måndag 2 mars 2015

Bengtsson and Pierrehumbert: Back Radiation, Fossil Fuel and Pre-Industrial Hell

Lennart Bengtsson is Sweden's leading climate scientist and main author of the Statement by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on the Scientific Basis of Climate Change, which is the scientific rationale of Swedish climate politics aiming at a fossil free society by 2050.

When I ask Bengtsson as top Swedish expert about the scientific origin and documentation of the element of radiative heat transfer from the atmosphere to the Earth's surface named "back radiation", which serves as a key element to support CO2 global warming alarmism, Bengtsson responds by saying that he is not able to give an answer and then kindly suggests that I pose instead my questions to Raymond Pierrehumbert presently King Carl XVI Gustaf Visiting Professorship in Environmental Science at the University of Stockholm:
  • Chance took Ray Pierrehumbert to Stockholm where he fell for the city - and Sweden. On the King's environmental professorship, he now works on to illuminate the complex systems that explain the earth's climate and to get decision makers to switch to a fossil free society.
  • "We are most likely going to pass the point where the earth's climate will be two degrees warmer”. 
  • According to Ray Pierrehumbert that does not mean it´s automatically a disaster for humanity, but the risk of a catastrophic development increases the more the temperature rises.
  • "The decisions we make today determine how the climate will be for the next ten thousand years!”
  • “When the total amount of coal burned and ended up in the atmosphere amounts to three trillion tonnes, the earth's average temperature rises by two degrees. So far, we have transferred two trillion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere. Reducing the consumption of fossil fuels is humanity's greatest challenge”.
  • Ray Pierrehumbert practices what he preaches. He has not owned a car in 20 years, he travels by public transport or by bicycle, lives in a small apartment and does not buy things unnecessarily. The problem from a climate perspective for him, and many other researchers, is air travel. But he is trying to use telephone conferencing and Skype as much as possible.
  • Accordingly, he has informed King Carl XVI Gustaf that heating of the Royal Castle will no longer be allowed. 
We read that Prof Pierrehumbert has invested heavily in CO2 alarmism. When Bengtsson suggests me to ask Prof Pierrehumbert to check if my analysis of "back radiation" as non-physics is correct, he can safely count on a negative answer or no answer. This is clever, but why does Bengtsson bother at all? Why does Bengtsson not say simply stick to his earlier statement that my work is BS? Why involve Pierrehumbert? 

Here you can listen to Pierrehumbert crushing Lindzen, Spencer and Christy. What would he say about LB? Or watch: We are climate scientists, Chicago style.

A fossil free Sweden may be possible, with our nuclear and hydro power, but what about the rest of the world now surviving on 80% fossil energy? How much will human population have to get reduced to save itself by reducing fossil fuel to zero by 2050?

What if the King would read The Moral Case of Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein:
  • Renouncing oil and its byproducts would plunge civilization into a pre-industrial hell—a fact developing countries keenly realize.
Following Pierrehumbert Sweden will be returned to a restart as an early developing country without even a King.

PS1  Here is a copy of a letter I sent to Profs Raymond Pierrehumbert and Henning Rodhe KVA:

Dear Professors Raymond Pierrehumbert and Henning Rodhe

Upon suggestion by Prof Lennart Bengtsson I want to direct your attention to an analysis of the concept of "back radiation", as a key element in the standard description of atmospheric radiative heat transfer summarized in the Kiehl-Trenberth energy budget, which I present in detail on the web site https://computationalblackbody.wordpress.com and in posts on http://claesjohnson.blogspot.se under the categories "myth of back radiation" and "DLR".

The analysis is based on a new proof of Planck's radiation law which indicates that "back radiation" has no physical reality. This is in direct contradiction to the Kiehl-Trenberth energy budget, where "back radiation" has a key role. 

I asked Prof Bengtsson about the original scientific sources documenting "back radiation" as a real physical phenomenon, but I did not receive an answer. Instead Prof Bengtsson suggested me to contact Prof Pierrehumbert as world leading expert on planetary climate and Prof Rodhe in charge of the new statement on the scientific basis of climate change to be made by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

I thus pose the same question to you and I hope to get a clear answer. Since "back radiation" is such a fundamental part of the standard conception of CO2 global warming, documentation must exist.

I also hope that you will seriously consider my evidence of the non-physics of "back radiation " and of course I am willing to present this evidence directly to you in a meeting to get your view, if you would prefer.


Claes Johnson

                                                                       Fossil free society.

PS2 Key posts on non-physics of Back Radiation and Downwelling Longwave Radiation DLR are:
PS3 Recall that Stefan-Boltzmann's radiation law for radiative transfer of heat energy $E>0$ between two blackbodies of temperature $T_1$ and $T_2$ with $T_1>T_2$ reads:  
  • $E =\sigma\times (T_1^4-T_2^4)$,                 (1)
where $\sigma$ is a Stefan-Boltzmann's constant. Note that with $T_2=0$, (1) takes the form $E=\sigma\times T_1^4$ as the radiation from a blackbody of temperature $T_1$ into a background at 0 K. 

Back radiation/DLR results from a misrepresentation of  (1) of the form
  • $E = E_1-E_2\equiv\sigma\times T_1^4 - \sigma\times T_2^4$,    (2)
where E comes out as the difference bewteen two fictitious opposite heat transfers $E_1$ and $E_2$.
Here $E_1$ and $E_2$ are fictitious because they represent heat transfers into a background of 0 K, which is not the case.

Thus the algebraic decomposition of (1) into (2) has no physical reality as a decomposition of one way heat transfer into net transfer of two opposite heat transfers, because the transfer from cold to warm violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

What is possible with symbols on a piece of paper, does not have to correspond to any reality. The fate of human civilization may depend on understanding this basic fact of science.

PS4 Read Wall Street Journal: Political Assault on Climate Skeptics. Of course I do not expect to get any response from Pierrehumbert and Rodhe. Climate skeptics are subject to suppression not only in the US.

PS5 Notice that Svante Arrhenius, the Swedish semi-god of CO2 alarmism, uses (1) and not (2) in his  legendary article from 1896 with the triggering title On the Influence of Carbon Acid in the Air upon the Temperature on the Ground, as observed in an earlier post from 2010.

PS6 The "effective blackbody temperature" of the Earth+atmosphere system is 255 K, as the temperature of a blackbody emitting the 240 W/m2 absorbed by the Earth+atmosphere out of a total of 340 W/m2 coming in from the Sun mostly as visible and ultraviolet light with a smaller portion as infrared. The "effective emission altitude" is about 5 km as the altitude where the temperature is 255 K. The difference 33 K between the ground temperature of 288 K and 255 K is commonly termed the "total greenhouse effect" as the ground temperature difference of an Earth with and without an atmosphere.

But to compare Earths with and without atmosphere is not reasonable, unless you want to find a  "greenhouse effect" which is as large as possible.

It is more reasonable to compare Earths with different "atmospheric window", as the part of the total emission from the Earth-atmosphere system emitted from the ground.  With a full window and a ground albedo of 0.3, the ground temperature emitting the 240 W/m2 would be about 280 K. The corresponding "total greenhouse effect" would thus be 8 K, to be compared with the standard estimate of 33 K. Closing the current window of 40W/m2 would then increase the effect with 2 K. With a "total greenhouse effect" of 8 K instead of 33 K, perturbations in the greenhouse effect will be correspondingly smaller: The 1 K upon doubling of CO2 in the standard perspective, would be reduced to 0.25 C and thus not measurable.

This analysis can be viewed to reflect "double albedo", a first from absorption of sun light and a second from emission of infrared, as a double "transaction cost".

4 kommentarer:

  1. An often cited paper by Ray Pierrehumbert is: "Infrared radiation and planetary temperature" (http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/papers/PhysTodayRT2011.pdf)

    The following phrases are from the section of the paper defining "A Few Fundamentals":

    “At planetary energy densities, photons do not significantly interact with each other; their distribution evolves only through interaction with matter. The momentum of atmospheric photons is too small to allow any significant portion of their energy to go directly into translational kinetic energy of the molecules that absorb them. Instead, it goes into changing the internal quantum states of the molecules. A photon with frequency ν has energy hν, so for a photon to be absorbed or emitted, the molecule involved must have a transition between energy levels differing by that amount.

    Coupled vibrational and rotational states are the key players in IR absorption. An IR photon absorbed by a molecule knocks the molecule into a higher-energy quantum state. Those states have very long lifetimes, characterized by the spectroscopically measurable Einstein A coefficient. For example, for the CO2 transitions that are most significant in the thermal IR, the lifetimes tend to range from a few milliseconds to a few tenths of a second. In contrast, the typical time between collisions for, say, a nitrogen-dominated atmosphere at a pressure of 104 Pa and temperature of 250 K is well under 10−7 s.

    Therefore, the energy of the photon will almost always be assimilated by collisions into the general energy pool of the matter and establish a new Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution at a slightly higher temperature. That is how radiation heats matter in the LTE limit.“

    As I read the paper this is how Pierrhumbert describes the mechanisms for absorption of IR by CO2 and transferring the IR as energy to the other elements of the atmosphere.

    I am not able to follow his reasoning, To me it seems to be a kind of adjusting the physics to fit his cause by using elements from quantum mechanics in a rather "artistic" manner.

    I would appreciate your comments on the paper in general, and the way he applies basic physics in particular.

  2. Notable is the total effect of CO2 is claimed to be 1/3 of the "greenhouse effect" of 33 C, however without any support but hand waiving.

  3. Neither is any estimate made of the warming effect of the CO2 "ditch".

  4. The problem with the actual world is the fact that fossil fuels will be used in the future even more intense than today because many countries (especially developing ones) due to an increased demand of energy of any kind (fossil + green) produced by the overpopulation will burn more coal oil and gas to cover this increased energy demand.
    I saw a recent prediction for the year 2035 that shows how the global energy mix will look twenty years from now:
    Luckily, developed areas like North America, the EU, Eurasia and Japan will decrease the fossil fuel usage so we might have a chance.