Significance of Global Warming

Comment by Ken Gregory moved from Greenhouse Heat Engine.

Last month I asked Ferenc Miskolczi to calculate a 60 year trend of optical depths using radiosonde data I compiled from the NOAA Earth Systems Research Laboratory to confirm his prediction of constant optical depth. We finally got the results:

*There has been no increase in the effective amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere during the last 60 years.*

Miskolczi’s theory shows that the atmosphere maintains a “saturated” greenhouse effect, controlled by water vapor content. The theory predicts the optical depth will remain approximately constant at 1.87. This is a longterm equilibrium value, but will vary over the short term with El Nino/La Nina, etc. Our atmosphere holds just that amount of water vapor that allows the maximum radiation of heat into space. This causes a constant greenhouse effect, so as CO2 increases, water vapour decreases.

This graph shows the global relative humidity trends.

The average relative humidity at the 300 mbar altitude has declined by 21.5% from 1948 to 2007.

The results of Miskolczi’s calculations using his line-by-line HARTCODE program are given here.

The calculations are independent of any greenhouse theory and contains no assumptions on how the greenhouse effect works. The 60 year average optical depth of 1.869 matches the theoretical 1.87.

In 60 years of CO2 emissions, the optical depth trend line has increased about 0.03%, which is nothing, resulting in no temperature change. The result confirms the theory, and shows that the total effective amount of greenhouse gases have not increased in 60 years. Therefore, the warming during the last century was not due to greenhouse gas emissions.

The blue line on the graph shows what the optical depth trend would be if only the CO2 is changed, with water vapour held constant. This is the no-feedback case. The trend line shows 0.3% increase over 60 years. By my calculations, using Eq. 18 and 28, Su increases by 0.131%. The corresponding temperature increase is 0.083 C. During this 60 years, the CO2 content increased 24.6%. So the temperature change at co2 doubling is 0.26 C.

This agrees with the estimate of 0.24 C on page 22.

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0 thoughts on “Significance of Global Warming

  1. One of the perennial complaints about Miskolczi is that his theory can’t accommodate historically extreme climates like snowball Earth or the hot-house of the Cretaceous; but there was a vastly weaker sun during the snowball and no polar ice-caps during the Cretaceous with far more water in the atmosphere and, according to Kump and Pollard, far fewer clouds; accordingly the optical depth should have increased thus increasing temp independent of CO2 levels which were rapidly declining during the Cretaceous.

    A related point raised by anti-Miskolczians is that specific humidity is increasing; this was opined by Arthur Smith in a thread about his paper verifying the greenhouse effect at Jennifer Marohasy’s (see his October 18, 2008, 12.32 comment); technically SH can increase while RH falls if there is a heat based increase in the air’s saturation capacity; however both SH and RH can fall with increased precipitation and static or declining temps. As a point of interest are there measures of SH levels?

  2. One of the perennial complaints about Miskolczi is that his theory can’t accommodate historically extreme climates like snowball Earth or the hot-house of the Cretaceous; but there was a vastly weaker sun during the snowball and no polar ice-caps during the Cretaceous with far more water in the atmosphere and, according to Kump and Pollard, far fewer clouds; accordingly the optical depth should have increased thus increasing temp independent of CO2 levels which were rapidly declining during the Cretaceous.

    A related point raised by anti-Miskolczians is that specific humidity is increasing; this was opined by Arthur Smith in a thread about his paper verifying the greenhouse effect at Jennifer Marohasy’s (see his October 18, 2008, 12.32 comment); technically SH can increase while RH falls if there is a heat based increase in the air’s saturation capacity; however both SH and RH can fall with increased precipitation and static or declining temps. As a point of interest are there measures of SH levels?

  3. Continental drift; Isthmus that changed climate: Wiki: Isthmus of Panama

    As above a swamp, the haze inversion, keeps the stuck together H2O afloat, Sinking, picking up heat to rise. Percolating, another effect, how accurately to account for ?

    Tropopause has measurably bigger hailstones, courtesy of the CO2 ?

  4. Continental drift; Isthmus that changed climate: Wiki: Isthmus of Panama

    As above a swamp, the haze inversion, keeps the stuck together H2O afloat, Sinking, picking up heat to rise. Percolating, another effect, how accurately to account for ?

    Tropopause has measurably bigger hailstones, courtesy of the CO2 ?

  5. As a point of interest are there measures of SH levels?

    Yes.

    SH in the lower troposphere is increasing. But SH in the upper troposphere is decreasing.

    But radiative effects are mostly irrelevant for lower troposphere, so the SH increase there is also irrelevant.

    The decrease in SH in the upper troposphere is what matters. And it is consistent with Miskolczi’s theory.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/06/21/a-window-on-water-vapor-and-planetary-temperature-part-2/

    Note, AW’s first post on the subject was wrong. This is the second, correct post.

  6. As a point of interest are there measures of SH levels?

    Yes.

    SH in the lower troposphere is increasing. But SH in the upper troposphere is decreasing.

    But radiative effects are mostly irrelevant for lower troposphere, so the SH increase there is also irrelevant.

    The decrease in SH in the upper troposphere is what matters. And it is consistent with Miskolczi’s theory.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/06/21/a-window-on-water-vapor-and-planetary-temperature-part-2/

    Note, AW’s first post on the subject was wrong. This is the second, correct post.

  7. “One of the perennial complaints about Miskolczi is that his theory can’t accommodate historically extreme climates like snowball Earth or the hot-house of the Cretaceous;”

    I haven’t seen those particular complaints but snowball is still a rather controversial hypothesis, so I see no reason why in fact the theory should be abel to accommodate a controversial hypothesis.

    From Arthur;
    With added emphasis:

    So this is the immediate effect of adding GHG’s: making the Earth look like it’s gotten colder, from space, so that it radiates less energy, and retains some portion of what it gets from the sun. An imbalance.

    We note if we take a look at the planetary data and divide the temperature it looks like by the 4th root of (1-albedo) we get it’s effective temperature (defined as the temperature it is radiating at rather than the blackbody equivalent) this number for the 254 K “measured” turns out to be 279K which is the equilibrium temperature for a spherical black body at earths orbit calculated from the solar constant of 1366. ((1366/(4 X sigma))^.25 =279. You’ll find similar results for Venus and Mars.

    There is in fact no imbalance it only looks colder because the flux through the earths atmosphere is reduced there is no way the equilibrium temperature can be changed due to earths internal factors. The actual surface temperature and and what earth’s BB temperature looks like from space pivot around the stable equilibrium temperature like 2 sides of a see saw.

  8. “One of the perennial complaints about Miskolczi is that his theory can’t accommodate historically extreme climates like snowball Earth or the hot-house of the Cretaceous;”

    I haven’t seen those particular complaints but snowball is still a rather controversial hypothesis, so I see no reason why in fact the theory should be abel to accommodate a controversial hypothesis.

    From Arthur;
    With added emphasis:

    So this is the immediate effect of adding GHG’s: making the Earth look like it’s gotten colder, from space, so that it radiates less energy, and retains some portion of what it gets from the sun. An imbalance.

    We note if we take a look at the planetary data and divide the temperature it looks like by the 4th root of (1-albedo) we get it’s effective temperature (defined as the temperature it is radiating at rather than the blackbody equivalent) this number for the 254 K “measured” turns out to be 279K which is the equilibrium temperature for a spherical black body at earths orbit calculated from the solar constant of 1366. ((1366/(4 X sigma))^.25 =279. You’ll find similar results for Venus and Mars.

    There is in fact no imbalance it only looks colder because the flux through the earths atmosphere is reduced there is no way the equilibrium temperature can be changed due to earths internal factors. The actual surface temperature and and what earth’s BB temperature looks like from space pivot around the stable equilibrium temperature like 2 sides of a see saw.

  9. I’m wondering if there is a determinable relation between equilibrium temperature and total atmospheric KE I’ve had a little fiddle but can t see one. Anyone with some ideas to pursue?

  10. I’m wondering if there is a determinable relation between equilibrium temperature and total atmospheric KE I’ve had a little fiddle but can t see one. Anyone with some ideas to pursue?

  11. Jan; I’m a bit frazzled after the Arthur Smith marathon, but it occurs to me that one of the novel and crucial features of Miskolczi’s atmospheric model is the optical depth, which I gather you, Ken Gregory and other have confirmed; M’s optical depth differs from the AGW model espoused by Smith, Weart, Neal King, BPL and the others based on K&T’s 1997 data which gives a much deeper OD; have you given some thought to the impact of M’s OD on saturation as part of the reduced climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling? And if so could that be the gist of a post?

  12. Jan; I’m a bit frazzled after the Arthur Smith marathon, but it occurs to me that one of the novel and crucial features of Miskolczi’s atmospheric model is the optical depth, which I gather you, Ken Gregory and other have confirmed; M’s optical depth differs from the AGW model espoused by Smith, Weart, Neal King, BPL and the others based on K&T’s 1997 data which gives a much deeper OD; have you given some thought to the impact of M’s OD on saturation as part of the reduced climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling? And if so could that be the gist of a post?

  13. cohenite #7

    have you given some thought to the impact of M’s OD on saturation as part of the reduced climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling?

    I have given it a lot of thought and it has everything IMO to do with the impossibility of positive feedback in a passive system. Any rise in temperature due an increased OD should if I have it right actually lead to less energy available for lifting liquid water from the surface as vapour. It’s work in progress. As an old control engineer I’m reasonably comfortable with feedback (both +ve and -ve).

  14. cohenite #7

    have you given some thought to the impact of M’s OD on saturation as part of the reduced climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling?

    I have given it a lot of thought and it has everything IMO to do with the impossibility of positive feedback in a passive system. Any rise in temperature due an increased OD should if I have it right actually lead to less energy available for lifting liquid water from the surface as vapour. It’s work in progress. As an old control engineer I’m reasonably comfortable with feedback (both +ve and -ve).

  15. “impossibility of positive feedback in a passive system”

    Passive, time averaged, globally, sometimes active locally.

    The argument for feedback effects is that the Earth stores and releases energy.

    Stored; as day accumulated, released at night, warm water, seasons, between Ice Ages, water, high up, behind a dam.

    The stored energy can become the energy source for destruction. Sound of thunder, waves in the ocean, eruption of a vulcano.

    Even the Energizer Bunny, wih a strapped on atomic battery, can hop and chase the carrot, only for so long.

  16. “impossibility of positive feedback in a passive system”

    Passive, time averaged, globally, sometimes active locally.

    The argument for feedback effects is that the Earth stores and releases energy.

    Stored; as day accumulated, released at night, warm water, seasons, between Ice Ages, water, high up, behind a dam.

    The stored energy can become the energy source for destruction. Sound of thunder, waves in the ocean, eruption of a vulcano.

    Even the Energizer Bunny, wih a strapped on atomic battery, can hop and chase the carrot, only for so long.

  17. “The stored energy can become the energy source for destruction. Sound of thunder, waves in the ocean, eruption of a vulcano.”

    Don’t know about the volcano, but certainly t-storms, cyclones, tornadoes, and especially El Ninos (or is it las ninos ?). These are all manifestations of excess stored energy, IMHO.

  18. “The stored energy can become the energy source for destruction. Sound of thunder, waves in the ocean, eruption of a vulcano.”

    Don’t know about the volcano, but certainly t-storms, cyclones, tornadoes, and especially El Ninos (or is it las ninos ?). These are all manifestations of excess stored energy, IMHO.

  19. “The argument for feedback effects is that the Earth stores and releases energy.”

    Energy stored is not feedback it’s passive averaging.

    “The stored energy can become the energy source for destruction. Sound of thunder, waves in the ocean, eruption of a vulcano.”

    Yes the uneven heating that can occur in a topologically variant system like the earths surface can create a temporary decrease in entropy but that is a situation that cannot be tolerated for long. The more the heat imbalance can grow the more violent the correction will be when the ‘dam’ finally breaks.

    It’s a delayed feed forward effect not feedback.

    We basically nee to stick to here is the feedback that is supposed to happen due to varying optical depth (changes in GHG concentration) cause more increase in in optical depth (more GHG concentration) that is a perpetuum mobile and therefore impossible contrary to popular believe.

    The beauty of Ferenc’s chart is that it shows it is not happening.

  20. “The argument for feedback effects is that the Earth stores and releases energy.”

    Energy stored is not feedback it’s passive averaging.

    “The stored energy can become the energy source for destruction. Sound of thunder, waves in the ocean, eruption of a vulcano.”

    Yes the uneven heating that can occur in a topologically variant system like the earths surface can create a temporary decrease in entropy but that is a situation that cannot be tolerated for long. The more the heat imbalance can grow the more violent the correction will be when the ‘dam’ finally breaks.

    It’s a delayed feed forward effect not feedback.

    We basically nee to stick to here is the feedback that is supposed to happen due to varying optical depth (changes in GHG concentration) cause more increase in in optical depth (more GHG concentration) that is a perpetuum mobile and therefore impossible contrary to popular believe.

    The beauty of Ferenc’s chart is that it shows it is not happening.

  21. Steve Short #12

    Without reading the article yet (I will but now I have pooches who want to take me for a walk).

    This is just the thing to expect. The work done heating the atmosphere and evaporating water comes from that heat reservoir which is the solid (or liquid) surface. The second law of thermodynamics tells us that this work cannot be done by sending the heat back to the reservoir it came from. It can only do work by going to a colder place i.e. space ultimately.

    I should think this would recognisable as maintaining a partial pressure balance. Increasing partial pressure is not going to drag more water into the vapour state it will try to push it back into the liquid state. The potential to do work has gone from temperature to that other thermal pressure.

    If the temperature increase is due to increasing insolation then I’d expect a positive change in evaporation demand but if it is due shedding stored heat or opposition to cooling (whatever the means) then I’d expect it to be neutral over time or negative respectively.

    I am open to other ideas of course but a positive feedback is not thermodynamically possible in a passive system because the feedback signal simply won’t go up the potential incline unless powered by an internal energy source. If it did we would have our perpetual motion machine.

  22. Steve Short #12

    Without reading the article yet (I will but now I have pooches who want to take me for a walk).

    This is just the thing to expect. The work done heating the atmosphere and evaporating water comes from that heat reservoir which is the solid (or liquid) surface. The second law of thermodynamics tells us that this work cannot be done by sending the heat back to the reservoir it came from. It can only do work by going to a colder place i.e. space ultimately.

    I should think this would recognisable as maintaining a partial pressure balance. Increasing partial pressure is not going to drag more water into the vapour state it will try to push it back into the liquid state. The potential to do work has gone from temperature to that other thermal pressure.

    If the temperature increase is due to increasing insolation then I’d expect a positive change in evaporation demand but if it is due shedding stored heat or opposition to cooling (whatever the means) then I’d expect it to be neutral over time or negative respectively.

    I am open to other ideas of course but a positive feedback is not thermodynamically possible in a passive system because the feedback signal simply won’t go up the potential incline unless powered by an internal energy source. If it did we would have our perpetual motion machine.

  23. Well, I’m here to learn and Jan Pompe raised a question with re perpetual motion. On earth, we could connect a thermopile with hot junction at the surface and cold junction in space, and generate electric power, which could do work. Now, what if there were no sun. Would the atmosphere continue to exhibit a temperature difference due to the adiabatic lapse rate? Could we still do work with the thermopile setup? No, that would violate the second law. The atmosphere would equilibrate , the adiabatic lapse rate would disappear, and there would be no temperature gradient useful for doing work.

    Or would there?

  24. Well, I’m here to learn and Jan Pompe raised a question with re perpetual motion. On earth, we could connect a thermopile with hot junction at the surface and cold junction in space, and generate electric power, which could do work. Now, what if there were no sun. Would the atmosphere continue to exhibit a temperature difference due to the adiabatic lapse rate? Could we still do work with the thermopile setup? No, that would violate the second law. The atmosphere would equilibrate , the adiabatic lapse rate would disappear, and there would be no temperature gradient useful for doing work.

    Or would there?

  25. “One of the perennial complaints about Miskolczi is that his theory can’t accommodate historically extreme climates like snowball Earth or the hot-house of the Cretaceous;”

    This is one of the first things I looked into when I read the paper. Could there be asymmetries that preserve the energetic relationships yet change surface temperatures, while solar radiation in remains constant? In an article in AIG here http://landshape.org/enm/another-theory-of-global-warming/
    I identified a few possibilities, such as changes in albedo from ice cover say, and changes in stratospheric temperatures from ozone and volcanos, and north-south hemisphere differential say. Perhaps, with additional solar variations, the theory does not rule such changes out.

  26. “One of the perennial complaints about Miskolczi is that his theory can’t accommodate historically extreme climates like snowball Earth or the hot-house of the Cretaceous;”

    This is one of the first things I looked into when I read the paper. Could there be asymmetries that preserve the energetic relationships yet change surface temperatures, while solar radiation in remains constant? In an article in AIG here http://landshape.org/enm/another-theory-of-global-warming/
    I identified a few possibilities, such as changes in albedo from ice cover say, and changes in stratospheric temperatures from ozone and volcanos, and north-south hemisphere differential say. Perhaps, with additional solar variations, the theory does not rule such changes out.

  27. Hi Steve; your paper is interesting, as usual; it is best summed up by chp 2; The pan evaporation paradox; the lads find increased rainfall around the pans with decreased evaporation except for some reversal over the last 10 years, notably in eastern Australia; after removing negative correlation between increasing rain and decreasing pan evaporation they find the likely culprits as being changing net evaporation, changing vapor pressure deficit and changing wind speed. In respect of the first Mark Wild at chp 8 notes solar dimming from 1960-90 and thereafter brightening; he essentially restates Philipona’s findings about aerosol reduction and enhanced LDR heating effects; apart from the problems with Philipona’s studies, the issues here are, as you say, some lower troposphere increase in SH and decreased pan evaporation (so where is the water coming from?); RH is declining at the same level however, and lower troposphere temp is also not going up, and surface temps have been flat/declining from either ’95, ’98 or 2001, depending on who you read, in contradiction of the paper stating “atmospheric temperatures have increased substantially”; what really complicates matters is that aerosols, generally regarded as a counter to greenhouse via solar dimming, can actually have a warming effect as Ramanathan has found or be a warmer or cooler depending on the region being looked at;

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2007GL030380.shtml

    That may be just AGW having a bet each way though; maybe the chp on clouds (10) will clear things up.

  28. Hi Steve; your paper is interesting, as usual; it is best summed up by chp 2; The pan evaporation paradox; the lads find increased rainfall around the pans with decreased evaporation except for some reversal over the last 10 years, notably in eastern Australia; after removing negative correlation between increasing rain and decreasing pan evaporation they find the likely culprits as being changing net evaporation, changing vapor pressure deficit and changing wind speed. In respect of the first Mark Wild at chp 8 notes solar dimming from 1960-90 and thereafter brightening; he essentially restates Philipona’s findings about aerosol reduction and enhanced LDR heating effects; apart from the problems with Philipona’s studies, the issues here are, as you say, some lower troposphere increase in SH and decreased pan evaporation (so where is the water coming from?); RH is declining at the same level however, and lower troposphere temp is also not going up, and surface temps have been flat/declining from either ’95, ’98 or 2001, depending on who you read, in contradiction of the paper stating “atmospheric temperatures have increased substantially”; what really complicates matters is that aerosols, generally regarded as a counter to greenhouse via solar dimming, can actually have a warming effect as Ramanathan has found or be a warmer or cooler depending on the region being looked at;

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2007GL030380.shtml

    That may be just AGW having a bet each way though; maybe the chp on clouds (10) will clear things up.

  29. The Berner and Scotese graph on historical discordancy between CO2 and temp shows the Cretaceous as being very warm with plunging levels of CO2; at this time there were no Polar ice-caps with their great store of frozen water; the point is, would the CO2 decline have been matched by an increase in atmospheric water vapor and a slight enlongation of the optical depth; is that consistent with M’s theory?

  30. The Berner and Scotese graph on historical discordancy between CO2 and temp shows the Cretaceous as being very warm with plunging levels of CO2; at this time there were no Polar ice-caps with their great store of frozen water; the point is, would the CO2 decline have been matched by an increase in atmospheric water vapor and a slight enlongation of the optical depth; is that consistent with M’s theory?

  31. #18 Cohenite: Given it doesn’t necessarily follow that constant optical path length gives constant surface temperatures, the possible states that lead to the Cretaceous could be explored with Hartcode. A long time ago, Ferenc ran some profiles with different levels of ozone which led to quite significant changes in Su. Albedo too.

  32. #18 Cohenite: Given it doesn’t necessarily follow that constant optical path length gives constant surface temperatures, the possible states that lead to the Cretaceous could be explored with Hartcode. A long time ago, Ferenc ran some profiles with different levels of ozone which led to quite significant changes in Su. Albedo too.

  33. Good; then its a model for all seasons; I have, however, assumed that the optical depth would alter for temperature variation to happen but that would not occur with variations just in the IR absorbers, which, as shown by the RH decline, compensate; the optical depth would only alter with changes in external energy ie; solar. Time for a rethink.

  34. Good; then its a model for all seasons; I have, however, assumed that the optical depth would alter for temperature variation to happen but that would not occur with variations just in the IR absorbers, which, as shown by the RH decline, compensate; the optical depth would only alter with changes in external energy ie; solar. Time for a rethink.

  35. Sadun, no change in optical path length means no greenhouse effect as it is currently understood. Temperatures have increased, but the atmosphere appears to respond to minimize the consequences.

  36. Sadun, no change in optical path length means no greenhouse effect as it is currently understood. Temperatures have increased, but the atmosphere appears to respond to minimize the consequences.

  37. Cohenite: Optical depth would not change with changes in external energy, solar forcing either. IT would however increase Su, surface temperatures etc. But the greenhouse effect, the relative ratios of radiation remains constant.

  38. Cohenite: Optical depth would not change with changes in external energy, solar forcing either. IT would however increase Su, surface temperatures etc. But the greenhouse effect, the relative ratios of radiation remains constant.

  39. “”How far can we see into the slab from the outside?” . .. . the answer turns out to be “about one mean free path”, or, equivalently, “about one optical depth.”

    How long is one mean free path for Optical Depth of 1.87 ?

    What is the equation ?

    Time for a surface emitted photon to escape ? What % of light speed ?

  40. “”How far can we see into the slab from the outside?” . .. . the answer turns out to be “about one mean free path”, or, equivalently, “about one optical depth.”

    How long is one mean free path for Optical Depth of 1.87 ?

    What is the equation ?

    Time for a surface emitted photon to escape ? What % of light speed ?

  41. I’m re-reading Dr. van Andel’s summary of the Miscolczi paper and am confused by the meaning of TA. He seems to use this same term for at least two different things. In one place he defines it as the Temp. of the Air at 2 m. Elsewhere, it looks like it means ??the “transparency of the Air.” Can someone set me straight, here?

  42. I’m re-reading Dr. van Andel’s summary of the Miscolczi paper and am confused by the meaning of TA. He seems to use this same term for at least two different things. In one place he defines it as the Temp. of the Air at 2 m. Elsewhere, it looks like it means ??the “transparency of the Air.” Can someone set me straight, here?

  43. jae #28

    He seems to use this same term for at least two different things. In one place he defines it as the Temp. of the Air at 2 m. Elsewhere, it looks like it means ??the “transparency of the Air.”

    Yes he does do that good catch.

  44. jae #28

    He seems to use this same term for at least two different things. In one place he defines it as the Temp. of the Air at 2 m. Elsewhere, it looks like it means ??the “transparency of the Air.”

    Yes he does do that good catch.

  45. Is it reasonable to believe that an optical depth of 1 km corresponds to around 2% of the atmosphere actually absorbing light. Gases like O2 and N2 do not absorb in the heat region of the electromagnetic spectrum due to a lack of permanent dipole moment. Also, Ferenc does not divulge the fact that in order for there to be a radiative, and then thermal, equilibrium there has to be balance at every wavelength of light that is emitted and absorbed by the atmosphere, not just in the long wavelength range.

  46. Is it reasonable to believe that an optical depth of 1 km corresponds to around 2% of the atmosphere actually absorbing light. Gases like O2 and N2 do not absorb in the heat region of the electromagnetic spectrum due to a lack of permanent dipole moment. Also, Ferenc does not divulge the fact that in order for there to be a radiative, and then thermal, equilibrium there has to be balance at every wavelength of light that is emitted and absorbed by the atmosphere, not just in the long wavelength range.

  47. Aaron #30

    Also, Ferenc does not divulge the fact that in order for there to be a radiative, and then thermal, equilibrium there has to be balance at every wavelength of light that is emitted and absorbed by the atmosphere, not just in the long wavelength range.

    He doesn’t have to divulge anything of the sort because it isn’t true. All that is needed is for radiative fluxes to sum to zero over the entire spectrum.

  48. Aaron #30

    Also, Ferenc does not divulge the fact that in order for there to be a radiative, and then thermal, equilibrium there has to be balance at every wavelength of light that is emitted and absorbed by the atmosphere, not just in the long wavelength range.

    He doesn’t have to divulge anything of the sort because it isn’t true. All that is needed is for radiative fluxes to sum to zero over the entire spectrum.

  49. jan pompe is correct here, BTW. Energy in = energy out at equilibrium, even if the wavelengths are different. No other picture makes sense.

  50. jan pompe is correct here, BTW. Energy in = energy out at equilibrium, even if the wavelengths are different. No other picture makes sense.

  51. Well, one thing is very clear in my mind. Over the oceans, which account for about 70 percent of the world’s surface, you CANNOT have a (water) surface temperature that is higher than the air temperature, or you get INSTANT evaporation, which balances the water vapor pressure (and the temperature). The water surface cools to match the atmosphere when this happens. And the converse is true also; the second the air above the ocean cools below the water surface temperature, there is instant condensation (dew). Thus, Miscolczi is correct for at least 70 percent of the Earth. And if there is free water in the soil, he is correct for that part, also. Which covers most of the Earth. Only in the deserts is there an imbalance, and he discusses that; and I think he is correct.

  52. Well, one thing is very clear in my mind. Over the oceans, which account for about 70 percent of the world’s surface, you CANNOT have a (water) surface temperature that is higher than the air temperature, or you get INSTANT evaporation, which balances the water vapor pressure (and the temperature). The water surface cools to match the atmosphere when this happens. And the converse is true also; the second the air above the ocean cools below the water surface temperature, there is instant condensation (dew). Thus, Miscolczi is correct for at least 70 percent of the Earth. And if there is free water in the soil, he is correct for that part, also. Which covers most of the Earth. Only in the deserts is there an imbalance, and he discusses that; and I think he is correct.

  53. “Ferenc does not divulge the fact that in order for there to be a radiative, and then thermal, equilibrium there has to be balance at every wavelength of light that is emitted and absorbed by the atmosphere, not just in the long wavelength range.”

    If kinetic temperatures, of different materials, in radiative equilibrium, not equal; Then we could run a heat engine, between the 2 temperatures.

    Atmosphere is a nonlinear object. A mixer, that produces all kinds of results. Even gemma rays at the top of lightning bolts.

    Surface, thermalizes, radiates in Infrared. Atmosphere picks the absorption lines, thermalizes, radiates etc. All are energy constrained.

  54. “Ferenc does not divulge the fact that in order for there to be a radiative, and then thermal, equilibrium there has to be balance at every wavelength of light that is emitted and absorbed by the atmosphere, not just in the long wavelength range.”

    If kinetic temperatures, of different materials, in radiative equilibrium, not equal; Then we could run a heat engine, between the 2 temperatures.

    Atmosphere is a nonlinear object. A mixer, that produces all kinds of results. Even gemma rays at the top of lightning bolts.

    Surface, thermalizes, radiates in Infrared. Atmosphere picks the absorption lines, thermalizes, radiates etc. All are energy constrained.

  55. Extreme Iris Effect, when USSR exploded a 50 megaton. The clouds vaporized, allowing the radiation to escape. Self organized for most efficient energy flow. Like water flowing, self optimizing, down the creek.

    Optical depth is a dimensionless bulk property. One optical depth ~ one mean free photon path.

  56. Extreme Iris Effect, when USSR exploded a 50 megaton. The clouds vaporized, allowing the radiation to escape. Self organized for most efficient energy flow. Like water flowing, self optimizing, down the creek.

    Optical depth is a dimensionless bulk property. One optical depth ~ one mean free photon path.

  57. James #36

    Optical depth is opacity of the clear sky atmosphere to infrared radiation and the Iris Effect is cloud cover. There is room for both in the theory.

  58. James #36

    Optical depth is opacity of the clear sky atmosphere to infrared radiation and the Iris Effect is cloud cover. There is room for both in the theory.

  59. Gases like O2 and N2 do not absorb in the heat region of the electromagnetic spectrum due to a lack of permanent dipole moment.

    They are the bulk of the atmosphere and do participate in other types of heat motions. And the O2 to O or O3 and back, plus the H2O et al.

    Yay!

  60. Gases like O2 and N2 do not absorb in the heat region of the electromagnetic spectrum due to a lack of permanent dipole moment.

    They are the bulk of the atmosphere and do participate in other types of heat motions. And the O2 to O or O3 and back, plus the H2O et al.

    Yay!

  61. jae #33

    “Over the oceans, which account for about 70 percent of the world’s surface, you CANNOT have a (water) surface temperature that is higher than the air temperature, or you get INSTANT evaporation, which balances the water vapor pressure (and the temperature).”

    This is not true wherever cyanobacteria are blooming (which is common whenever water warms). The oily monolaye/multilayer formed on the surface due to zooplankton predation and other cell lysis by cyanobacteriophages (viruses) greatly retards the rate of evaporation by many orders of magnitude.

  62. jae #33

    “Over the oceans, which account for about 70 percent of the world’s surface, you CANNOT have a (water) surface temperature that is higher than the air temperature, or you get INSTANT evaporation, which balances the water vapor pressure (and the temperature).”

    This is not true wherever cyanobacteria are blooming (which is common whenever water warms). The oily monolaye/multilayer formed on the surface due to zooplankton predation and other cell lysis by cyanobacteriophages (viruses) greatly retards the rate of evaporation by many orders of magnitude.

  63. Steve #42

    Not only is there a monolayer of oil but there must also be an increase in albedo on ocean surfaces where the blooms occur for them to be visible from space. If the increase in area of the blooms is due to $$CO_2$$ fertilisation then that constitutes a true (active) negative feedback.

  64. Steve #42

    Not only is there a monolayer of oil but there must also be an increase in albedo on ocean surfaces where the blooms occur for them to be visible from space. If the increase in area of the blooms is due to $$CO_2$$ fertilisation then that constitutes a true (active) negative feedback.

  65. Yes, the albedo increases not only because of the oil monolayer but also because:

    (1) Many species of cyanobacteria have a skeleton based on calcite (calcium carbonate). These species are known as coccolithophores. This in effect puts a suspension of calcite into the top 2 m or so of the ocean, which also increases surface albedo.

    (2) All cyanobacteria emit an organosulfur compound which decomposes into dimethysulfide (DMS) and crosses into the air due to high vapor pressure. They also emit other long chain organic compounds such as isoprenes which behave similarly. All these compounds increase the rate of low level cloud nucleation thereby decreasing increasing atmospheric optical thickness and increasing cloud-based albedo. Hence the ever-present carpet of cloud over the eastern Pacific.

    The interesting thing about oceanic cyanobacterial productivity is that it is not only increasing over recent decades due to fertilization of the surface layers of the ocean with dissolved CO2 and bicarbonate due to the increasing partial pressure of CO2 (an anthropogenic effect), but also because the concentrations of reactive forms of nitrogen (ammonia nitrogen; NH3-N, nitrate/nitrite nitrogen; NOx-N) and phosphorus (reactive phosphorus; RP or orthophosphate; PO4-P) are steadily increasing in continental shelf waters.

    Like the CO2, this is also an anthropogenic effect of increasing human population (coastal discharges of treated and untreated sewage wastes and agricultural runoff) and N and P mass-wise is an effect as unprecedented in geological history as is commonly claimed for the CO2 effect.

    The AGW orthodoxy (I use that term because it tends to irritate BPL etc) know about, and are involved in studies of these anthropogenic C, N and P-based fertilization effects. However, they generally like to keep quiet about them publicly because the overall net effects largely runs counter to the positive feedbacks related to CO2-related global warming.

    For anyone interested in comprehensively viewing and studying oceanic cyanobacterial effects (including chlorophyll a, water leaving radiance, aerosol optical thickness etc) via satellite-based remote sensing, NASA’s Giovanni web site and software tools are invaluable:

    http://daac.gsfc.nasa.gov/techloab/giovanni/

  66. Yes, the albedo increases not only because of the oil monolayer but also because:

    (1) Many species of cyanobacteria have a skeleton based on calcite (calcium carbonate). These species are known as coccolithophores. This in effect puts a suspension of calcite into the top 2 m or so of the ocean, which also increases surface albedo.

    (2) All cyanobacteria emit an organosulfur compound which decomposes into dimethysulfide (DMS) and crosses into the air due to high vapor pressure. They also emit other long chain organic compounds such as isoprenes which behave similarly. All these compounds increase the rate of low level cloud nucleation thereby decreasing increasing atmospheric optical thickness and increasing cloud-based albedo. Hence the ever-present carpet of cloud over the eastern Pacific.

    The interesting thing about oceanic cyanobacterial productivity is that it is not only increasing over recent decades due to fertilization of the surface layers of the ocean with dissolved CO2 and bicarbonate due to the increasing partial pressure of CO2 (an anthropogenic effect), but also because the concentrations of reactive forms of nitrogen (ammonia nitrogen; NH3-N, nitrate/nitrite nitrogen; NOx-N) and phosphorus (reactive phosphorus; RP or orthophosphate; PO4-P) are steadily increasing in continental shelf waters.

    Like the CO2, this is also an anthropogenic effect of increasing human population (coastal discharges of treated and untreated sewage wastes and agricultural runoff) and N and P mass-wise is an effect as unprecedented in geological history as is commonly claimed for the CO2 effect.

    The AGW orthodoxy (I use that term because it tends to irritate BPL etc) know about, and are involved in studies of these anthropogenic C, N and P-based fertilization effects. However, they generally like to keep quiet about them publicly because the overall net effects largely runs counter to the positive feedbacks related to CO2-related global warming.

    For anyone interested in comprehensively viewing and studying oceanic cyanobacterial effects (including chlorophyll a, water leaving radiance, aerosol optical thickness etc) via satellite-based remote sensing, NASA’s Giovanni web site and software tools are invaluable:

    http://daac.gsfc.nasa.gov/techloab/giovanni/

  67. Steve Short: Good stuff. But how much of the planet does this affect? And what is the effect of the “oils” on the water surface on the evaporation of water? If you look at the absolute humidities in the locales that are affected, are they different? I doubt it.

    I agree completely with the idea that atmospheric emissions of the bacteria affect nucleation (except that it’s probably not isoprenes (C5), but oxidized terpenes (C5)n that are producing the particulates for necleation).

  68. Steve Short: Good stuff. But how much of the planet does this affect? And what is the effect of the “oils” on the water surface on the evaporation of water? If you look at the absolute humidities in the locales that are affected, are they different? I doubt it.

    I agree completely with the idea that atmospheric emissions of the bacteria affect nucleation (except that it’s probably not isoprenes (C5), but oxidized terpenes (C5)n that are producing the particulates for necleation).

  69. There is a fair bit of literature on surface films on water and their effect on the RATE of evaporation going back over more than 50 years. A few samples:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v172/n4389/abs/1721101a0.html

    http://www.springer.com/earth+sciences/oceanography/book/978-3-540-33270-1

    To my knowledge one has actually measured relative/specific humidities over the top of biogenic active blooms on the ocean but I’ll bet there is an effect.

    There have indeed been measurements of the humidity effects over mineral oil slicks which confirmed it as as much reduced. Indeed at one stage this was proposed as a way of weakening hurricanes in their early stages. I’ve lost my web references but an eastern US university conducted research on this.

    http://news.mongabay.com/2005/0921-weakening_hurricane.html

    Marine isoprenes?

    Aren’t the lipids of cyanobacteria glycerol ethers of isoprenes (unlike the eukaryotes)?

    There has also been many studies on the effects of cyanobacterial blooming on aerosol optical depth:

    http://amirani.meas.ncsu.edu/~web_site/PublicationsPage.html

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2002/2001GL013545.shtml

  70. There is a fair bit of literature on surface films on water and their effect on the RATE of evaporation going back over more than 50 years. A few samples:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v172/n4389/abs/1721101a0.html

    http://www.springer.com/earth+sciences/oceanography/book/978-3-540-33270-1

    To my knowledge one has actually measured relative/specific humidities over the top of biogenic active blooms on the ocean but I’ll bet there is an effect.

    There have indeed been measurements of the humidity effects over mineral oil slicks which confirmed it as as much reduced. Indeed at one stage this was proposed as a way of weakening hurricanes in their early stages. I’ve lost my web references but an eastern US university conducted research on this.

    http://news.mongabay.com/2005/0921-weakening_hurricane.html

    Marine isoprenes?

    Aren’t the lipids of cyanobacteria glycerol ethers of isoprenes (unlike the eukaryotes)?

    There has also been many studies on the effects of cyanobacterial blooming on aerosol optical depth:

    http://amirani.meas.ncsu.edu/~web_site/PublicationsPage.html

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2002/2001GL013545.shtml

  71. Oops, typo:

    To my knowledge NO one has actually measured relative/specific humidities over the top of biogenic active blooms on the ocean but I’ll bet there is an effect.

  72. Oops, typo:

    To my knowledge NO one has actually measured relative/specific humidities over the top of biogenic active blooms on the ocean but I’ll bet there is an effect.

  73. Steve #47

    To my knowledge NO one has actually measured relative/specific humidities over the top of biogenic active blooms on the ocean but I’ll bet there is an effect.

    I’ll also bet there is useable data about for at lest a preliminary study. There are satellites flying all the time so there should be some contemporaneous measurements of humidity an ocean reflectivity about – not necessarily in the same place. It would take a bit of a search but I’m sure it’s there the NOAA data source for specific/relative humidity for instance and that should be able to be lined up with the satellite observations by those looking for algal blooms.

  74. Steve #47

    To my knowledge NO one has actually measured relative/specific humidities over the top of biogenic active blooms on the ocean but I’ll bet there is an effect.

    I’ll also bet there is useable data about for at lest a preliminary study. There are satellites flying all the time so there should be some contemporaneous measurements of humidity an ocean reflectivity about – not necessarily in the same place. It would take a bit of a search but I’m sure it’s there the NOAA data source for specific/relative humidity for instance and that should be able to be lined up with the satellite observations by those looking for algal blooms.

  75. Asher, W. E.: The sea-surface microlayer and its effects on global air-sea gas transfer, in: The Sea Surface and Global Change, (Eds) Liss, P. S. and Duce, R. A., Cambridge Univ. Press, New York, pp. 251–285, 1996

    Frew, N. M., Goldman, J. C., Dennett, M. R., and Johnson, A. S.: Impact of phytoplankton generated surfactants on air-sea gas exchange, J. Geophys. Res., 95, 3337–3352, 1990

    Goldman, J. C., Dennett, M. R., and Frew, N. M.: Surfactant effects on air-sea gas exchange under turbulent conditions, Deep-Sea Res., 35, 1953–1970, 1988

    Gorshkov, V. G., Gorshkov, V. V., and Makarieva, A. M.: Biotic Regulation of the Environment, Key Issue of Global Change, Springer-Praxis Series in Environmental Sciences, Springer-Verlag, London, 2000

    Sathyendranath, S., Gouveia, A. D., Shetye, S. R., Ravindran, P., and Platt, T.: Biological control of surface temperature in the Arabian Sea, Nature, 349, 54–56, 1991

    Zutic, V. B., Cosovic, B., Marcenko, E., and Bihari, N.: Surfactant production by marine phytoplankton, Mar. Chem., 10, 505–520, 1981

  76. Asher, W. E.: The sea-surface microlayer and its effects on global air-sea gas transfer, in: The Sea Surface and Global Change, (Eds) Liss, P. S. and Duce, R. A., Cambridge Univ. Press, New York, pp. 251–285, 1996

    Frew, N. M., Goldman, J. C., Dennett, M. R., and Johnson, A. S.: Impact of phytoplankton generated surfactants on air-sea gas exchange, J. Geophys. Res., 95, 3337–3352, 1990

    Goldman, J. C., Dennett, M. R., and Frew, N. M.: Surfactant effects on air-sea gas exchange under turbulent conditions, Deep-Sea Res., 35, 1953–1970, 1988

    Gorshkov, V. G., Gorshkov, V. V., and Makarieva, A. M.: Biotic Regulation of the Environment, Key Issue of Global Change, Springer-Praxis Series in Environmental Sciences, Springer-Verlag, London, 2000

    Sathyendranath, S., Gouveia, A. D., Shetye, S. R., Ravindran, P., and Platt, T.: Biological control of surface temperature in the Arabian Sea, Nature, 349, 54–56, 1991

    Zutic, V. B., Cosovic, B., Marcenko, E., and Bihari, N.: Surfactant production by marine phytoplankton, Mar. Chem., 10, 505–520, 1981

  77. Steve:

    “There is a fair bit of literature on surface films on water and their effect on the RATE of evaporation going back over more than 50 years. A few samples:”

    I’m glad you capitalized RATE here, because I’ll bet that is the key issue. I think it has been well established that an oily layer on the surface can slow down the rate of evaporation. I don’t know if that effects equilibrium humidity, however. I doubt it (just guessing).

  78. Steve:

    “There is a fair bit of literature on surface films on water and their effect on the RATE of evaporation going back over more than 50 years. A few samples:”

    I’m glad you capitalized RATE here, because I’ll bet that is the key issue. I think it has been well established that an oily layer on the surface can slow down the rate of evaporation. I don’t know if that effects equilibrium humidity, however. I doubt it (just guessing).

  79. jae #51

    “I don’t know if that effects equilibrium humidity, however. I doubt it (just guessing).”

    It will if it slows evaporation to below precipitation rate, and if the little beasties are causing cloud nucleating aerosols to get into the atmosphere they could also be affecting that.

    I suspect.

  80. jae #51

    “I don’t know if that effects equilibrium humidity, however. I doubt it (just guessing).”

    It will if it slows evaporation to below precipitation rate, and if the little beasties are causing cloud nucleating aerosols to get into the atmosphere they could also be affecting that.

    I suspect.

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