To be 33C or not to be 33C R1 052617

To be 33C or not to be 33C

There is a popular fantasy that the earth is 33C warmer with an atmosphere than without due to the radiative greenhouse effect, RGHE and 0.04% atmospheric CO2.

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start – or so I hear.

The 33C difference is between an alleged average surface temperature of 288K/15C and 255K/-18C, the alleged surface temperature without an atmosphere. Let’s take a closer look.

Just which average surface temperature? The two extremes? (71C + -90C) / 2 = -10C? Or the average of all the real actual (adjusted, homogenized, corrupted) measurements 90% of which are in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia? What about the sea surface? Satellite data? Over thirty years?

Per IPCC AR5 glossary the average land surface temperature is measured 1.5 meters above the ground, but 80% of the land (Africa, Siberia, South America, SE Asia) doesn’t even have reliable weather instrumentation or data.

The average sea surface temperature is a combination of buckets and thermometers, engine cooling intakes, buoys, satellites, etc.

This composite “global” surface average temperature, one number to rule them all, must represent: both lit and dark sides, both poles, oceans, deserts, jungles and a wide range of both land and sea surfaces. The uncertainty band must be YUGE!

The 255K is a theoretical calculation using the S-B ideal BB temperature associated with the 240 W/m^2 radiative balance at the top of the – wait for it – atmosphere, i.e. 100 km.

So what would the earth be like without an atmosphere?

The average solar constant is 1,368 W/m^2 with an S-B BB temperature of 390 K or 17 C higher than the boiling point of water under sea level atmospheric pressure, which would no longer exist. The oceans would boil away removing the giga-tons of pressure that keeps the molten core in place. The molten core would push through the floor flooding the surface with dark magma changing both emissivity and albedo. With no atmosphere a steady rain of meteorites would pulverize the surface to dust same as the moon. The earth would be much like the moon with a similar albedo (0.12) and large swings in surface temperature from lit to dark sides. No clouds, no vegetation, no snow, no ice a completely different albedo, certainly not the current 30%. No molecules means no convection, conduction, latent energy and surface absorption/radiation would be anybody’s guess. Whatever the conditions of the earth would be without an atmosphere, it is most certainly NOT 240 W/m^2 and 255K.

The alleged 33C difference is between a) an average surface temperature composed of thousands of WAGs that must be +/- entire degrees and b) a theoretical temperature calculation 100 km away that cannot even be measured and c) all with an intact and fully functioning atmosphere.

The surface of the earth is warm because the atmosphere provides an insulating blanket, a thermal resistance, no different from the insulation in the ceiling and walls of a house with the temperature differential determined per the equation Q = U * A * dT, simple to verify and demonstrate. (Explains why 250 km thick atmosphere of Venus with twice the irradiance heats surface bigly compared to earth.)

A voltage difference is needed for current to flow through an electrical resistance.
A pressure difference is needed for fluid to flow through a physical resistance.
A temperature difference is needed for energy to flow, i.e. heat, through a thermal resistance.

RGHE upwelling/downwelling/”back” radiation is a fictional anti-thermodynamic non-explanation for the “33C without an atmosphere” phenomenon that doesn’t actually exist.


Nicholas Schroeder Added May 29, 2017 - 10:51am
Nice esoteric question.

Only 3 out of 10 E6 molecules are ozone, 0.00003%, decimal fraction 0.0000003 or 0.3 ppm. CO2 is 400 ppm or 0.04%.

Metro Denver has a population of about 3 million people. So 1 person, 3 * .3, out of that s million represents ozone.

Ozone might do a good job blocking UV, but at 0.3 ppm it miniscule mass does close to zip about moving Btus or kJ.

Radiation from the sun on the day light side heats the troposphere, ground and oceans because that’s where the molecules are.

The earth loses heat 24/7 back into space up through the troposphere by conduction, convection, latent, radiative heat processes (just like the insulated walls of your house per Q = U * A dT) and the atmosphere works exactly the same way. No greenhouse effect needed. Once the heat flow runs out of molecules at around 32 km, it’s all radiation.

About 342 W/m^2 arrive at top of atmosphere, ToA. About 102 W/m^2 are reflected by the albedo. About 240 W/m^2 are absorbed by the troposphere, ground and oceans. In order to maintain thermal equilibrium, i.e. the great balance, 240 W/m^2 must radiate back into space from the ToA.

When the furnace delivers more heat than leaves through the walls, windows, door, etc. the house warms up. If the earth’s albedo decreases, more heat arrives at the surface and the earth warms.

When the furnace delivers less heat than leaves through the walls, windows, door, etc. the house cools off. If the earth’s albedo increases, less heat arrives at the surface and the earth cools.

It’s all basic heat transfer and natural variation and the role of mankind’s CO2 is insignificant.
Nicholas Schroeder Added May 30, 2017 - 11:07am
When you speak of the temperature in the stratosphere what exactly do you mean and how are you measuring it?

As I see it there are two types of temperatures: one due to the kinetic energy of molecules ½ m v^2 and one due to radiation per S-B.

As you rise up through the atmosphere molecular density falls. 99% of the atmosphere’s molecules are below 32 km.

So temperature become less about molecules and more about S-B radiation.

As noted elsewhere the S-B BB equivalent temperature for 1,368 W/m^2 at ToA is 390K.

At some point between the earth’s surface and the stratosphere molecular cooling due to decreasing density becomes less than the heating of incoming radiation and “temperature” appears to increase.

Just my two cents.
Nicholas Schroeder Added Jun 1, 2017 - 12:19pm
"Where does the stratosphere,  polar in particular, get its heat when there is no UV or moisture."
Hadley cell circulation.
I'll look at those links again later. Busy in the yard.
BTW what are hPa? Some kind of Pascals? Hecto-Pascals?
Nicholas Schroeder Added Jun 1, 2017 - 2:51pm
Re: links

Erl Happ, economics and geography. Are you kidding me?

I spent 5 years earning my BSME, 8 hrs sitting the EIT, 8 hrs sitting the PE to prove I knew my field which is heavily mathematics, algebra, geometry, heat transfer, chemistry, physics, thermodynamics, etc. And a lucrative 35 year career actually applying those topics.

It irritates me no end to see a bunch of amateurs with neither formal nor informal training in the hard sciences (hard because they are difficult and not for everybody and anybody) who think after an hour on the internet and Excel sheets full of crap data they don’t comprehend they are instant experts and entitled to a place at the table.

“See current wind, weather, ocean, and pollution conditions, as forecast by supercomputers, on an interactive animated map. Updated every three hours.”

Nullschoolearth forecasts with super-dee-duper computer programs. Ouija boards, Tarot cards, magic eight balls have better records than climate computer models. Even IPCC AR5 9.3 questions the value of their own massive fleet of climate computer models.

It’s that knowledge of hard science that enables one to realize how full of lying propaganda crap NOAA is. They say what the boss wants said and do what the boss wants done trading their scientific integrity for a paycheck. Curry, Pielke Jr, Spencer,Bill Gray, are examples of those who did not.

Go to DMI for the Arctic and climate4you for the raw data and observe and think for yourself.
Nicholas Schroeder Added Jul 31, 2017 - 9:21pm
Rosco, thanks for the supportive comment. You mentioned thermal control in space. You might appreciate the following.
Is space cold or hot? There are no molecules in space so our common definitions of hot/cold/heat/energy don't apply.
The temperatures of objects in space, e.g. the earth, moon, space station, mars, Venus, etc. are determined by the radiation flowing past them. In the case of the earth, the solar irradiance of 1,368 W/m^2 has a Stefan Boltzmann black body equivalent temperature of 394 K. That's hot. Sort of.
But an object's albedo reflects away some of that energy and reduces that temperature.
The earth;s albedo reflects away 30% of the sun's 1,368 W/m^2 energy leaving 70% or 958 W/m^2 to "warm" the earth and at an S-B BB equivalent temperature of 361 K, 33 C colder than the earth with no atmosphere or albedo.
The earth's albedo/atmosphere doesn't keep the earth warm, it keeps the earth cool.
"The first design consideration for thermal control is insulation -- to keep
heat in for warmth and to keep it out for cooling." 
"Here on Earth, environmental heat is transferred in the air primarily by conduction (collisions between individual air molecules) and convection (the circulation or bulk motion of air)."
Oops! WHAT?! Did they forget to mention RGHE "theory?" Global warming? Climate change? Bad scientists! 
Oh, wait. These must be engineers who actually USE science. 
"This is why you can insulate your house basically using the air trapped inside your insulation," said Andrew Hong, an engineer (SEE!!) and thermal control specialist at NASA's Johnson Space Center. "Air is a poor conductor of heat, and the fibers of home insulation that hold the air still minimize convection." 
"In space there is no air for conduction or convection," he added. Space is a radiation-dominated environment. Objects heat up by absorbing sunlight and they cool off by emitting infrared energy, a form of radiation which is invisible to the human eye."
Uhh, that's in SPACE NOT on EARTH where radiation rules.
"Without thermal controls, the temperature of the orbiting Space
Station's Sun-facing side would soar to 250 degrees F (121 C), while
thermometers on the dark side would plunge to minus 250 degrees F (-157 C). There might be a comfortable spot somewhere in the middle of the Station, but searching for it wouldn't be much fun!"
121 C plus 273 C = 394 K Ta-dahhh!!!!!
Shiny insulation keeps the ISS COOL!!!! Just like the earth's albedo/atmosphere keeps the earth COOL!!! NOT hot like RGHE's BOGUS "Theory."
Doug Cotton Added Mar 19, 2018 - 7:31am
The solar radiation reaching the surface of Earth has a mean of about 168W/m^2 and that can only produce a mean surface temperature colder than 233K which is -40°C.  Hence there is another input of thermal energy and that was explained for the first time in world literature (correct me if I'm wrong) in my 2013 paper "Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures" here:
Nicholas Schroeder Added Mar 24, 2018 - 9:45am
I was out of town on the 19th and just saw your comment.
The mean is misleading.
And dividing 1,368 by 4 to get 342 is incompetent! Spreading the discular incoming power flux over the spherical ToA is really^3 DUMB!!
Say the mean is 288 K, high of 298 K, low of 278 K, +/- 10 C.
But 388 K and 188 K, +/- 100 C, are still a mean of 288 K. The thermal behavior of the two scenarios is radically different, i.e the difference between the moon and the earth.
The peak day time power flux arriving at the surface is well over 1,100 W/m^2 w/ a corresponding S-B BB of over 350 K.
I have a power point on my LinkedIn site if you have access that explains how the earth really heats and cools and that averages & means are useless.
Hope the link works.
I have a couple of papers and mentions at Principia Scientifica.
Doug Cotton Added Mar 26, 2018 - 9:33am
Nicholas:  You write: "A temperature difference is needed for energy to flow, i.e. heat, through a thermal resistance."  But your statement only always applies in a horizontal plane because it is based on a simplified equation for entropy which completely ignores changes in gravitational potential energy.  In the early pre-dawn hours surface cooling can cease altogether, and yet the temperature a kilometer above the surface can be about seven C degrees colder. The reason the cooling stops is because entropy has reached a maximum, and that happens when there is a homogeneous sum of molecular gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy, and thus a stable non-zero temperature gradient that is the state of thermodynamic equilibrium. If your statement were correct then the surface would keep on cooling all through the night even faster than it may have done in mid-afternoon on a hot sunny day. So you are mistaken and the proof that you (and climatologists whose false physics you reiterate all over WB) are all mistaken is in my 2013 paper Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures that you can download free here.
Doug Cotton Added Mar 26, 2018 - 10:00am
Nicholas:  Your claim refuting the division by 4 (which even NASA and climatologists got correct) shows me that you think energy can be created. The surface area of a sphere is four times the area of a disk with the same radius. Furthermore, about half of the TOA flux of 1368W/m^2 is either reflected (30%) or absorbed by the atmosphere and clouds (19%) and so we divide the 1368W/m^2 by about eight (8) to get the global mean solar flux impinging on the surface.  At least NASA got that about right with their 168W/m^2.  It seems you want suns all around the Earth. Have you never shone a torch at an acute angle onto a flat surface?  Is every square millimeter just as bright as it would be if you shone the torch directly downwards? No, my friend, because the energy gets spread out over a larger area. Does the direct solar radiation make the palm of your hand just as hot when you hold it at an acute angle to the Sun compared with when your hand faces the Sun?  How can you possibly not understand the need to divide by four and then to take only about half of the result because of the reflection and absorption?  Note also that 19% of incident solar radiation is absorbed but only the equivalent of 15% is absorbed by the atmosphere from upward surface radiation. Some blanket! It prevents more energy reaching the surface than it absorbs leaving it. Furthermore, note that nothing gets hotter than a blackbody for a given flux, a blackbody only being warmed to about 233K (-40°C) by the 168W/m^2. And, finally, your argument about means can be shown to be dismissed mathematically because the mean temperature achieved by variable flux is always colder than the temperature achieved by a uniform flux with the same intensity as the mean of the variable flux. Hence the direct solar radiation to Earth's surface cannot make the global mean surface temperature greater than -40°C.  Something else raises the surface to observed temperatures and it is not back radiation: it is the "heat creep" process that I discovered and explained to PSI members late in 2012 and wrote about in my 2013 paper using correct physics.  
Nicholas Schroeder Added Mar 26, 2018 - 10:09am
You apparently have not seen my power point on LinkedIn which explains EXACTLY what you just said about albedo and tilt, but does a much better job.
"In the early pre-dawn hours surface cooling can cease altogether..."
I trust you have data to back this up. I have studied USCRN and SURFRAD data extensively and don't see what you claim.
What I do see is a significant relationship between RH and DB. As RH goes up DB goes down. Which came first?
"If your statement were correct then the surface would keep on cooling all through the night even faster than it may have done in mid-afternoon on a hot sunny day."
The air cools rapidly once the solar heat source is removed and cools steadily thereafter - and I've got USCRN data to prove it.
These text boxes suck at scientific dialogue.
Nicholas Schroeder Added Mar 26, 2018 - 12:22pm
I find those people who name drop “entropy” do so to sound smart and impress the audience and have no idea what it means. Anyone who associates entropy with order or chaos is totally clueless.

The presence of the atmosphere/albedo cools (i.e. reduces the heating) the earth, not warms, by reflecting away 30% of the solar irradiation. No atmosphere would create thermal conditions similar to on the moon. 

The atmospheric insulating blanket creates a thermal gradient between the surface and ToA (32 km) causing the surface to be warmer than ToA. Plenty of balloon/radiosonde data show this – out to about 30 km. 

Fluctuations in the albedo, clouds, snow, ice, vegetation, etc. control the climate, CO2 hasn’t enough thermal horsepower to control anything.

From Mazria’s solar engineering handbook:
40 N lat, double panes of glass, 45 degree tilt, energy making it through at noon: 876 W/m^2.
S-B BB is 352 K, 79.6 C, 175.3 F.
Thermal conditions not just feasible, but easily verified by any solar oven or simple radiometer.
Your 168 is bogus hand wavium nonsense based on a dumb model totally disconnected from reality.