Quote of the Week

Propaganda works!

what a thing to say

“44% think food and drink would be safer if it had no carbon or CO2 in it.”




Let us pause for a moment and recognise the deep ignorance of our beloved brethren and sistren around the world. Please remember all those wonderful people force-fed the illogical propaganda of their green masters and who now believe the following seven impossible things before breakfast.

Of the Australian public, and no doubt our own “public”

  • 93% think CO2 constitutes more than 1% of the atmosphere
  • 53% believe climate change causes tsunamis
  • 47% think CO2 is ‘pollution’
  • 44% think food and drink would be safer if it had no carbon or CO2 in it
  • 40% believe climate change causes earthquakes
  • 37% believe climate change causes volcanic eruptions
  • 37% think we should try to reduce carbon in the body

Nothing I might say could make it sound any better. But those people need your help…

161 Thoughts on “Quote of the Week

  1. Richard C (NZ) on October 9, 2011 at 11:29 am said:

    Interesting exercise but there’s a number of problems with it so I’ll take them point-by-point.

    1) Re: “the question of how much energy is available for DLR to deliver”, you say:-

    Much of this energy is outside of the band the you say DLR should fall into but I suspect that these limits are arbitrary and do not reflect any particular physical limit.

    Wrong. The lower physical limit is around 3µm but because of the 3µm – 4µm overlap with the solar spectrum the solar/DLR division is conventionally 4µm. Viudez Mora shows the overlap in the inset in Figure 1 (how many times do I have to explain this division?). The upper 15µm limit is not so much physical but sensible. This is easily demonstrated just by inserting 15 in the upper limit of the BB calculator and calculating, then 16, 20, 50 and so on. You will see that it makes no difference to the Radiant emmittance i.e. the energy just is not there beyond about 15µm.

    2) If you think that the fluxes (area under the curves) in the Barrow-Nauru plots are anywhere near the corresponding BB or GB curves, then I have to say that you have been smoking far too much renewable green pharmaceuticals.

    You can do a like-for-like comparison by changing Units to Wavenumber (cm-1) in the BB calculator. Remember that in the DLR range, wavelength is around 10µm – not 1µm as in the solar range, so the parameters are (starting with Units in Wavelength (µm):-

    Units: Wavelength (µm)
    BB Properties: 14, 0.83
    Wavelength: 10µm
    Lower Limit: 4µm (makes no difference using 3 – try it)
    Upper Limit: 15µm (makes no difference using 50 – try it)

    Results (µm):-

    Radiant emmittance: 319.99 W/m2
    Radiance: 101.856 W/m2/sr
    Peak spectral radiance: 6.63685 W/m2/sr/µm
    Wavelength of peak: 10.0914 µm
    Spectral Radiance: 6.63552 W/m2/sr/µm (5.034e+19 photons/J)
    Band Radiance: 54.2349 W/m2/sr

    Notice the shape of the plot, it’s the BB DLR curve of Viudez Mora Fig 1 except far greater area under the curve than typical real-world.

    Now (leaving the other parameters unchanged) change Units to Wavenumber (cm-1):-

    Results (cm-1):-

    Radiant emmittance: 319.99 W/m2
    Radiance: 101.856 W/m2/sr
    Peak spectral radiance: 0.111709 W/m2/sr/cm-1
    Wavenumber of peak: 563.104 cm-1
    Spectral Radiance: 0.0663 W/m2/sr/cm-1 (5.034e+19 photons/J)
    Band Radiance: 54.2349 W/m2/sr

    Notice that the shape of the (cm-1) plot is completely different to the shape of the (µm) plot.

    Now compare the BB (cm-1) plot to Barrow-Nauru observations (111.709 mW/m2/sr/cm-1 is midway between the two) also in (cm-1) units. Big difference huh? I suggest that the (un-cited) “mainstream literature” that you refer to is c***.

    3) How do you get the equivalence (conversion) in the following statement?:-

    “peak spectral radiance is 6.7 W/m2/sr/µm (21W/m2/µm)”

    You’ve equated spectral radiance to irradiance power (6.7 = 21) – they are not the same, see SI radiometry units table here:-


    Either that or you’ve converted sterance (angular) to linear (better shown as W/m2 – µm where “µm” (linear) denotes the unit of spectral line compared to “sr µm” (angular)

    Please provide details of your conversion from what I understand to be angular steradium (sr) units to basically linear units (if that conversion is even possible). You can only convert like-for-like units otherwise the conversion looks horrendous to me and I’m sure 6.7 in “sr µm” will not equal 21 “µm” anyway, it should be a lot less – not a lot more (if the conversion is possible).
    I came across these links:-

    Newport: Optical Radiation Terminology and Units


    Newport Oriel Product Training: Spectral Irradiance


    Essentially the same material that gets into lasers and photons in the solar spectrum among other things and useful to our discussion, also steradium units (“sterance”).

  2. Richard C (NZ) on October 9, 2011 at 1:10 pm said:

    New Article Highlights Deficiencies In The Global Climate Models – Luo Et Al 2011

    Jing-Jia Luo, 2011: Ocean dynamics not required?

    Jing-Jia includes the text [highlight added]

    “However, on decadal and longer timescales, ocean dynamics seem to be less important than was thought: the magnitude of the variance in SST in the climate mode observed by Clement et al.2 in their ocean-slab models is comparable to that observed in reality. When the authors coupled full ocean dynamics to the atmosphere in their models, this actually weakened the decadal and multidecadal variability by constraining the variance of tropical climate to interannual timescales.”

    “One limitation of the authors’s findings is that many of their climate models are severely flawed when simulating the period and magnitude of ENSO. The misrepresentation of ENSO dynamics in such models may preclude an accurate separation of dynamic and thermodynamic coupling effects. Moreover, most climate models erroneously predict the existence of an intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) — a band near the Equator where the trade winds from the two hemispheres converge — in the South Pacific, in addition to the real one observed north of the Equator. This problem is known as double ITCZ bias.….”


  3. Richard C (NZ) on October 9, 2011 at 7:19 pm said:

    I’ll answer 3) myself using this Free Downloadable Blackbody Calculator in MS Excel format



    It provides 2 plots with 2 curves each: watts/cm2/µm – watts/cm2/µm/sr (plot 1) and photon flux density – photon sterance (plot 2).

    Using the following parameters:-

    14C, 14C, 0.83, 4, 15, 1 cm2 and 10 µm

    Plot 1, Peak radiance (multiplied by 10,000 to get m2):-

    20 watts/m2/µm
    6.64 watts/m2/µm/sr

    So yes DLR radiance using steradium units is a lot less than linear but its actually 2 different curves. I learned a lot here – thanks. The spreadsheet generates a whole lot of extra data in the blue box too but doesn’t give total power that I can see unfortunately.

    Plot 2, shows photon flux density and photon sterance with the curves skewed toward the upper limit. Problem being that energy-per-photon declines rapidly as wavelength increases so the power drops off in plot 1.

    This still doesn’t justify the use of BB curves as an approximation of real-world curves that exhibit far less total energy reaching the surface.

    OK so far but then it all goes pear shaped when I look at power in the solar spectrum using the Excel BB calculator and applying the same multipliers e.g. entering parameters:-

    5497C, 5497C, 0.46, 0.1, 4, 1 cm2 and 0.5 µm

    Plot 1, Peak radiance (multiplied by 10,000 to get m2):-

    3,740,000 watts/m2/µm
    1,190,000 watts/m2/µm/sr


    Equivalent blackbody temperature from solar constant: 5770 K – 273 = 5497 C


    Emissivity 46% in the infrared range


    There is obviously something wrong with this approach. The 5497 C is at TOA – not surface. So to be compared, the solar spectrum will have to be at the surface (I have observed measurements at surface but not BB, how does this work?).

    Even using TOA BB T, the Excel BB calculator result is way off. Using BB T 5250 C to compare to this solar spectrum:http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Solar_Spectrum.png Peak radiance:-

    3,000,000 watts/m2/µm
    1,000,000 watts/m2/µm/sr

    Using BB T 5800 C to compare to this solar spectrum: http://www.oberlin.edu/physics/Scofield/p268/library/Ch-03%20Sunlight.pdf Peak radiance:-

    4,890,000 watts/m2/µm
    1,450,000 watts/m2/µm/sr

    The Scofield pdf shows:

    Mean BB flux: 1.38 kW/m2 (1,380 watts/m2/µm), peak radiance 1800 watts/m2/µm
    Mean Obs flux: 1.00 kW/m2 (1,000 watts/m2/µm), peak radiance 1600 watts/m2/µm

    I can’t get anywhere near those values using the Excel BB calculator.

  4. Richard C, in response to your points:
    1) If you change the band the radiant emmittance does not change because this is the emmittance for the whole spectrum. The band radiance (at the bottom, next to the band settings) on the other hand does change fairly significantly for the various settings you suggest.

    2) Can you clarify the difference you see between the grey body plot and the Barrow-Nauru plots? I want to make sure we are discussing the same thing

    3) W/m2/sr/µm x pi = W/m2/µm. There are 4pi sr in a sphere so there is pi sr in half a sphere (including cosθ reduction from Lambert’s cosine law). That is the bare bones and assumes some understanding of what a sr is (covered in your links). Let me know if you need further clarification.

  5. Richard C (NZ) on October 9, 2011 at 7:46 pm said:

    Using the online BB calculator with values:-

    5497C, 0.46, 0.1, 4, and 0.5 µm (solar spectrum)


    Peak spectral radiance: 1.20513e+07 W/m2/sr/µm

    Even more crazy. 12,051,300 W/m2/sr/µm is out of the park compared to the 3,740,000 watts/m2/µm peak I got with the Excel.BB calculator and ridiculous compared to conventional 1800 watts/m2/µm BB peak and 1600 watts/m2/µm Obs peak solar values.

    Something very dodgy going on with these BB calculators.

  6. Richard C (NZ) on October 9, 2011 at 8:46 pm said:

    Nick, replying.

    1) If you change the band the radiant emmittance does not change because this is the emmittance for the whole spectrum. The band radiance (at the bottom, next to the band settings) on the other hand does change fairly significantly for the various settings you suggest.

    Ah yes, I see. But the band to make Radiance equal to Band Radiance (101.856 W/m2/sr) has to be 2 – 1074 µm but then the plot is ridiculous (try it) – it’s just not sensible. This is BB theoretical – not real world measurable stuff.

    2) Can you clarify the difference you see between the grey body plot and the Barrow-Nauru plots? I want to make sure we are discussing the same thing

    The difference I see is that the area under the curves (Obs vs GB) are nowhere near equal. Barrow & Nauru both have considerably less total area than GB.

    3) W/m2/sr/µm x pi = W/m2/µm. There are 4pi sr in a sphere so there is pi sr in half a sphere (including cosθ reduction from Lambert’s cosine law). That is the bare bones and assumes some understanding of what a sr is (covered in your links). Let me know if you need further clarification.

    Yes again, I had figured some of that out in the comment I made following, linked here:-


    I hadn’t had time to get to the understanding you have. W/m2/sr/µm x pi = W/m2/µm is nice and simple and I see how that is arrived at now thanks to your explanation.
    I do have big problems comparing DLR BB to solar BB using 2 different BB calculators, see the same comment linked above and the comment following that.

  7. Richard C (NZ) on October 9, 2011 at 9:34 pm said:

    In addition ,see my “What puzzles me” comment here:-


    Comparing VM 1.1. to long-term average DLR fluxes, VM 1.1 would have to be a 20 x 12 rectangle to equal 240 W/m2 but the VM 1.1 DLR curve is nothing like that rectangle.

    Just guessing, the area under the VM 1.1 DLR curve looks to be less than 100 W/m2. How do “snapshot” DLR spectra translate to the typical long-term average fluxes?

  8. Richard C (NZ) on October 9, 2011 at 9:56 pm said:

    I will concede that theoretically in BB terms, there is DLR energy in the range say 15 – 50 µm that makes up the total flux but if measurement technology doesn’t detect it sensibly in the real world (and manufacturers don’t bother supplying instruments), how can it heat anything?

  9. Richard C (NZ) on October 10, 2011 at 12:18 am said:

    Worthwhile reading TF&K09 re the global average 333 W/m2 DLR estimate (enter pg 319 pdf)
    This leaves the downward and net LW radiation as the final quantities to be computed as a residual.


    However, after the adjustments noted above for LH and better accounting for the aerosols and water vapor in the absorbed solar radiation, our revision estimates are 333 and 63 W m−2 for the downward and net LW.


    Several other estimates of downward LW radiation are in the vicinity of 340 W m−2 (e.g., see ERA-40 in Table 1b) and Wild et al. (2001) have proposed that 344 W m−2 is a best estimate. These and other calculations are improved when performed with validated RRTM LW radiation codes (Wild and Roeckner 2006). However, Wild et al. (2001) note that considerable uncertainties exist, and especially that there were problems in accurate simulation of thermal emission from a cold, dry, cloud-free atmosphere, and a dependence on water vapor content. The latter may relate to the formulation of the water vapor continuum.

    It has been argued that downward LW radiation is more likely to be underestimated owing to the view from satellites, which will miss underlying low clouds and make the cloud base too high. Wild and Roeckner (2006) have argued that the longwave fluxes should typically be rather higher than lower in climate models, which, in turn, are higher than the best estimate given here. Nevertheless, as they discuss, uncertainties are substantial. Zhang et al. (2006) found that the surface LW flux was very sensitive to assumptions about tropospheric water vapor and temperatures, but did not analyze the dependence on clouds.

    However, the characteristics of clouds on which the back radiation is most dependent, such as cloud base, are not well determined from space-based measurements (Gupta et al. 1999), and hence there is the need for missions such as CloudSat (e.g., Stephens et al. 2002; Haynes and Stephens 2007). There are also sources of error in how cloud overlap is treated and there is no unique way to treat the effects of overlap on the downward flux, which introduces uncertainties.

    For mid- and upper-level clouds, the cloud emissivity assumptions will also affect the estimated downward flux. Another source of error is the amount of water vapor between the surface and the cloud base. In the tropics, the effect of continuum absorption strongly affects the impact of cloud emission on surface longwave fluxes.
    #1 DLR is about H2O (Clouds – liquid and water vapour – gas), no mention of CO2 e.g. “clouds on which the back radiation is most dependent”.

    #2 Global average DLR (333 W/m2) is not compiled from global observations but from residual calculations.

    #3 There is some validation of RRTM code from observations but “considerable uncertainties exist”.

    RRTM from Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc. (AER, Inc.) here:-


    RTM investigation here:-


    #4 Unfortunately, GCMs that employ an RRTM (as AER) are not similarly validated after being “forced” by CO2. As a result, those GCMs cannot mimic this century’s climate as evidenced by their divergence from reality.

  10. Richard C (NZ) on October 10, 2011 at 11:49 am said:

    I think I’ve cracked it, conventional effective solar band radiance is 1 KW/m2 (1000 W/m2).

    Divided by Pi (3.142) gives 318 W/m2/sr

    So the effect of the sun at the surface is a GB (e 0.46) of T 170.5 C. This was arrived at iteratively by entering T values into the online BB calculator until I got band radiance 318 W/m2/sr.

    Solar GB T:
    170.5 C = 1000 W/m2 (318 W/m2/sr)

    DLR GB T:
    14 C = 307 W/m2 (98 W/m2/sr)

    So now I can enter T 170.5 (e 0.46) in the Excel BB calculator (e 0.46) because I’ve realized that total fluxes are given in the blue boxes; the black band in the RH blue box has radiant exitance (flux density) and radiance totals (along with photon totals).

    Solar GB T:
    170.5 C = 0.101 W/cm2 x 10,000 = 1010 W/m2 (0.0322 W/cm2/sr = 322 W/m2/sr)

    DLR GB T:
    14 C = 0.032 W/cm2 x 10,000 = 320 W/m2 (0.0102 W/cm/2/sr = 102 W/m2/sr)

    The solar values are in terms of real-world effective day-time (standardized) observations even though they are GB values with e 0.46 but the DLR values are not – they are GB values at an assumed 0.83 emissivity which although is a figure that can be obtained theoretically, it is not necessarily what real-world spectra show e.g. Barrow-Nauru. The 0.83 value is described here:-


    Also, the Excel BB calculator returns higher values than the on-line calculator.

  11. Richard C (NZ) on October 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm said:

    Re 2)

    I should have said above “Barrow & Nauru both have considerably less GB total area than BB”

    The Nauru curve shows a BB curve (dotted line) at 300K = 27 C. The observed spectra is the GB curve but as I see it, the reduction in power, observed GB vs BB is much less than a factor of 0.83 corresponding to the assumed e value of 0.83 in the 14 C example and found theoretically here:-


    I estimate the reduction in power to be 40% at least, corresponding to a BB curve with e 0.6 at most i.e. 72% of the theoretical e 0.83.

    Similarly, the Barrow curve shows a BB curve (dotted line) at 245 K = -28 C. The reduction in power, observed GB vs BB looks to be around 60%. This would correspond to a BB curve with e 0.40. This is nowhere near 0.83 as I see the plot.

    I’m trying to convert the units returned by the Excel BB calculator into the same terms as the Petty Barrow-Nauru plot for comparisons of peak etc but I haven’t cracked it so far.

  12. Richard C (NZ) on October 10, 2011 at 1:27 pm said:

    Even at theoretical e 0.83, water vapour makes up 0.66 of that value (see link last comment),. Therefore, WV makes up 80% of the DLR power flux (whatever it is), clouds and the other GHGs make up the rest.

    Problem being for AGW, DLR doesn’t seem to be increasing and may even be decreasing.

    “A study published online yesterday in The Journal of Climate, however, finds that contrary to the global warming theory, infrared ‘back-radiation’ from greenhouse gases has declined over the past 14 years in the US Southern Great Plains in winter, summer, and autumn. If the anthropogenic global warming theory was correct, the infrared ‘back-radiation’ should have instead increased year-round over the past 14 years along with the steady rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide”……”A trend analysis was applied to a 14-year time series of downwelling spectral infrared radiance observations from the Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI)…The AERI data record demonstrates that the downwelling infrared radiance is decreasing over this 14-year time period in the winter, summer, and autumn seasons but is increasing in the spring; these trends are statistically significant and are primarily due to long-term change in the cloudiness above the site.” [P. Jonathan Gero and David D. Turner 2011: Journal of Climate]

    Journal of Climate 2011 ; e-View
    doi: 10.1175/2011JCLI4210.1

    Long-Term Trends in Downwelling Spectral Infrared Radiance over the U.S. Southern Great Plains

    P. Jonathan Gero, Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin

    David D. Turner, NOAA / National Severe Storms Laboratory, Norman, Oklahoma and Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin


    So much for CO2 being “pollution”

  13. Richard C (NZ) on October 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm said:

    Heating and cooling at the air-ocean interface is shown by Dr Roy Clark (an optics expert) here:-

    Figure 4, Energy Transfer at the Air-Ocean Interface


    The Air-Ocean Interface
    Water is almost transparent to visible radiation and sunlight can penetrate down through clear ocean waters to depths of ~100 meters [Hale & Querry, 1973]. The light is absorbed mainly by the rather weak overtones of the water infrared vibrations and converted into heat.
    The oceans cool through a combination of evaporation and long wave infrared (LWIR) emission from the surface [Yu et al, 2008]. The First Law of Thermodynamics (conservation of energy) does not require that the local solar and cooling fluxes balance on any time scale.
    Any flux difference is converted into a change in ocean temperature. Over most of the LWIR spectral region, the ocean surface exchanges radiation with the atmosphere. On average, there is a slight exchange heating of the atmosphere by the ocean. This net heat transfer depends on the thermal gradient or air -ocean temperature difference as required by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. LWIR emissive cooling occurs within a relatively small spectral emission window in the 8 to 12 micron region (~1200 to 800 wavenumbers). The penetration depth of LWIR radiation into the ocean is less than 100 micron, about the width of a human hair.

    Small increases in LWIR emission from the atmosphere are converted into increases in ocean surface evaporation that are too small to detect in the wind driven fluctuations observed in surface evaporation. Between 1977 and 2003, average ocean evaporation increased by 11 cm per year from 103 to 114 cm per year. This was caused by an increase in average wind speed of 0.1 meters per second [Yu, 2007]. The uncertainty in the estimate was 2.7 cm per year which is larger than the upper ‘clear sky’ limit to the evaporation produced by a 100 ppm increase in CO2 concentration over 200 years. It is simply impossible for a 100 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration to have any effect on ocean temperatures. Figure 4 illustrates the basic energy transfer processes at the air-ocean interface. Figure 5 shows the spectral properties of water in the visible and the IR.
    Figure 6 shows ocean evaporation and the effect of changes in wind speed. An increase of 1.7 Watts per square meter in downward LWIR ‘clear sky’ radiation translates into an upper limit increase in evaporation rate of 2.4 cm per year.

    So much for CO2 being “pollution”

  14. Richard C (NZ) on October 11, 2011 at 1:06 pm said:

    Now I’ve cracked it. From Nasif Nahle’s “Observations on “Backradiation” during Nighttime and Daytime”:-

    “Insolation is the amount of solar power impinging on a given surface area of a planet. It is ~1000 W/m2 on Earth.

    Over real situations and locations, the energy absorbed and reflected by the atmosphere, and the amount of energy reflected by the surface are discounted from the total solar irradiance impinging on top of the atmosphere. It gives a theoretical value of 668.85 W/m^2. However, this value fluctuates due to the incident solar angle; therefore, a real measurement could be higher or lower than 668.85 W/m^2.

    From 668.85 W/m^2, only 535.1 W/m^2 is thermal radiation absorbed by the surface. 56% is stored by surface and subsurface materials, i.e. 309.43 W/m2, which causes a surface temperature of 24 °C.”

    This makes much more sense.

    So I should start with 309.43 W/m2, divided by Pi (3.142) gives 98 W/m2/sr. This is already discounted by mitigation of the atmosphere and reflection so there is no need to include an e factor in BB calculation i.e. find the effective BB T with e 1 that returns band radiance 98 W/m2/sr.

    Iteratively 21 C using on-line BB calculator. So the effective solar insolation at the earth’s surface is a BB with T 21 C. This doesn’t tally with Nahle’s “causes a surface temperature of 24 °C” but at least I’m in the ballpark and the approach seems more sensible than previous attempts.

    DLR radiance at the surface would have to be similarly discounted to arrive at radiation “stored by surface and subsurface materials”. Given that the prevalent material is ocean, the discount will have to be far greater than the 56% for solar and will I think be in the vicinity of 99.99%.

    I’m starting a new thread header at the bottom of comments that references Nahle, Johnson, and Petty in respect to DLR heating effect on the earth (or not).

  15. Richard C (NZ) on October 11, 2011 at 2:07 pm said:

    Nick, Andy (or anyone), some maths (Andy?).

    Prof Grant Petty, author of “A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation” that is the provenance of the Barrow-Nauru DLR plots under discussion, is being taken to task by Claes Johnson. Referring to communication with Petty, Johnson states:-

    In previous posts, in particular in How to Fool Yourself with a Pyrgeometer [linked] I have given evidence that Downwelling Longwave Radiation (DLR), which serves an important role in CO2 climate alarmism, is a fictitious phenomenon without physical reality.

    So what is the truth? Is DLR reality or fiction? Is CO2 alarm reality or fiction?

    Let us scrutinize the evidence put forward for the reality of DLR with an illustration from recent communication with Prof Grant W. Petty, who states:

    1. We routinely MEASURE it using any of a variety of commercially available instruments (do a search on ‘Eppley pyrgeometer’, for example;

    2. We routinely and accurately PREDICT its magnitude based solely on knowledge of the temperature, humidity, and cloud structure of the atmospheric column (as exemplified, for example, by a class project I and 15 other students had to complete as first-year graduate students, in which our fairly simple (<200 lines of code) model calculations yield results within a 1-2 W/m^2 of the MEASURED IR flux value for a MEASURED atmospheric profile);

    3. Both Planck's Law and the Stefan-Boltzman Law (the latter is just an integration of the former over wavelength) have been known for generations to accurately predict EMISSION (one-way) from a blackbody. Nothing in either formulation requires one to know the temperature of the body (if any) RECEIVING the radiation. And Planck's Law was itself derived via thermodynamic arguments by a guy who understood the 2nd Law extremely well.

    Prof Petty here refers to a Stefan-Boltzmann Law of the form (with sigma SB’s constant)

    * R = sigma T^4 – sigma T_b^4 = R_out – R_in,

    where R is the radiance from a black body of temperature T into a background of temperature T_b. Petty believes that there is a two-way flow of energy represented by R_out = sigma T^4 and R_in = sigma T_b^4, and that Stefan-Boltzmann’s law expresses the net flow R = R_out -R_in as the difference between R_out and R_in.

    Prof Petty gives even more weight to his SB law by stating:

    * It is settled science and has been for more than a century.

    But Prof Petty is fooling himself and the society. His SB law does not appear in the physics literature. The original SB law has the form

    * E = sigma T^4

    under the assumption that the background is at 0 K. This form of SB follows by integration of Planck’s law, which is proved in the case of radiation into a background at 0 K.

    But there is no proof of Prof Petty’s SB law in the literature. Prof Petty’s SB law is a free invention outside physics and as such of no scientific significance, a free invention which is used to fool people about the existence of DLR by claiming that it is measured with a pyrgeometer and hence must exist. But what a pyrgeometer effectively measures is temperature and the translation to radiance is done by a SB law without scientific justification.

    I have asked Prof Petty abut the original scientific source of his SB Law. I have not received any answer.

    Note that what can be proved in the case of a background T_b > 0 is the following SB law

    * R = sigma (T^4 – T_b^4)

    with only the net radiance R and not R_in and R_out. Prof Petty would now argue that this law trivially can be written on his form, simply by trivially splitting the right hand side as follows:

    * sigma (T^4 – T_b^4) = sigma T^4 – sigma T_b^4 = R_out – R_in.

    But this is fooling yourself by believing that a certain algebraic operation directly translates to physical reality.



    Please see a follow-up comment that references Nasif Nahle’s experiment to demonstrate that DLR has no heating effect on the earth’s surface.

    Also see my comment up-thread (linked below) with the conclusion to a series of comments that:-

    “DLR radiance at the surface would have to be similarly discounted to arrive at radiation “stored by surface and subsurface materials”. Given that the prevalent material is ocean, the discount will have to be far greater than the 56% for solar and will I think be in the vicinity of 99.99%”


  16. Quite correct, Richard. However, I believe the equation by Prof Petty originates from a special condition of two parallel surfaces, which (it could be argued) represents the Earth’s surface and atmosphere in the case of two simplified shells at T and T_b respectively, one inside the other.

    Whether or not this simplification applies to the real world is another topic.

  17. All of the above is why it is pretty hopeless trying to work out anything from first principles using fluxes – there are too many unknowns and assumptions.

    This is why Hansen (2005), Trenberth (2009), Willis (2006), Knox & Douglass (2010), and Pielke Snr. (2005) agree that OHC is the only sensible measure of global warming, since it is a net effect.

    Which is why the ARGO network was deployed in the first place.

  18. NOW you tell us! 🙂

  19. 🙂

  20. Richard C (NZ) on October 11, 2011 at 3:11 pm said:

    I’m in the process of reading word-for-word Nasif Nahles “Observations on “Backradiation” during Nighttime and Daytime” linked here:-


    It is not easy because it’s not the best essay and I see a couple of questionable statements that seem to me to be outright errors, nevertheless finally someone is investigating climate sciences’ assumed heating effect of DLR on the earths surface and it is instructive.

    He comprehensively dismembers Trenberth, Fasullo and Kiehl’s (TF&K09) “Earth’s Global Energy budget”. In particular: the estimated solar flux at the earth’s surface; the non-existent surface heating effect of DLR; and, found in respect to IR thermometers and radiometers that what is really measured when the devices are pointed towards a clear sky is radiation emitted by globules of air at high altitudes.

    Through a series of real time measurements of thermal radiation from the atmosphere and surface materials during nighttime and daytime, he demonstrates that DLR backradiation from a cooler atmosphere warming up a warmer surface is a myth that is 100% discredited by correct unbiased experimentation

    Required reading IMO.
    Also see my comment up-thread (linked below) with the conclusion to a series of comments that:-

    DLR radiance at the surface would have to be similarly discounted [as solar is] to arrive at radiation “stored by surface and subsurface materials”. Given that the prevalent material is ocean, the discount will have to be far greater than the 56% for solar and will I think be in the vicinity of 99.99%”


  21. Did you hear the one …

    An Irishman, an Englishman and a South African walk into a
    bar. It’s the airport departure lounge …

  22. My apologies, back to our scheduled programming.

  23. Heh, heh. Love it.

  24. Yes, yes, quite. Brr-hem, brr-hem. Terribly OT, Bob, old chap. Mustn’t lose control, what? Yes, now, on with the motley.

  25. This is the 146th comment on this thread. Is this a record?

  26. Nope. This is.

  27. Bob – to iterate is human, to recurse, devine.

  28. Well done, you all — another new record!


    See Open threads as promised, which itself got 153 comments and mentions World of sceptical questions unfolds…, which got 161 comments, which seems to be the record. Although I haven’t made a proper search, so who knows? It might be a WordPress mystery.

  29. Andy: IT humour, surely the bottom of the barrel! 🙂

  30. Richard C (NZ) on October 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm said:

    Nick, you say up-thread:-

    However a grey body gives a good fit as shown in the Nauru and Barrow links you presented. So if you put sensible values into http://www.spectralcalc.com/blackbody_calculator/blackbody.php (say 14C, emissivity 0.83) then you will find that the peak spectral radiance is 6.7 W/m2/sr/µm (21W/m2/µm) which is similar to what we expect from the Mora paper. This gives a radiant emmittance of 323.796 W/m2 which is what you would expect from mainstream literature

    I expect the peaks to be similar but I disagree entirely that the observed radiance impinging on the earth’s surface is similar to the GB approximation. Sure, TF&K calculate a 333 W/m2 residual and the GB figure is similar but we can see from Barrow, Nauru and Viudez Mora that the observed flux is considerably less than the dotted BB curves and way less than what e 0.83 returns..

    In addition,

    A) That 323.796 W/m2 is not the actual heating effect that results in energy stored by surface and subsurface materials, ocean in particular.

    B) In view of A), we have to arrive at a discount factor to apply to 323.796 W/m2 (or the actual flux) to get an appropriate DLR flux at the surface that represents the heating effect on surface and subsurface materials (storage of energy), ocean in particular.

    I suggest the the factor in B) is probably 0.99 or thereabouts.

  31. Richard C (NZ) on October 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm said:

    There’s an addition (but a variation) to Bob D’s list:-

    Nir J. Shaviv (2008); Using the oceans as a calorimeter to quantify the solar radiative forcing, J. Geophys. Res., 113

    Shaviv uses OHC, SST and SSL.

    Links and article at WUWT “The oceans as a calorimeter and solar amplification”


    “Evidently, the TSI cannot explain the observed flux going into the ocean. An amplification mechanism, such as that of CRF modulation of the low altitude cloud cover is required.

    So what does it mean?

    First, it means that the IPCC cannot ignore anymore the fact that the sun has a large climatic effect on climate. Of course, there was plenty of evidence before, so I don’t expect this result to make any difference!

    Second, given the consistency between the energy going into the oceans and the estimated forcing by the solar cycle synchronized cloud cover variations, it is unlikely that the solar forcing is not associated with the cloud cover variation.”

  32. Richard C (NZ) on October 12, 2011 at 9:31 am said:

    Bob, thanks for the input. Postma addresses the plane-parallel and P/4 issues in the body of “The Model Atmosphere”. From the summary:-

    To finish the summary, allow the author to paraphrase an email conversation while questions were generated from those who were reviewing this document. The author received a question regarding how the plane-parallel solar model explains the problem with what has been come to be known as the “P/4” (p-over-four) issue – this is the misapplication of mathematics to physics by which the standard model greenhouse denies the existence of day & night, and assumes that solar energy instantaneously impinges the entire surface area of the Earth at once, rather than just the daylit hemisphere. The author responded……..


    Postma presents The Realistic Terrestrial System Model in The Model Atmosphere that surely must be a better representation than what consensus science (i.e. all the Universities – Postma links to 70 uses) adheres to.

    There is now a continuation and conclusion of the Johnson/Petty confrontation at Claes Johnson’s blog:-

    Petty on DLR 2


    Petty on DLR 3: Incorrect Science Exposed


    Johnson says in 3:-

    What to say? Well, Prof Petty shows a common trait of climate scientists, to get upset and scream instead of discussing science.


    It would be good for the discussion if Prof Petty was willing to read my proof and reflect about the potential danger of blindly applying a physical law without proper understanding of the conditions for the validity of the law, without understanding the rationale of its justification.

    Prof Petty shows his lack of understanding fundamentals of science by exclaiming:

    * What kind of free invention is it to use a physical law on a system it wasn’t derived for?

    This is precisely what I am talking about: You are not as a scientist allowed to apply a law to a situation for which it is not intended/derived for. If you do that, you may cause great damage and you may be responsible.

  33. Richard C (NZ) on October 12, 2011 at 10:26 am said:

    Postma gets a solar input at the surface equivalent to T 30 C in “The Model Atmosphere”


    pg 10 pdf

    If we wish to determine the physically instantaneous solar input energy density (Wattage per square meter) and corresponding heating temperature, via the Stefan-Boltzmann equation, we must use the correct actually- physical geometry. Thus, with a day-light hemisphere of half the surface area of an entire sphere, we must write the hemispherical equilibrium equation as:

    Equations 21, 22 = +30 C


    We hold that the average solar radiative input heating is only over one hemisphere of the Earth, has a temperature equivalent value of +30 C, with a zenith maximum of +87.5 C, and that this is not in any physically justifiable manner equivalent to an instantaneous average global heating input of -18 C.


    Given that the average physical solar input on the day-lit hemisphere is equivalent to +30 C, with a maximum input of +87.50C, and the day-lit hemisphere does not actually achieve this temperature, but we know it must absorb that equivalent amount energy, we must ask: to where does the energy go if it does not show up immediately in the kinetic temperature? Generally, it must obviously be said that the energy goes into other “non-thermal” degrees of freedom within the system, and these would be both macro and micro phenomena, such as latent heat, evaporation, and convection in the macro case, and intramolecular degrees of freedom in the micro case. Both of these phenomena will release heat back into the environment as the internal energy is released while the relevant physical ensemble cools, under less or zero solar insolation, and so the dark-side of the Earth is able to radiate the rest of the absorbed energy away such as to achieve a relatively stable long-term balance. Thus, day-time and night-time average temperatures are highly modulated or “smoothed out” as compared to a non-atmosphere planetary body, as can be confirmed by comparison of the Earth to the Moon. The effect of additional degrees of freedom in the system is to slow the rate of heating in the day time and thus lower the day-time temperature, while heat loss at night will be slowed and follow the standard expectation dependent upon the thermal capacity of the system, minus the residual heat input from condensation and other sources, etc. The difference in daily temperature extremes in comparing a desert to a rain-forest are a good example of the effect of the strongest so-called greenhouse gas, water vapour. With CO2 having a lower thermal capacity than even than that of air, and an intra-molecular radiative heat-loss mechanism (as opposed to merely an inter-molecular radiative loss mechanism, as found in non-greenhouse gases), and no latent heat or condensation abilities, it might very well act to increase the efficiency of cooling in the atmosphere compared to if it were not present at all. Certainly the proxy records indicate that the planet tends to re-enter ice-ages after the atmospheric CO2 content is driven upwards by previous interglacial temperature increase (CO2 concentration is driven upwards by oceanic outgassing).

    And (pg 16 pdf),

    Once this paradigmatic illogic is exposed it becomes all the easier to question various qualitative and quantitative aspects of the standard model GH. One of the first is the implicit, and as we have seen systemically tautologous conjecture, that “back-radiation” from GHG’s increase the surface temperature of the Earth or slow its rate of cooling. If this behaviour (a source raising its own temperature by having its own radiation fall back upon it) is the result of a fundamental physics property of GHG’s and atmospheres which contain them, then a higher concentration of GHG and a higher flux of radiation which interacts with it, should result in higher temperatures. Such a physically real scenario is found in the comparison of day-time desert and tropical conditions at similar latitude: the desert which is nearly devoid of the strongest GHG, water vapour, easily reaches 50 C – 60 C, whereas the tropical region saturated with water vapour only reaches into the 30’s C. This is in direct contradiction to an expected universal physics of a GHG back-radiation phenomenon.

    So it’s 30 C minus non-thermal actions. Maybe my estimate of the solar heating agent being a BB T 21 C is not that far off the mark.

  34. Richard C (NZ) on October 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm said:

    Johnsons latest:-

    Climate Alarmism Based on False Stefan-Boltzmann Law


  35. Richard C (NZ) on October 13, 2011 at 9:16 am said:

    Lobbed a bomb into comments at JoNova under the “There is a Greenhouse Effect on Venus” post.

    I’ve provoked discussion on the same topic (heating effect) as is being pursued here, see:-

    Comment #80


    Comment #14.3


    I’ve linked back to this post at CCG.

    Negotiations are continuing.

    BTW all. As you can see after Jo has changed her blog settings, we can now x-link directly to comments using the date-time bar at the top of the comment (as we can here at CCG). Very powerful and much improved.

  36. Richard C (NZ) on October 13, 2011 at 9:45 pm said:

    Picked this up at the JoNova Venus thread:-

    The Diurnal Bulge and the fallacies of the “Greenhouse Effect” – W. R. Pratt


    Goes into top down heating of the atmosphere being greater in his case (some merit and some problems) than bottom up and that O2 and N2 being “IR inactive” is bogus because any substance above 0 K is emitting IR.

    He shreds Kiehl and Trenberth’s 1997 Earth’s Global Energy Budget (the original) and says the 324 W/m2 (now 333) DLR backradiation is actually “the incoming electromagnetic energy which is absorbed and diffused by the last 30 km of the atmosphere and is energy which goes into heating the atmosphere” i.e. diffuse solar.

    One problem with that is: diffuse solar occurs in the solar range – not the DLR range, but there’s indications from other cases (Siddons) that DLR is not solely from GHGs and clouds and must include a contribution from heated air (which may be the major contribution).The strongest being that Petty’s Nauru DLR plot shows radiation at 11µm but there’s no GHG absorption at that wavelength so no emission..

    Very thought provoking article.

  37. Richard C (NZ) on October 13, 2011 at 9:51 pm said:

    Have contacted Prof Nahle via Biology Cabinet for clarification re problems in his paper discussed in #80, 4.1.3 and


    Have asked him to reply there but don’t know when of if he will pick up the email.

  38. Richard C (NZ) on October 14, 2011 at 9:49 am said:

    Nasif Nahle has replied at JoNova:-
    Author: Nasif Nahle
    Dear Richard,

    Effectively, I used averages of solar constant and insolation to calculate the amount of power absorbed by the surface applying the fundamental mathematical procedure used in astrophysics. I didn’t touch the problem of efficiency because it was not the purpose of the introduction to the experiment, but it is also essential to the theoretical issue.

    According to the concept, solar constant is an average of total solar irradiance received on each square meter at TOA. As the solar constant includes the whole spectrum of radiation emitted by the Sun, I calculated the amount of thermal radiation alone. Then again, as such amount of thermal radiation enters the atmosphere, I calculated the mitigation by the atmosphere, which includes radiation reflected and absorbed by the atmosphere before it impinge on the surface. The total is almost the same as dividing the solar constant by four because it is 0.51 of thermal radiation and 0.50 of mitigation by the atmosphere: (1365 W/m^2 * 0.51)* 0.5 = 348.075 W/m^2. These and the following numbers could change a bit, according to the value taken as solar constant and coefficients.

    From 348.1 W/m^2, we have to discount the amount of solar thermal radiation reflected by the surface, but after it has impinged on the surface, not before. After reflection by the surface, the amount of thermal energy is 324 W/m^2. After that, I calculated the amount of thermal radiation absorbed by the surface, which is also another average, i.e. ~240 W/m^2.

    The flaw on other calculations consists on dividing the solar constant by four to include mitigation by the atmosphere and to isolate thermal radiation, i.e. solar irradiance that can be transformed into thermal internal energy.

    However, after doing such division and calculations, they discount them once again, so it is not a division by four, but a division by eight; hence their unphysical results and their need of mistaking thermal energy transport as the greenhouse effect, which is not physical in the way they explain it. Actually, the thermal energy transport by the air molecules is the so called greenhouse effect, but the interest is placed on other things except on science. As McKelly suggests, reality is quite different to theory.

    Just to give an example, the number of possible collisions of carbon dioxide with other molecules of the same species or of other species is 3.53 x 10^5 x^-1. The latter means that the molecule of carbon dioxide can move for about 0.15 meters before it collides into another molecule, and that the time it takes between collisions is 0.00283 milliseconds. However, the time the molecule of carbon dioxide takes to emit radiation is 120 picoseconds. Therefore, it is more possible that carbon dioxide cools other molecules by collision than warming them by radiation. The latter is well explained by redshift after radiation, which draws another impossibility regarding the absorption of the energy emitted by carbon dioxide molecules by other molecules of the same species, or by Nitrogen, Oxygen and Argon.

    Regarding the globules of air, it was demonstrated by experimentation during a windy night. Backradiation became chaotic as the wind speed increased or decreased, which is impossible to happen because thermal radiation has not gravitational mass, but inertial mass. The most feasible conclusion is that what we are measuring is not backradiation, but stationary energy of globules of air; otherwise, the increase of change of temperature with time would not be possible because the emittance of air remains constant at 0.201 under such conditions.

    All the best,


    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/10/there-is-a-greenhouse-effect-on-venus/#comment-596792 (#

    Author: Nasif Nahle
    Dear Richard… I’m just now in hurry and leaving out. I’m working on a paper on the issue you propose. However, I will come back in a couple hours to explain some generalities of this issue. I’m sure you’ll find them interesting.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/10/there-is-a-greenhouse-effect-on-venus/#comment-596808 (#

  39. Richard C (NZ) on October 14, 2011 at 6:33 pm said:

    Determination of the Total Emissivity of a Mixture of Gases Containing 5% of Water Vapor and 0.039% of Carbon Dioxide at Overlapping Absorption Bands.

    By Nasif S. Nahle
    Scientist, University Professor and Director of Scientific Research Division at Biology Cabinet Mexico

    This assessment is a review of the common AGW argument on the carbon dioxide increasing the potential of the water vapor for absorbing and emitting IR radiation as a consequence of the overlapping absorption/emission spectral bands. I have determined the total emissivity of a mixture of gases containing 5% of water vapor and 0.039% of carbon dioxide in all spectral bands where their absorptivities/emissivities overlap. The result of these calculations is that the carbon dioxide attenuates the total absorptivity/emissivity of the water vapor, working like a coolant, not a warmer of the atmosphere and the surface


  40. I have updated http://climate-change-theory.com to feature Prof Nahle’s new experiment which debunks the hypothesis that radiation from a cooler atmsophere can add further thermal energy to a warmer surface.

    This at last provides a repeatable experiment, supported by sound argument based on recognised physics, which debunks the greenhouse effect hypothesis.

    PS There is also a serious problem measuring back radiation as explained here http://principia-scientific.org/supportnews/latest-news/118-thermometer-manufacturer-destroys-greenhouse-gas-warming-myth

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