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Layman struggles with Science
Thinning thermosphere gives satellites a boost

Nov 28, 2006 ( <-- lookit the date !!! )

Quote:Carbon dioxide released through the burning of fossil fuels is cooling the upper atmosphere, says a group of physicists who believe that a coherent pattern of global climate change in Earth's upper atmosphere is emerging after more than 15 years of study and debate. Falling temperatures are also lowering the density of the upper atmosphere and causing it to contract towards Earth. This is good news for low-Earth-orbit satellites like the International Space Station, which are remaining in their orbits for longer because of reduced atmospheric drag (Science 314 1253).
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Apologies to all. I just have to post this comment. I firmly believe that a GLOBAL AVERAGE TEMPERATURE is absolute baloney. This comment from WUWT explains simply and concisely why. Also remember that when they went looking for the 'hot-spot' they found instead that humidity in the upper troposphere was decreasing. Another indication of the coming ice age.

Quote:Thomas Mee says:
January 1, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Atmospheric temperature is not a measure atmospheric heat content nor is it a reliable indication of human comfort. An 80°F day in Orlando with 50% relative humidity (RH) is hot and muggy but a 80°F day with 5% RH is a pleasant spring day in Phoenix.

When water evaporates into air the temperature of the air is reduced but the total energy is the same. The evaporated water (called vapor) represents “latent heat” which is released when the vapor condenses to form liquid water again. The total heat of a sample of air is the sum of its sensible heat (which we feel as “hot”) and its latent heat (which we feel as “muggy”). This total heat is called enthalpy and it’s expressed in units of British Thermal Units per pound of air and water vapor mixture (Btu/lb). One Btu is the amount of heat required to heat one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

The latent heat represented by water vapor is considerable. For example, moist air at 72°F and 30% RH (typical room air) has an enthalpy of 23 Btu/lb but 72°F dry air has an enthalpy of only 17 Btu/lb. The dry air would have to be heated to 95°F to reach the same enthalpy as the moist air.

Another example: the 80°F and 50% RH day in Orlando has a total heat content (enthalpy) of 31 Btu/lb. In the Phoenix desert, air at 115°F and 5% RH would also have an enthalpy of 31 Btu/lb but it’s 35°F hotter!

This phenomenon does not only occur in places that are spatially separated and have dramatically different climatology. For example, over a period of a few days in Los Angeles the temperature varied from 76°F to 56°F (20°F change) when total heat content (enthalpy) was constant at 22 Btu/lb. In the afternoon it was 76°F and 18% RH, then in the evening some moist air moved into the area and it as 56°F with 80% RH. Both conditions have an enthalpy of 22 Btu/lb.

Increased temperature (alone) is not evidence heating because temperature is not a measurement of, or a proxy for, the total heat content of atmospheric air. The global temperature history tells us nothing about any warming that might be caused by CO2 because greenhouse warming implies additional heat and the global temperature record, alone, doesn’t tell us if there is more or less heat.

The global average temperature is about 60°F. The GISS global temperature record shows an increase of 1°F since 1880. If global humidity fell by just 3% (global drying) the total energy of the global atmosphere could have been unchanged.
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Well, colour me surprised!!

Breaking: NASA U-turn Admits Global Warming Bias on Sun’s Key Role

Quote:The astonishing NASA announcement comes in the wake of a compelling new study just published titled, “The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth’s Climate.” One of the participants, Greg Kopp of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, overturned mainstream climate science thinking by declaring even slight changes in solar output have a considerable impact on climate. Kopp conceded, "Even typical short term variations of 0.1% in incident irradiance exceed all other energy sources (such as natural radioactivity in Earth's core) combined."

[Image: lDy0T.jpg]
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Oh no that chart looks scary with that ominous flatline.

It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.

–William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1952
My guess is it depends on the scale of your thinking. Wink

Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
A site I visit regularly gave me a link to the graph you see below. It is from a comment by Gail Combs over at WUWT on a post titled Ozone depletion trumps greenhouse gas increase in jet-stream shift.

Quote:Yet we can see in this graph the effect on temperature of the air and sand during a total eclipse graph

[Image: thermochron.gif]

This graph really grabbed my attention. So much so that I felt I must write about it. First look at the title. There is a date and a latitude and a longitude. My old school atlas tells me this eclipse was recorded somewhere close to the town of Gailo in Libya. Note the date. This is only a few days after the vernal equinox and the site is less than five degrees north of the Tropic of Cancer so the sun will pass quite high over head at local noon and getting higher each day as the season moves into summer. Note the time on the graph, (UT), Universal Time, same as GMT. But the site is 21.5 degrees EAST of Greenwich so I guess local noon is about 10:40 on the graph (please correct me if I have this wrong). I am also guessing the air was clear, no clouds or haze, but there must have been plenty of water vapour in the air (greenhouse gas) as the Mediterranean Sea is just to the north and my map shows the town of Gailo to be in what looks like a fairly fertile area (pale green). Also, back in 2006, there was about 385 ppmv carbon dioxide gas (CO2) in the air.

Look at the air temperature trace (green line) rising to a peak of about 35.5C just before the eclipse starts (red line). Note the sand temperature (blue line) is rising at the same rate but after the air temperature by some 5 degrees and CONTINUES TO RISE UNTIL HALF THE SUN IS OBSCURED! Meanwhile the air temperature started dropping as soon as the sun light level started to drop. The graph shows the air temperature dropped about 13 degrees (!!!) until totality and within about five minutes the air temperature is rising again as the sun returns. During the eclipse the sand temperature peaked at about 33C and remained there for 15 or 20 minutes. THERE IS NO SIGN THAT THE SAND TEMPERATURE HAD ANY EFFECT ON THE AIR TEMPERATURE. Note the air temperature is recorded from 30cm (about a foot) above the sand surface.

As the eclipse ends we see both air and sand temperatures recover, air first, to a lower peak of about 32.5C and fade away TOGETHER as the sun heads towards the horizon.

This graph clearly shows that SUNLIGHT HEATS THE ATMOSPHERE far more than conduction from the surface. Greenhouse gases certainly aid that heating process but IN NO WAY PREVENT THE AIR FROM COOLING when there is no sun.

Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
The green trace does lag the red trace somewhat which could indicate an effect from the blue (sand) trace.

It also looks likely that without interference from the eclipse the blue line runs lower than the green line until noon due to the sand surface having got colder than the air during the night then after noon the green line runs lower than the blue line because the sand takes longer to cool off than the air.

They probably switch around again at about midnight.

That also suggests a thermal effect of the sand on the air temperature.
Thanks for responding Stephen. I agree there must be some thermal effect between the sand and the air. From my laymans perspective I see the delay in air temperature drop as the sun is obscured might be due to thermal delay in the air as well as thermal transfer from the sand. Question is how to quantify each?
The bit I find interesting is the turn around temperature of the air shortly after totality. With my eyeball I see the air temperature starting to recover while the sun is still 90% obscured. The sand temperature doesn't start recovering until the sun is only 40% obscured.
This could lead to extensive discussion thermal energy of sand and air. Smile

I've lived and worked in desert regions and have experienced HOT sand. The heat does not penetrate down very far. Keeping to an area of one square metre the 10,300 kilos of air rather out masses 500 centimetres of sand depth, (aboout 500 kilos?)

What I like about the graph is the fact that it is NOT a model. A real life record. It supports my personal life experiences and shows that the atmosphere is not very good at storing heat energy. It can lose it mighty fast!
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Ach phoey! I wrote centi when I should have written milli !!! Blush
Anyway, I weighed out 1 kilo of sharp builders sand I use for cement and it has a volume of 0.61 litres. So half a cubic metre of sharp sand weighs in at 820 kilos. I would guess that heat penetration through fine sand might be less than rougher desert sand. Next time I get some good sunshine I will try an experiment. Just for fun.
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Whenever SST posts a new chart I invariably pop over for a good browse. this one caught my eye and a followed the source link and ended up reading a comment by Stephen Wilde which explains my layman understanding nicely so I am going to post the comment.
Not my work I know, but my belief expressed more clearly than I can.

Quote:Stephen Wilde says:

January 26, 2013 at 3:05 pm

That other paper says this:

“Upon a temperature decrease, saturated vapor
undergoes condensation, which results in a drop of
the gas pressure and brings about a dynamic gas flow
from the area of high temperature to the area of low

The trouble is that the gravitationally induced pressure gradient is what causes the temperature drop by causing density to reduce with height and replacing KE with PE.

So it is the drop in the gas pressure resulting from expansion with height that comes first and then temperature follows and then condensation. The reverse of their scenario.

The water droplets then freeze releasing their latent heat of fusion to space but at that point all the latent heat of vaporisation is in the form of PE which does not radiate.

So we have air molecules that are cold because of their low KE but they still have high PE because of their position in the vertical column. They get pushed to one side by the continuing upward flow of new air containing more water vapour with both high KE and PE.

Having been pushed to one side the cooled molecules start to sink again because they no longer have enough total KE and PE to keep them at that height. Thus one sees descending high pressure cells alongside ascending low pressure cells.

As they descend their excess PE gets converted to KE until they reach the surface again and the cycle repeats.


Evaporation pumps up the volume of an air parcel causing it to rise upward due to reduced density.

Condensation deflates the volume of the air parcel allowing it to sink downward due to increased density.

The latent heats of evaporation and condensation just move energy from KE to PE and back again never losing it from the system.

The additional radiation to space results from the loss to space of the latent heat of fusion when vapour or water turns to ice.

The water cycle is a chain of buckets carrying each the latent heat of fusion of a quantity of water or vapour to space to a location where it can be radiated directly to space.

Some energy is radiated upwards from liquid water droplets in unfrozen clouds but I suspect that that just gets lost within the background radiative ‘noise’ of the atmosphere in the same way as does downward such radiation.

I don’t yet know of anyone else who has recognised the potential contribution of the latent heat of fusion in atmospheric energy transfers. Everyone else seems to just stop at condensation but that cannot be sufficient because the latent heat of vaporisation is still held by the air or the condensed water droplets in PE form and so cannot contribute to the radiative exchange.
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
How can a layman relate to the following two reports?

A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years

Earth Warmer Than in Most of the Past 11,300 Years

Geological and documentary evidence show conclusively that people farmed and herded live stock for several hundred years on southern Greenland and not so very long ago. Why can't this be done today if the Earth is so warm?
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
In my Post: #286 above where I talk about the Total Solar Eclipse of March 29, 2006, I note that air temperature seems to drop 13C while the eclipse is proceeding. I wonder how fast temperature would drop if the sun was switched off entirely?

Whatever. Eyeballing the graph it looks to me that air temperature drops at the rate of 1C roughly every 7.5 minutes, plus/minus a little. Given that the temperature of the sand seems to peak at 34C, a fraction less but what the hell, I thought I would try and work out how much radiation went in to the CO2 to counter that temperature drop.

Okay, my shorthand method, 5.67 x 3.07^4 = 503.66 watts per square metre. I make the crazy assumption that CO2 absorbs all the radiation from 13 microns to 17 microns, (generous or what? Smile ) this is 18% of the total radiation so that is 91 watts or joules per second being absorbed by the CO2 and ALL converted to heat in the atmosphere, this is just a thought exercise remember.

So, a 1 square metre column of air masses 10,300 kilograms and needs 1,000 joules per kilo to warm up 1C therefore the whole column needs 10,300,000 joules. We have 91 joules per second feeding into the air column, so total time is 10,300,000 divide by 91 equals 113186.8 seconds, divide that by 60 equals 1886.5 minutes, divide that by 60 equals 31.44 HOURS ! ! ! ! !

WELL! Lack of sun cooling rate = 1C every 7.5 minutes. Hot desert sand warming rate = 1C every 31.44 hours.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas! Do you believe that?
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba

Ach! Phoey! Big hole in this layman's thinking. When I thought about the 13C temperature drop in 96 minutes or so I wondered how much energy was leaving a 1 square metre column of air -- turns out to be 22,888.88 joules per second!!!! That's probably hotter than the sun! So what's wrong?

I guess for a start I need to look at what is happening to the THERMOMETER at the BOTTOM of the air column. It must be measuring the air temperature local to itself. The temperature UP the column will follow the, I assume, DRY adiabatic lapse rate. This is a desert region.

As the intensity of the sun light reduces during the eclipse, it must, to my way of thinking, effect the whole air column, in other words a steady reduction of INCOMING energy along the whole column, not just warming from the bottom up. Greenhouse gasses must be very active in sunlight. My next guess is this is where the magic letters KE and PE come in. As molecules cool they will descend and there must be an increasing number of cooler molecules congregating towards the bottom of the air column which is duly recorded by the thermometer. So a drop in temperature at the bottom does not signify the total energy loss from the column.

Surface radiation from the hot sand won't have this effect. As lower molecules warm they will tend to rise. But as the eclipse passes totality and sunlight increases up the column, low level molecules warmed by radiation from the surface won't have to rise so far and the thermometer responds by showing the air temperature recovery rate is that little bit faster than the cooling rate. This can be seen in the graph. Something else I must find out is what effect does changes in Relative Humidity have on the air column. Given the range of temperature change RH must change even though dew point is not reached.

So when all is said and done, even with the confused layman thinking, the sun has much, much more impact on air temperature than surface radiation on the CO2 in the air. And on clear air nights natural cooling in the air column far exceeds radiative warming from the ground. The eclipse graph shows this quite clearly.
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Some while back in this thread I tried to work out how much CO2 the world population emits. Now someone has done a much better job than me and while you wonder at the figures remember that ALL ANIMAL LIFE ON THIS PLANET breathes out CO2. Enjoy.

The Week That Was: 2013-03-30 (March 30, 2013)

Warning: that link is for a 23 page pdf file.

Quote:Number of the Week: 1200 million metric tonnes! (1323 million short tons) Petroleum engineer, and world class track cyclist and coach, Norm Kalmanovitch calculates humans exhale approximately 1200 million metric tonnes of CO2 every year. “I based the number on an average calorie intake of 1200 calories which gives about 180 kg/person of CO2 per year. Seven billion people times 180 kg/person comes to 1260 million tonnes which I rounded off to 1200 million metric tonnes!” Of course this is approximate, but it gives some sense of proportion compared to claimed CO2 savings by certain policy measures.
For example, according to an article by John Dawson, the carbon tax scheme of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard boasts that by 2020 it would cut CO2 emissions by 160 million tonnes – about thirteen percent (13%) of human emissions from breathing.
Perhaps Australians should ask Ms. Gillard: Is breathing polluting?

Please see link under Cap and Trade and Carbon Taxes.
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Have been discussing Arctic sea ice volume elsewhere and found something I think is rather curious. The ice volumes are certainly decreasing each year but it looks to me that the total energy involved is NOT changing. Will post more with charts.
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
I got involved in a discussion on Arctic sea ice on another blog and to go looking for new ideas. There was a video which showed a very graphic display of Arctic ice disappearing so I had to look into the claims. The video showed the changes in ice VOLUME over the years.

Went looking for data and all I could find was behind a paywall. It turns out ice VOLUME data is problematical, see HERE:

Quote:Sea ice volume is an important climate indicator. It depends on both ice thickness and extent and therefore more directly tied to climate forcing than extent alone. However, Arctic sea ice volume cannot currently be observed continuously. Observations from satellites, Navy submarines, moorings, and field measurements are all limited in space and time. The assimilation of observations into numerical models currently provides one way of estimating sea ice volume changes on a continous basis. Volume estimates using age of sea ice as a proxy for ice thickness are another useful method.

I'm not keen on modelled data but decided this chart from Wikipedia would do to help explain my thoughts on the subject. I copied the chart so I could deface it with a couple of lines to show what looks to me like a reasonable trend for the ice volume decay rate.

[Image: Plot_arctic_sea_ice_volume_svg.png]

The isothermal melting of ice requires some 334 kilojoules per kilogram at 273.16 K. That figure applies only to the change of state from solid to liquid between the temperatures of -0.01C to +0.01C (or from 273.14K to 273.16K). If the ice is colder than 273.14K it will need about another 2 kilojoules per degree per kilogram.

Arctic ocean temperatures have quite a range and with heat capacity of water at 4 kilojoules per degree per kilogram (litre), I will use what looks like a fair average. Water at 6C will have 4 x 6 = 24 kilojoules of heat energy, water at 5C will have 4 x 5 = 20 kilojoules and water at 4C will have 4 x 4 = 16 kilojoules.

That is of course per litre of water and I will use the 5C temperature for this example. We know 1 kilogram of ice needs 334 kilojoules of energy to change to 1 litre of water. So 334 divided by 20 gives us 16.7 thus to melt 1 kilo of ice we need 16.7 litres of water at 5C and we end up with a puddle of 17.7 litres of rather cold water (0.01C or 273.16K).

We now have a conversion factor for melting Arctic ice using sea water at 5C. To melt 1 cubic kilometre of ice we need 16.7 cubic kilometres of sea water at 5C and end up with 17.7 cubic kilometres of cold water which of course gets transported back through the world's oceans looking for the hidden heat so it can get warm again.

The chart covers a 40 year period and the decline I selected over that time is 15,000 cubic kilometres of ice. That gives us an annual rate of loss of 15,000 divided by 40 equals 375 cubic kilometres each year. That loss is shared between the freeze and melt periods. Each freeze period will produce slightly less than 15,000 cubic kilometres of ice and each melt periods melts slightly more than 15,000 cubic kilometres hence the steady loss of ice over the period shown. The question now is exactly what is the average annual melt? I'm going to be generous and quote 15,300 cubic kilometres of ice melt each year.

Doing the math we have 15,300 x 16.7 and we add the melted ice water 15,300 and end up with 270,810 cubic kilometres of very cold water. This cold water gets mixed back in the world's oceans. That is a goodly quantity of cold water and it is consistent, plus/minus a bit, for each year. If and when the Arctic summers end up ice free then I think we will see big changes in global climate.

In the mean time Antarctic ice melts each year but is not eating into its 'cold store' like the Arctic ice so I think we have a few years yet.

The point of this exercise is to show that all the discussion about Arctic ice AREA/EXTENT is a distraction. This also shows the Arctic ice is definitely heading for that ice free point which I reckon can't happen before 2033. I feel very sure we will know before then what is happening with the sun and whether we will descend into an ice age.

The Arctic ice is an indicator, not a driver, of global climate change.
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
They used the starting year 1979 which is a HIGH point to make it appear scary when the earlier levels was not all that different from now.

Hiding The Incline At NSIDC And GISS


But satellite records go back much further, and showed ice gain in the 12 years prior to 1979. Paul Homewood found this quote from the CRU Director HH Lamb

Kukla & Kukla (1974) report that the area of snow and ice, integrated over the year across the Northern Hemisphere, was 12% more in 1973 than in 1967, when the first satellite surveys were made.

HH Lamb–“Climate: Present, Past & Future–Vol 2”–In Review–Part II « NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

From 1974 to 1979, the IPCC showed another large gain


There is a video animation showing the REAL cause of the sharp decline of ice cover and thickness and it was from NSIDC:


With the large reduction of older thick ice it became easier for the one year old ice to melt and compact into a smaller area.
It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.

–William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1952
Interesting links. Thanks SST. At the moment I have a bee in my bonnet about melting ice. It seems the energy transfer is so huge and continuous that it must be a sort of global temperature regulating system. Remember both North and South Pole ice regions take part. Not seen any mention of this in the global heat budgets. Smile

With reference to my previous post I have something to quibble.

Arctic Sea Ice Volume Anomaly, version 2

Quote:Perspective: Ice Loss and Energy

It takes energy to melt sea ice. How much energy? The energy required to melt the 16,400 Km3 of ice that are lost every year (1979-2010 average) from April to September as part of the natural annual cycle is about 5 x 1021 Joules. For comparison, the U.S. Energy consumption for 2009 ( was about 1 x 1020 J. So it takes about the 50 times the annual U.S. energy consumption to melt this much ice every year. This energy comes from the change in the distribution of solar radiation as the earth rotates around the sun.

To melt the additional 280 km3 of sea ice, the amount we have have been losing on an annual basis based on PIOMAS calculations, it takes roughly 8.6 x 1019 J or 86% of U.S. energy consumption.

However, when spread over the area covered by Arctic sea ice, the additional energy required to melt this much sea ice is actually quite small. It corresponds to about 0.4 Wm-2 . That’s like leaving a very small and dim flashlight bulb continuously burning on every square meter of ice. Tracking down such a small difference in energy is very difficult, and underscores why we need to look at longer time series and consider the uncertainties in our measurements and calculations.

They quote a larger ice melt which is fair enough when you look closely at the chart. The energy figure quoted is close to my workings; theirs is 5 x 10^21 joules and I calculate for their melt figure 16,400 x 3.34 x 10^17 = 5.4776 x 10^21 joules. Close enough for government work.

Then they quote the additional annual melt as 280 cubic kilometres, no quarrel with that. They state roughly 8.6 x 10^19 joules and I calculate it as 280 x 3.34 x 10^17 = 9.352 x 10^19 joules, again pretty close.

Then they make the crazy statement that 0.4W/m^2 is enough to melt that extra ice! This implies that the melt energy is applied downwards or through the atmosphere. If there was enough downward energy to melt 16,400 cubic kilometres of sea borne ice then Greenland would have been ice free long ago. Only the ocean has enough energy to melt that amount of ice in the time scale permitted and only the ocean currents could move this amount of stored energy around. (is this the missing heat? Rolleyes )

Example: (16,400 x 16.7) + 16,400 = 290,280 CUBIC KILOMETRES of cold water (0.01C or 273.16K).

And that is the MINIMUM figure. A lot of that ice will be quite a bit colder than 273.14K. For every degree below freezing another 2 KILOjoules per kilogram is needed. Don't know how to work out an average on that yet.
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
I posted this over at tallbloke's where he started a discussion about the possibility of a glossary or dummies guide to help people understand some of the complexities of 'climate change'.

Quote:Richard111 says:

May 12, 2013 at 8:14 am

We certainly need some sort of dummies guide. For instance, this layman dummy believes that CO2 gas molecules have a limited IR performance because the molecule has a limited number of electrons and valid shells within the molecule for the electrons to jump in and out of while they do their emitting absorbing stunts. When electrons jump shells the vibrational state of the molecule changes which effects the quality of collisions with other atmospheric molecules thereby transferring ‘heat’ or absorbing ‘heat’. Nothing is trapped.
These collisions tend to keep the CO2 molecule in an elevated vibrational state, ‘temperature wise’, above its peak radiation band at 15 microns. Thus the CO2 molecules in most of the atmosphere are happily radiating away photons at 15 microns but unless they are in the low energy band of the kinetic energy distribution band are unlikely to absorb any passing 15 micron photon whether from the surface or from elsewhere in the atmosphere.

To this layman it seems CO2 molecules essentially cool the atmosphere if there is no sunlight. If the sun is shining then the other CO2 bands, 2.7 and 4.3 micron bands do indeed warm the atmosphere but compared to the surrounding H2O molecules the warming is minimal.

This is why I am a 'sceptic of AGW' as carbon dioxide, CO2, cannot, and does not, do what the alarmists claim it does and I have not even mentioned 'back radiation'! Yet I point out that CO2 will be radiating at 15 microns all the way up the atmosphere until the temperature drops below -79C (194K). Some of this radiation does indeed reach the surface but has no effect BECAUSE THE SURFACE IS ALREADY RADIATING AT 15C (288K).
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba
Since starting this thread back in September 2009 I've done a pile of reading about the catastrophic anthropological global warming decantate. The subject seems to be discussed only in terms of proxies like temperatures and melting glaciers and sea levels and so on. The latest proxy is the fish moving north to find cooler waters. Well, if the seas are getting warmer then CO2 levels are bound to rise! Never any real science!

I intend to keep well out of those muddy waters and write my own personal conclusion to this monumental government driven fraud.

There is absolutely no argument that 99.9% of the global atmosphere consists of nitrogen, oxygen and argon. There is also absolutely no argument that these three gases are radiatively inert. In other words these gases neither absorb radiant energy nor emit radiant energy.

The sun shines down through the atmosphere and warms the ground. The ground warms the air in contact which expands and rises. The rising expanding air SHARES its heat energy with the cooler air above. NO ENERGY HAS BEEN LOST, just spread about. And this process continues ONLY AS LONG AS THERE IS COOLER AIR ABOVE.

Think about that last statement. Just what is keeping the upper air cool so warmer air can rise into it from below? We know nitrogen, oxygen and argon, 99.9% of the atmosphere, cannot cool itself by radiation.

Here is where the 'greenhouse gases' come in, the gases capable of emitting long wave infrared radiation, namely carbon dioxide, CO2, and water vapour, H2O. CO2 is mostly active above the tropopause, too cold for H2O which has mostly condensed out with the cold at that altitude. Radiation from water vapour can still escape to space from around the 300mb level.

Satellite data reports the upper atmosphere radiation level agrees with the expected radiation temperature of -18C or 255K even over cloudy areas which would be blocking the 'window' for radiation from the surface.

So there it is. THE REAL GREENHOUSE GASES ARE NITROGEN, OXYGEN AND ARGON. Without the radiative emitting capabilities of CO2 and H2O the atmosphere would be unable to cool and all life on this planet would have been toast long ago.

The warming oceans, by absorbing less CO2 from the air, provide a positive feedback effect to stop runaway global warming. For a given quantity of CO2 you will get a fixed amount of outgoing radiation in photons per second. Double the CO2 and you double the amount of outgoing radiation. More upper atmosphere cooling.

At the surface the CO2 is already absorbing all the radiation from the surface it can. Double the CO2 doesn't mean it will absorb double radiation because the radiation from the surface has NOT doubled.

Carbon dioxide is not only the gas of life for this planet, it is also the ANTI-GREENHOUSE GAS.
Environmentalism is based on lies and the lies reflect an agenda that regards humanity as the enemy of the Earth. - Alan Caruba

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