onsdag 4 augusti 2010

Penguin Logic of Greenhouse Gases

The basic argument behind CO2 climate alarmism goes as follows:
  • Observation 1: An Earth with a transparent atmosphere would have a different climate than an Earth with an atmosphere which is not transparent (like the present).
  • Definition 1: What makes an atmosphere not transparent is called a greenhouse gas.
  • Conclusion 1: A greenhouse gas changes the climate.
  • Observation 2: Water vapor and CO2 are greenhouse gases.
  • Conclusion 2: Since CO2 is a greenhouse gas and greenhouse gases change the climate, CO2 changes the climate.
Can you see that this a form of Penguin Logic? Compare with the new report from the Max Planck Society:
  • In order to achieve the long-term stabilisation of the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, the emissions will then have to be reduced by 56 percent by the year 2050 and approach zero towards the end of this century. 
Compare with IPCC AR4 Glossary:
  • Greenhouse gases are those gaseous constituents of the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that absorb and emit radiation at specific wavelengths within the spectrum of thermal infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface, the atmosphere itself, and by clouds. This property causes the greenhouse effect. Water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and ozone (O3) are the primary greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Greenhouse gases effectively absorb thermal infrared radiation, emitted by the Earth’s surface, by the atmosphere itself due to the same gases, and Appendix II Glossary 82 Atmospheric radiation is emitted to all sides, including downward to the Earth’s surface. Thus greenhouse gases trap heat within the surface-troposphere system. This is called the greenhouse effect.
  • An increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases leads to an increased infrared opacity of the atmosphere, and therefore to an effective radiation into space from a higher altitude at a lower temperature. This causes a radiative forcing that leads to an enhancement of the greenhouse effect, the so-called enhanced greenhouse effect.
  • Radiative forcing is the change in the net irradiance at the tropopause due to a change in an external driver of climate change, such as, for example, a change in the concentration of carbon dioxide or the output of the Sun. 
Can you make sense of this? If you cannot, is there anybody who can, except penguins?

Not only is there a greenhouse effect, but as if that was not enough, also an enhanced greenhouse effect able to supply a net radiative forcing. 

It is amazing to see physicists, including Nobel Laurates, endorsing this kind of penguin science
without actually examining the arguments put forward. Why?

Compare with Wikipedia controled by IPCC:
  • The greenhouse effect is a process by which radiative energy leaving a planetary surface is absorbed by some atmospheric gases, called greenhouse gases. They transfer this energy to other components of the atmosphere, and it is re-radiated in all directions, including back down towards the surface. 
  • This transfers energy to the surface and lower atmosphere, so the temperature there is higher than it would be if direct heating by solar radiation were the only warming mechanism. 
  • This mechanism is fundamentally different from that of an actual greenhouse, which works by isolating warm air inside the structure so that heat is not lost by convection.
We see the crucial role of re-radiation or backradiation discussed in previous posts. 

Note that WUWT is gearing up to "support the role of CO2" but starts off with a guest post by
physicist Tom Vonk arguing that
  • A volume of gas in Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium (LTE) cannot be heated by CO2.
  • The main point is that every time you hear or read that “CO2 heats the atmosphere” , that “energy is trapped by CO2” , that “energy is stored by green house gases” and similar statements , you may be sure that this source is not to be trusted for information about radiation questions.
Nevertheless Vonk concludes his essay by
  •  The concentrations of CO2 (and H2O) play a role in this (climate) dynamics but it is not the purpose of this post to examine these much more complex and not well understood aspects.
It will be interesting to see what role WUWT will give to CO2. None?

4 kommentarer:

  1. I think it is important to distinguish between non-interacting and transparent. A window is transparent to visible light but obviously it interacts with it since it takes slightly longer time for the light to pass through according to Snells law. It would seem reasonable that an isothermal atmosphere with greenhouse gases is transparent to IR-radiation, just like a window is to visible light.

  2. I think we should in particular focus on the penguin logic in the statement:

    "An increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases leads to an increased infrared opacity of the atmosphere, and therefore to an effective radiation into space from a higher altitude at a lower temperature. This causes a radiative forcing that leads to an enhancement of the greenhouse effect, the so-called enhanced greenhouse effect."

    Which is the backbone of the so called Greenhouse Effect. It seems to assume that somehow there is a temperature gradient independent of the greenhouse gases and controlled in magnitude by some other force. The statement is obviously intentionally fraudulent, made to confuse the general public and probably one or two meteorologists as well.

    To make it clear once and for all. According to the hardcore GE theory, the temperature gradient is caused by the greenhouse gases, the greenhouse effect is NOT a consequence of an underlying temperature gradient. This is a logical necessity given that the greenhouse effect is supposed to warm the surface and cool the stratosphere.

    I wonder how long time the general public will agree to have their intelligence insulted in this manner. It is nothing but the trick of a bad salesman.

  3. You might want to participate in this discussion:


  4. Agree with Anders that the isothermal atmosphere is transparent to IR. That GHGs do absorb and emit makes it impossible for anything else. Thermalisation of IR by GHGs was argued by Vonk to be theorectically impossible. Only Maxwell's demon could make it possible. There is no experimental evidence of thermalisation of IR by IR absorbing/emitting gases (excepting the radiative transfer data collected in IR reflective chambers).

    Penguins rebuttal of the greenhouse effect:
    1. If the earth did not have any IR absorbing/emitting gases, then it would be unable to emit IR.
    2. Isothermal earth would be much warmer at the surface due it it's very hot internal core, even if there is no sun.
    3. It is the presence of IR emitters at the surface and in the atmosphere to cool the surface below isothermal 24 hours a day.
    4. CO2 is important for surface cooling.