« TimesSelect to become free? | Main | 756* »

Walking Causes Global Warming?

If you're someone who cares about global warming and wants to do what you can to help reduce its impact, you'd think that walking more instead of driving would be a good thing. Well, you'd be very wrong. According to an environmentalist's calculations, walking, or any exercise for that matter, is worse for the earth than driving:

Walking does more than driving to cause global warming, a leading environmentalist has calculated.

Food production is now so energy-intensive that more carbon is emitted providing a person with enough calories to walk to the shops than a car would emit over the same distance. The climate could benefit if people avoided exercise, ate less and became couch potatoes. Provided, of course, they remembered to switch off the TV rather than leaving it on standby.

The sums were done by Chris Goodall, campaigning author of How to Live a Low-Carbon Life, based on the greenhouse gases created by intensive beef production. "Driving a typical UK car for 3 miles [4.8km] adds about 0.9 kg [2lb] of CO2 to the atmosphere," he said, a calculation based on the Government's official fuel emission figures. "If you walked instead, it would use about 180 calories. You'd need about 100g of beef to replace those calories, resulting in 3.6kg of emissions, or four times as much as driving.

"The troubling fact is that taking a lot of exercise and then eating a bit more food is not good for the global atmosphere. Eating less and driving to save energy would be better."

Mr Goodall, Green Party parliamentary candidate for Oxford West & Abingdon, is the latest serious thinker to turn popular myths about the environment on their head.

Serious thinker? And I'm Wonder Woman. I'm waiting for an environmentalist to announce that the mere act of breathing causes global warming and that we need to start holding our breath several times a day.


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/23204.

Comments (52)

Well, that's it, I was gonn... (Below threshold)

Well, that's it, I was gonna get up, but I aint goin' nowhere now.

Next thing you know, second... (Below threshold)

Next thing you know, second hand smoke will be more dangerous than smoking.

Many of these folks won't b... (Below threshold)
jaymaster:

Many of these folks won't be happy till we all tie a twelve foot rope around our neck (hemp, no doubt), and jump off a 20 foot cliff.

Any other act of man is unarguably evil.

Many stateside readers prob... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Many stateside readers probably missed one reference...

The climate could benefit if people avoided exercise, ate less and became couch potatoes. Provided, of course, they remembered to switch off the TV rather than leaving it on standby.

In the UK they passed a goofy, nanny state law saying that TV's had to have a standby mode to save electricity.

Electricity use on T.V.s soared.

The reason was simple. People used to turn the TV off when not in use, (so it burned no electricity) now they hit the standby button. -To be green don't you know-

The problem was people would never turn the TV off. They'd leave on vacation with the TV on standby.

Stupid nanny state lefties passing laws that do the exact opposite of what it was intended.... all because they think they can fix all the world's problems if only there was one more law.

Come on you guys, quit whin... (Below threshold)

Come on you guys, quit whining and just be happy that your creator saw fit to make you in the first place, you ungrateful devils! (If any of you guys has an extra large dose of melanin, please disregard the above.)

The whole idea behind biofu... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The whole idea behind biofuels is that they take up as much CO2 as burning them emits. Cattle eat biofuels and become biofuel for people. The only way Mr. Goodall's calculations can be correct is if more petroleum is burned producing and preparing the beef than is needed to drive a given distance. Even if true for beef, what about foods like potatoes?

Apart from dubious claims of global warming, renewable forms of energy have many other benefits that fully justify pursuing their development. We'll know environmentalists actually believe their claims about global warming when they start pushing for nuclear energy.

haha...Wacko enviromentalis... (Below threshold)

haha...Wacko enviromentalists will only be happy when we are all dead...except them of course.

Just on the oft chance this... (Below threshold)
marc:

Just on the oft chance this guy is a "Serious Thinker" I'm placing ALL my shoes up for bid on EBay, (sorry the "Vick Signature Series" were burned), adding more cushions to my couch, purchasing a monolith sized HDTV and buying the latest edition of "Hermits For Dummies."

And purchasing Gore carbon credits to offset the wifes job as a postwoman.

Why would you replenish you... (Below threshold)
tweell:

Why would you replenish yourself with beef exclusively? Even for us meat-greedy Americans, beef is a small part of our diet. Carbohydrates are much more efficient to produce and make up the majority of what we eat.

What about walking backward... (Below threshold)
LAB:

What about walking backwards or sideways, or on your hands? No, seriously...:p

Breathing DOES cause global... (Below threshold)
Billll Author Profile Page:

Breathing DOES cause global warming. We all emit CO2 when we breathe. I'm waiting for Mr. Goodall to set us an example by giving it up himself.

I think there actually was ... (Below threshold)
Dave:

I think there actually was a story awhile ago, or maybe it was Limbaugh talking about breathing causes global warming. I believe limbaughs comments were to the effect that since CO2 is a pollutant, we now have to regulate our breathing. He was being a smart-ass about the whole thing, but it points out the ridiculousness of all this global warming garbage.

On a similar note, what about all these cries of americans being too obese? I guess we have always been more green than we thought by being lazy and fat! Screw walking!

I just got back from Nicara... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

I just got back from Nicaragua, with an intestinal "upset," and I would like to apologize in advance for my contribution to this problem (i.e., the living as a normal human contributing to global warming or climate change, whichever occurs more frequently).

Reminds me of this serious ... (Below threshold)
Jer:

Reminds me of this serious thinker.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/4c/Ray_bolger_scarecrow.jp

Scarecrow (Ray Bolger): I haven't got a brain... only straw.

Dorothy (Judy Garland): How can you talk if you haven't got a brain?

Scarecrow: I don't know... But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking... don't they?

(I'm not going near the flying monkeys thing.)

The extra content in a hybr... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

The extra content in a hybrid car:
- high power electric motors (made from manmade powerful permanent magnets and expensive copper)
- high voltage power electronics which is actually more expensive than an engine & transmission together and process intensive to make.
- high voltage battery chalked full of nifty chemicals.

I've often wondered if the extra energy to manufacture a hybrid produces more C02 than it saves.

This is probably just a puf... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

This is probably just a puff piece to make greenies feel good about driving their SUVs.

Now they're even banning as... (Below threshold)

Now they're even banning asthma inhalers because they have CFC's and it damages the ozone. They new type of inhalers cost $30 - $60 as compared to $5 -$25 for the old style.

HayPeee-HoustonWhy... (Below threshold)
CZ:

HayPeee-Houston

Why do scientists overlook unnecissarily sweaty feet when we measure manmade impact on climate change?

Sweaty feet (stinkfoot) may account for climate change more than we know since scientists have not yet factored-in the impact of foot perspiration and the residual CO2 evaporation rate against the undeniable manmade global temperature increase.

Women and children will suffer most!

This may change soon due to funding provided by the PCPSC (Podiatrical Coalition to Prevent Stinkfoot Greenhouse Gasses).

Did you know almost each person on the planet has more than one foot?

Did you know that almost each and every individual contributes twice the footborne CO2 gasses than those who have one foot or less?

As Oprah may say,"Don't take off your socks and pantyhose peeeoooopleeeeeee!

As Michael Jackson once said,"It's just crazy what they say about me, Oprah!"

As Orenthal James will say,"FORE!"

As Albert Sharpton has said,"Uhhh...uhh...uh...you know"

When Sean Penn made sense he may have said, "Gnarly!"

My brother once told me, "don't shoot yourself in the foot".

I say, "Don't cut off your foot to spite your face!"

I don't intend to run all t... (Below threshold)

I don't intend to run all the numbers, but the guy's theory is entirely plausible. Remember that food entails the use of one heckuva lotta stuff that releases CO2. Fertilizers and pesticides must be produced, transported, and applied, for example, before any food is produced at all.

As to the questions of different foods: well, yeah, meat always takes more to produce because you have to also produce feed. But any attempted scientific evaluation would use the average person's diet in the post-industrial nations as the benchmark, so it's not really relevant.

The real point is there are always consequences to actions, and many of them are unintended. Frequently we use more energy trying to be "green" than we did before we thought about it.

The whole cloth diaper nonsense is a good example. Laundering diapers uses FAR more energy than disposables, and there is NO danger of overcrowding landfills. Sometimes using "plastic" is better for the environment than using "natural" products.

But the "environmentalists" have never worried about such things. For most of them it is either a mindset of "natural = good; man-made = bad" or else they are just looking for a reason to give government more authority over private persons and property - the "watermelon environmentalists," who are green on the outside, but red through and through.

As someone pointed out, the... (Below threshold)

As someone pointed out, the key here is the assumption of the all beef diet. Beef production is much more emissions intensive than just about any other type of food production because a) the cow had to live for a few years, exhaling CO2 all the time, not to mention expelling methane; b) the amount of food the cow had to consume over its lifespan dwarfs the amount of calories returned by the final beef product; and c) slaying, processing, inspection, transport, storage, and packaging of the meat takes more energy than it would for most other foods. So, what this article is really saying is that becoming a vegan is probably more effective in reducing emissions than walking when you could drive. This article reports on exactly the same topic, but, for the most part, draws the correct conclusions that it is the beef that is the culprit, not the walking. Focusing on the walking is like saying that walking a mile costs more than taking a taxi, if you simply assume that all fluid volume lost during the walk MUST be replaced at the end with Dom Perignon.

If you prefer a little harder science, I recommend this paper.

It seems perfectly clear th... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

It seems perfectly clear that the only solution is a nihilistic global war to put the numbers back in order. It's the only responsible thing to do.

I am a regular reader of yo... (Below threshold)
Tom:

I am a regular reader of your article. And I am very impress with your blog upon Global Warming. Now I am also write a blog upon effects and causes of Global Warming. This blog is collection of news & reviews like the study found that global warming since 1985 has been caused neither by an increase in solar radiation nor by a decrease in the flux of galactic cosmic rays. Some researchers had also suggested that the latter might influence global warming because the rays trigger cloud formation.

Tom,This ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Tom,

This blog is collection of news & reviews like the study found that global warming since 1985 has been caused neither by an increase in solar radiation nor by a decrease in the flux of galactic cosmic rays.

The so-called studies that show no change in the flux of cosmic rays use the data from Climax station neutron monitor in Colorado. That station has a vertical cutoff rigidity of over 2.5 Gev. That means it cannot detect any cosmic rays with energies below that value, and other limitations in neutron monitors limits their upper detection energy to 20 Gev. The energy spectrum of interplanetary cosmic rays spans over 14 orders of magnitude from 10^6 eV to over 10^20 eV. The neutron monitor cited as proof of no long term trend in cosmic ray flux covers less than 20% of one order of magnitude. That's like monitoring the visible light spectrum and claiming there's no directional variation in light in the night sky. It's bunk and it demonstrates there are non-scientific motives involved in such assertions.

I'm not gaining weight - </... (Below threshold)

I'm not gaining weight -

I'm sequestering carbon!

(for the children!)

Tom, changing your mind wou... (Below threshold)
kim:

Tom, changing your mind would be more effective than changing your name.
=================

Walking and eating cause gl... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Walking and eating cause global warming ? So carrying this to its logical conclusion - the best thing one can do for Gaia is die ? I'll pass.

Mac Lorry,What is ... (Below threshold)

Mac Lorry,

What is the preferred source of cosmic ray data that covers the entire (or at least much larger) spectrum? Is there a data set available online?

I have abetter idea how abo... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

I have abetter idea how about if all those eco-wackos put some DUCT TAPE over their mouths that would realy go a long way to cut down on all that HOT AIR

Ok all You whacko leftist k... (Below threshold)
914:

Ok all You whacko leftist kooks out there..do Your part!
1-2-3 quit breathing.

Planet Earth: "Ahh thank You My children."

The greenhouse effect is as... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The greenhouse effect is assumed and quantified from a discrepancy between the calculated average temperature of the Earth and the actual average temperature. Those calculations treat the Earth as a black body with a fixed absorptivity and emissivity. However, it's now apparent that the absorptivity of the Earth by day is higher than its emissivity by night. It's that difference in daytime absorptivity and nighttime emissivity that explains some if not all the discrepancy between the calculated and the measured temperature of the Earth.

Here's how the absorptivity and emissivity shift from day to night. By day the surface of the earth absorbs light converting it to heat. Some of that heat is transferred to the atmosphere by conduction and convection. For example, a surface gets hot in the Sun and air in contact with it get's hot, expands, and rises, which draws cooler air onto the hot surface. Larger upward flows are called thermals and are used by birds and hang gliders to gain altitude. By the end of the day there's lots of heat stored in the atmosphere.

The atmosphere is mostly Nitrogen and Oxygen which are transparent to visible and infrared light. According to Kirchhoff's law of thermal radiation, a material that's transparent to visible and infrared light can neither absorb nor radiate those wavelengths of light. Thus, most of the heat contained in the atmosphere cannot radiate away into space at night. The Earth (surface and atmosphere) is more effective at absorbing radiation than it is at emitting radiation. The result is a higher average temperature than can be explained using a constant absorptivity / emissivity value.

Place a chunk of silicon in the sunlight and it will get hotter than a perfect black body. That's because silicon has a high absorptivity at visible wavelengths (appears black), but is transparent to infrared light. The silicon absorbs most of the sunlight and get's hot, but it can't radiate at infrared wavelengths, so it gets even hotter. That's why selective absorptivity / emissivity materials like silicon are used in advanced solar collectors. It looks like the Earth's surface / atmosphere acts like a selective surface because of the day / night cycle.

The assumption that some greenhouse effect is required to explain the discrepancy in calculated vs. measured temperature is likely wrong, at least in part.

What is the prefe... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
What is the preferred source of cosmic ray data that covers the entire (or at least much larger) spectrum? Is there a data set available online?

There's satellite data, but I don't know if it's online or, if so, where it's at. It's up to people publishing studies saying there's no long term trend in cosmic ray flux to use all available data. I only need to point out they haven't done so to call these studies into question.

CERN is currently doing the CLOUD experiments to measure the cloud forming effect of cosmic rays with energies up to about 10^12 Gev on the atmosphere at different altitudes, temperatures, and compositions. As you can see there are many combinations, and thus, the results won't be available until 2010. Only a psychic or a fool would predict the outcome of such experiments before they are run.

YOU MEAN TO SAY EVERYTIME W... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

YOU MEAN TO SAY EVERYTIME WE GO OUTSIDE TO WAKLK OR RUN WERE CUASING GLOBAL WARMING? IN THAT CASE THEN IT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED EONS AGO WHEN WE WALKED A LOT. CRAZY INSANE WACKO LIBERAL GREEN NUTS CASES

Mac Lorry, not to mention t... (Below threshold)

Mac Lorry, not to mention the possibility that the earth is currently in a heat balancing situation, one where the surface temperature of the earth hasn't reached steady state. (as in the temperature rises, the rate of heat transfer from the core to the surface slows, so the surface cools, and by cooling the rate of heat transfer increases again).

Mac Lorry,I believ... (Below threshold)

Mac Lorry,

I believe that the flaw in your argument is the contention that "According to Kirchhoff's law of thermal radiation, a material that's transparent to visible and infrared light can neither absorb nor radiate those wavelengths of light. Thus, most of the heat contained in the atmosphere cannot radiate away into space at night."

The first part is correct. The O2 and N2 in the atmosphere cannot absorb or radiate infrared radiation. The radiation passes these particles as if they weren't there and exits to space. It doesn't need the O2 or N2 to radiate it. It's already been radiated from the surface of the earth and it will require something to stop it to keep it from radiating into space. The only thing that stops the infrared radiation being put out by the earth from going into space is encountering a particle that can absorb it like O3, H2O, or CO2. As a totally side point, Venus, where the atmosphere is mainly CO2, clearly illustrates the efficacy of the greenhouse effect, getting hotter than Mercury and having a surface temperature that will melt lead.

As for the cloud formation from cosmic rays, I agree that this is important research that will tell us a lot about the atmosphere and climate. However, as far as correlation is concerned, I would think that it is incumbent upon someone who wishes to use this as an explanation for currently observed warming to show the correlation. Simply saying the correlation isn't disproven because there might be better data out there is rather unconvincing.

Nile River levels and auror... (Below threshold)
kim:

Nile River levels and aurora borealis have been correlated over fairly long time spans. The price of bread was famously correlated with either northern lights or sunspots. I'm looking for cricket chirping records in Chinese monasteries.
==================

Kim,It's often dif... (Below threshold)

Kim,

It's often difficult to decipher your cryptic comments. If you're saying that correlation does not imply causation, you're clearly correct. However, it going to be hard to argue causation without at least having correlation. If you claim that a result has a specific cause, but the result is occurring and the cause is not, then the case is rather badly blown.

Joe,It do... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Joe,

It doesn't need the O2 or N2 to radiate it. It's already been radiated from the surface of the earth and it will require something to stop it to keep it from radiating into space.

You're missing the point. The atmosphere gains heat during the day through conduction and convection, but most of that heat (in the atmosphere, not in the surface) is prevented from escaping into space because the atmosphere is mostly infrared transparent. By morning, the system (atmosphere and surface) start with more heat than they would if the atmosphere had not sequestered heat during the night.

Also, the process of a warmer surface conducting and converting heat to a colder atmosphere is more efficient than the reverse. When the atmosphere is warmer than the surface, air in contact with the ground cools, contracts, and because it can't fall away, forms a thin layer that insolates air higher up from the cold ground. Wind, of course, causes mixing and that's why the first frosts of the fall season occur on calm nights.

Consider also that the more gases like CO2 and H2O that exist in the lower atmosphere the more heat the atmosphere radiates into space at night. Yes, these gases also absorb infrared from the surface and re-radiate it in all directions, but they also gain heat through conduction with oxygen and nitrogen and radiate away heat that would otherwise be sequestered in the atmosphere. Water, of course, is the most confounding factor because it changes state within the Earth's normal temperature range. Not only do these state changes absorb and release tremendous amounts of energy, clouds can warm or cool the Earth depending on the time of day, their altitude, and droplet size.

The point I want to make is the shifting absorptivity / emissivity of the Earth's atmosphere / surface over the day / night cycle exists and tends to warm the Earth. The more so-called greenhouse gases the atmosphere contains the less effective that system is. How much warming that system contributes is unknown, but predicting the effect of increasing greenhouse gases is not possible without taking it into account. I suspect that's why the predictions of the GCM's are so wrong; they're missed a major heat sequestering mechanism. The Earth's climate is more complicated than anyone every thought.

Mac Lorry,While co... (Below threshold)

Mac Lorry,

While conduction and convection certianly play their part in heating the atmosphere, most of the gained warmth is lost through infrared radiation given off by what absorbed the heat from the visible light in the first place, the earth's surface. As you note, the "infrared transparent" N2 and O2 do nothing to stop this radiation on the way out any more than they did to stop the visible light radiation on the way in. The greenhouse gases can absorb some of this radiation and retain more of it (obviously some is still lost to re-radiation to space) than would otherwise be possible.

I am interested in where you got this idea. Is there any scientific paper supporting this theory for the workings of the atmosphere, or is this simply a case where you believe that you have it right and every climate scientist in the world has it wrong. Not to mention that the recent evidence is that adding CO2 to the atmosphere has warmed the earth, not made the process of sequestering heat less efficient. Not to mention my previous, obvious extreme example of Venus, which you did not address.

Joe,You keep missi... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Joe,

You keep missing a vital point. The air itself retains or holds heat.. The air's heat energy is not lost to space through radiation because 99% of the air is transparent to infrared, and thus, cannot radiate it. The heat is sequestered and kept from radiating into space. When the surface cools at night the heat energy is transferred back to the surface by conduction, convection and wind. Yes, the surface will then radiate that heat energy away, but the equilibrium point is at a higher temperature than it would be without this effect. Thus, this effect raises the average temperature of the Earth as compared to a black body. That difference (actual vs. calculated) has been attributed to the greenhouse effect, but this effect is also in play and accounts for some part of the increased temperature and maybe most of it. So how much heat energy can the infrared transparent gases in the atmosphere retain? You can look it all up yourself, but here are my quick calculations:

The specific heat capacity per gram is 0.918 for Oxygen and 1.040 for Nitrogen. Air is 78.084 % Nitrogen and 20.946% Oxygen. Thus, over 99% of the Earth's atmosphere has an average specific heat capacity of 1.01 per gram. More than 90% of the mass of the atmosphere is in the Troposphere, which is lowest layer of the atmosphere. The total mean mass of the atmosphere is 5.1480x10^18 kg. Given the specific heat capacity of liquid water that means the heat capacity of the Troposphere is equivalent to 1,119,000,000,000,000 cubic meters of water. That's 268,462 cubic miles of water. That would be a lake 518 miles long by 518 miles wide by 1 mile deep.

You still think there's no heat contained in the atmosphere? Heat that can't escape into space except by intermixing with gases like CO2 and H2O or by warming the surface.

Not to mention my previous, obvious extreme example of Venus, which you did not address.

CO2 is transparent to Infrared at far more wavelengths than it absorbs. Thus, I could use Venus as an example of shifting absorptivity / emissivity in explaining the high temperature of Venus.

I am interested in where you got this idea. Is there any scientific paper supporting this theory for the workings of the atmosphere, or is this simply a case where you believe that you have it right and every climate scientist in the world has it wrong.

I didn't make it up. I got if from this paper.

Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2
Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics

Although not the main premise of this paper, they lay the groundwork for the shifting absorptivity / emissivity model. I just translated it to simpler (non-calculus) terms.

As for the basis for the Sun/cosmic rays/clouds effect, see my
post
from July 30, 2007

Not to mention that the recent evidence is that adding CO2 to the atmosphere has warmed the earth, not made the process of sequestering heat less efficient.

You're confusing correlation with causation. In fact, historically C02 concentrations don't correlate at all with temperature. Considered the little ice age of the 1700's the medieval and Roman warm periods. Ice core data also shows warming leads CO2 increases rather than follows them. Thus it's the warming that causes the increase in CO2, not the other way around. The shifting absorptivity / emissivity model explains why there was no run-away effect. The CO2 actually countered the warming. The Earth's climate is more complicated than anyone every thought.

Joe, What I descri... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Joe,

What I describe as the shifting absorptivity/emissivity was experimentally determined 98 years ago. Here's the relevant part.

Is it therefore necessary to pay attention to trapped radiation in deducing the temperature of a planet as affected by its atmosphere? The solar rays penetrate the atmosphere, warm the ground which in turn warms the atmosphere by contact and by convection currents. The heat received is thus stored up in the atmosphere, remaining there on account of the very low radiating power of a gas. It seems to me very doubtful if the atmosphere is warmed to any great extent by absorbing the radiation from the ground, even under the most favourable conditions."

R. W. Wood, \Note on the Theory of the Greenhouse", Philosophical magazine 17 319-320 (1909)

As to increased CO2 causing cooling, Professor Ellsaesser of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories is quoted as saying that back in 1984.

In a recent paper [1] on the effects of carbon dioxide, Professor Ellsaesser of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, a major US research establishment in California, concluded that a doubling of carbon dioxide would have little or no effect on the temperature at the surface and, if anything, might cause the surface to cool."

[1] H. W. Elsaesser, \The Climate Effect of CO2: A Different View", Atmos. Env. 18, 431-434 (1984)

Human Caused Global Warming (HCGW) is being pushed for political reasons under the guise of science. Many "environmental" types don't like the modern energy intensive throw away lifestyle found in developed nations. Other's don't like the discrepancy between the wealth of the first world and the poverty of the third world. These types see HCGW as a means of gaining sufficient political power to effect change. That is, they want the power to impose their beliefs on the rest of the world. They fear nothing so much as the on-going scientific inquire into the cause of climate change. That's why they say the science is settled, label those with other views "deniers", and seek to cut funding for scientific research that doesn't parrot the HCGW line. Are you part of that bunch?

from DailyTech.com... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

from DailyTech.com

"..NASA has now silently released corrected figures, and the changes are truly astounding. The warmest year on record is now 1934. 1998 (long trumpeted by the media as record-breaking) moves to second place. 1921 takes third. In fact, 5 of the 10 warmest years on record now all occur before World War II. Anthony Watts has put the new data in chart form, along with a more detailed summary of the events.

The effect of the correction on global temperatures is minor (some 1-2% less warming than originally thought), but the effect on the US global warming propaganda machine could be huge.

Then again-- maybe not. I strongly suspect this story will receive little to no attention from the mainstream media."

Les,This is just U... (Below threshold)

Les,

This is just US data. Globally, the warmest year on record is still 1998.

In fact, 5 of the 10 warmest years on record now all occur before World War II.
This was almost true before this update (5 of the top 11 were before our involvement in WWII). The years and old/new values are shown below:

1921 --- 1.12 --- 1.15
1931 --- 1.08 --- 1.08
1934 --- 1.23 --- 1.25
1938 --- 0.85 --- 0.86
1939 --- 0.84 --- 0.85

Mac Lorry,You k... (Below threshold)

Mac Lorry,

You keep missing a vital point. The air itself retains or holds heat.. The air's heat energy is not lost to space through radiation because 99% of the air is transparent to infrared, and thus, cannot radiate it.
Yes the atmosphere itself holds heat, whether it gained this heat through convection, conduction, or radiation, it does indeed hold heat. No disagreement there. And it can pass it back to the surface through convection, conduction, or radiation (for those particles capable of the latter).

The point of contention seems to be your second sentence. Let's assume that the earth itself is giving off energy as infrared radiation. It radiates it out in all directions, into the atmosphere towards space. When radiation encounters something that is transparent to it (say visible light to clear glass) what happens? It passes through with no effect. That's what happens with all the infrared radiation that is radiated from the earth when it encounters N2 and O2. On the other hand, when it encounters H2O, CO2, or some other greenhouse gas that can absorb the radiation, it does not continue on, and adds to the energy (heat) of that molecule.

Heat that can't escape into space except by intermixing with gases like CO2 and H2O or by warming the surface.
So, in your reality, if the earth's atmosphere was 100% N2, no heat could ever escape? Does this sound even a little bit silly to you? On the contrary, my position is that a pure N2 atmosphere could hold whatever heat it gained through convection and conduction, but any radiative heat from the earth would be lost back to space very quickly. Such a world would be cooler than our own, on average, by a significant margin.

As to Venus, you try and make the case that CO2 could be responsible for "shifting absorptivity / emissivity" even though you then go on to claim in the same post that "The CO2 actually countered the warming" on Earth. So, we're to believe that on Venus, a largely CO2 atmosphere causes a surface temperature that can melt lead and creates your absorptivity/emissivity effect much better than the atmosphere here on earth, while, at the same time increasing the relative CO2 concentration in earth's atmosphere actually causes cooling? Riiiiight.

As for correlation/causation, there is no confusion. As I pointed out in an earlier post, your preferred explanation of cosmic rays for recent warming can't even show correlation in the last 30 years. And while correlation does not imply causation, it is a necessary pre-requisite. I looked at your previous post, but the solar flares and solar activity in general has been very regular during the most dramatic warming in the period since 1975.

As for history, this is the first time that man has actually been driving a non-natural CO2 change. In other cases, the CO2 rise certainly followed other events that were causing warming and thus causing CO2 to rise as the ocean warms. But there is no reason to believe that the CO2 then countered the warming. On the contrary, given the other forcings, it would be very difficult to explain the temperatures reached if the CO2 did not reinforce the temperature rise.

Joe,The p... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Joe,

The point of contention seems to be your second sentence. Let's assume that the earth itself is giving off energy as infrared radiation. It radiates it out in all directions, into the atmosphere towards space. When radiation encounters something that is transparent to it (say visible light to clear glass) what happens? It passes through with no effect. That's what happens with all the infrared radiation that is radiated from the earth when it encounters N2 and O2. On the other hand, when it encounters H2O, CO2, or some other greenhouse gas that can absorb the radiation, it does not continue on, and adds to the energy (heat) of that molecule.

Infrared radiation from a warm surface does heat gases like H2O, CO2, which in turn radiate that heat away as infrared. They do not trap the heat. The idea that some of that re-radiated infrared warms the surface is wrong as it violates the second law of thermodynamics. Besides you have to consider the incoming sunlight which is made up of the following spectrum.

Ultraviolet, Wavelength 0-380 nm, Portion 10.0%
Visible, Wavelength 380 - 760 nm, Portion 44.8%
Infrared, Wavelength 760 - infinite nm, Portion 45.2%

A larger portion of the incoming sunlight lies in the infrared range than in the visible range. Gases like H2O, CO2 in the upper atmosphere absorb some of that light, and thus, reduce the amount of light falling on the surface. Having a warm stratosphere does nothing for warming the surface. Near the surface, gases like H2O, CO2 absorb some of that infrared light and do warm the surface, but not any more than if the light they absorb were left to impact the surface. There's no known mechanism in physics by which infrared absorbing gases can warm the surface of the Earth. However, the warming effect of infrared transparent gases is well known and has been experimentally verified.

Heat that can't escape into space except by intermixing with gases like CO2 and H2O or by warming the surface.

So, in your reality, if the earth's atmosphere was 100% N2, no heat could ever escape? Does this sound even a little bit silly to you?

Note the word "except" in my statement. If the earth's atmosphere was 100% N2 heat would escape "by warming the surface". Note that at the beginning of my post I stated "The heat is sequestered and kept from radiating into space. When the surface cools at night the heat energy is transferred back to the surface by conduction, convection and wind. Yes, the surface will then radiate that heat energy away, but the equilibrium point is at a higher temperature than it would be without this effect." How is it that you arrive at the conclusion that "no heat could ever escape"?

On the contrary, my position is that a pure N2 atmosphere could hold whatever heat it gained through convection and conduction, but any radiative heat from the earth would be lost back to space very quickly. Such a world would be cooler than our own, on average, by a significant margin.

Glad to see you now accept that infrared transparent gases can sequester heat. How much of the missing 33° C it's responsible for is currently unknown, but it's some amount and it could be most of it. None of the GCM's consider it at all, and thus, are wrong by default. Should we then set into law potentially economically costly policies based on known wrong predictions of the GCM's?

As to Venus, you try and make the case that CO2 could be responsible for "shifting absorptivity / emissivity" even though you then go on to claim in the same post that "The CO2 actually countered the warming" on Earth.

You'ar not thinking before you write. On Earth the atmosphere is made up of 99% infrared transparent gases so their ability to sequester heat is greater than that of CO2. Thus, adding CO2 to Earth's atmosphere reduces it's ability to sequester heat and causes cooling. On Venus, you have an atmosphere of over 96% CO2 and at 91 times the pressure of Earth. Venus is also significantly closer to the Sun than Earth, and thus, receives lots more sunlight. While not as effective at sequestering heat as nitrogen and oxygen, this much CO2, which is mostly transparent to infrared, raises the surface temperature to the levels seen under the intense sunlight striking Venus. It does this by sequestering heat, not by trapping infrared.

I looked at your previous post, but the solar flares and solar activity in general has been very regular during the most dramatic warming in the period since 1975.

You got to be joking. You dismiss my link to the Cambridge Conference
Correspondence from 2003
which reviewed seven peer reviewed scientific studies that find a doubling in the Sun's magnetic activity over the last 40 years by posting links to an unattributed chart that looks like the Climax data that has already been debunked and another chart that shows a warming. There's nothing in the second chart to indicate the cause. The HCGW bunch wants to link warming with increased CO2, but there is no evidence to support that assertion. The GCM's are not evidence.

In other cases, the CO2 rise certainly followed other events that were causing warming and thus causing CO2 to rise as the ocean warms. But there is no reason to believe that the CO2 then countered the warming.

First, these past warming show there is some other mechanism besides greenhouse gases at work in causing global warming. There's no evidence to suggest that mechanism is not responsible for the current warming. Second, the reason to believe CO2 counters warming is solidly based in Physics as Professor Ellsaesser and others have explained in detail.

The idea that some... (Below threshold)
The idea that some of that re-radiated infrared warms the surface is wrong as it violates the second law of thermodynamics.
No, it doesn't for two reasons. First, just as the atmosphere can return heat to the surface by conduction, it can also do so by radiation. Second, a CO2 molecule has no idea what direction it is radiating energy in. If it is radiating infrared toward the earth, that will be absorbed by the Earth. Of course, the earth is radiating out infrared radiation at the same time. If the overall radiation being absorbed is greater than the amount being radiated out, then the earth warms, if it's less than the earth cools (thus the second law is upheld because the net heat flow is from warm to cool). But even if it's cooling, it won't be cooling as fast as it would have been if there is more infrared radiation coming in as opposed to less, because the net flow is reduced.

As for the incident light and infrared radiation, your percentages are accurate, but they ignore one big thing. Infrared radiation covers a large band of wavelengths. Some of the wavelengths can be absorbed by greenhouse gases and some cannot. The sun's infrared radiation is on the shorter end; the earth's is on the longer end. Looking at the actual breakdown of the wavelengths, you'll see that CO2 absorbs virtually none of the incident solar radiation, but has a significant absorption band in the infrared radiation from the cooler earth.

There's no known mechanism in physics by which infrared absorbing gases can warm the surface of the Earth. However, the warming effect of infrared transparent gases is well known and has been experimentally verified.
I think I dealt with this above, but there are a lot of misconceptions in one place, so let's readdress. First, an greenhouse gas can warm the earth by conduction, just like a non-greenhouse gas. It's the non-greenhouse gases that absorb more of the reflected energy from the Earth and therefore have more energy to impart back to the surface via radiation or conduction. The non-greenhouse gases only get energy through conduction/convection, since they are transparent to the visible light and the infrared radition, so they have less to transmit to any other source.
Note the word "except" in my statement. If the earth's atmosphere was 100% N2 heat would escape "by warming the surface".
I was unclear on this point. When I spoke of "escaping", I meant the entire planetary environment, not just the atmosphere. If you're returning heat to the surface of the Earth, it isn't leaving Earth. So, how does it ever get out of the system completely in your system?


Glad to see you now accept that infrared transparent gases can sequester heat.

Check the first line of post #38. You'll see my position has not changed.

On Venus, you have an atmosphere of over 96% CO2 and at 91 times the pressure of Earth. Venus is also significantly closer to the Sun than Earth, and thus, receives lots more sunlight.
Ah, but you're forgetting albedo. Because Venus' atmosphere is much more reflective than Earth's, the amount of sunlight actually reaching the planet is significantly less than that of Earth.
posting links to an unattributed chart that looks like the Climax data that has already been debunked and another chart that shows a warming. There's nothing in the second chart to indicate the cause.
It's strange that you would think that the chart that I linked to was based on the Climax data, since it has nothing to do with cosmic rays (at least not directly). The irradiance figures come from here. The sunspot data from here. As for the second chart, I was merely including that to show the lack of correlation between solar flares (agreed to be a good proxy for the Sun's magnetic field even by your sources) and the current temperature rise.


First, these past warming show there is some other mechanism besides greenhouse gases at work in causing global warming.

What these show is that there are other mechanisms by which global warming can occur. No one that I know of has ever argued otherwise. But, in order to attribute current warming to another mechanism, you have to see whether or not that is occurring.

Of course, there is one easy way to see the influence of greenhouse gases on the Earth's atmosphere. You can look at the infrared emissions from the Earth itself as recorded from space. If there are dips where the graphs would normally show wavelengths of infrared that are radiated by CO2/H20 etc, then it should be clear that a) that radiation is being absorbed by those compounds, and b) that they are not simply re-radiating the radiation they absorb into space. And that is exactly what we see. Further, as this paper shows, the changes of the spectra indicate that this was having a greater effect over time as greenhouse gas concentration increased.

Joe,No, i... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Joe,

No, it doesn't for two reasons. First, just as the atmosphere can return heat to the surface by conduction, it can also do so by radiation. Second, a CO2 molecule has no idea what direction it is radiating energy in. If it is radiating infrared toward the earth, that will be absorbed by the Earth.

This is the part where lots of people get confused. The second law of thermodynamics can be expressed in English a number of ways, but they have all been rigorously proven to be the same thing. The expression that's most relevant here is that heat cannot transfer from a colder region to a warmer region with work being done. This law applies to transfer by radiation as well as conduction. The layer of greenhouse gases said to cause warming are in the stratosphere and are colder than most of the earth's surface most of the time. While the gas radiates infrared in all directions, there can be no transfer of heat to any surface warmer than the gas.

I know that's hard to understand, but light has some strange properties. For example, light can act as a particle when it's detected as a particle and act like a wave when it's detected like a wave. Now here's the strange part. When light from a distant galaxy is observed passing near a large mass between that galaxy and Earth, light as waves will be refracted by the gravitational lens, but light as particles won't be refracted. The gravitational lens is millions of light-years away and the difference in the length of two light paths is more than 50 light-years. When light is sent through apparatus on Earth that detects it as waves it can be seen to have taken one path. When light is sent through apparatus on Earth that detects it as particles it can be seen to have taken the other path. How can this be? The answer from our current understanding of quantum mechanics is that the light takes all possible paths, and one path is materialized only when the light is detected. It's insane, but that's the realm of quantum mechanics. In the same way, when light from an object strikes another object, no energy is transferred unless the generating object is warmer than the receiving object. To be clear, this only applies to absorption; reflection is another thing entirely.

Think what would happen if cold matter could transfer energy to warm matter. The cold matter would get colder and the warm matter would get hotter. What would regulate this movement of heat? You could then create an engine to use the difference in heat and just have that heat flow back from colder to warmer. Of course this violates the conservation of energy.

Looking at the actual breakdown of the wavelengths, you'll see that CO2 absorbs virtually none of the incident solar radiation, but has a significant absorption band in the infrared radiation from the cooler earth.

First thing is that the chart you link to is grossly inaccurate in scale. Being we are concerned with heating it's the energy level that's importing. The energy level of the incoming sunlight is at least an order of magnitude greater than the infrared emitted by the surface. Regardless, note that water vapor overlaps most of the C02 absorbing. Also, the amount of energy that's absorbed by any given layer of gas is directly proportional to it's mass. Over 90% of the atmosphere's mass is in the Troposphere, and 50% is within 5 km of the surface. Water vapor, absorbs 80% of the infrared emitted from the surface within the first 30 feet, and by 300 feet, 90% has been absorbed. By the time you get to the stratosphere there's nearly nothing left in the wavelengths CO2 can absorb. This can be seen by the fact the that stratosphere is coldest nearest the Earth and warmest at the top where it's being heated by U.V.

It's the non-greenhouse gases that absorb more of the reflected energy from the Earth and therefore have more energy to impart back to the surface via radiation or conduction. The non-greenhouse gases only get energy through conduction/convection, since they are transparent to the visible light and the infrared radition, so they have less to transmit to any other source.

Even when the air is warmer than the ground and radiation from the greenhouse gases can be imparted to the ground, these gases also radiate half of that energy into colder layers above and eventually into space. The non-greenhouse gases hold their heat until it can be imparted to the ground through conduction, convention and wind (not quite the same as convention) That's why greenhouse gases cause cooling.

If you're returning heat to the surface of the Earth, it isn't leaving Earth. So, how does it ever get out of the system completely in your system?

Here's the same answer that has been in my last two posts "The heat is sequestered and kept from radiating into space. When the surface cools at night the heat energy is transferred back to the surface by conduction, convection and wind. Yes, the surface will then radiate that heat energy away, but the equilibrium point is at a higher temperature than it would be without this effect." Note the part in bold.

Ah, but you're forgetting albedo. Because Venus' atmosphere is much more reflective than Earth's, the amount of sunlight actually reaching the planet is significantly less than that of Earth.

Ah, but you're forgetting light energy falls off at the square of the distance. On average Venus is 66,782,651 miles from the Sun compared to Earth at 94,509,130 miles. Do the math and you will find that Venus receives twice as much light as Earth. The albedo of Venus is 0.65 compared to 0. 367 for Earth. For Venus 0.35 (1-0.65) of the sunlight times twice the total amount is 0.7. For Earth 0.633 (1-0.367) times one is 0.633. Thus, more light penetrates Venus than Earth. Your conjecture that less sunlight reaches Venus than Earth is wrong.

It's strange that you would think that the chart that I linked to was based on the Climax data, since it has nothing to do with cosmic rays (at least not directly).

Ok, I missed that. The sunspot data looks a lot like the Cosmic Ray data, and it was the Sun/cosmic ray/cloud effect that we were taking about. It's the sun's magnetic activity, not it's irradiance that's important to that effect. The link I posted gave strong evidence that the Sun's magnetic activity has doubled in the last 40 years. There are many aspects to the Sun's magnetic activity and flares are just a small part.

What these show is that there are other mechanisms by which global warming can occur. No one that I know of has ever argued otherwise. But, in order to attribute current warming to another mechanism, you have to see whether or not that is occurring.

Well the existence of a climate changing mechanism that operates about one cycle per thousand years is hotly disputed. The existence of such a natural mechanism destroys the conjecture that the current warming is unnatural, and thus, must have an unnatural cause. Understanding that mechanism is secondary as it's existence is all that needs to be proved to disprove the human caused global warming conjecture. That's why it's existence is hotly disputed.

Of course, there is one easy way to see the influence of greenhouse gases on the Earth's atmosphere. You can look at the infrared emissions from the Earth itself as recorded from space.

Well every planet has a spectrum and the next chart in the series you linked to shows a comparison of several planets. Within the temperature range of the Earth, the spectrum of a given gas does not change with temperature, and intensity only changes with quantity. Thus the paper you linked to shows that there has been a change in the quantity of various greenhouse gases, but we know that by taking direct samples of the air. The key is does an increase in these gases mean they are causing global warming. Well the paper itself states that "Although these strongly affect the OLR the atmospheric temperature and humidity response cannot be unequivocally determined owing to the snapshot nature of the observations." Even if that were not the case, you still only have a correlation, not a cause and effect.

As Dr. Wood proved experimentally in 1909, not even a real greenhouse works by trapping infrared radiation. There's no study or experiments that derives the greenhouse effect from first principles. It simply was asserted for lack of another explanation, but the explanation fully supported by the laws of physics is now known. However, as has been the case in the past, It's going to take some time to undue the runaway inertia of a wrong idea.

Should be: "heat cannot tr... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Should be: "heat cannot transfer from a colder region to a warmer region without work being done." That is, external work is needed to move heat from a colder region to a warmer region. It doesn't happen on it's own.

I don't have time for a ful... (Below threshold)

I don't have time for a full response tonight, but I am intrigued by your quantum mechanics theory stated,

"that's the realm of quantum mechanics. In the same way, when light from an object strikes another object, no energy is transferred unless the generating object is warmer than the receiving object."
I'm really interested to read the original statement of this specific theory. Of course, I'm not speaking of quantum mechanics in general and wave versus particle theory. That's old hat. I would like to see the in depth scientific discussion of the second law of thermodynamics and how quantum mechanics causes radiation/photons to arrive at a destination and be reflected and not absorbed.

Also, please note that my post above was very clear in noting that the net movement of heat was always from warmer to cooler. Therefore, cooler objects can't heat warmer objects under either of our representations of the mechanics of the Second Law. Mine just allows that energy is transferred in both directions, but that the transfer of energy from X to Y is always greater than Y to X where X is the warmer object.

Forget radiation for the moment, let's just talk about conduction. Assume that thre are five particles of an atomic gas around a metal rod. One of the particles is at energy 2X, the other four at 1/2 X, so the average energy (temperature) for the gas as a whole is 4/5 X. The bar is at temperature X, so it has a higher temperature than the gas system. However, if the particle at 2X strikes the bar, it will lose energy. When we consider it as a system to itself, its temperature is 2X, so it can impart heat to the bar. However, the other gas particles gain energy by interacting with the bar, since their temperature is less. The overall gas system interacting with the bar is going to gain energy through interacting with the bar, so in that instance, heat moves from warmer (the bar) to cooler (the gas) as well.

Joe,I'm r... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Joe,

I'm really interested to read the original statement of this specific theory. Of course, I'm not speaking of quantum mechanics in general and wave versus particle theory. That's old hat. I would like to see the in depth scientific discussion of the second law of thermodynamics and how quantum mechanics causes radiation/photons to arrive at a destination and be reflected and not absorbed.

Well I don't have the link handy, but I can provide a link that states in detail that the second law of thermodynamics (first stated in the 1800's) can be derived from modern quantum mechanics. Because the second law of thermodynamics is in reality a quantum law, scale is important. There are violations of the second law at very small scales and fractions of a second, but human scale violations have never been verified. If you Google the second law of thermodynamics you find lots of challenges, but the serious ones concern strange things that only take place at small scales.

Apart form that you can conclude from your own experience that photons from a lower temperature object cannot be absorbed by a higher temperature object. If that were not so there would be human scale examples of colder objects getting spontaneously colder as they give up their heat to warmer objects. Likewise, there would be human scale examples of warm objects getting spontaneously warmer by absorbing heat from colder objects. There would be no need to turn the oven on to bake a cake, just put it in and it would get hot as the oven walls got colder. Obviously that doesn't happen, but the walls of a cold oven do give off photons and some of those photons do impact the cake pan. If the cake pan is at the same temperature or warmer than the oven walls, the photons from the walls do not transfer heat to it. You know this to be true from your own experience and what's true in your oven is true at all scales above a few atoms.

Either quantum mechanics, the most successful theory in science, is wrong or the idea that cold CO2 in the upper atmosphere can radiate heat back to a warmer surface is wrong. The proponents of cold to hot heat transfer like to introduce confounding factors like there's sunlight flowing in and so the system is not closed and the second law doesn't apply. Well, the greenhouse effect either works at night with no sunlight coming in or it doesn't work in the day either. The open and closed system argument only applies to overall entropy, not to heat flow, which works in all systems and all but the smallest scales.

Also, please note that my post above was very clear in noting that the net movement of heat was always from warmer to cooler. Therefore, cooler objects can't heat warmer objects under either of our representations of the mechanics of the Second Law. Mine just allows that energy is transferred in both directions, but that the transfer of energy from X to Y is always greater than Y to X where X is the warmer object.

That's perhaps the most confounding of the confounding factors. Can an object (or gas) absorb heat from a warmer object, and while not getting as hot as the warmer object, somehow slow down the rate of cooling of the warmer object?

We know the flow of heat though an object by conduction can be slowed by insulating materials, so it would seem reasonable to assume the same thing can be done for radiating heat. Well it can with reflection. The photons from an object are simply returned to that object by a reflective surface and it's easy to imagine that no heat is lost given a 100% reflection.

However, that's not what's happening with greenhouse gases. These gases absorb photons from the warmer surface, heat up a bit as a result, and re-emit their own photons back the surface and out into space. Well, here's where the oven example comes into play. For the colder greenhouse gas to slow the cooling of the warmer surface, some of the photons from the colder gas would have to be absorbed by the warmer surface as there's no other connection between the two. Why would it work differently in this case than in your oven? What would cause this shift in behavior of the photons?

What actually happens is the colder greenhouse gasses cannot give up any heat to the warmer surface, so they get a bit hotter than they would then if they could, and thus, they radiate more heat into space. The total infrared radiating into space from the warm surface is the same, with or without greenhouses gases. Bottom line, the surface temperature is unchanged because of this layer of greenhouse gases.

The overall gas system interacting with the bar is going to gain energy through interacting with the bar, so in that instance, heat moves from warmer (the bar) to cooler (the gas) as well.

This does happen on very small scales and only over short time periods. Many human scale laws break down at very small scales as does conventional logic. Einstein never could accept Quantum Mechanics and discover the theory predicted "entanglement", which he thought would disprove the theory. Einstein even called it "spooky action at a distance". However, experiments found entanglement to be true and conventional logic not to apply at such scales. These exceptions don't apply at human scale much less at the global scale of the Earth.

Well I don't have ... (Below threshold)
Well I don't have the link handy, but I can provide a link that states in detail that the second law of thermodynamics (first stated in the 1800's) can be derived from modern quantum mechanics.
I think we both know that the reason it's not "handy" is that no such link exists. No scientist has ever postulated what you described to be a part of quantum mechanics. I guess that really was the part where lots of people, such as yourself, get confused. What a prescient observation that was!

Since you're back to repeating the colder objects warming warmer objects, even though I've explained repeatedly that the NET heat transfer is always from the warmer object to the cooler object and therefore this is not a situation that happens under either of our representations, I guess I must not be explaining this in a way you can understand. I'll give the experts a shot. If that can't clear up your rather basic misconception on this point about the second law of thermodynamics, I'll try to track down my basic thermodynamics book and quote from there as well. Let me know if that will be necessary or if you understand this concept now.

This does happen on very small scales and only over short time periods.
No, this happens all the time, on very large scales, especially for objects that are close to or in equilibrium wrt temperature. The Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution describes the distribution of energies of particles within a system. At any time, even at equilibrium, these higher/lower energy particles are still exchanging energies in both directions, but the NET flow of energy is still from the warmer to the cooler object or evenly distributed if the objects are both at the same temperature. My example works just as well for a billion particle system as it does for 5; it's just harder to write up the billion particle example.
Now let's get back t... (Below threshold)


Now let's get back to the points that I didn't have time to cover last night.

First thing is that the chart you link to is grossly inaccurate in scale. Being we are concerned with heating it's the energy level that's importing. The energy level of the incoming sunlight is at least an order of magnitude greater than the infrared emitted by the surface.
I believe that the chart you're talking about was for the atmosphere, not the surface, but in any event, I would disagree. This chart shows what should be obvious, that the energy inputs to the system (on average, over time) have to be equal to the outputs. If that weren't true, then the system (earth) would not be in relative equilibrium. If earth (not just the surface, but the entire system) was consistently absorbing more energy than it was putting out the temperature would be quickly rising, and not just by the comparatively minor amount we're talking about as a result of global warming.
The non-greenhouse gases hold their heat until it can be imparted to the ground through conduction, convention and wind (not quite the same as convention) That's why greenhouse gases cause cooling.
There's no reason to believe that non-greenhouse gases hold heat for any better or longer than greenhouse gases do. Any object or particle radiates energy as a function of its temperature (Stefan-Boltzmann law). Just because the non-greenhouse gases can't absorb infrared radiation that the Earth is emitting or radiate those wavelengths doesn't mean that they can't radiate energy. However, there is much reason to believe that greenhouse gases can receive a much larger proportion of the overall energy being output by the surface. They can get everything the non-greenhouse gases can and more. They can conduct, convect, and absorb.
The albedo of Venus is 0.65 compared to 0. 367 for Earth.
Your figure is visual geometric albedo which is for visible light. For all wavelengths, you need to use bond albedo. That is 0.750 for Venus versus 0.306 for the Earth. Redoing your calculations, for Venus 0.25 (1-0.75) of the sunlight times twice the total amount is 0.5. For Earth 0.694 (1-0.306) times one is 0.694. Thus, less solar radiation penetrates Venus than Earth. My statement that less sunlight reaches Venus than Earth is correct, at least considering sunlight as all wavelengths, not just visible light. Admittedly, I should have said "irradiance" instead of "sunlight" to avoid ambiguity, but we were talking about effects on surface temperature, so I think the meaning was clear in the original.
It's the sun's magnetic activity, not it's irradiance that's important to that effect. The link I posted gave strong evidence that the Sun's magnetic activity has doubled in the last 40 years. There are many aspects to the Sun's magnetic activity and flares are just a small part.
Though this chart had irradiance, the sunspots are the important part. Perhaps you believe that there have been direct measurements of the Sun's magnetic field for 100 years, but it's not so. The most used proxy for measuring the sun's magnetic field is number of sunspots. Your own Caimbridge Conference docs point this out multiple times. One is titled, "SUNSPOTS AND CLIMATE". Another is simply "GIANT SUNSPOT DETECTED". A third is "MILLENNIUM-SCALE SUNSPOT NUMBER RECONSTRUCTION: EVIDENCE FOR AN UNUSUALLY ACTIVE SUN SINCE THE 1940s." Does any of this ring a bell? Those are the papers in the link you're referring to, are they not? I'm rather surprised that you don't remember what they said about the connection between sunspots and the magnetic field of the sun.
As Dr. Wood proved experimentally in 1909, not even a real greenhouse works by trapping infrared radiation.
Most basic discussions of the "greenhouse effect" will include the statement that it has nothing to do with how actual greenhouses work. It's just got a bad name, but that's what everone uses, so we're stuck with it.
The existence of such a natural mechanism destroys the conjecture that the current warming is unnatural
The current warming is unprecedented in speed of warming and peak (as if we've reached it) temperature for the last several millenia. So, even if this 1000 year warming cycle exists, and we're due for one, we seem to be influencing it to be greater than any of the recent ones. To quote one of your Caimbridge papers, "Recent research (3) indicates that the combined effects of sunspot-induced changes in solar irradiance and increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases offer the best explanation yet for the observed rise in average global temperature over the last century."
Well every planet has a spectrum and the next chart in the series you linked to shows a comparison of several planets. Within the temperature range of the Earth, the spectrum of a given gas does not change with temperature, and intensity only changes with quantity. Thus the paper you linked to shows that there has been a change in the quantity of various greenhouse gases, but we know that by taking direct samples of the air.
That's a complete misunderstanding of these papers and graphs. These show the spectrum/intensity of infrared radiation as emitted by the atmosphere of the Earth into space. The INTENSITY of the spectrum where greenhouse gases absorb shows significant dips. Yes, Mars and Venus show these dips as well, because they also experience greenhouse effects from CO2 in their atmospheres. The dips represent radiation wavelengths that were absorbed by the atmosphere. The existence of those dips shows the greenhouse effect and changes in those dips show changes in the
There's no study or experiments that derives the greenhouse effect from first principles. It simply was asserted for lack of another explanation, but the explanation fully supported by the laws of physics is now known.
Step 1: Take the mean temperature of the surface. It is around 15 degrees C on average. Step 2: Determine how much the surface should emit in long wave infrared radiation: 390 W/m2 from the Stefan-Boltzmann law Step 3: Measure the outgoing infrared radiation at the top of the atmosphere: 240 W/m2, approximately the same as the incoming solar radiation, thus maintaining basic equilibrium of the system Step 4: Measure the difference between the two values: around 150 W/m2 Step 5: The conclusion is that the atmosphere is absorbing and returning approximately 150 W/m2 of infrared radiation that would otherwise be lost to space. We know the wavelengths radiated and we know what can absorb those wavelengths.
Joe,I thi... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Joe,

I think we both know that the reason it's not "handy" is that no such link exists. No scientist has ever postulated what you described to be a part of quantum mechanics. I guess that really was the part where lots of people, such as yourself, get confused. What a prescient observation that was!

Obviously you're not well informed. Here's a simple description for you. "In the physical sciences, quantum thermodynamics is the study of heat and work dynamics in quantum systems. Approximately, quantum thermodynamics attempts to combine thermodynamics and quantum mechanics into a coherent whole."

The combination of thermodynamics and quantum mechanics is known as quantum thermodynamics. Apart from no link as you claim, here's link to the home page of the quantum thermodynamics organization. You'll find lots more links at the bottom of the page.

I guess I must not be explaining this in a way you can understand. I'll give the experts a shot. If that can't clear up your rather basic misconception on this point about the second law of thermodynamics, I'll try to track down my basic thermodynamics book and quote from there as well. Let me know if that will be necessary or if you understand this concept now.

Your source agree that no net heat is transferred, how that occurs is speculation on their part. Likely your sources are as ignorant of quantum thermodynamics as you are.

No, this happens all the time, on very large scales, especially for objects that are close to or in equilibrium wrt temperature. The Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution describes the distribution of energies of particles within a system. At any time, even at equilibrium, these higher/lower energy particles are still exchanging energies in both directions, but the NET flow of energy is still from the warmer to the cooler object or evenly distributed if the objects are both at the same temperature.

Once you educate yourself a bit in quantum mechanics you might understand that in keeping with Mach's principle (all we know is the results of experiments), is that we cannot observe a transfer of heat from a cold body to a warm body.

This chart shows what should be obvious, that the energy inputs to the system (on average, over time) have to be equal to the outputs. If that weren't true, then the system (earth) would not be in relative equilibrium.

The chart is wrong because it jumps to the conclusion that the greenhouse theory is correct. The temperature of the Earth and the equilibrium can be explained using the heat sequestering effect of infrared transparent gases.

There's no reason to believe that non-greenhouse gases hold heat for any better or longer than greenhouse gases do. Any object or particle radiates energy as a function of its temperature (Stefan-Boltzmann law). Just because the non-greenhouse gases can't absorb infrared radiation that the Earth is emitting or radiate those wavelengths doesn't mean that they can't radiate energy.

You really need to study up on your physics. Kirchhoff's law of thermal radiation states that "at thermal equilibrium, the emissivity of a body (or surface) equals its absorptivity." Thus, any material that has a very low absorptivity (is transparent) at a given wavelength also has a very low emissivity a that wavelength. Your not knowing such a fundamental law suggests your theory about greenhouse gases is just as ignorant.

Does any of this ring a bell? Those are the papers in the link you're referring to, are they not? I'm rather surprised that you don't remember what they said about the connection between sunspots and the magnetic field of the sun.

Well if you look at the other papers one or more describe actual satellite measurements of various aspects of the Sun's magnetic field. As I said and you can verify with a little effort, sunspots represent only one aspect of the suns magnetic activity. I'll give you a hint. Sunspots are a result of the overall magnetic field getting twisted due to the Sun's different rotational speed at it equator vs. it poles.

The current warming is unprecedented in speed of warming and peak (as if we've reached it) temperature for the last several millenia.

That's what's being debated and the uncertainty in all proxy measures of past temperatures fuels that debate.

So, even if this 1000 year warming cycle exists, and we're due for one, we seem to be influencing it to be greater than any of the recent ones.

The chief astrophysics for Russia has predicted a dramatic cooling phase starting in just a few years based on Solar cycles. If greenhouse gases do somehow cause warming then we should be increasing CO2, not cutting back.

The dips represent radiation wavelengths that were absorbed by the atmosphere. The existence of those dips shows the greenhouse effect and changes in those dips show changes in the

The experiment only shows the intensity of the spectrum has changed, which can logically be attributed to changes in the concentrations of certain gases. The effect of those gases on the Earth's climate is speculation. Basically, the authors hedge and say the same thing in their conclusions.

The conclusion is that the atmosphere is absorbing and returning approximately 150 W/m2 of infrared radiation that would otherwise be lost to space.

Yes the atmosphere is absorbing and returning approximately 150 W/m2 of heat back to the surface. The idea that this is done by the greenhouse effect is speculation. The heat sequestering effect of infrared transparent gases is a more convincing mechanism for doing this as there's no question it follows all known laws of physics. Now that you know about Kirchhoff's law you can appreciate the effectiveness of the sequestering effect given that 99% of the atmosphere is made up of infrared transparent gases, and half of the atmosphere's mass is within 5 km of the surface where heat is transferred mostly by conduction, and convection (including wind).

I have a feeling that we are not going to agree. Some of your links have been very informative and even challenging. I hope you can say the same for some of the links I have given you.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

tips@wizbangblog.com

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy