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  1. #1 Greenhouse cooling musing 
    Forum Sophomore andre's Avatar
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    It is argued that the difference between Earth black body temperature of about 255 kelvin and the average global temperature of about 288 Kelvin is due to the greenhouse effect. see: http://geography.berkeley.edu:16080/.../Geog40/L5.pdf

    Is this correct? Suppose (null hypothesis) that there were no greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and that heat exchange was only possible by convection and conduction.

    So the sun would heat up the Earth surface, which would heat up the lowermost molecules of the atmosphere. Due to the expansion this air is lighter and would rise up, convection, transporting the heating to higher parts of the atmosphere, as it happens today. Because of the lapse rate/ temperature gradient, the expanding rising air cools but may remain above environment temperature, so that the upward convection may continue for a while, removing the energy away from the Earth surface. All very basic.

    When the sun sets, the radiating Earth surface cools down, cooling the lower part of the atmosphere by conduction. But the contracting air is denser than the environment and there is no tendency for convection at all. The air becomes stable, cool below and warmer in the upper layers. This is known as an 'inversion'. Hence this warming of the atmosphere by conduction and convection is basically one way until there is a dynamic equilibrium in the energy exchange between the daytime convection and night conduction cooling of the lowermost layer.

    Hence it appears that we don't need greenhouse effect to heat the atmosphere to above the black body temperature, just an atmosphere, consequently not all, if any, of that 33 degrees difference between average atmosphere temperature and black body temperature is caused by greenhouse effect. Actually in a one way direction, the atmosphere should warm until convection is no longer possible and the lapse rate would be equal to that with the surface temperature at the maximum daily temperature, that is still without greenhouse effect.

    But with the greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, it can radiate it's energy to the earth and space and hence it can cool again in that process. This means that greenhouse gasses also contribute to the cooling of the atmosphere, how much is uncertain, but one could just as easily assume: "the more greenhouse gasses, the more cooling".


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    Hence it appears that we don't need greenhouse effect to heat the atmosphere to above the black body temperature, just an atmosphere
    You cannot expect anyone to accept this claim based on your qualitative thought experiment. You need to do some calculations. You also need to review some of your assumptions:
    - the surface, including the oceans, doesn't cool down as rapidly as you suggest when the sun sets
    - air is a very poor conductor of heat; in the absence of convection what is the balance between radiation back to space and conduction to the ground layer? Have you done this calculation?
    - when the sun sets in one place it rises in another, causing a phenomenon called "wind" - does this have no effect on your inversion layer?

    Sorry, you can't rationalize your beliefs with unsubstantiated speculation.


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    I also seem to remember reading that IR at night from the earth surface as it cools causes more of an upwards convection gradient than during the daytime, as heat is aborbed by the atmosphere during the day from above as well. Is this true?
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    The fundamental problem with the thought experiement is it's viewed as single slab.

    Andre run your thought experiment with lets say three layers and consider that the middle layer is radiating heat back to the lower layer and to the surface--this results in the lower layer rising in temperature to remain in equilibrium.
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    I think we thing of a labaratory experiment using a long cylinder with insolating walls and a bottom of alternating distinct higher or lower temperatures and see what difference there is in temperature change of the top in a inert dry N2/O2 atmosphere inside the cilinder and with moist air with a considerable CO2 concentrration.


    Meanwhile check this out:

    http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/con...ent~order=page

    abstract

    The writers investigated the effect of CO2 emission on the temperature of atmosphere. Computations based on the adiabatic theory of greenhouse effect show that increasing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere results in cooling rather than warming of the Earth's atmosphere.
    Excerpts from the article

    Traditional anthropogenic theory of currently observed global warming states that release of carbon dioxide into atmosphere (partially as a result of utilization of fossil fuels) leads to an increase in atmospheric temperature because the molecules of CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) absorb the infrared radiation from the Earth's surface. This statement is based on the Arrhenius hypothesis, which was never verified (Arrhenius, 1896).The proponents of this theory take into consideration only one component of heat transfer in atmosphere, i.e., radiation. Yet, in the dense Earth's troposphere with the pressure pa > 0.2 atm, the heat from the Earth's surface is mostly transferred by convection (Sorokhtin, 2001a).

    According to our estimates, convection accounts for 67%, water vapor condensation in troposphere accounts for 25%, and radiation accounts for about 8% of the total heat transfer from the Earth's surface to troposphere. Thus, convection is the dominant process of heat transfer in troposphere, and all the theories of Earth's atmospheric heating (or cooling) first of all must consider this process of heat (energy)-mass redistribution in atmosphere (Sorokhtin, 2001a, 2001b; Khilyuk and Chilingar, 2003, 2004).

    When the temperature of a given mass of air increases, it expands, becomes lighter, and rises. In turn, the denser cooler air of upper layers of troposphere descends and replaces the warmer air of lower layers. This physical system (multiple cells of air convection) acts in the Earth's troposphere like a continuous surface cooler. The cooling effect by air convection can surpass considerably the warming effect of radiation.

    The most important conclusion from this observation is that the temperature distribution in the troposphere has to be close to adiabatic because the air mass expands and cools while rising and compresses and heats while dropping. This does not necessarily imply that at any particular instant distribution of temperature has to be adiabatic. One should consider some averaged distribution over the time intervals of an order of months. [...]
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    The troposphere isn't on average at either the dry or moist adiabatic lapse rates.

    You tend to see dry adiabatic lapse rates only in the boundary layer near the surface during sunny afternoons. You tend to see temperature profile near the moist adiabatic lapse rate during convection in the tropics and during small scale weather events (mesoscale) at mid-latitudes.

    Does convection have an effect? Certainly. This is why models predict, and thus far there is far less observed warming in the the tropics where there's more convection, than in the high latitudes where vertical convective heat transport is small.

    Convection is already accounted for.
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    The proponents of this theory take into consideration only one component of heat transfer in atmosphere, i.e., radiation.
    This is simply wrong.
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    Sorry for squeezing in between you knowledgeable people here, but I have some questions if you don't mind. Heat absorbed by the atmosphere from radiation: This happens both during the day from above and below, and at night from below only. Heat is lost from the atmosphere only through radiation into space. The more CO<sub>2</sub> (and other greenhouse gasses) in the atmosphere, the more heat is absorbed through radiation before it can escape into space. So irrespective of how much of a factor convection is locally, globally absorption of IR is the only thing that warms the earth. Ergo (all things being equal) -> more greenhouse gas = atmospheric temperature rise.

    How far off base am I?
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    How far off base am I?
    I'm definitely not that knowledgeable, but I don't think you're off base at all. The only heat loss to space is by radiation (except for a few stray fast molecules).

    But the claim in the posted excerpt that climate models ignore convection is silly. The Navier-Stokes equation is in every current climate model (afaik) and it has nothing to do with radiation and everything to do with convection. It's nonsense like this that attempts, deliberately one must assume, to confuse.

    (Of course CO2 does make the stratosphere cooler, but that's the problem, since radiation is reduced at cooler temperatures and radiation loss to space occurs from the stratosphere, not the troposphere.)
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre
    But the contracting air is denser than the environment and there is no tendency for convection at all. The air becomes stable, cool below and warmer in the upper layers.
    As the earth spins there would always be a gradient of solar radiation hitting the surface, so as cooling happens when solar radiation decreases (reducing the amount of IR radiated from the surface) that cold air would always be pulled towards the pressure gradient caused by the upwards convection at the moving sunlit front. So convection would never behave as predictably as in your model as turbulence would cause the direction of convection to behave chaotically, attributed to by geographical variation and the varying IR radiation levels of the different albedos of vegetation, water, rock types, etc. As Bunbury said, turbulence is obviously taken account of in atmospheric models, which include Navier-Stokes viscous fluid models. The supercomputer weather modellers can achieve a certain level of accurate prediction, which would not be possible without taking into account such a large contributor to weather patterns as convection.

    So back to my earlier point. Turbulence would always have an overall distributory effect on convected hot air and would have little or no increase in heat radiation into space IMHO. So the relation, greenhouse gas increase -> average atmospheric temperature increase, is still valid IMHO.

    Still on base now? :?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Sorry for squeezing in between you knowledgeable people here, but I have some questions if you don't mind. Heat absorbed by the atmosphere from radiation: This happens both during the day from above and below, and at night from below only. Heat is lost from the atmosphere only through radiation into space. The more CO<sub>2</sub> (and other greenhouse gasses) in the atmosphere, the more heat is absorbed through radiation before it can escape into space. So irrespective of how much of a factor convection is locally, globally absorption of IR is the only thing that warms the earth. Ergo (all things being equal) -> more greenhouse gas = atmospheric temperature rise.

    How far off base am I?
    KALSTER, for one who doesn't think he is knowledgable, you already have a better command of basic atmospheric physics than andre does. If you're trying internet forum learning on this subject, you should dismiss anyone who beleives the basics of the greenhouse effect ar wrong, or who questions the idea that it makes the global mean temperature warmer than the effective temperature.

    The planet itself is in a vacuum and so it only loses heat via radiation to space. Convection and conduction matter for the *surface* energy balance, however, adding CO2 mainly effects the top-of-atmosphere energy balance where the planet is not longer in radiative equilibrium. Actually it's the latter which matters a bit more, though the surface budget is mainly what regulates the surface-atmosphere temperature gradient and is more or less "dragged along" by perturbations of the top-of-atmosphere balance. So to change the global mean temperature, you're right, you need to effect the outgoing radiation (or the incoming sunlight, or the reflected sunlight which is the albedo factor). When you add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, you make the planet itself a less efficient radiator, and widen the spectrum where absorption occurs. In wavelengths where CO2 absorbs, you also increase the downward infrared radiation, and the cooling due to evaporation, etc is how the surface comes back to equilibrium after being perturbed by the increased radiative heating; that is automatically accounted for in models, and is necessary for them to reach equilibrium, which is a prerequisite for an estimate of the "equilibrium climate sensitivity" to a doubling of CO2 that is always cited from the IPCC reports.
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    Chris, Better start thinking about cutting the groupthink ad hominem nonense. It will backfire hard and that's a promise. The exposure of the global warming scam is neigh and your character murder attemps are definitely not helping to uniting the camps for cleaning out the mess.

    About turbulence, of course mixing of air also allows exchange of heat but turbulence is not as common as convection. As the atmosphere becomes stable at night due to the cooling of the lower layers, it also suppresses turbulence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by andre
    Chris, Better start thinking about cutting the groupthink ad hominem nonense. It will backfire hard and that's a promise. The exposure of the global warming scam is neigh and your character murder attemps are definitely not helping to uniting the camps for cleaning out the mess.

    About turbulence, of course mixing of air also allows exchange of heat but turbulence is not as common as convection. As the atmosphere becomes stable at night due to the cooling of the lower layers, it also suppresses turbulence.
    Andre, better start thinking about not trying to confuse the less learned readers, for say, the past two years. You're a liar, and it's such a shame that anyone would take your posts seriously.
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  15. #14  
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    No I am not and you are seriously damaging your cause. Your manipulators are the ones who love to ly with data mining spinning and models, albeit for a "noble" cause (a good job, excellent resume, research fundings, networking, feel good and the limelight). You are merely one of the most serious victims of groupthink.

    Just show the world were you think I'm lying or better swallow that with red cheeks.

    Also don't even begin to think that Steve ramblings debunked any of the problems with the paleothermometer, on which there is an elaborate thread somewhere here.

    Here you could start searching for my 'lies' by these threads:

    http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=245558
    http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=244712
    http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=232818
    http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=49049
    http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=232728
    http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=231158
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  16. #15  
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    Wow, you guys seem to have been going at it for quite some time now. I do not have any position to defend or advance though so I'll just continue in trying to figure this out. :?

    About turbulence, of course mixing of air also allows exchange of heat but turbulence is not as common as convection. As the atmosphere becomes stable at night due to the cooling of the lower layers, it also suppresses turbulence.
    It is calmer at night, granted. But there is always differential pressures and temperatures that can cause and uneven movement of air, encouraging mixing. Also, how sure are you that it is really all that quiet at night? Is it only from your mind experiment, or do you have any reliably obtained data to back it up? I am talking about higher up than you can judge by pointing a wet finger at the sky. :wink:

    The fact remains that when the warmer air rises, the air it displaces on top of it has to go somewhere and the space it leaves behind will also be filled with air from somewhere. This implies a much more dynamic system than simply warm air rising in a linearly upwards direction and cooling as it does so. The energy the sun provided during the daytime can only escape the planet by radiating back out into space. The warmer gas expanding as it rises does not get rid of the energy, but merely transfers it into the air it causes to move around, I suspect. Since the sun has been shining for some time now, the energy needed to get an average convection/wind system going has already been provided. All the remaining energy has to either be stored chemically (life, etc), add to the energy of the atmosphere or be radiated back out. The equilibrium point has to shift (all thing being equal) as solar radiation remains constant, but atmospheric absorption increases, no?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER

    Also, how sure are you that it is really all that quiet at night? Is it only from your mind experiment, or do you have any reliably obtained data to back it up? I am talking about higher up than you can judge by pointing a wet finger at the sky. :wink:
    In my part of the world that's the reason why the hot air balloons only operate in the evening around sunset. Turbulence is their biggest threat. But it's elementary basic meteorology that wind speed tend to drop.

    The fact remains that when the warmer air rises, the air it displaces on top of it has to go somewhere and the space it leaves behind will also be filled with air from somewhere. This implies a much more dynamic system than simply warm air rising in a linearly upwards direction and cooling as it does so.
    True, there are up- and down drafts depending on the geography and uneven warming of different surfaces. Mind also that rising and expending air is cooling adiabatically, indeed without exchange of energy. In the reversal, descending air heats up while being compressed.

    The energy the sun provided during the daytime can only escape the planet by radiating back out into space.
    But it needs "greenhouse gasses" to radiate. What if there were no greenhouse gasses. Then the atmosphere would lose this part of the cooling. That's the essential part why the atmospohere is warmer than could be expected from the black body temperature. Mind that with only some traces of greenhouse gasses the cooling rate due to radiation is limited. So with more greenhouse gasses this cooling rate alsoe would increase.
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    True, there are up- and down drafts depending on the geography and uneven warming of different surfaces. Mind also that rising and expending air is cooling adiabatically, indeed without exchange of energy. In the reversal, descending air heats up while being compressed.
    Descending air would heat up under compression, yes. But how did the air get up there in the first place? Sometime in the past it absorbed IR, warmed up and rose as it expanded and cooled. The energy was transformed. When it comes down the previously acquired potential energy gets re-translated into thermal energy, etc. It is a dynamic, never static system.


    But it needs "greenhouse gasses" to radiate. What if there were no greenhouse gasses. Then the atmosphere would lose this part of the cooling. That's the essential part why the atmospohere is warmer than could be expected from the black body temperature. Mind that with only some traces of greenhouse gasses the cooling rate due to radiation is limited. So with more greenhouse gasses this cooling rate alsoe would increase.
    If there where no greenhouse gasses most of the energy would be radiated straight back into space from the surface. You don’t need greenhouse gasses for this to happen. The radiation does eventually get radiated. The greenhouse gasses simply delay this action. That is why the atmospheric temperature is higher than the black body temperature alone. If you where to set up an earth-like system, with current abundances of gasses and then switched on the sun everything would heat up, more radiation being absorbed than radiated on average, until an equilibrium point is reached, after which emission levels will roughly equal absorption levels. This is the situation today. If you were to dump a large amount of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, the time taken from absorption to emission would be longer on average and the atmosphere heats up to a new equilibrium point.
    You are making the same kind of errors as someone that thinks perpetual motion is possible. You are failing to look at the total picture and keep finding confirmatory aspects in portions you erroneously isolate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    You are making the same kind of errors as someone that thinks perpetual motion is possible. You are failing to look at the total picture and keep finding confirmatory aspects in portions you erroneously isolate.
    Red herrings Don't patronize me. YOU miss an essential point:

    If there where no greenhouse gasses most of the energy would be radiated straight back into space from the surface.
    Yes but what energy??? Only the energy that IS AT the surface, not the energy that has been transported aloft during daytime convection, Without a radiating atmosphere this energy can neither return to the surface during night time other than with some diminishing turbulence nor can it be radiated to other space. So it is stuck.

    Also, the daytime convection cooled the surface in the process, leaving less energy remaining that was radiating in at daytime, to be radiated out again at night. The system would be accumulating energy and the atmosphere would continue heating until theoritical dynamic equilibrium was reached with an atmospheric lapse rate for the maximum temperature at the surface minus the turbulence loss, preventing further convection. No perpetuum mobile s***

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_convection

    Edit: in retrospect, perhaps you assumed that I was talking about a steady state, in which continuous convection would seem like a perpetuum mobile since the rising and decending air would be in thermal equilibrium, the decending air heating up to the same amount at the surface as the convecting air.

    No I started from zero with a cold atmosphere, in an unstable rapse rate, where the temperature of the upper atmosphere is and remains lower than that of the convecting and expanding air. This also means that the temperature of the descending air would remain below that of the rising air.
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    Quote Originally Posted by andre
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    You are making the same kind of errors as someone that thinks perpetual motion is possible. You are failing to look at the total picture and keep finding confirmatory aspects in portions you erroneously isolate.
    Don't patronize me. YOU miss an essential point:
    It is an honest interpretation.


    Let me state my interpretation of your analysis clearly. You are looking at the issue in a limited way, both in space and time. Irrespective of what happens in one area in one night, the overall trend is for the thermal energy to spread. Certain wavelengths of solar radiation (mostly UV) gets absorbed on the way down to the surface. The radiation that hit the surface warms it (the rate of which depends on albedo) and is then radiated by the surface (mostly) in the form of IR. Some energy is chemically absorbed into bio-matter. The re-radiated IR is then absorbed in the atmosphere. Over a somewhat extended period of time the heated air emits IR back out into space; the thermal energy having been inter-mixing by inter emission–absorption of IR, convection and conduction. The emitted energy from the earth closely equals the absorbed energy over a sufficient period of time. The period of time the energy on average spends in the atmosphere determines how much it will be heated. The longer it takes (with addition of molecules that more readily absorb IR, i.e. greenhouse gasses) to be re-emitted into space the warmer the atmosphere becomes.

    Do you disagree with anything here?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Do you disagree with anything here?
    No but that's also only a part of the history. Moreover you are mixing up the null hypothesis (no Greenhouse gas) with the actual atmospheric condition. The though experiment was intended to demonstate that IR radiation is not the only reason why the average lower atmospheric temperature is ~33K above the blackbody temperature as assumed by the IPCC climatology. Daytime convection is perhaps a much more important contributer. Certainly, the daylight heating of the lower atmosphere (say ~11 meters, the penetration depth of IR) is much more effective with greenhouse effect, which enhances rate of convection. It's that combination that causes the 33 degrees.

    So if the atmosphere does not cool at night due to lack of inverse convection, but it cools due to the radiation of the greenhouse gasses it is very well possible that the function of greenhouse gas to cooling is just about important as to warming, which means that an increase of greenhouse gas concentration may have a rather different effect on temperature than expected.
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    I suspect we have been talking past each other to some degree. So let me take your initial posts and start from scratch. Most of my points are still valid though.

    Suppose (null hypothesis) that there were no greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and that heat exchange was only possible by convection and conduction.
    The mechanism whereby solar radiation is absorbed into the atmosphere has several aspects to it. Since in your hypothesis conduction and convection is occurring, it implies that some radiation can be absorbed by gasses that are not considered greenhouse gasses. This is correct, but to a MUCH reduced degree. Take a look at THIS link, which has some updated information.

    A quote:” Extra warming occurs when some of this IR is absorbed and retained in the atmosphere. CO2 is only a trace gas in the atmosphere, far outnumbered by O2 and N2 molecules, but its growing presence (partly owing to human activity) and its ability to absorb and trap infrared radiation is thought to be instrumental in producing greenhouse effects. CO2 molecules one at a time can absorb light. But molecules can also absorb light when they collide with other molecules. This collision-induced absorption, occurring at wavelengths different from those for single molecules and accounting for about 10% of overall IR absorption, is insufficiently understood.....AND.......Michael Chrysos and his colleagues at the University of Angers (France) and the University of Saint Petersburg (Russia) have now derived the first exact mathematical formulas that can be used to calculate how collisions between molecules modify the absorption spectra for those molecules. And not just between colliding CO2 molecules, but also collisions among triatomic molecules such as CO2 and diatomic molecules such as O2 and N2, or between diatomic molecules. Ordinarily, O2 and N2 don’t absorb the IR radiation, since they don’t have many of the vibrational motions of triatomic molecules, but they can absorb IR under certain collision circumstances.

    And some diagrams:


    Two vibrating and spinning CO2 molecules as they intercept infrared radiation (red wavy line) during a collision. In this collision-induced absorption (CIA) 100% of the radiation is absorbed; half is transferred to the rotation of the molecules (circles), making them spin more quickly, and half goes toward translation making the two molecules move faster relative to each other (blue arrows).


    In collision-induced scattering (CIS), not all of the incoming radiation (magenta wavy line) is absorbed. Some of it is scattered away in the form of light at other frequencies (green wavy lines).


    So the sun would heat up the Earth surface, which would heat up the lowermost molecules of the atmosphere.
    This would mostly occur through conduction only.

    Due to the expansion this air is lighter and would rise up, convection, transporting the heating to higher parts of the atmosphere, as it happens today. Because of the lapse rate/ temperature gradient, the expanding rising air cools but may remain above environment temperature, so that the upward convection may continue for a while, removing the energy away from the Earth surface. All very basic.
    Fine, but remember that rising gas leaves a vacuum that needs to be filled. This vacuum has to be filled by previously upwards convected gas. This means that the overall convective energy cancels out. The average speed of this convection depends on how fast any absorbed thermal energy is emitted into outer space, so the convected speed would be much lower than with greenhouse gasses present. If no energy is emitted into space, the average convection speed would keep on increasing to an arbitrarily fantastic level.
    So:
    Hence this warming of the atmosphere by conduction and convection is basically one way until there is a dynamic equilibrium in the energy exchange between the daytime convection and night conduction cooling of the lowermost layer.
    Here is the problem as I have outlined above.

    Hence it appears that we don't need greenhouse effect to heat the atmosphere to above the black body temperature, just an atmosphere, consequently not all, if any, of that 33 degrees difference between average atmosphere temperature and black body temperature is caused by greenhouse effect.
    Nobody will dispute that the atmosphere temperature would be higher than the black body temperature. It is just that the very mechanism that traps heat in the first place is MUCH less pronounced in non-greenhouse gasses, so the equilibrium point where an average convection rate is reached (where solar radiation absorbed equals radiation emitted into space), is one where the temperature gain is much less than if greenhouse gasses are present.

    Better?
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    worked over an hour on a reply and then lost it No, we are still far out. Remember that radiative properties work two ways. Trying again tomorrow.
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    Damn, that sucks. I had that happen once and I have been compiling longer posts in Word ever since. I'll catch you tomorrow.
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    Sorry but somehow my time got limited today.

    Giving it a fresh shot as well, trying to emphasize the unclear points. First of all let’s review the scholar idea about convection:
    http://www.ace.mmu.ac.uk/eae/Weather...onvection.html

    Convection
    One way that heat is transferred through air is by convection. Convection of heat energy in the atmosphere involves the movement of air. Air is a poor conductor of energy, so convection is a major process of energy movement in the Earth’s atmosphere. In the atmosphere, convection occurs when a shallow layer of air in contact with a hot surface warms by conduction, acquires buoyancy (warmer air is less dense than colder air), and rises, taking with it the energy that it stores. As the Earth is heated by the Sun, bubbles of hot air called thermals rise upward from the warm surface.

    In meteorology, convection refers primarily to atmospheric motions in the vertical direction. The term "advection" is sometimes used to refer to air motion in the horizontal direction. An air parcel will rise naturally if the air within the parcel is warmer than the surrounding air (like a hot air balloon). Therefore, if cool air is present aloft with warm air at lower levels, thermals can rise to great heights before losing their buoyancy. ..cont’d
    Now vital here is to understand that the colder air outside the convecting parcel will descend and heat up via the reverse process, but….mind…it starts at a lower temperature aloft so while descending and heating it ends up at the surface still colder than the convected air that it passed. This convection will stop when the temperature of the rising air equals the ambient air. Hence as said before no acceleration at all.

    Note also that nowhere it is explained how the energy from the surface to the upper air via the one way convection is balanced by the loss of energy by some other process. That’s grey area. More later.
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    Note also that nowhere it is explained how the energy from the surface to the upper air via the one way convection is balanced by the loss of energy by some other process.
    Not exactly sure I understand what you’re saying needs explaining here. :?

    I will say though, in case it is pertinent to the mechanism you are talking about, that (with all things being equal) all of the solar energy warming the surface (during a certain time, say) gets converted into kinetic energy (convection, turbulence, heat, etc.) until the equivalent energy is radiated back into space, on a global level and that the time it takes to happen determines the average ambient air temperature. (Think I said this already)

    I am with you so far I think.
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    Quote Originally Posted by andre
    Sorry but somehow my time got limited today.

    Giving it a fresh shot as well, trying to emphasize the unclear points. First of all let’s review the scholar idea about convection:
    http://www.ace.mmu.ac.uk/eae/Weather...onvection.html

    Convection
    One way that heat is transferred through air is by convection. Convection of heat energy in the atmosphere involves the movement of air. Air is a poor conductor of energy, so convection is a major process of energy movement in the Earth’s atmosphere. In the atmosphere, convection occurs when a shallow layer of air in contact with a hot surface warms by conduction, acquires buoyancy (warmer air is less dense than colder air), and rises, taking with it the energy that it stores. As the Earth is heated by the Sun, bubbles of hot air called thermals rise upward from the warm surface.

    In meteorology, convection refers primarily to atmospheric motions in the vertical direction. The term "advection" is sometimes used to refer to air motion in the horizontal direction. An air parcel will rise naturally if the air within the parcel is warmer than the surrounding air (like a hot air balloon). Therefore, if cool air is present aloft with warm air at lower levels, thermals can rise to great heights before losing their buoyancy. ..cont’d
    Now vital here is to understand that the colder air outside the convecting parcel will descend and heat up via the reverse process, but….mind…it starts at a lower temperature aloft so while descending and heating it ends up at the surface still colder than the convected air that it passed.
    A few problems here. It warms at the dry adiabatic lapse rate, which is much steeper than the deep moist adiabatic lapse rate at the center of the convective parcels--the result is the subsiding air seldom reaches the surface, and if it did by another process would be considerably warmer and drier.

    The cooler air under convective storms is almost always the result of descending evaporation cooled columns of air that spread beneath the initial convection. Without vertical wind share or some kind of low level jet to overrun the cool dome, the subsiding drier and warmer air caps further convection.

    This convection will stop when the temperature of the rising air equals the ambient air. Hence as said before no acceleration at all.
    Not true and you should know physics a lot better than this based on the strength of your opinions. If there were no accelerations the convection would continue to rise at the same speed--not stop. In reality convection is non-hydrostatic and parcels often overshoot the point of neutral buoyancy--sometimes by tens of thousands of feet in the case of the strongest thunderstorms.

    Note also that nowhere it is explained how the energy from the surface to the upper air via the one way convection is balanced by the loss of energy by some other process. That’s grey area. More later.
    Why are you looking for balance? Not sure what you're trying to say here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox

    This convection will stop when the temperature of the rising air equals the ambient air. Hence as said before no acceleration at all.
    Not true and you should know physics a lot better than this based on the strength of your opinions. If there were no accelerations the convection would continue to rise at the same speed--not stop. In reality convection is non-hydrostatic and parcels often overshoot the point of neutral buoyancy--sometimes by tens of thousands of feet in the case of the strongest thunderstorms.
    .
    If you don't understand what I'm saying, I'm saying it wrong probably but don't ad hom me with calling me a liar.

    If the ambient lapse rate is smaller than or equals the convection lapse rate, there can be no more convection. The air becomes stable. Is that a lie?
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    [quote="andre"]
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox

    If the ambient lapse rate is smaller than or equals the convection lapse rate, there can be no more convection. The air becomes stable. Is that a lie?
    A lie? I don't think anything you've said is a lie. Based on this and other threads, I don't think you know enough about atmospheric science to deliberately mislead.

    Anyhow, your statement is still incomplete because it appear you're only thinking about the parcel starting relative to the surrounding air. The point I'm trying to explain is a saturated parcel that's already ascending will continue to to do if the lapse rate of the surrounding air is also moist adiabatic. A good example of this is the large area of deep moist adiabatic air with embedded convection that often trails mature squall lines. Convection will even continue to ascend into a stable layers so long as either its density is lower or the convective column has enough momentum to penetrate. Deep convection often penetrates through several shallow mid-level stable layers. An even better example are strong thunderstorms which overshoot their level of neutral buoyancy and rise thousands of feet into a very stable lower stratosphere.
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    About misleading, guess which side of the debate is going to be exposed mercilessly. Take this:

    http://www.atypon-link.com/IAHS/doi/.../hysj.53.4.671

    The document:

    http://www.atypon-link.com/IAHS/doi/...71?cookieSet=1

    Perhaps read what living legend Freeman Dyson has to say about climate sceptisism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeman_Dyson

    Environmentalism has replaced socialism as the leading secular religion. And the ethics of environmentalism are fundamentally sound. Scientists and economists can agree with Buddhist monks and Christian activists that ruthless destruction of natural habitats is evil and careful preservation of birds and butterflies is good. The worldwide community of environmentalists—most of whom are not scientists—holds the moral high ground, and is guiding human societies toward a hopeful future. Environmentalism, as a religion of hope and respect for nature, is here to stay. This is a religion that we can all share, whether or not we believe that global warming is harmful.

    Unfortunately, some members of the environmental movement have also adopted as an article of faith the belief that global warming is the greatest threat to the ecology of our planet. That is one reason why the arguments about global warming have become bitter and passionate. Much of the public has come to believe that anyone who is skeptical about the dangers of global warming is an enemy of the environment. The skeptics now have the difficult task of convincing the public that the opposite is true. Many of the skeptics are passionate environmentalists. They are horrified to see the obsession with global warming distracting public attention from what they see as more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet, including problems of nuclear weaponry, environmental degradation, and social injustice. Whether they turn out to be right or wrong, their arguments on these issues deserve to be heard.
    But no all you alarmists can do is groupthink, blatantly displaying symptom #4 ad nauseum:

    4 Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, disfigured, impotent, or stupid
    Obviously the evil is the best choice here.

    Anyway, if you are following the thread in the least bit, it would have shown that we are discussing a hypothetical inert atmosphere without GHG hence also without water vapor in order to demonstrate that warmer than black body temperature for the atmosphere is not caused by radiation alone but mostly by convection. So all the talk about moisture is mood.
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    Quote Originally Posted by andre
    Anyway, if you are following the thread in the least bit, it would have shown that we are discussing a hypothetical inert atmosphere without GHG hence also without water vapor in order to demonstrate that warmer than black body temperature for the atmosphere is not caused by radiation alone but mostly by convection. So all the talk about moisture is mood.
    Pretty far fetched.

    We have been following the thread--it went like this:

    Flawed thought experiment that treats the atmosphere like a single layer, thus by design completely eliminating the entire effect of GHGs forcing warming in the lower atmosphere due to a combination of blocked upward radiating IR radiation and reemission of mid-level IR back towards the surface.

    A post to a meaningless experiment that forces dry adiabatic lapse rate, which the atmosphere isn't. Almost all deep convection is moist.

    A couple threads of switch and bait logical fallacy post--like the "killer" article posted in an obscure hydrology journal to avoid rigorous peer review and didn't have anything to do with the thread to begin with.

    A lot of muddling interpretation by the post starter about what drives convection--much of which is simply wrong.

    It's not a problem per say that people don't understand what they discuss--heck half the fun is reading and learning from other people with more knowledge about a particular subject area.

    But demonstrated poor understanding of basic physics combined with the moribund attitude that that thousands of scientist from dozens of fields are all wrong like some great conspiracy theory waiting for a single article to topple all their work like a house of cards doesn't go far to persuade or make for good discussions.
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    This is so pathethic. The so many wise man can't be wrong routine. Hey look again at the Hansen prediction and reality. So many wise men are simply wrong. Period. No fallacies and character murdering can change that. it's just to investigate why they are wrong.
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    For those who refuse to let others do the thinking, let's reflect a bit on this one:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    '.... with the moribund attitude that that thousands of scientist from dozens of fields are all wrong like some great conspiracy theory waiting for a single article to topple all their work like a house of cards doesn't go far to persuade or make for good discussions.
    I just wondered where we could find the earliest equivalent of this reasoning in the history of mankind. It turned out to be the Malleus Maleficarum.

    See Chap one:

    The second part of our inquiry is this, whether obstinately to maintain that witches exist is heretical. The questions arises whether people who hold that witches do not exist are to be regarded as notorious heretics, or whether they are to be regarded as gravely suspect of holding heretical opinions. It seems that the first opinion is the correct one. For this is undoubtedly in accordance with the opinion of the learned Bernard. And yet those persons who openly and obstinately persevere in heresy must be proved to be heretics by unshaken evidence, and such demonstration is generally one of three kinds; either a man has openly preached and proclaimed heretical doctrines; or he is proved to be a heretic by the evidence of trustworthy witnesses; or he is proved to be a heretic by his own free confession. And yet there are some who rashly opposing themselves to all authority publicly proclaim that witches do not exist, or at any rate that they can in no way afflict and hurt mankind. Wherefore, strictly speaking those who are convicted of such evil doctrine may be excommunicated, since they are openly and unmistakably to be convicted of false doctrine.
    Perhaps the neutral, agnostic, skeptic observer may discern some parallels. One wonders if there comes a period when mankind can progress without groupthink.
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    But after this thread has so skilfully be derailed, why not let's check the literature on greenhouse cooling:

    G. V. CHILINGAR, L. F. KHILYUK, and O. G. SOROKHTIN, 2008, Cooling of Atmosphere Due to CO2 Emission, Energy Sources, Part A, 30:19, 2008 ISSN: 1556-7036 print/1556-7230 online DOI: 10.1080/15567030701568727

    Heads and tails of the study:

    Introduction

    Traditional anthropogenic theory of currently observed global warming states that release of carbon dioxide into atmosphere (partially as a result of utilization of fossil fuels) leads to an increase in atmospheric temperature because the molecules of CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) absorb the infrared radiation from the Earths surface. This statement is based on the Arrhenius hypothesis, which was never verified (Arrhenius, 1896).
    The proponents of this theory take into consideration only one component of heat transfer in atmosphere, i.e., radiation. Yet, in the dense Earths troposphere with the pressure pa > 0:2 atm, the heat from the Earths surface is mostly transferred by convection (Sorokhtin, 2001a). According to our estimates, convection accounts for 67%, water vapor condensation in troposphere accounts for 25%, and radiation accounts for about 8% of the total heat transfer from the Earths surface to troposphere.

    Thus, convection is the dominant process of heat transfer in troposphere, and all the theories of Earths atmospheric heating (or cooling) first of all must consider this process of heat (energy) mass redistribution in atmosphere (Sorokhtin, 2001a, 2001b; Khilyuk and Chilingar, 2003, 2004).

    ...

    Conclusions

    Accumulation of large amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to the cooling, and not to warming of climate, as the proponents of traditional anthropogenic global warming theory believe (Aeschbach-Hertig, 2006). This conclusion has a simple physical explanation: when the infrared radiation is absorbed by the molecules of greenhouse gases, its energy is transformed into thermal expansion of air, which causes convective fluxes of air masses restoring the adiabatic distribution of temperature in the troposphere. Our estimates show that release of small amounts of carbon dioxide (several hundreds ppm), which are typical for the scope of anthropogenic emission, does not influence the global temperature of Earths atmosphere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by andre
    But after this thread has so skilfully be derailed, why not let's check the literature on greenhouse cooling:

    G. V. CHILINGAR, L. F. KHILYUK, and O. G. SOROKHTIN, 2008, Cooling of Atmosphere Due to CO2 Emission, Energy Sources, Part A, 30:1–9, 2008 ISSN: 1556-7036 print/1556-7230 online DOI: 10.1080/15567030701568727

    Heads and tails of the study:

    Introduction

    Traditional anthropogenic theory of currently observed global warming states that release of carbon dioxide into atmosphere (partially as a result of utilization of fossil fuels) leads to an increase in atmospheric temperature because the molecules of CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) absorb the infrared radiation from the Earth’s surface. This statement is based on the Arrhenius hypothesis, which was never verified (Arrhenius, 1896).
    The proponents of this theory take into consideration only one component of heat transfer in atmosphere, i.e., radiation. Yet, in the dense Earth’s troposphere with the pressure pa > 0:2 atm, the heat from the Earth’s surface is mostly transferred by convection (Sorokhtin, 2001a). According to our estimates, convection accounts for 67%, water vapor condensation in troposphere accounts for 25%, and radiation accounts for about 8% of the total heat transfer from the Earth’s surface to troposphere.

    Thus, convection is the dominant process of heat transfer in troposphere, and all the theories of Earth’s atmospheric heating (or cooling) first of all must consider this process of heat (energy)– mass redistribution in atmosphere (Sorokhtin, 2001a, 2001b; Khilyuk and Chilingar, 2003, 2004). …

    ...

    Conclusions

    …Accumulation of large amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to the cooling, and not to warming of climate, as the proponents of traditional anthropogenic global warming theory believe (Aeschbach-Hertig, 2006). This conclusion has a simple physical explanation: when the infrared radiation is absorbed by the molecules of greenhouse gases, its energy is transformed into thermal expansion of air, which causes convective fluxes of air masses restoring the adiabatic distribution of temperature in the troposphere. Our estimates show that release of small amounts of carbon dioxide (several hundreds ppm), which are typical for the scope of anthropogenic emission, does not influence the global temperature of Earth’s atmosphere.
    Estimates aren't real data as far as I am concerned. The other thing, and I have raised this point before, is where this convected heat goes. Your quote says:"when the infrared radiation is absorbed by the molecules of greenhouse gases, its energy is transformed into thermal expansion of air, which causes convective fluxes of air masses restoring the adiabatic distribution of temperature in the troposphere.".
    Let me quote Wiki: “The environmental lapse rate (the actual rate at which temperature drops with height, dT / dz) is not usually equal to the adiabatic lapse rate (or correspondingly, ). If the upper air is warmer than predicted by the adiabatic lapse rate (dS / dz > 0), then when a parcel of air rises and expands, it will arrive at the new height at a lower temperature than its surroundings. In this case, the air parcel is denser than its surroundings, so it sinks back to its original height, and the air is stable against being lifted. If, on the contrary, the upper air is cooler than predicted by the adiabatic lapse rate, then when the air parcel rises to its new height it will have a higher temperature and a lower density than its surroundings, and will continue to accelerate upward.”

    So, what could make the upper air warmer than expected? Elevated levels of greenhouse gasses. No? The tropopause would serve to suppress convection past itself and temporarily trap the heat. Are you suggesting then a thickening of the troposphere as greenhouse gas levels increase?
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  36. #35 So much focus on the atmosphere. 
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    What about the oceans? I am about to make a post that shows how the Earth's temperatures would not change much even if Earth had NO atmosphere, let alone no greenhouse gases. Stay tuned.
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    What about the oceans? If the Earth had no atmosphere I suspect the oceans would evaporate.
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  38. #37 Unsubstantiated speculation? 
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    I find your theory interesting. This whole global warming business seems a bit one-sided. Proponents speculate (theorize) all the time. In fact it is difficult to find empirical evidence supporting the greenhouse theory.
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  39. #38 Bunbury 
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    The oceans evaporate even with an atmosphere.
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  40. #39 Re: Unsubstantiated speculation? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    I find your theory interesting.
    My "theory" is based on the Steam Tables. It's not rocket science.
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  41. #40 Great post! 
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    Given the same amount of solar energy, greenhouse gas molecules are cooler than nitrogen and oxygen, due to their high specific heat capcities or high mass per mole. If there is anything to the conservation of energy theory, greenhouse gases stabalize temperatures, they do not add or take away energy from the system. The mean temperature increases or decreases depending on the amount of solar energy.

    Also, the greenhouse analogy does not fit reality. Greenhouses work because they are sealed containers. The heat can't escape. But if you punch holes in the greenhouse, i.e., seperate the molecules of the glass, the heat escapes. Gases and fluids can circulate, conduct and convect unlike the greenhouse.

    Here is an experiment everyone should try: lock yourself in a sealed room, with a thermometer. Exhale and see if the increased concentration of carbon dioxide significantly raises the room temperature. Don't be shocked if the temperature actually drops. Carbon dioxide is a cooler molecule than oxygen or nitrogen when energy increases and is warmer when energy decreases. :-D
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    So, what could make the upper air warmer than expected? Elevated levels of greenhouse gasses. No?
    Definitely not, positively sure. Think of heat as energy packages, transmitted/transported by conduction, convection and evaporation. Chilingar et al demonstrate how convection is the dominant transporter of heat/energy aloft, heating up the higher portions of the troposphere.

    The tropopause would serve to suppress convection past itself and temporarily trap the heat. Are you suggesting then a thickening of the troposphere as greenhouse gas levels increase?
    Now, since convection up only, if there was no other way to cool the upper troposphere levels, it would continue to heat up until that stable lapse rate was reached as per wiki article.

    But there is cooling as every day, new cumulus clouds, cumulonimbus rain and thunder, tornados and hurricanes proof that convection works apart form the hadley cels at the ITCZ (Inter tropical convergence zone (wiki word). Conduction at higher levels is not a real option. Sure there is some friction and mixing of air layers but it's mainly the out-radiation of energy due to radiative effects from clouds and greenhouse effect mainly of water vapor.

    this is confirmed by:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/satell...atpix.shtml#wV

    Emissions from water vapour low in the atmosphere will not normally escape to space. If the upper troposhpere is moist, the radiation reaching the satellite will mostly originate from this (cold) region and be displayed in white shades, following the IR imagery colour convention. Only if the upper atmosphere is dry will will radiation originate from water vapour at warmer, mid-troposheric levels and be displayed in darker shades on the image. In normally moist atmosphere , most of the WV radiation recieved by the satellite originates in the 300-600 hPa layer, but when the air is dry some radiation may come from layers as low as 800hPa. Because of the general poleward decrease of water vapour content, the height of the contributing layer gets lower towards the poles. [Source Bader et al, 1995]
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  43. #42 Re: Great post! 
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    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    Given the same amount of solar energy, greenhouse gas molecules are cooler than nitrogen and oxygen, due to their high specific heat capcities or high mass per mole. If there is anything to the conservation of energy theory, greenhouse gases stabalize temperatures, they do not add or take away energy from the system. The mean temperature increases or decreases depending on the amount of solar energy.
    No, because the nitrogen doesn't absorb IR so it doesn't heat up. CO2 will get warmer because it absorbs some IR.

    The kinetic energy of the CO2 molecules increases, defined as an increase in temperature, but in a gas mixture (air) the CO2 will transmit some of its extra kinetic energy to other gas species by collision. The whole mixture will equilibrate almost instantaneously to the same higher temperature. This is elementary. Even AGW skeptics don't deny basic physics.
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  44. #43 Re: Great post! 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury

    No, because the nitrogen doesn't absorb IR so it doesn't heat up. CO2 will get warmer because it absorbs some IR.
    Are you sure? Check out this data:

    http://www.amateurspectroscopy.com/c...l-elements.htm

    Nitrogen absorbs IR (perhaps not the same frequencies as CO2), it absorbs and scatters blue, ultra-violet, green and yellow and red frequencies. I am sure when that happens, nitrogen heats up. It even has a specific heat coefficient that is higher than CO2. Nitrogen absorbs and scatters much of the sun's energy before it reaches Earth's surface. CO2 could absorb and scatter the lower frequencies before they reach the Earth's surface.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    The kinetic energy of the CO2 molecules increases, defined as an increase in temperature, but in a gas mixture (air) the CO2 will transmit some of its extra kinetic energy to other gas species by collision. The whole mixture will equilibrate almost instantaneously to the same higher temperature. This is elementary. Even AGW skeptics don't deny basic physics.
    Why should the temperatures be higher? The CO2 absorbs lower frequencies (less energy) and has more mass than nitrogen or oxygen. Here's the math:

    CO2: 100J = (.839)(44g)(T)
    T (CO2)= 2.7 deg. C

    N2: 100J = (1.040)(28g)(T)
    T(N2) = 3.43 deg. C

    T is temperature change, given 100 joules of energy. CO2 has a heat coefficient of .839. and is 44g/mole. N2 has specific heat capacity of 1.040 and is 28g/mole. As you can see, when heat is generated by CO2 and N2 at varied frequencies of light, the N2 gets hotter. Also keep in mind that N2 is absorbing light at higher frequencies (more intense energy--more intense heat). If I factored in that heat energy difference, the figure for N2 would be even hotter.
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    The molecules/atoms that constitute the bulk of the atmosphere: oxygen (O2), nitrogen (N2) and argon (Ar); do not interact with infrared radiation significantly. While the oxygen and nitrogen molecules can vibrate, because of their symmetry these vibrations do not create any transient charge separation. Without such a transient dipole moment, they can neither absorb nor emit infrared radiation.
    Only Wikipedia I'm afraid, but you can look it up elswhere if you don't like that reference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    The molecules/atoms that constitute the bulk of the atmosphere: oxygen (O2), nitrogen (N2) and argon (Ar); do not interact with infrared radiation significantly. While the oxygen and nitrogen molecules can vibrate, because of their symmetry these vibrations do not create any transient charge separation. Without such a transient dipole moment, they can neither absorb nor emit infrared radiation.
    Only Wikipedia I'm afraid, but you can look it up elswhere if you don't like that reference.
    Yep, Wikipedia alright. Maybe they can explain why the N2 molecules are so hot in the thermosphere (upper atmosphere). 600 - 3000 deg. K.

    http://www.windows.ucar.edu/earth_sc...ructure_6.html

    I note the key phrase: "...do not interact with infrared significantly." In other words, they do interact. Liquid nitrogen turns to gas in a heated room. Go figure!


    Also, according to specific heat data N2 can be heated to about 6000 K and can be cooled to liquid nitrogen which is very very cold. Haven't found the data yet, but I would imagine oxygen has very high infrared capabilities. Try to imagine combustion without oxygen.
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  47. #46 Re: Great post! 
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    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    Why should the temperatures be higher? The CO2 absorbs lower frequencies (less energy) and has more mass than nitrogen or oxygen.
    You're math is right but your not applying it correctly and therefore reaching the wrong conclusion.

    Because energy is being added to the system and that energy, first absorbed by the Co2, is being distributed to all the molecules by collision thus resulting in an increased temperature. The relative molar weights and specific heat effect the amount of temperature change but not the energy increase.

    Over the course of the day it effects the diurnal range but not the increased average--that is a thick atmosphere will have a lower range between night and day temperatures everything else being equal.

    --
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    Yep, Wikipedia alright. Maybe they can explain why the N2 molecules are so hot in the thermosphere (upper atmosphere). 600 - 3000 deg. K.
    Nope, don't think Wiki can explain that. However, I can. The oxygen and nitrogen in the thermosphere are heated by UV not IR radiation.

    Haven't found the data yet, but I would imagine oxygen has very high infrared capabilities.
    I think I already mentioned that combustion engineers consider oxygen and nitrogen to be transparent to IR. But keep looking, by all means.

    Try to imagine combustion without oxygen.
    I'm trying - wait I'm getting something - seems to be magnesium in ammonia. How is this relevant to atmospheric science?
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  49. #48  
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    Nope, don't think Wiki can explain that. However, I can. The oxygen and nitrogen in the thermosphere are heated by UV not IR radiation.[/quote]

    I don't doubt that, but here is the problem: solar energy entering the atmosphere contains many wavelengths of infrared that don't reach the surface. Further I can't help but notice there is such a thing as cool and warm air. What warms the air(mostly nitrogen and oxygen) if not IR? When I heat my oven the air gets warmer. My oven isn't a UV oven, by the way.

    I think I already mentioned that combustion engineers consider oxygen and nitrogen to be transparent to IR. But keep looking, by all means..[/quote]

    Perhaps certain wavelengths of IR. When I heat liguid nitrogen with IR, it absorbs it and evaporates. When I heat it further it gets even hotter. It does not say, "Hey, I'm invisible." If what you say is true, how is the greenhouse effect supposed to work? Something has to heat up inside the greenhouse--like the air, for example--which is mostly nitrogen.



    trying - wait I'm getting something - seems to be magnesium in ammonia. How is this relevant to atmospheric science?[/quote]

    How is the claim that oxygen and nitrogen can't absorb and emit heat relevant to atmospheric science?
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  50. #49  
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    Further I can't help but notice there is such a thing as cool and warm air. What warms the air(mostly nitrogen and oxygen) if not IR?
    The air is warmed by a combination of convection, latent heat and radiation, all from the surface of the planet. Radiation is the major contributor. Long wave radiation heats up the water vapor, CO2, methane, NOx and other greenhouse gases in the air, which then transfer heat as kinetic energy to oxygen, nitrogen and argon by collision. I think we've talked about this before. Please look at this link, especially Fig. 7..

    http://www.eoearth.org/article/Earth%27s_energy_balance

    How is the claim that oxygen and nitrogen can't absorb and emit heat relevant to atmospheric science?
    You are confused. Of course they can both absorb heat - no one has ever said they can't. But IR radiation is not the only way that heat is transmitted. I'm sure if you ever read a book or took a class on heat transfer you know that there are three forms of heat transfer, conduction, convection and radiation. In your oven for instance, if it's electric the air is heated by contact with the electric elements. This is a combination of conduction and convection. Additionally, the IR from the elements heats water vapor and CO2 in the air, and the walls of the oven which also contribute to heating the air by contact. If it's a gas oven the air is heated by mixing with the hot products of combustion from the flames. The products of combustion are mainly water vapor and carbon dioxide so you do get some aditional IR absorption.
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  52. #51 Re: Great post! 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    [You're math is right but your not applying it correctly and therefore reaching the wrong conclusion.--
    What is the right conclusion and where is your math?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    cause energy is being added to the system and that energy, first absorbed by the Co2, is being distributed to all the molecules by collision thus resulting in an increased temperature. The relative molar weights and specific heat effect the amount of temperature change but not the energy increase.--
    Where is your proof that CO2 is the first to absorb the energy? Water vapor is 2000 times more likely to absorb the energy than CO2 and at more wavelengths. N2 makes up 71% of the atmosphere, so odds are (even if its absorbtion is very small) it will be first. CO2 makes up .0384% of the atmosphere. The odds of it coming into contact with any energy first are nill.

    Also I question your "energy increase." The way I see it, energy comes into the system from above at shorter wave lengths, heating N2 and O2 as it goes, then the energy is allegedly converted to longer wave lengths, but is conserved. At the end of the day, the math shows the final result.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    The air is warmed by a combination of convection, latent heat and radiation, all from the surface of the planet.
    All from the surface of the planet? What happened to the sun and UV at the thermosphere? At least I got you to admit that air can be warmed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Radiation is the major contributor. Long wave radiation heats up the water vapor, CO2, methane, NOx and other greenhouse gases in the air, which then transfer heat as kinetic energy to oxygen, nitrogen and argon by collision. I think we've talked about this before. Please look at this link, especially Fig. 7..
    So are you telling me that in the absence of greenhouse gases, my liquid nitrogen experiment would fail? If you are right, it would stay liquid, in dry air at STP. There would be no CO2 or GH molecules to transfer heat as kinetic energy. Somehow that does not seem right. My gut tells me that if I took some liquid nitrogen to the Sahara desert and placed it on the hot ground (IR heat source), that it would absorb the heat and vaporize. I could be wrong, though.

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  54. #53  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    That's a nice little drawing, but how was this data collected and compiled? What is the margin of error? Sorry to be so inquisitive, but anyone can draw a chart.
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  55. #54  
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    William, you have two things going for you
    a) you are new here
    b) you seem to have a genuine passion for science
    So far, therefore, I have overlooked an unpleasant undertone in your posts. I want to offer you a small word of advice, lets not call it a warning, before you step over a rather ill-defined boundary.

    In your last post you say
    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    So if I took my oven to the Sahara desert, where the air is dry, it would not cook my food, because there would be no water vapor or CO2 to collide with the other air molecules. Prove it.
    Now there are two possibilities, it seems to me.
    1) You genuinely don't understand Bunbury's straightforward explanation.
    2) You are being deliberately provocative by pretending you do not understand.

    The second explanation is favoured by your curt, even belligerent, "Prove it". (I'll come back to that one in a moment with another piece of advice.)

    Bunbury clearly states " In your oven for instance, if it's electric the air is heated by contact with the electric elements. This is a combination of conduction and convection. Additionally, the IR from the elements heats water vapor and CO2 in the air, and the walls of the oven which also contribute to heating the air by contact."

    You see the bold words. No need for water vapour or CO2 to be present. So why the nonsense about your greenhouse gas free oven in the Sahara? I really do want to know. I'm asking as a moderator, not as a poster.

    Oh, the advice. If this was a contrived piece of rhetoric to try to make some self-indulgent point then drop that now please. If it was genuine confusion over what Bunbury told you then could you explain how he - or any of us could have made it clearer. If your confusion is genuine there are many on this forum who will be happy to assist.

    Finally, in relation to 'prove it'. The general form on this and similar forums is that little or no proof is required for what is consenus, basic science. You will get short shrift if you say, 'prove there are atoms.' (We do, however, tolerate exactly that level of ignorance for young Earth creationists, since it is important socially to try to convince them of the error of their thoughts.) Asking for proof of basic heat exchange mechanisms is in the same category.

    If you are claiming something different from the currently accepted consensus it is you who has to prove it. Not Bunbury. Not anyone else.

    If what you meant to say was 'could you explain why that is? could you provide some links that discuss it in more detail' that would have been fine. But 'prove it'!
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  56. #55  
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    Ophiolite, I'm done with this thread.

    William Pinn is an embarrassment to the most ardent of deniers. No wonder we're in trouble.
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  57. #56  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Ophiolite, I'm done with this thread.
    I don't blame you. My moderator status requires me hang in. (In)Sanity has promised me it will be worth it. :? The first dancing girls are due next week and the yacht before Xmas. :wink:
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  58. #57  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    William, you have two things going for you
    a) you are new here
    b) you seem to have a genuine passion for science
    Thank you. Let me introduce myself. I am William Pinn, my hobby is science. I am a professional review wiriter. I try various sites like this one and write and publish reviews about them on several sites. If the site is really impressive, if the folks running it are polite and courteous, and the web site is highly functional, I will rate it five stars. So far I have enjoyed my experience here. I sincerely hope that positive experience continues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    So far, therefore, I have overlooked an unpleasant undertone in your posts. I want to offer you a small word of advice, lets not call it a warning, before you step over a rather ill-defined boundary.
    I'm sorry if I offended. That was not my intent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    In your last post you say
    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    So if I took my oven to the Sahara desert, where the air is dry, it would not cook my food, because there would be no water vapor or CO2 to collide with the other air molecules. Prove it.
    Now there are two possibilities, it seems to me.
    1) You genuinely don't understand Bunbury's straightforward explanation.
    2) You are being deliberately provocative by pretending you do not understand.
    I understand IR is one source of heat. Feel free to correct me. I also understand that Bunbury did include other sources as well. However, the main focus of the discussion is whether nitrogen can be heated by IR. Bunbury seems to disagree that it can. I'm not trying to cause trouble here. I'm just trying to get at the bottom of something. When I say "Prove it" it is not to be curt or rude. The truth is I have researched this topic very thoroughly on the web. And I can find nothing that shows that IR can't heat nitrogen--end of story, end of discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    the advice. If this was a contrived piece of rhetoric to try to make some self-indulgent point then drop that now please. If it was genuine confusion over what Bunbury told you then could you explain how he - or any of us could have made it clearer. If your confusion is genuine there are many on this forum who will be happy to assist.
    Finally, in relation to 'prove it'. The general form on this and similar forums is that little or no proof is required for what is consenus, basic science. You will get short shrift if you say, 'prove there are atoms.' (We do, however, tolerate exactly that level of ignorance for young Earth creationists, since it is important socially to try to convince them of the error of their thoughts.) Asking for proof of basic heat exchange mechanisms is in the same category. If you are claiming something different from the currently accepted consensus it is you who has to prove it. Not Bunbury. Not anyone else.
    I was not aware that it was accepted consensus that IR cannot heat nitrogen at all. And you are right. If that is the consensus, then I must prove that nitrogen can absorb IR radiation. I take no offense to such a demand, even if the consensus favored me. I have a thick skin and proof is the hallmark of science--surely we can agree on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    If what you meant to say was 'could you explain why that is? could you provide some links that discuss it in more detail' that would have been fine. But 'prove it'!
    That is what I meant. "Prove it" just seemed more concise and I had no way to forsee that I was stepping on any eggshells. Again, I apologize for my heinous conduct. Can you recommend any science sites where I can challenge the consensus view and not get into trouble? Thank you for any assistance in that matter in advance.
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  59. #58  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Ophiolite, I'm done with this thread.
    I don't blame you. My moderator status requires me hang in. (In)Sanity has promised me it will be worth it. :? The first dancing girls are due next week and the yacht before Xmas. :wink:
    Then there'll be that beachfront property in Louisiana...
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  60. #59  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Ophiolite, I'm done with this thread.

    William Pinn is an embarrassment to the most ardent of deniers. No wonder we're in trouble.
    Now, now, be nice. Was that remark really necessary? I may have asked you to prove something, or I may have politely disagreed with you, but I never personally attacked you. And, why isn't the moderator all over you for personally attacking me? Hmmmm....
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    Williampinn, HERE you will find a good description of the absorbtion bands of various compounds. You'll also find a reference to Nitrogen absorption bands at the bottom.
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  62. #61  
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    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    I try various sites like this one and write and publish reviews about them on several sites. If the site is really impressive, if the folks running it are polite and courteous, and the web site is highly functional, I will rate it five stars.
    Let me knock off a couple of stars.
    1) You are coming across as a pretentious prat.
    2) Previous attempts at blackmail have been more subtle.
    However, the main focus of the discussion is whether nitrogen can be heated by IR. Bunbury seems to disagree that it can.
    Bunbury has very clearly stated that the extent to which it can be heated is quantitatively minor. If your 'reviews' of sites are conducted with the same level of perception and understanding you display here you appear to be wasting your time and that of any readers you may have.
    I was not aware that it was accepted consensus that IR cannot heat nitrogen at all.
    No one is claiming that. Stop erecting strawmen.
    Can you recommend any science sites where I can challenge the consensus view and not get into trouble?
    I can recommend that you drop your snide, supercilious manner right now. It is decidedly not welcome around here. Challenge conventionall views all you wish here, but do so in a direct manner and without juvenile erection of strawmen and self-effacing, injured innocence.
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  63. #62  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Williampinn, HERE you will find a good description of the absorbtion bands of various compounds. You'll also find a reference to Nitrogen absorption bands at the bottom.
    Thank you so much! You sir are gentleman and a scholar.
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  64. #63  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Let me knock off a couple of stars.
    1) You are coming across as a pretentious prat.
    2) Previous attempts at blackmail have been more subtle.
    Well obviously the level of this discussion is going downhill fast. Ophiolite, have you ever heard the expression, "Respectfully disagree and respect those who disagree"? Apparently you haven't I make it my motto. I have not called you any names and yet you call me a pretentious prat? How do you think you are coming across? Have you read your own words? Have you read Bunbury's words? Here's a quote of Bunbury:

    "William Pinn is an embarrassment to the most ardent of deniers. No wonder we're in trouble."

    Now if you are going to be a moderator, shouldn't you at least make a cursory effort to be fair? You have nothing to say to him/her, but you come down on me like a ton of bricks if I say "Prove it." Note that I haven't accused you or Bunberry of being an embarassment. Civility is the key to having a sucessful forum--not namecalling and unfair treatment.

    There is nothing pretentious about me. Google William Pinn and you will see I am the real deal. I DO review web sites and various products and science is a hobby of mine. And, I am not trying to "blackmail" anyone. What would I gain? You introduced yourself as a moderator, I introduced myself as a reviewer. We both have power of influence. So before you point fingers and accuse, look in the mirror next time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Bunbury has very clearly stated that the extent to which it can be heated is quantitatively minor. If your 'reviews' of sites are conducted with the same level of perception and understanding you display here you appear to be wasting your time and that of any readers you may have..
    I was not aware that it was accepted consensus that IR cannot heat nitrogen at all.
    No one is claiming that. Stop erecting strawmen...
    What straw men? My readers love my reviews because they contain a thing called proof. You know, that word you find so offensive. Quite frankly I find your position quite odd given that you are allegedly a scientist. Scientists love to challenge each other--even the conventional wisdom. That is how science advances. I do agree with you that I am wasting my precious time here. Now, normally I don't insult people, but I feel at this juncture, you don't deserve my best behavior. You run this forum like a junior high school science club. When I joined this forum, I was hoping to meet up with some grownups. I say the words "Prove it, " and your day is ruined? Science is not for you because you are going to run into that phrase a lot, and you will no doubt be one unhappy camper. That goes for your junior high classmate Bunburry as well.

    More quotes from Bunbury:

    "No, because the nitrogen doesn't absorb IR so it doesn't heat up. CO2 will get warmer because it absorbs some IR."--Page 3 of this thread.

    "I think I already mentioned that combustion engineers consider oxygen and nitrogen to be transparent to IR. But keep looking, by all means."--Page 4 of this thread

    Here is a quote from you:

    "Finally, in relation to 'prove it'. The general form on this and similar forums is that little or no proof is required for what is consenus, basic science."

    Can you read english? There are no straw men being erected! Now what exactly is your problem? A. I asked Bunbury to prove that nitrogen can not absorb IR at any wave length; B. You chimed in with "no need to prove consensus views";
    C. I stated I was not aware that there was a consensus. D. You then accuse me of erecting a straw dog? Look in the mirror.

    I am going to attempt to report you to an administrator, before I write any review. Perhaps someone over your head cares whether or not this site goes down the tubes.


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  65. #64  
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    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    Ophiolite, have you ever heard the expression, "Respectfully disagree and respect those who disagree"?
    You have come across in your posts as someone who may not be worthy of that respect. Specifically you have created the following impressions:
    1. You are working to a carefully chosen and intially concealed agenda.
    2. You have violated the forum guidelines, apparently deliberately.
    3. You have adopted questionable debating techniques.
    4. You have issued what seemed to be a veiled blackmail threat against this site.

    Now these may all be misleading impressions, but this is certainly how you have come across to me. Would you think someone who was 'guilty as charged' would be worthy of respect?

    I have not called you any names and yet you call me a pretentious prat?
    No, I haven't. I was very careful not to, since I am not sure that you are. I very deliberately said you gave the appearance of being a pretentious prat. That is an honest, subjective appraisal. I stand ready to change it on evidence, but that is currently what I suspect, so I have told you that honestly and openly.

    How do you think you are coming across? Have you read your own words?
    That is for others to judge.

    Now if you are going to be a moderator, shouldn't you at least make a cursory effort to be fair?
    I think I have made more than a cursory effort.
    1) I have allowed you to have a full and complete say within the forum.
    2) I have not carried out any disciplinary action against you.
    3) I have issued what I hope and intended to be a clear warning about which aspects of your conduct here concerned me.
    4) I have allowed your thread, posted in violation of forum guidelines to remain in view.
    5) I have provided you with the names of the site owner and the administrator to allow you to raise your concerns with them directly.
    6) I have notified the site owner of the situation.

    What more would you have me do? Defend you when I think you are wrong? Support you when I doubt your sincerity? I do not see what you think would be fair.


    You have nothing to say to him/her ( Bunbury), but you come down on me like a ton of bricks if I say "Prove it."
    Bunbury is an established member of this forum. They have made consistently good quality contributions over an extended period of time. They have offered help to other posters (including yourself). They have been reasonable and balanced in their communications with other posters. In short Bunbury is an established member of this community.

    In contrast your own posts have raised doubts in my mind as to your intent and to your frankness, as I noted in my opening remarks. Bunbury made a statement that was bald and that you found offensive, but that also paralleled my concerns. You are not aware of any admonishing or disciplimary remarks that may have taken place behind the scenes, nor is it your place to decide whether such remarks are called for. That is my decision. If my decisions are generally good ones, the forum will prosper and I shall retain the privilege of moderating it. If my decisions are generally bad ones then the forum will falter and I shall lose that privilege.

    You will recall from my earlier posts that my objection to your 'Prove it' was not your request for proof, but to the way you asked for that proof, and what the manner of asking seemed to imply.

    What straw men? My readers love my reviews because they contain a thing called proof. You know, that word you find so offensive.
    What straw men? Well I think there is one right there. You claim I find the word proof offensive. As I have just reiterated above I have nothing whatsoever against proof and a great deal in favour of it. Yet you set up your remarks to imply, no - to state, that I do. If I understand the terminology, that is a strawman.

    More significantly you do it later in a passage that cuts to the heart of the matter. You quote Bunbury thus:
    "I think I already mentioned that combustion engineers consider oxygen and nitrogen to be transparent to IR. But keep looking, by all means."--Page 4 of this thread
    This is an accurate quote as far as it goes. The problem is it does not go far enough. This seems to make Bunbury argue that oxygen and nitrogen are transparent to IR, an idea that you dismiss and in so doing implicitly question Bunbury's knowledge. Let's look at what Bunbury said earlier about this.

    Can you read english? There are no straw men being erected! Now what exactly is your problem? A. I asked Bunbury to prove that nitrogen can not absorb IR at any wave length; B. You chimed in with "no need to prove consensus views";
    C. I stated I was not aware that there was a consensus.
    Bunbury quotes wikipedia "The molecules/atoms that constitute the bulk of the atmosphere: oxygen (O2), nitrogen (N2) and argon (Ar); do not interact with infrared radiation significantly.@ He does not deny an interaction merely observes it is insignificant. As a consequence "combustion engineers consider that oxygen and nitrogen are transparent to IR radiation". Engineers are practical people. Engineering equations are full of approximations that give a practically satisfactory answer.
    So you were asking Bunbury to prove something which he had not stated to be the case. That, again, has the appearance of a strawman.

    As to the consensus view, how can you claim to be unaware of it when Bunbury had told you about it in this same thread and even quoted that epitome of proletarian consensus, with an embarassed shrug, wikipedia.

    I am going to attempt to report you to an administrator, before I write any review. Perhaps someone over your head cares whether or not this site goes down the tubes.
    Why would you need to attempt it? Just do it. Again, the site owner is (In)Sanity. He checks the site on a regular basis. The Admin has been tied up lately but is Homo Universalis. Pendragon and Skinwalker are two other mods who are occassionally active. You may wish to communicate with them also.

    Finally please note that by raising this matter in the forum in this way you are again in breach of forum guidelines. I would be fully entitled to delete all of your remarks. I have no intention of doing that. I am perfectly happy for any and all to make a judgement of the matter on the evidence before them.[/b]
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  66. #65  
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    Quote Originally Posted by williampinn
    Maybe you should post the specific rules you think I violtated rather than merely accuse me of violating rules. .
    From Science Forum Guidelines, Introduction: The moderators are free in their choice to warn or edit posts, or conduct their duties. If you feel their actions are not satisfactory, PM the administrator about it. Do not make a post or threat about it.

    I have placed the relevant item in bold.
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