it.

Because: what is claimed to work in the atmosphere by analogy, should in fact also work by direct effect in an actual greenhouse!

So, they’re saying that we have two different effects here (convection vs. radiation), but which are named the same thing, and the second thing (the radiative greenhouse effect RGHE) is only named as such in analogy in “common usage” to the first thing (convective stoppage greenhouse effect).

However: given that the second thing (radiation) also exists in the object (the greenhouse), given that radiation exists everywhere and the roof of the greenhouse has near-unit emissivity thus providing full backradiation or “trapping” of infrared just like the atmosphere is said to, but here doesn’t cause the first thing although it should cause the first thing if it exists in the object, which it does, then how can it be known to exist?

It thus seems to have a selective existence where, somehow, it only acts in certain places and not others. Presumably, then, given the two different contexts suggested, somehow the open air of the free atmosphere allows the second thing to exist, whereas the trapped air of the greenhouse stops the second thing from existing even though the second thing is present and there is no identifiable mechanism to stop it from expressing its effect. Somehow, then, “trapped air” stops backradiation and trapped radiation from acting to increase temperature, whereas “open air” allows backradiation and trapped radiation to do so…although there is no known explanation provided or otherwise to explain why or how this difference could be so.

Aside from climate scientists and most scientists being happy with this obvious state of cognitive dissonance and illogic, to the rest of us who are alive we note a blatant conflict of basic logic here. Thus, we must examine whether the conditions of where second thing (RGHE) is claimed to occur might actually have another explanation, since the logic of the second thing (arbitrary selective existence of the RGHE) is unsound.

And so: What is the phenomena which the second thing (RGHE) wishes to explain? Of course, it is that the bottom of the atmosphere is warmer than the expected average temperature.

Ahhh…but wait, we do have an alternative explanation for this phenomenon, which is well-grounded in physics and mathematical law and logic, which doesn’t suffer from selective existence. And that thing is:

Firstly: The natural adiabatic lapse rate of the temperature as a function of altitude of a gas in a gravitational field. Since average temperature must be something which applies to the entire ensemble whose average is being represented, by definition, then by mathematical law, if the ensemble has a sequential distribution of temperature along some dimension then the average of the temperature cannot be found at an extremity of the distribution, but must physically occur somewhere in the middle.

Secondly: One must note the fact that the system isn’t heated at the temperature of the ensemble average, but is in fact heated at and to a much higher temperature at a specific location in the ensemble. That is, the Sun heats the infinitesimal slice of the ensemble, the ground surface, at and to much higher temperature than the expected average of the entire ensemble. One location of the ensemble is heated to very high temperature and heat dissipates away from this location to the rest of the ensemble, where lower temperatures then occur, which taken together then produce the expected average. Thus, given that the surface is where the heating actually takes place, and this heating must be of much higher temperature input that the average of the ensemble, then of course once again logically and mathematically the place where the heat is transferred must be higher in temperature than the average of the rest of the ensemble.

And so the cognitive dissonance, if it would be recognized as being importantly indicating error rather than celebrated as meaningful truth, can be and is resolved with basic preexisting facts about the nature of reality and mathematics and physics.

But scientists hate logic, reason, mathematics, physics, and reality. They truly must be said to hate all of these things. And so in fact all of their logic is founded in the extrapolation of flat Earth theory into physics, and the illogic of flat Earth theory goes on to infect their comprehension (lack thereof) of how the Sun interacts with the Earth and thus the basic features of the climate. It is all truly so simple how the logic goes together, or rather how the foundational illogic goes to create more particular illogic. But like I said…since scientists hate logic, then they by consequence LOVE flat Earth theory and its illogical extrapolations. Strange!

Here is Scenario 1 (a real greenhouse) with Phenomenon A depicted (the greenhouse effect of convective stoppage (GHE)):

Now here is the same Scenario 1 (a real greenhouse) with Phenomenon B depicted (the radiative greenhouse effect RHGE):

However, Phenomenon B does not manifest its action in Scenario 1, although we cannot explain why it should not manifest. Phenomenon B seems to have some selective existence. The only potential explanation we would have for this selectivity is that, in the atmosphere where it is said to occur, the air is “free and open” and not stopped from convecting. How this difference could stop Phenomenon B from expressing its effect with trapped air is unclear since the effect of radiation doesn’t depend upon if the gas is free or trapped, and in fact the effect of the radiation RGHE should be more apparent if the gas were trapped since this would stop the gas from easily losing the effect of its increased temperature, but we must provisionally go with it since this is what is being asked of us.

And so Phenomenon B must only be able to exert its action in open air since this is where it is said to occur. Thus, if the greenhouse’s ceiling were removed, this would nullify Phenomenon A (the convective stoppage greenhouse effect), but then it would allow Phenomenon B the RGHE to begin to have its effect. And that effect would be to make the greenhouse warmer than the temperature at which it is being heated.

But one can only accept that this is the explanation and state of things if they’re willing to accept the cognitive dissonance and illogic that a physical phenomenon is selectively manifest under arbitrary conditions. Why should backradiation or trapped radiation only be able to cause temperature increase for a gas which is uncontained? Can backradiation  radiation trapping not warm a contained gas?

In the depiction of Phenomenon B, the roof serves the exact same role as the atmosphere in the explanation of the open-air RGHE – that is, it traps radiation or causes backradiation. So the conditions are the same: in the open air, the backradiation or radiation trapping from the atmosphere causes temperature increase. How can backradiation or trapped radiation not cause temperature for a gas which is contained? Besides, isn’t the atmosphere contained in any case upon the Earth?

As you can see, you can only accept the RGHE if you are willing to accept cognitive dissonance in the myriad immediately-following contradictions to basic logic and science and mathematics, and are happy to leave them unresolved as arbitrarily selective effects.

Climate science is the perfect science of cognitive dissonance double-speak!

And now, thanks to scientists hating logic and reason, we bury air under the ground because this is thought to be good for the environment because of flat Earth theory. And not just the air, but the particular part of the air which makes plants grow, which is the basis life molecule, which the biosphere is currently starved of…yes…THAT part of the air is the air we should bury under the ground, because this is good for plants and animals and the weather.

I swear, we’re simply being trolled by some alien entity. We’re being trolled…and we’re going to be made to destroy our own biosphere under the pretense of saving it from itself and what creates it! Can you not see the humor in this? You gotta admit, it is funny.

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72 Responses to Hyperphysics Fails at Basic Science, Logic, Reasoning, and Math

  1. Vivier says:

    Joe, not à comment but à question: I have read that if you point a spectrometer towards the sky, you will detect a infrared signal at15 micron which is the finger print of a CO2 radiation. This is the so-called CO2 back radiation which used by the IPCC to defend the radiative greenhouse theory.
    What is your explanation ?

  2. Hi Vivier:

    Does radiation from an ice cube make you get all hot and sweaty?

    Heat is required to raise temperature; heat can only come from something higher in temperature; the atmosphere is not hotter than the surface. In fact the radiation from a spectrometry pointed upwards reads far, far below 0C.

    The spectrometer isn’t being heated by the cold IR from the atmosphere…it is a photoelectric effect, not a thermal effect. Yes, you can measure the energy emitted by a colder body with the photoelectric effect; no, this does not mean that the colder body heats or raises the temperature of a warmer body.

  3. Pablo says:

    “The fundamental error that has led to a basic misunderstanding of the greenhouse effect is the assumption of an equilibrium average climate. Climate stability only requires that there is an approximate long term planetary energy balance between the absorbed solar flux and the LWIR flux returned to space. This simply has to maintain the surface temperature within the relatively narrow bounds needed to sustain life. There is no requirement for an exact short term flux balance and there is no equilibrium. The rate of heating does not equal the rate of cooling. The earth’s planetary energy balance for a rotating sphere illuminated by a collimated disk of short wave radiation from the sun requires that the long term average of the long wave IR (LWIR) flux returned to space at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) should be near 240 W m-2. However, satellite radiometer measurements show that the short term variation is approximately ±100 W m-2. Furthermore, the spectral distribution of the LWIR flux emitted by the earth at TOA is not that of a blackbody. There is no ‘shell’ of gas surrounding the earth with a temperature near 255 K. The use of the planetary average LWIR intensity to determine an ‘effective emission temperature’ from Stefan’s Law is invalid. The 33 K ‘greenhouse effect temperature’ is a just a mathematical construct.
    The LWIR flux at TOA is simply the cumulative cooling flux produced by the emission from many different levels of the atmosphere at different temperatures. The upward emission from each level is modified by the LWIR absorption and emission of the layers above.”


  4. Joseph E Postma says:

    The sentiment is almost, mostly good, although I disagree with anyone using the phraseology “The undamental error that has led to a basic misunderstanding of the greenhouse effect” because this implies that there is such a thing as a “greenhouse effect” in the atmosphere at all, which of course there isn’t outside of sophistry. There is no “greenhouse effect” in the open atmosphere.

    Secondly, “The use of the planetary average LWIR intensity to determine an ‘effective emission temperature’ from Stefan’s Law is invalid. ” is certainly valid within its context of “effective temperature” where this is understood to be a fictional temperature defined by equating the integral of the emission to the S-B Law. In astronomy at least, we understand this to be a fictional temperature, or at least, it should be understood…likely most astronomers have forgotten this.

    The 33K GHE is certainly a fake construct though.

  5. Joseph E Postma says:

    Hi Malcolm,

    That person used to hang around here, and then they went crazy. That post is basically a re-wording summary of my work…she got that all from here.

  6. Ok so the article is credible? I find that climate science attribute a mere 0.09 w/m2 contribution from Earth’s core to the energy budget for modelling. That would mean the surface temperature of 35.5K via a SB conversion, that sounds to me implausible.

  7. Joseph E Postma says:

    No the stuff about geothermal she goes on about is not from here…just the stuff debunking the radiative greenhouse effect is.

    The stuff about geothermal is what she went crazy about…and is wrong about.

  8. Pablo says:


    The only “greenhouse” effect, as I see it, is the ability of water vapour within the boundary layer that has been warmed by convection during the day to slow down the radiative surface cooling at night when convection stops to reduce the likelihood of a ground frost.
    During the day over land, water vapour tends to capture radiation close to the surface which increases the lapse rate to the super adiabatic for convection to begin.
    Actual daytime land surface temperatures are often 20ºC warmer than temperatures measured at eye level. At night when convection stops they tend to be similar and surface radiative cooling to space can result in land surface temperature dropping below the air temperature if humidity is low.
    However over 71% of the planets surface is ocean and any reduction in outward LWIR simply results in more evaporation for which wind is the main driver anyway .

  9. Joseph E Postma says:

    That is all quite excellent Pablo…but NO NEED to call it a “greenhouse effect”! 🙂

    It has a name. It is called latent heat. And also heat capacity.

    The term “greenhouse effect” really needs to be removed from discussion of the open atmosphere entirely.

  10. boomie789 says:

    “Maximum Forcing potential” is ok to say too right? When you get the temperature of radiation on a perfect black body.

    The maximum forcing potential of 240w/m^2 is -18C.
    The maximum forcing potential of 1370w/m^2 is 121.1C.

  11. Yep those are fine statements totally.

  12. CD Marshall says:

    a “Heat Dome” (local restricted event) keeps warmer air near the bottom of the PBL and restricts convection (exactly how I’m not sure) for a few days some times but that is not even a greenhouse effect as claimed by climate science.

  13. It only exists in a real greenhouse…the rest if sophistry by design and stupidity.

  14. CD Marshall says:

    heat dome
    An exceptionally hot air mass that develops when high pressure aloft prevents warm air below from rising, thus trapping the warm air as if it were in a dome. The subsidence associated with the high pressure also causes further warming by compression. Heat domes are often associated with calm upper-level flow directly overhead and/or with blocking patterns. The term has been popularized by the news media as a way to explain extreme heat and/or drought events across large regions.

  15. Thanks for that CD.

  16. boomie789 says:

  17. CD Marshall says:

    PC guy disproves global warming (and probably doesn’t even know it)… Around 5:00-7:00 timestamp.

  18. Joseph E Postma says:

    That’s awesome! Nice find! Similar to the rocket exhaust thing I posted a while back! Cool 🙂

  19. LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks says:

    Vivier wrote:
    “I have read that if you point a spectrometer towards the sky, you will detect a infrared signal at15 micron which is the finger print of a CO2 radiation.”

    An optical absorption spectrometer operates by cooling the detector to reduce dark current (thermal fluctuations which generate electrons just as photons usually do), which decreases the noise in the signal and increases the dynamic range of the detector.

    So of course if you point the detector at a cold spot (ie: the sky), the detector will emit photons in accord with 2LoT and the S-B equation, cool down and become more sensitive to lower-energy, longer-wavelength radiation.

    That in no way implies that the 15 um radiation is warming the surface. Energy only flows (remember that the definition of ‘heat’ is an energy flux) when there is an energy density gradient (remember that temperature is a measure of energy density, equal to the fourth root of energy density divided by the radiation constant), as even Planck acknowledged:


    Conduction of heat depends on the temperature of the medium in which it takes place, or more strictly speaking, on the non-uniform distribution of the temperature in space, as measured by the temperature gradient.”

    Where Planck erred is in his clinging to the Prevost Theory Of Exchanges (and its core tenet, the Prevost Principle) in regard to radiative energy, which led him to eschew scientific reality (that energy only flows if there is an energy density gradient), to wit:

    But the empirical law that the emission of any volume-element depends entirely on what takes place inside of this element holds true in all cases (Prevost’s principle).

    The long-debunked Prevost Theory of Exchanges (first replaced by the Kinetic Theory of Heat (by none other than James Clerk Maxwell after he read Joule’s paper), then by Quantum Thermodynamics) assumed that energy flowed without regard to energy density gradient, because only an object’s internal state determined radiant exitance. This led Planck to make the further incorrect assumption in keeping with the Prevost Theory of Exchanges:

    We shall now introduce the further simplifying assumption that the physical and chemical condition of the emitting substance depends on but a single variable, namely, on its absolute temperature T.

    He correctly stated that energy transfer via conduction was predicated upon there being an energy density gradient, but for radiative energetic exchange, he clung to the Prevost Principle (core tenet of the Prevost Theory of Exchanges, a long-debunked hypothesis from 1791 which was predicated upon the long-debunked Caloric Theory and which postulated that radiant exitance of an object was solely determined by that object’s internal state, thus that energy could flow willy-nilly without regard to energy density gradient).

    Except the Prevost Principle would only work for an idealized blackbody object, and they don’t actually exist… they’re idealizations. And the object would have to be in an isolated system, and they don’t actually exist… they’re idealizations.

    A graybody object’s radiant exitance isn’t solely determined by that object’s internal state, as the S-B equation plainly shows:

    As one can see, idealized blackbody objects assume emission to 0 K and ε=1 under all circumstances, thus they maximally emit (and absorb). They don’t actually exist… they’re idealizations.

    Real-world graybody objects assume emission to > 0 K and ε<1, and their radiant exitance is a function of the energy density gradient between object and ambient (or other object).

    q = ε σ (T_h^4 – T_c^4) A_h

    The ‘A_h’ term is merely a multiplier, used if one is calculating for an area larger than unity [ for instance: >1 m^2 ], which converts the result from radiant exitance (W m-2, radiant flux per unit area) to radiant flux (W).

    Temperature is equal to the fourth root of energy density divided by Stefan’s Constant (ie: the radiation constant).

    T = 4^√(e / (4σ / c))

    ∴ q = ε σ (ΔT^4)
    ∴ q = ε σ (Δ(e / (4σ / c)))

    Since we’re using the Kelvin temperature scale, which has its base at 0 K, we can calculate temperature (and thus energy density) as above. Energy density at 0 K is zero, thus temperature at zero energy density is, of course, 0 K.

    Canceling units, we get J sec-1 m-2, which is W m-2 (1 J sec-1 = 1 W).
    W m-2 = W m-2 K-4 * (Δ(J m-3 / (W m-2 K-4 / m sec-1)))

    For graybody objects, it is the energy density differential between warmer object and cooler object which determines warmer object radiant exitance. The climate loons misinterpret the S-B radiant exitance equation for graybody objects. Warmer objects don’t absorb radiation from cooler objects (a violation of 2LoT in the Clausius Statement sense and Stefan’s Law); the lower energy density gradient between warmer and cooler objects (as compared to between warmer object and 0 K) lowers radiant exitance of the warmer object (as compared to its radiant exitance if it were emitting to 0 K). The energy density differential between objects manifests an energy density gradient, each surface’s energy density manifesting a proportional radiation pressure.

    The climate loons misuse the S-B equation, using the form meant for idealized blackbody objects upon graybody objects:
    q = σ T^4
    … and slapping ε onto that (sometimes… for instance, the Kiehl & Trenberth Energy Balance graphic treated Earth as if it were an idealized blackbody object, which emission to 0 K and ε=1) …
    q = ε σ T^4

    Their misuse of the S-B equation inflates radiant exitance far above what it actually is for all graybody objects, necessitating that they carry that error forward through their calculations and cancel it on the back end, essentially subtracting a wholly-fictive ‘cooler to warmer’ energy flow from the real (but calculated incorrectly and thus far too high) ‘warmer to cooler’ energy flow… which leads especially scientifically-illiterate climate loons to conclude that energy actually can flow ‘cooler to warmer’ (a violation of 2LoT and Stefan’s Law).

    The S-B equation for graybody objects isn’t meant to be used to subtract a fictive ‘cooler to warmerenergy flow from the incorrectly-calculated and thus too high ‘warmer to coolerenergy flow, it’s meant to be used to subtract cooler object energy density (temperature is a measure of energy density, the fourth root of energy density divided by the radiation constant constant) from warmer object energy density. Radiant exitance of the warmer object is predicated upon the energy density gradient.

    α = absorptivity
    ρ = reflectivity
    τ = transmissivity
    ε = emissivity

    α + ρ + τ = 100% where τ = 0% for opaque objects (ie: the radiation incident upon an opaque object is either absorbed or reflected). ε + ρ = 100% for opaque objects (ie: radiation measured from a surface is a mix of reflected and emitted, because there’s no way to easily distinguish between the two), thus at thermodynamic equilibrium, when no object can emit because there exists no energy density gradient and thus energy cannot flow (remember 2LoT), per the definition of emissivity (“the ratio of the radiation emitted by a surface to the radiation emitted by a blackbody at the same temperature.“), ρ must = 100% alone… energy is reflected from the object at thermodynamic equilibrium, not absorbed by it; thus energy from cooler objects certainly isn’t absorbed by a warmer object under any circumstances. And if ρ = 100% and τ = 0%, then α = 0%.

    ε = α only at thermodynamic equilibrium per Kirchhoff’s Law, and both are zero. it is merely the coincidental crossing of two system parameters at the zero point as a consequence of the fundamental physical laws.

  20. LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks says:

    “But in a steady state condition where the object is receiving radiation, down-converting it and emitting it at a longer wavelength, ε = α! Conservation of energy!”, some may say.

    Well, yes. Emissive power must equal absorptivity (eventually… otherwise the object would heat up infinitely or cool to 0 K). If they were equal at all times, an object could never change temperature! Think about it.

    That’s a special situation. But these properties are wavelength-dependent. To be concise, the emissivity at a monochromatic wavelength will only equal the absorptivity at that wavelength at thermodynamic equilibrium, and both will be zero.

  21. LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks says:

    Or, in equation form: ε = ε (T, λ, θ)
    where θ = angle between the direction of emission and the normal of the surface.

    Emissivity is not a constant; it is a function of temperature, wavelength and direction of emission.

  22. PETER BURNS says:

    Dear Mr lol@klimate katastrophy kooks…….
    Im not a scientist but you guys amaze me how smart you are!!!!!!!
    I havent stopped learning since i joined this page right back at the start (a long time ago)…. It has bèen a honour to hitch a ride on this journey……Joseph is truly a hero to me!!!!

  23. Joseph E Postma says:

    Any gas can emit thermal energy. What can’t happen is heat flow from cold to hot, that is, is a cold body causing the temperature to increase of a warmer body because of the presence of the cold body’s energy. The cold atmosphere can emit thermal energy; this energy cannot increase the temperature of the warmer surface.

  24. LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks says:

    It was physicist Dr. Charles R. Anderson, PhD and Joe Postma here who finally ‘flipped the switch’ for me, allowing me to understand thermodynamics more fully.

    It’s been my mission to bring that knowledge to the masses, so people can finally figure out that they’re being conned when they buy into the poorly-told CAGW fairy-tale.

    My latest attempt is via analogization of thermodynamics to electrical theory, since people can think in terms of voltage and current flow more easily than energy density and radiant exitance.

    Below is a circuit simulator I created, analogizing a thermodynamics problem:
    400 K ε=0.1 object / 300 K ε=0.9 object
    … to electrical theory.


    You’ll note that if you go into the options and increase the number of significant digits displayed in the circuit simulator, the thermodynamics problem result and the electrical theory analogization result correlate to a precision of 4.439 parts per billion. I could get it closer, but really, what would be the point other than to prove that thermodynamics and electrical theory are entirely analogous?

    The climate loons claim that a high-emissivity object of lower temperature will radiatively warm a low-emissivity object of higher temperature because they assume each object is emitting to 0 K, which inflates radiant exitance of each object. In effect, they’re putting each object into its own system (the top two circuits in the circuit simulator) in which the objects don’t interact with each other, then claiming that the objects somehow magically interact!

    As the circuit simulator shows, this is the same as claiming that a 1,451.615851264 V battery (with 14516.1585127852Ω resistor), when connected positive-to-positive and negative-to-negative with a 459.300327939 V battery (with 510.33369771057Ω resistor) will be charged by that 459.300327939 V battery at a rate of 268.20871 W!

    In reality, the higher-voltage source will push current backward through the lower-voltage source at a rate of 99.231552332500000000000000000004 W (the bottom circuit in the circuit simulator).

    And you can corroborate that via the S-B equation:

    Of course, any sane person knows that a lower-voltage battery isn’t going to charge a higher-voltage battery, no matter what value resistors are used on each voltage source. The same applies to thermodynamics, a lower-temperature object isn’t going to ‘charge’ (ie: do work upon) a higher-temperature object, no matter the emissivity of each object.

  25. Who are you Kooks? Nice to know you 😀

  26. LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks says:

    Just a guy who wants to put a shiv through the heart of CAGW before it destroys our way of life. That’s why everything I write or create (including the graphics) can be used with or without attribution by anyone in any manner whatsoever. People should go and teach others. It is through education that people will wake up to the scam that is the poorly-told CAGW fairy-tale.

    In my prior post, I wrote:
    ∴ q = ε σ (ΔT^4)

    That should be:
    ∴ q = ε σ (T^4_h – T^4_c)

    Just to be clear that we’re taking the fourth power of each temperature, then taking the differential of those, not taking the fourth power of the temperature differential.

  27. tom0mason says:

    CD Marshall & boomie789
    Many times I’ve had to explain basic weather features to the ‘hard of thinking’ and alarmist types.
    High pressure anticyclones tend to be large, slow moving weather features, with the air mass spinning down in a clockwise direction.

  28. LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks says:

    I have a theory… and mind you, it’s just a theory, but let’s explore it.

    That heat dome is caused by a high pressure front aloft which traps warmer air near the surface… well, that’s already an unstable configuration. That warmer air wants to rise, but it can’t overcome the high pressure aloft.

    But what if we gave it some help? Point a gigantic fan upward, with baffles that create a cyclonic action at the fan outlet. Mist water into that cyclone.

    The warmer air wants to rise, the more-humid air is even more buoyant, and we’re creating a pinprick of pressure pushing through that high pressure aloft, spilling that warmer, more humid air out above that high pressure, dragging cooler air into the heat dome.

    That warmer, more humid air then radiatively emits and cools, the water vapor condenses and falls as rain, breaking up the high pressure aloft via downdraft from the falling rain.

    In effect, we’re creating a tornado to transport energy from under the heat dome to above it.

    Not sure if it would even work, or how effective it would be if it did work, though.

  29. Joseph E Postma says:

    Likely create some sort of crazy weather response!

  30. ashemann says:

    Yeah great stuff from the last 2 guys there, new fresh ways to look at things.

    Reminds me of slow making fast faster,

  31. ashemann says:

    Opps that repl was to kooks and the guy just before him further up, i keep doing this replying as the threads moved on and on again.
    An its all good stuff lads.

  32. ashemann says:

    Ah ffs, ”oops reply and”

  33. Pablo says:

    Hello Kooks…the mystery person.

    “That heat dome is caused by a high pressure front aloft which traps warmer air near the surface… well, that’s already an unstable configuration. That warmer air wants to rise, but it can’t overcome the high pressure aloft.”

    Warmer air aloft actually creates stability in a convectional sense. If the temperature gradient with altitude decreases at a rate greater than the adiabatic then the atmosphere becomes unstable.

    “Ambient or prevailing lapse rate: The actual atmospheric temperature change with altitude; not only does water content modify lapse rates, but wind, sunlight on the Earth’s surface, and geographical features change actual lapse rates.
    A comparison of dry or wet adiabatic lapse rates to prevailing lapse rates gives a sense of the stability and mixing conditions of the atmosphere (Fig. 14.6).

    Sign in to download full-size image
    Figure 14.6. Summary of various adiabatic conditions.
    Superadiabatic: Ambient lapse rate > adiabatic indicates unstable atmosphere. Vertical motion and mixing processes are enhanced. Dispersion of pollution plume is enhanced.
    Subadiabatic: Ambient lapse rate < adiabatic. It indicates stable atmosphere, vertical motion, and mixing are suppressed. Dispersion is suppressed, and contamination is trapped.
    Inversion: An extreme case of subadiabatic, where temperature actually increases with altitude near the ground before it begins to decrease with altitude. This results in warm, low-density air riding on top of cool high density air; a very stable air column that traps pollution near the ground, like that which occurs during the winter in the Platte Valley of Denver.”


  34. @Nepal 2021/11/18 at 8:05 am


  35. Ross Handsaker says:

    An atmospheric greenhouse effect would require the gases to be solid.

  36. Joseph E Postma says:

    Ross, that is in fact what Josef Fourier first said about the greenhouse effect he was exploring from convective stoppage in real greenhouses: that the atmosphere could only do the same thing if it turned solid, like a barrier of transparent glass!

    Yet, scientists today reference him as if he supported or discovered this climate fraud RGHE!

  37. boomie789 says:

    Got a guy asking me if a good definition of hear is the average kinetic energy of the molecules. I think that Herb guy came in here saying that and you told him that is wrong.

    It’s u/LackmustestTester asking me.

    I told him I’m pretty sure that’s wrong.

  38. boomie789 says:

    Heat* not hear.

  39. boomie789 says:

    Heat is the difference in temperature between two bodies. All heat is energy but not all energy is heat.

  40. Joseph E Postma says:

    “the average kinetic energy of the molecules” wouldn’t be close to heat at all, no. At best it is closest to internal thermal energy, i.e. proportional to temperature (not directly equal).

    Heat is the difference equation I always show. The difference between temperature.

  41. boomie789 says:

    LackmustestTester-“An object contains heat, right? It has a temperature that’s measured with a thermometer, measuring the amount of heat. This is the molecules doing work, in a solid body internal (vibrations), in a gas single molecules moving around and colliding with each other.”

    Me-“The hardest hill to climb in understanding thermodynamics is the difference between energy, heat, and work.

    All objects have energy, if they are above absolute zero. Using the strict definition of heat, it is only the difference in temperature between two objects. It’s really best shown with an equation and not words lol.”

  42. Joseph E Postma says:

    Exactly right. Would you say that an ice cube held in your hands “contains heat”? You wouldn’t say that. You can say that it contains thermal energy, but that energy isn’t heat.

  43. Joseph E Postma says:

    Boomie, CD and everyone, see this reply and the comment above it which is the best:


    From our friend LOL…it’s excellent, you should read it and use it.

  44. boomie789 says:

    Here is where he is arguing

  45. Joseph E Postma says:

    That’s internal thermal energy. It is not heat.

    Heat is a transitive form of energy which crosses a boundary, and does work.

    If you imagine this animation being placed into another one where the balls aren’t moving, and then the moving balls make the non-moving balls start moving from bouncing into them, THEN you will have witnessed heat. Once the previously-non-moving balls are all moving at the same rates as the moving balls (which will have slowed down since they shared their energy), then there will be no more heat to witness.

  46. Joseph E Postma says:

    I actually have a program that I wrote in undergrad in Matlab that creates just exactly that animation!

    I should do a video with it and explain what I did above, and I could easily insert some static balls at a time index and they point out that THAT is the only time there is heat, is when the moving balls warm up (make move from collisions) the balls that were static.

  47. LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks says:

    Boomie789 wrote:
    “LackmustestTester-“An object contains heat, right? It has a temperature that’s measured with a thermometer, measuring the amount of heat.”

    An object contains energy… always think in terms of energy. A thermometer measures the amount of energy, in this case the translational mode kinetic energy.

    E_total = E_electronic + E_vibrational + E_rotational + E_translational
    Sometimes E_gravitational is added to account for adiabatic heating and cooling of a gas with altitude change.

    One can calculate the temperature from the speed (and hence the kinetic energy) even for a single atom or molecule, and even if that atom or molecule is moving in a single translational mode Degree of Freedom (DOF).

    Calculate the temperature of a 40Ar atom (mass = 6.63590925530233e-26 kg, 39.962383123824 amu) moving at 50 m/s in a single translational mode DOF.

    k_B = 1.380649e-23 J K−1

    v = √(v_x^2 + v_y^2 + v_z^2)
    Therefore, if v_x = 50 m/s and v_y = 0 and v_z = 0; v = 50 m/s

    1) Calculate the kinetic energy of the atom:

    KE = (1/2) m v^2
    KE = (1/2) (6.63590925530233e-26 kg) (50 m/s)^2

    KE = 8.2948865691279125e-23 J

    KE = (DOF / 2) k_B T
    T = (2 KE) / (DOF k_B)

    (2 * 8.2948865691279125e-23 J) / (1 DOF * 1.380649e-23 J K−1) = 12.015923770817800179480809387469 K for a 40Ar atom moving in only one DOF.

    (2 * 8.2948865691279125e-23 J) / (3 DOF * 1.380649e-23 J K−1) = 4.0053079236059333931602697958231 K for a 40Ar atom moving in three DOF.

    Sandia National Laboratories uses this method of calculating temperature:


    T = m v^2 / DOF k_B

    6.63590925530233e-26 kg * 2500 / 3 DOF * 1.380649e-23 J K−1 = 4.0053079236059333931602697958231 K

    6.63590925530233e-26 kg * 2500 / 1 DOF * 1.380649e-23 J K−1 = 12.015923770817800179480809387469 K for a 40Ar atom moving in only one DOF.


    We’ll examine the temperature / pressure / energy relation in an atom / molecule sense and in relation to photons:

    An atom or molecule moving in a single translational mode DOF will have a higher temperature for the same kinetic energy than if it’s moving in more than a single translational mode DOF.

    KE = (DOF / 2) k_B T
    T = (2 KE) / (DOF k_B)

    In statistical mechanics the following molecular equation is derived from first principles: P = n k_B T for a given volume.

    Therefore T = (P / (n k_B)) for a given volume.

    Where: k_B = Boltzmann Constant (1.380649e−23 J·K−1); T = absolute temperature (K); P = absolute pressure (Pa); n = number of particles

    If n = 1, then T = P / k_B in units of K / m³ for a given volume.

    Now, knowing that libtards are pedants, they’ll likely bleat something like “Temperature does not have units of K / m³ !!!“… note the ‘for a given volume‘ blurb. We will cancel volume in a bit.

    We can relate velocity to kinetic energy via the equation:
    v = √(v_x² + v_y² + v_z²) = √((DOF k_B T) / m) = √(2 KE / m)
    As velocity increases, kinetic energy increases.

    Kinetic theory gives the static pressure P for an ideal gas as:
    P = ((1 / 3) (n / V)) m v² = (n k_B T) / V

    Combining the above with the ideal gas law gives:
    (1 / 3)(m v²) = k_B T

    ∴ T = mv² / 3 k_B for 3 DOF

    ∴ T = 2 KE / k_B for 1 DOF

    ∴ T = 2 KE / DOF k_B

    See what I did there? I equated kinetic energy to pressure over that volume, thus canceling that volume, then solved for T.


    Now, that’s for particle kinetic energy, and we can see that temperature and pressure are intimately linked. What about photons?

    The pressure P for a photon gas exerted in the x-direction on area A of a wall is summed over all i = 1 to N photons:

    P = ½ ∑ 2 pix vix / V = ⅓ U/V = ⅓ e,

    U is just ∑ pix vix + piy viy + piz viz for photons.

    The equation for the radiation energy density is Stefan’s Law and a is Stefan’s constant.
    e = aT^4

    ∴ T = 4^√(e/a)

    In other words, temperature is equal to the fourth root of energy density divided by Stefan’s constant. It is a measure of energy density.

    Keep in mind that Stefan’s constant above equals 4σ/c (which is sometimes known as the radiation constant).

    Which is why: U = T^4 4σ/c
    The above formula is the Stefan-Boltzmann relation between energy density and temperature.

    This agrees with Planck’s Law: ρ(T) = aT^4 = T^4 4σ/c.

    The S-B equation integrates Planck’s Radiation Formula (which calculates the energy density for a given wavelength) over all wavelengths.

    Now that we see that all are in agreement, let us move on to chemical potential…


    Among the properties of a cavity with volume V in radiative thermal equilibrium at temperature T is that:
    U = a V T^4
    P = ⅓ a T^4
    S = (4/3) a V T^3

    We can calculate the chemical potential, µ, which measures the ease with which the number n moles of photons adjusts to keep the energy density constant in the cavity in radiative thermal equilibrium:
    µn = U – ST + PV
    µ = 0

    When photons are in radiative thermal equilibrium in a volume V at a constant temperature T, their chemical potential is zero.

    Chemical potential is a measure of the ability to do work. If chemical potential equals zero, no work can be done, thus no energy can flow.

    Also remember that there is no conservation law for photons. Since photons are merely persistent perturbations of the EM field above the ambient, should the ambient EM field chemical potential exceed the photon chemical potential, those photons will be subsumed by the ambient EM field.

    Also remember that between two objects, one warmer and one cooler, the chemical potential increases in the intervening space as one ascends the energy gradient from cooler to warmer object. Thus photons from the cooler object will be subsumed before they ever reach the warmer object because warmer objects have higher energy density at all wavelengths than cooler objects.

    Thus energy does not (cannot) flow from cooler to warmer object. In fact, in a simple system between two objects, the cooler object cannot even emit into the intervening space… that’d violate 2LoT. Energy cannot flow up an energy density gradient unless external energy does work to push that system energy up the energy density gradient (as it does in, for example, an A/C unit).

  48. Great stuff!

    Yes I do like the SB Law explanation of what temperature is…it is proportional to energy flux density.

  49. A Question. How confident are you all that the Stefan Boltzmann constant is a suitable measure of W/m2 for an atmosphere?

  50. Pablo says:

    “Under full summer sun conditions, the short term dry surface temperature can easily exceed 50ºC.
    However the increase in blackbody LWIR as the surface temperature increases from 20ºC to 50ºC is only 200 W/m2. This means that most of the solar flux is coupled back into the atmosphere by convection, not thermal radiation. When the surface is moist, some of the surface heat is removed by evaporation. This latent heat flux reduces the surface temperature and the latent heat is released into the atmosphere through cloud formation, usually at altitudes above 1km. This latent heat release adds to the convection at higher altitudes.
    The surface heating also establishes a subsurface thermal gradient that conducts heat below the surface. This stored heat is released as the ground cools during the late afternoon and evening and adds to the surface convection.
    At night, the air and the ground cool to similar temperatures, convection slows considerably and the surface cools mainly through LWIR emission to space via the atmospheric LWIR transmission window. The typical LWIR flux is 40W/m2. Under low humidity conditions, this may increase to 100W/m2. Downward LWIR emission from low cloud cover may close the LWIR window and balance all of the upward LWIR flux from the surface. The diurnal change in magnitude of the flux terms is so large that an increase of 1.7 W/m2 in downward LWIR flux from a 100ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration can have no effect on the surface temperature.”

    Roy Clark

  51. Joseph E Postma says:


    It becomes an approximation for non-ideal emitters, which most objects in reality are. But it works well enough with grey body factors…it becomes more empirical then rather than theoretical.

  52. Rosco says:

    Surely Pictet demonstrated how ludicrous the idea of radiation from cold heating hot really is?

    By experiment and intelligent review he proved the exact opposite of this absurd construct.

    Two polished concave metallic mirrors placed 16 feet apart with a “sensitive air thermometer” at one focus. When thermal equilibrium was achieved Pictet placed a glass bulb of cold water and pounded ice was placed at the other focus, The thermometer immediately began to descend.

    If the “back radiative greenhouse effect” was real the reverse should have occurred – the cold object replaced nothing at the focus of the mirror – and the “extra” radiative emissions from the cold glass should have increased the temperature of the thermometer.

    This simply destroys all of their nonsense.

  53. That’s a really cool experiment 😎

  54. Pablo says:

    “…a large fraction of the solar IR directly warms the Earth’s surface.
    Some is absorbed by the dominant IR-absorbing gas, water vapour, …and other IR absorbing gases. In other words, more water vapour and CO2 in the atmosphere results in less effective warming of the surface than do less of these gases with respect to the incoming IR energy from the sun. The IR-absorbing gases have a cooling effect on the ground on the original solar radiance spectrum for the 49% of the solar energy in the form of IR. This energy is still being deposited in the Earth’s atmosphere, but has less effect in warming the Earth’s surface.”
    Dr. Charles R. Anderson

    Thanks Kooks for reminding me.

  55. TL Winslow says:

    @Malcolm Hornsby
    [[A Question. How confident are you all that the Stefan Boltzmann constant is a suitable measure of W/m2 for an atmosphere?]]

    So many people never ‘get’ that gases in Earth’s atmosphere don’t emit Planck black body radiation, thus aren’t subject to the S-B Law. Planck radiation is only emitted by solids and liquids with surfaces, which explains the units of W/m^2. If gases did it, the units would be W/m^3. Yes, if gases are subjected to high temperatures and pressure that strip electrons from molecules, it becomes a dense plasma like on the Sun, and it does emit Planck radiation.

    “The dominant source of black body radiation are transient oscillating dipoles induced by thermal vibrations within the material.

    “If we treat a solid as a cloud of electrons intermingled with a cloud of nuclei, then any thermally induced vibrations will cause small local changes in the average electron and nucleus density, and this will result in a small local electric dipole. As these dipoles change with time they emit the electromagnetic radiation that we see as black body radiation.

    “This applies to any system dense enough to support these sorts of charge density oscillations. Under normal conditions this means a solid or a liquid, but a plasma will behave in the same way if it can be made dense enough. This is hard to do in the laboratory but the Sun manages it 🙂

    “However a gas cannot sustain oscillations of this form because the gas molecules spend most of their time distant from each other. To a first approximation gases do not emit black body radiation. You only see radiation from rotational, vibrational and electronic transitions, and these produce discrete lines. Gas molecules do interact when they collide, so if you increase the number of collisions by making the gas denser and hotter it will start to produce more black body radiation and eventually transition to radiation dominated by the black body spectrum.” –


    Learn real thermal physics and how it defeats every IPCC lie. The IPCC lie machine turns thermal physics upside-down, inside-out, and ass-backwards to turn cooling processes into warming ones.


  56. CD Marshall says:

    From a non scientist perspective.

    Perceived heat by human standards and thermodynamic heat are not the same concept. An ice cube can heat an object colder than itself or be cooled greater depending on the energy (of work) involved. Either form would not “feel” like heat to human standards. Thus thermodynamic heat is simply a change in temperature from hot to cold which has been tested and confirmed for over a hundred years. Yet they “claim” the GHGE has been proved for over a hundred years, sure proved to be incorrect under the proved laws of thermodynamics and proved physics.

    A glass of water at ambient room temperature has no kinetic energy but it still has internal energy. Toss that water on the wall and it has kinetic energy for a moment, still not “heating” anything around it.

    If kinetic energy alone is a prerequisite for “heat” then splashing cold water would make it hotter and simply does not.

    Does it?

  57. LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks says:

    Sorry for being gone for the past couple days… someone rammed their vehicle into our DSL D-SLAM housing on 18 Nov 2021 (second time that’s happened in as many months… last time someone just dented it, this time they apparently took it out completely… when AT&T started moving over to last-mile fiber-optic, they moved the D-SLAM, and it’s apparently in a bad location for vehicular traffic) and is expected to be down until 26 Nov 2021.

    My phone didn’t have tethering ability (I’d stripped all that code out, along with most of Google’s code (everything except the actual Phone app, which I couldn’t find a suitable replacement for), all advertising code, Emergency Alerts, aGPS and near-field radio tracking, the ability to remotely enable the cellular radio / aGPS / near-field radio tracking, etc.), so I had to reinstall the APKs for tethering, then figure out the phone’s firewall’s IPTABLES entries such that data was transited to WiFi tethered connections. Just now got it working.

    Finally got it working, and now I can tether as many as 8 connections. My wife’s iPhone can only tether one connection, which is practically useless.

    Anyway, I’m moving to TX at the end of the month, so I’ll be incommunicado for awhile… I’m not about to be forced by my employer to get injected with the experimental mRNA jabs, not after the research I’ve done on them… they’re destroying people’s immune systems, causing blood clotting issues (which can lead to organ failure, heart attack or stroke), inhibiting the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen, binding with tumor suppressors p53 & BRCA 1/2 and inactivating them, increasing all-cause mortality among the vaccinated vs..the unvaccinated (there are currently ~1000 people / day in the US alone who are dying… reclassified as “abnormal clinical findings not elsewhere classified” to hide the vaccine-caused deaths… that number is rapidly increasing)… these mRNA vaccines are bad news, and I’ll not go over the cliff with the rest of society.

  58. Frost burn is clearly caused by heat. In this case however it is our bodies that are the hot object.

    “If kinetic energy alone is a prerequisite for “heat” then splashing cold water would make it hotter and simply does not.”
    When you splash water around you are doing work on the water so yes, splashing does heat the water. This is the basis of the experiment of churning water in a barrel will make it boil.

  59. Pablo says:

    Fascinating… so wind, and the waves it creates, presumably warms the ocean slightly.
    How much heat is added overall including deep ocean circulation from motion alone?

  60. Pablo,
    It’s complicated.
    The wind is the source of energy that creates ocean waves, so the surface churning by the wind that forms the waves will add energy to the water surface. However, the ocean surface is an open system and evaporation causes cooling, so the net effect of wind over water is surface cooling. We see this cooling most dramatically where cold dense katabatic (gravity) winds descend from the Antarctic icecap and create the open water of the coastal latent heat polynya in the Weddell Sea and elsewhere. These gravity winds effectively “freeze dry” the exposed seawater creating copious volumes of ice that is then forced away from the coast by the wind thereby maintaining the long term integrity of the polynya.
    See my comments on this process here:

  61. Pablo says:


    Right… back to the salinity thing.

  62. fransgnl says:

    Looking at Scenario 1 (a real and ideal greenhouse) and assuming the sun is radiating 1370 W/m2 corresponding to roughly 121 Celsius, the max temperature inside the greenhouse will not exceed this 121 Celsius because no temperature difference is present at that point anymore.

    Now assume we only expose the greenhouse half time to the sun. That means the input for the greenhouse is still 1370 W/m2 during 50% of the time, but the average input is 1370/2 = 685 W/m2. To my understanding, the greenhouse will warm again towards 121 Celsius, it only takes more time to reach that temperature. Nevertheless, 685 W/m2 corresponds to only 58 Celsius.

    So my conclusion is that temperature inside a greenhouse can still exceed the average incoming power, but not the maximum incoming power. Likewise, the earth its energy budget as presented by NASA and others refer to an increase in temperature by greenhouse gasses which exceeds the average incoming power indeed (1370/4 W/m2) but not the maximum power of 1370 W/m2. Or do I overlook something?

  63. Joseph E Postma says:

    @fransgnl – they say, however, that the maximum heating from the Sun IS -18C, and they do not refer to diurnal changes whatsoever, but the treat the Sun as a uniform and maximum -18C, and from there backradiation increases temperature, not merely slows cooling from -18C downwards. They don’t divide by 2, they divide by 4. The mechanism of backradiation is not slowed cooling..it is absolute temperature increase. I don’t know why it is thought to be legitimate to change midstream the definition and mechanism. This itself demonstrates that their science is illegitimate given that it has changing mutually-exclusive definitions of what their so-called greenhouse effect actually is and how it works. That’s not legitimate science or logic to function that way. Their foundational diagrams are still such that the Sun doesn’t create the climate, doesn’t heat anything to above -18C in and of itself, and they make no mention of diurnal variations like my model does.

    The only way you could increase the temperature of the atmosphere is if you reduced its emissivity, otherwise if temperature increased it would emit more energy than it received, and thus cool. GHG’s do not have low emissivity, but are said to have high emissivity, whereas O2, N2, have low emissivity.

  64. CD Marshall says:

    I agree with you, but that was not the point I was making. Guess I should have explained myself more thoroughly. Unless I missed something?

    “If kinetic energy alone is a prerequisite for “heat” then splashing cold water would make it hotter and simply does not.”

    Has to be in context with the rest of the statement. I have never made my bathtub hotter by splashing water…Just saying.

    The context was, kinetic energy alone is (not) a prerequisite for “heat” it still follows hot to cold (unless you are of course doing work) . The work required to heat water by splashing would have to be greater than the cooling process to create “thermodynamic heat”.

    Kinetic energy is the capacity to do work. Hot to cold is the standard requirement for thermodynamic heat.

    Again not a scientist, naturally I could be wrong. 🤷‍♀️ I suppose even if I were a scientist I could be wrong. A PhD does not give you tenure on making mistakes. 🤔

  65. CDM,
    Sorry I didn’t catch your drift, my apologies. However, I do think that there is an issue here that is critical to the debate as to the nature of the so-called Greenhouse Effect, or more preferably the Atmospheric Thermal Enhancement (ATE – Nikolov & Zeller).

    We are all familiar with the experience of air temperature, and also the experience of wind motion. Clearly these are separate properties as a fluid at rest has a temperature while a fluid in motion can have the same kinetic temperature but clearly possesses energy of mass motion. It is this point that a fluid in convective motion in the presence of a gravity field can capture, store, transmit and release energy in the form of heat at a location and time that is both distant and delayed by a significant amount that forms the basis of the analysis of Stephen Wilde. Furthermore, the process of conversion of kinetic energy to potential energy during vertical atmospheric convection stores potential energy in the fluid that cannot be lost by thermal radiation until the air returns down to a solid or liquid surface and undergoes forced compression and adiabatic heating.

    In addition, as Joseph has clearly shown, the fundamental basis of climate science that the power of the Sun is too weak to create the climate is ludicrous nonsense. The divide by four dilution of the solar beam intensity implies that the Sun directly shines on to the surface of the Earth at night. The false paradigm of climate science requires the presence of polyatomic gas molecules in the atmosphere to both impede thermal transmission by reducing the thermal radiant opacity in the lower atmosphere while at the same time providing the source of thermal emission to space at altitude.

    In our studies of planetary climate, we have established the critical importance of the freezing point temperature of a planet’s dominant condensing volatile. It appears to be little appreciated that there is a fundamental role for solid particles in thermal emission both in the atmosphere and at the surface in general. The key is shear wave propagation. Fluids, both liquids and gases, cannot propagate shear waves however it is shear wave flexure of a solid surface that provides the coupling between mass motion and electromagnetic emission. Therefore, the presence at altitude in an atmosphere of a temperature that allows for an atmospheric volatile to solidify will create solid particles that will enhance the thermal emission properties of the atmosphere in question.

    In the case of the Earth the condensing volatile is water and the freezing point of supercooled water forms the location at which thermal emission to space is enhanced. For Venus the condensing volatile is concentrated sulphuric acid, while for Titan (the giant moon of Saturn) the condensing volatile is methane.
    It is our study of the temperature profile of Titan that is the most telling. We have shown that the majority of the methane cloud deck in the troposphere of Titan is so cold that the clouds are all composed of solid methane particles. Therefore, there can be no methane greenhouse gas effect in the bulk of the Titan atmosphere (both water and carbon dioxide are solids too) consequently as there is a measured surface thermal enhancement on Titan with its nitrogen atmosphere, we have established that the ATE is due to convection in this moon’s methane volatile atmosphere with its direct analogue for the water volatile atmosphere of Earth.
    The Climate of Titan Revisited

  66. Pingback: Why I Laugh at the Sky « the Air Vent

  67. [[Also remember that there is no conservation law for photons. Since photons are merely persistent perturbations of the EM field above the ambient, should the ambient EM field chemical potential exceed the photon chemical potential, those photons will be subsumed by the ambient EM field.]]

    After thinking about it, I think the bottom line is that one can’t use classical thermodynamics to make conclusions about the quantum world.

    Over on Jeff Id’s Air Vent blog he countered with the example of a FLIR meter that uses a microbolometer to register temperatures of remote objects that are way below 0C when it’s at ambient temperature way above 0C.



    The solution is that it’s not about the macro world 2nd Law after all. It’s about photons being E&M waves with an energy dependent only on wavelength. Photons have no temperature because that’s a macro concept. When the photons from the colder target strike the microbolometer they give it their tiny energies which modify the internal resistance, and because of the characteristics of the microbolometer indirectly measure the temperature of the colder target. The photons don’t raise or lower the microbolometer’s temperature, because that’s a macro concept ruled by the 2nd Law. The theory that all photons from the colder target are “subsumed” by the energy field of the hotter bolometer is undecidable because being hotter it’s always emitting a torrent of photons at all wavelengths, and we can’t separately measure them with any measurement.

    The colder target also emits photons at all wavelengths as per Planck’s black body radiation law, but those at the Wien wavelength dependent only on temperature outnumber the others and would rule the macro temperature measurement. The longer wavelength photons have less energy, and the shorter wavelength photons are too few, hence the microbolometer indirectly reads the macro temperature of the target.

    Either way, the FLIR microbolometer-based thermometer is actually yet more proof that photons from colder objects can’t raise the temperature of hotter objects. I’m thinking of putting this example in my free online Climate Science 101 course.


  68. Good comment scoper.

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