Sunday, 8 May 2022

Debunking the other cornerstone of AGW Theory

I have shown that the logic behind so-called '33 degree greenhouse effect' is naive to the point of being meaningless and/or deliberately totally misleading.

Now let's look at the next layer of piffle; the so-called 'energy budget':

Most of the numbers in the arrows are correctly calculated and pointing in the right direction, if looked at in isolation. But because the logic is so deeply flawed and so many facts are simply ignored, we end up with the smoking gun arrow showing 324 W/m2 of 'back radiation' from 'greenhouse gases' (bottom left hand corner).

They are claiming that tiny amounts of CO2 and gaseous water vapour (about 0.04% and 0.1% of the atmosphere by mass respectively) magically shine as brightly as the Sun, if measured in terms of energy being radiated to Earth. That in itself must strike the casual observer as completely fatuous.

The 324 W/m2 is just a balancing figure that doesn't exist in the real world! You can't just add and subtract 'radiation' at different intensities and frequencies anwyay, it is far more complicated than that. Imagine a 3,000 Watt three-bar electric fire versus a 3,000 Watt radio transmitter!

That diagram is so appalling, that it's easier starting from scratch than it is correcting all the compounding errors, so here goes.

1. Basic physics says that the surface of a planet will warm (or cool) to the temperature at which is emits as much radiation to space as it receives from space i.e. from the Sun, that is its 'effective temperature'. Let's look at solar radiation first. We are looking at 'effective temperature' so we also have to look at how much solar radiation the 'effective surface' (this is my term, I haven't found an official one) absorbs. We do this by reducing solar radiation by the amount reflected (by the 'albedo'). The weighted average albedo of the effective surface (2/3 clouds and 1/3 oceans/land) is 0.3, so we reduce incoming solar from 342 W/m2 to 239 W/m2: This number has been estimated at anything between 235 W/m2 and 240 W/m2. This seems sensible, and nobody has seriously challenged it.

2. OK, the effective surface is absorbing 239 W/m2. Does it also emit 239 W/m2? If not, then we need an explanation (most people will assume 'greenhouse gases'). If it does, then AGW Theory is yet again debunked, and we don't need any further explanations.

We know the temperature and emissivity of both parts of the effective surface (oceans/land and clouds - typical altitude 5km and typical temp 255K), so we can calculate how much radiation each is emitting using Stefan-Boltzman formula and adjusting for emissivity. We then take a weighted average of both, and... what a coincidence... the effective surface is emitting 237 W/m2 on average. Which is so close to the incoming 239 W/m2 absorbed (calculated above) as makes no difference (bearing in mind all the approximations and uncertainties involved): That's it, that's the end of the line. There is yet again no big discrepancy that needs to be explained. Solar energy absorbed = infra red energy emitted. If you just make realistic assumptions and apply basic physics (and completely ignore 'back radiation' and 'greenhouse gases'), you end up with a very plausible result. Therefore, your assumptions must be broadly correct (or at least, there's no evidence to say that they aren't). It seems to me impossible to splice in the 324 W/m2 of 'back radiation' without ending up with a nonsensical answer. End of.

3. What is really interesting is what goes on inside the amber box. That is heinously complicated and nobody really knows. Maybe the ficitious 324 W/m2 is in there somewhere, so it's relevant to the temperature balance between oceans/land and clouds, but it is irrelevant to what gets to space and so shouldn't be on the first chart at all.

Why does only one-tenth of 1% of 1% of all water on Earth end up as clouds? Why are clouds at the altitude they are? You'd need several degrees in physics and meteorology to even be able to understand the ground rules, let alone put numbers on the effects and work out how all they all interact (positive and negative feedbacks etc) to end up with things the way they are.

Needless to say, plenty of people have looked at isolated aspects of this; but even if somebody every aspect and explained how it all interacts, it I doubt I'd be able to follow and would end up taking it on trust. But no 'climate scientist' cares about these finer details, so why should I?


Bayard said...

"You'd need several degrees in physics and meteorology to even be able to understand the ground rules, let alone put numbers on the effects and work out how all they all interact (positive and negative feedbacks etc) to end up with things the way they are."

The Alarmists are very keen on computer models and I am sure it is not beyond their modelling skills to solve that very problem, but they don't want to, so they won't.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, you can model this as much as you like, but it depends on several dozen variables, some of which are known (latent heat of evaporation), some of which you can guess reasonably well (water surface temp, air temp) and some you can only hand wave (wind speeds, height of waves).

Then there is the thorny issue of disaggregating effects. Clouds are self-cancelling. Sunshine evaporates water. Makes clouds. Clouds prevent sunshine hitting water. Less clouds.

We know that the final answer is approx one-tenth of 1% of 1% of all water on earth is up there in the sky, some as gaseous water vapour, some as water droplets. But that is a very narrow target. Is it one-tenth? Or two-tenths? Dunno. I've seen both.

I don't know if it's even possible. Far easier just to measure loads of clouds all over the earth (emissivity, temperature and altitude) and the typical moisture content by altitude (this is actually reasonably well known) and then work from there.

Bayard said...

The world's biggest and fastest computers have always been set to work of solving a problem of similar complexity, i.e. predicting the weather, so it should not be beyond the bounds of possibility for build a computer model of the atmosphere WRT the movement of heat energy.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, I don't mean something vague like "movement of heat energy", I mean specifically: "from known laws of physics and a known amount of water, incoming solar etc, could you work out how much cloud cover there would be and at what typical altitude would it be?"

Is it inevitable that clouds will be as they are? In the same way as the effective surface will end up at whatever temp it needs to be to emit as much energy as comes in from the Sun.

My gut feeling is, water is 'trying' to soak up as much solar energy as it can; mostly by warming the oceans (easy), but also by storing some of this energy up in the sky as clouds (whether as LHE, thermal energy or potential energy) and hence indirectly warming up all the air in atmosphere (which in turn keeps the oceans warm and clouds aloft), but the clouds are self-regulating - too many and they block solar radiation from evaporating more water etc.

Bear in mind how marginal this calculation is, the total energy in clouds is but a tiny fraction of total thermal energy in the oceans.

mombers said...

MW have you approached the Global Warming Policy Foundation? They have deep pockets and should be able to get you in touch with some sympathetic scientists to scrutinise your work and publish a world changing proof to put the matter to bed. We'll then not have to worry about reducing CO2 levels, except for the minor issues of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Nigeria, air and water pollution etc

Mark Wadsworth said...

M, as I have said before, there are lots of genuine good reasons for reducing FF use, especially FF imports etc.

But please treat us like grown ups, tell it straight, and most of us will probably agree. Tell me fairy tales and I will laugh at you.

mombers said...

@MW my suggestion is to get in touch with groups who can help you to publicise this potentially ground breaking analysis and make the world a better place. If the consensus is so wrong, it is likely that policies that are not in the best interest of the world are being pursued. Not sure what these policies would be though to be honest. What paths should be pursued if CO2 can be released at current or higher quantities without any risk to the climate? What can be done to release them without releasing other substances that are undeniably detrimental to human health? What can be done to increase supply from friendly and stable regimes to the point that unfriendly and unstable regimes are no longer relevant?

Even if it is an entirely academic argument, i.e. we need to rapidly phase out FF for the reasons above, it would still be a great contribution to humankind's scientific progress to correct such egregious problems. Maths was held back for hundreds of years when the church decreed that irrational numbers could not exist.

On the flip side, if there are issues with your analysis, you can return your focus to the battle against homeownerism and rent seeking

Mark Wadsworth said...

M, yet again, I agree, it might well be in our overall interest to reduce FF use. But the Global warming science is a load of horseshit, that's my point.

Don't do diagonal arguments. For example, I slag off rent seeking and Home-Owner-Ism. That said, if we look at the world today, democratic western countries are the nicest places to live (even despite the rent seeking) so that doesn't mean I would prefer totalitarianism or 'going back to the land' or anything. I'm slagging off one particular aspect (rent seeking) which is even more prevalent in Totalitarianism and peasant societies.

mombers said...

MW I'm not doing a diagonal comparison, just expressing my appreciation of your LVT + CI work. I don't have the time or interest to investigate whether climate science is a hoax. You've got a great track record on debunking arguments against LVT and CI though, so I'm trying to help you find a wider audience for this for others to scrutinise so that if your work is correct, the world can be corrected and change course. If such an important part of the scientific community is telling fairy tales, it is very important for this to be rectified I hope that you agree

Without a wider audience than this blog to mark your homework, you're whistling in the wind I fear. GWPF can surely source some people outside of the climate science community to review your work, and if it stands up to scrutiny, you get a nice section on their website, publicising it much more widely than this blog. Thoughts? They must have a panel of respected physicists, chemists etc who as outside experts can look at this and put together an iron clad paper to settle what would have to be a dark period for humankind's scientific progress if your work is verified

Bayard said...

"What paths should be pursued if CO2 can be released at current or higher quantities without any risk to the climate? What can be done to release them without releasing other substances that are undeniably detrimental to human health?"

When I was at school in the 70s, there was lots of concern about pollution, that's real pollution of the environment with poisonous substances hazardous to the health of us and other organisms. Now everyone is distracted with worrying about fake pollution, the emission of CO2. I expect the real polluters are really quite grateful about that.

Mark Wadsworth said...

M, yes, I must see how people like GWPF respond.

B, exactly, Leaded petrol, CFCs, acid rain, burning coal to heat houses, plastic in oceans, over-use pesticides... plus loads of stuff than we aren't aware of yet. There's plenty of real pollution to worry about.

Bayard said...

Mark, for some reason the biology part of the science labs at my school was graced with four huge murals showing how a piece of the countryside was reduced to a polluted industrial wasteland over about fifty years. It made quite an impression on me at the time.