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Thread: Geoscience of Greenhouse Gasses

  1. #1 Geoscience of Greenhouse Gasses 
    Forum Professor Wild Cobra's Avatar
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    I started this to continue an unrelated discussion in the thread A simple calculation about global warming.

    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    OK, as long as we agree there is no free energy.

    Now if time is what you mean, then I say that's the wrong way to look at it. Maybe I'm wrong, but it appears to me that what matters is the balance. The earth will heat up or cool down to achieve an energy balance based on several factors. I think my explaination was the correct one, but if I'm wrong, please explain to me how the energy staying around longer causes more heat. I don't think it matters. It ends up being the same difference as making the escape window for energy smaller like I explained in this thread or another.
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    That is how the greenhouse effect works, Wild Cobra. The greenhouse gases delay the release of energy back into space, warming up the atmosphere. Add more greenhouse gases, and the effect is bigger. I don't know what you don't understand about this?
    I think you are wrong about relying on it in that form. Sure, there would be a delay associated with the greenhouse effect. I say that viewpoint doesn't matter unless you want to break down all the intricacies, and I solidly believe it would be very, very small by changing any one gas.

    When the heat is increased by absorption, the CO2 passes this energy on to the nitrogen, oxygen, argon, water, etc. in the atmosphere through a normal heat transfer process. Now what matters is atmospherics mass. Not so much content. I say it effectively throws your argument out.
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Maybe I misunderstood what you were talking about? Because if you were talking about graphs showing absorption bands, then my question stands.
    OK, the graphs that associate transmission and/or absorption vs. spectra have CO2 almost already absorbing 100% of what they can absorb. In the end, what matters is what percentage of the greenhouse effect is retained. If I need to let 200 watts escape for balance, and my window allows for 50%, then I need a 400 watt heat in the atmosphere. In I change any one gas and decrease my window to 49%, then I now need a 408 watt heating effect.

    400 x 0.50 = 200

    408.16 x 0.49 = 200

    You should be happy to be able to make the argument of how small a percentage alters this. The IPCC speaks of a change of about 1.6 watts, which would be about a 0.2% change in the escape window.

    This is a very simple model, but can you show it to be an inaccurate concept?

    Ever paint a wall white over a dark color?

    Think of it as painting. If I paint a red wall with one layer of paint, I still see some of the red. I didn't cover all the red pigment. I have a pink wall now. After it dries, I put another layer on. I can still see some red through it, but very little. I now place a third coat, and I can no longer see red. It's just so faint, I cannot distinguish it any longer.

    This is my solid belief with CO2. It is now absorbing nearly all the IR within in absorption capacity. There is far more capacity for water, methane, N2O, etc to increase the temperature, because they are not completely covering their spectra yet. Why do we target CO2?


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    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    For the love of god... not another one of these ridiculous threads.


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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    For the love of god... not another one of these ridiculous threads.
    Then ignore it instead of being an ass, or I will ask for you to be boxed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    For the love of god... not another one of these ridiculous threads.
    Then ignore it instead of being an ass, or I will ask for you to be boxed.
    Please feel free to make any request you would like, Wild Cobra. I will make a counter request of the Mod team:


    Can all of these threads started by Wild Cobra and Cyrpess regarding their sense of the falsity of climate science and the flaws of concluding that CO2 from human activity is the primary climate driver please be merged into one? They all regard the same topic, and all suffer the same flaws. It's rather annoying having like 7 or 8 open discussions all about the same thing, especially when so very many of their claims have already been directly rebutted.
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    Dear Moderator, I can't find where the questions raised by Wild Cobra's mathematical constructions have been answered. I respectfully ask you to allow inow to simply not click onto Wild Cobrs's thread as he finds Wild Cobra's careful calculations to be "ridiculous".

    Not clicking is easier than clicking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    For the love of god... not another one of these ridiculous threads.
    Then ignore it instead of being an ass, or I will ask for you to be boxed.
    Please feel free to make any request you would like, Wild Cobra. I will make a counter request of the Mod team:


    Can all of these threads started by Wild Cobra and Cyrpess regarding their sense of the falsity of climate science and the flaws of concluding that CO2 from human activity is the primary climate driver please be merged into one? They all regard the same topic, and all suffer the same flaws. It's rather annoying having like 7 or 8 open discussions all about the same thing, especially when so very many of their claims have already been directly rebutted.
    Many cover different aspects of climate science because there are so many factors. Combining them into one just creates a mess. Better would be for those who disagree with the arguments to improve your persuasive power by actually providing a reasoned argument rather than linking in articles that answer different questions.

    Reasonable arguments with thoughtful explanations would silence us.

    In this thread WC argues the IPCC claimed impact on global temperature is overstated. He provides numbers as an an energy rate. Another way to frame it is by noting that these energy rates would translate into a 1.2C rise in surface temperature when equilibrium is reestablished for a doubling from 280 ppm to 560 ppm CO2 assuming no other dependent factors and 2-3C including the positive feedback forcing they predict. 3/1.2 is a feedback factor of 2.6. They also estimate a .75C rise given today's 100 ppm increase (which also is about 65% of the total effect). However consensus is that CO2 contribution to global temperatures have been about 0.4C to date indicating that the feedback factor is negative (-.6) or the effect is far less than estimated. This seems to strongly confirm WC's claim. Can anyone help me correct this dichotomy?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobra
    When the heat is increased by absorption, the CO2 passes this energy on to the nitrogen, oxygen, argon, water, etc. in the atmosphere through a normal heat transfer process.
    Most of the IR absorbed by a molecule of CO2 is re-radiated, in essentially random directions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Quote Originally Posted by cobra
    When the heat is increased by absorption, the CO2 passes this energy on to the nitrogen, oxygen, argon, water, etc. in the atmosphere through a normal heat transfer process.
    Most of the IR absorbed by a molecule of CO2 is re-radiated, in essentially random directions.
    Exactly. Which includes IR re-rediated from the upper atmosphere, where it doesn't overlap water vapor, back to the lower atmosphere.

    What probably irritates inow is all this was discussed and it's effects proved beyond any doubt more than half a century ago by people such as Callendar (e.g. http://www.rmets.org/pdf/qjcallender38.pdf), Plass and other researches. Even back than we were well beyond the back-of-envelop calculations which are misapplied or just plain wrong as often expressed on this forum. Even relatively small IR re-radiation from the upper atmosphere tends to create significant changes to the surface temperature, even if the IR blocking component is relatively saturated (or overlaps something else) in the lower atmosphere. There are probably some simple multilayer undergraduate radiative transfer models available for folks to explore on their own but the idea is pretty simple in its own right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura
    Quote Originally Posted by cobra
    When the heat is increased by absorption, the CO2 passes this energy on to the nitrogen, oxygen, argon, water, etc. in the atmosphere through a normal heat transfer process.
    Most of the IR absorbed by a molecule of CO2 is re-radiated, in essentially random directions.
    Exactly. Which includes IR re-rediated from the upper atmosphere, where it doesn't overlap water vapor, back to the lower atmosphere.
    Actually both WC and Iceaura are correct. If some fraction of the energy were not transfered to the other molecules, there would be no greenhouse effect.

    What probably irritates inow is all this was discussed and it's effects proved beyond any doubt more than half a century ago by people such as Callendar (e.g. http://www.rmets.org/pdf/qjcallender38.pdf), Plass and other researches.
    Actually the magnitude and precise effects are not well understood even today. There remains a great deal of doubt about the energy budget.

    Even back than we were well beyond the back-of-envelop calculations which are misapplied or just plain wrong as often expressed on this forum.
    Back then the estimate was 0.003C per year. That seems to compare quite favorably to the 0.37C total not accounted for by other known causes and less than 1/2 of the estimate provided by the IPCC. The most obvious errors seem to be coming from the IPCC. However, don't forget that in another thread we have Dr. Lu claiming that the .37C is accounted for by warming due to the complex interactions of solar and cosmic radiation acting on aerosols primarily CFC's. He claims there is no net effect from CO2. In particular he claims negative feedback erases the warming effect of CO2 and other trace GHG emissions.

    In other words this doubt is alive and well today.

    Even relatively small IR re-radiation from the upper atmosphere tends to create significant changes to the surface temperature, even if the IR blocking component is relatively saturated (or overlaps something else) in the lower atmosphere. There are probably some simple multilayer undergraduate radiative transfer models available for folks to explore on their own but the idea is pretty simple in its own right.
    What percentage you you regard as small? What is a corresponding significant increase in surface temperature?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress

    Back then the estimate was 0.003C per year. That seems to compare quite favorably to the 0.37C total not accounted for by other known causes and less than 1/2 of the estimate provided by the IPCC.
    Not sure what you mean by "Back then." If you mean during those initial mid-19th century calculation we are now putting more than 5 x more Co2 in the atmosphere/year and probably destined to put more than 10x/year in the next few decades than humans were "back then." Also his simple radiative calculations didn't include the various feedback mechanisms (e.g. lowered albedo).

    The main point is even if the IR blocking power of Co2 were completely saturated an lower altitudes--it would still get hotter at the surface due to increased Co2 at mid and high altitudes where those same frequencies aren't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress

    Back then the estimate was 0.003C per year. That seems to compare quite favorably to the 0.37C total not accounted for by other known causes and less than 1/2 of the estimate provided by the IPCC.
    Not sure what you mean by "Back then." If you mean during those initial mid-19th century calculation we are now putting more than 5 x more Co2 in the atmosphere/year and probably destined to put more than 10x/year in the next few decades than humans were "back then." Also his simple radiative calculations didn't include the various feedback mechanisms (e.g. lowered albedo).

    The main point is even if the IR blocking power of Co2 were completely saturated an lower altitudes--it would still get hotter at the surface due to increased Co2 at mid and high altitudes where those same frequencies aren't.
    I'm not at all sure that is the case. Can you show me how your statement is correct?

    I note also that you did not answer my other questions.
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    Callendar's model assumed steady Co2 increase based on mid-19th century estimates. (see link above). We are putting far more Co2 into the air (~5x) now compared to mid-19th century.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress

    Back then the estimate was 0.003C per year. That seems to compare quite favorably to the 0.37C total not accounted for by other known causes and less than 1/2 of the estimate provided by the IPCC.
    Not sure what you mean by "Back then." If you mean during those initial mid-19th century calculation we are now putting more than 5 x more Co2 in the atmosphere/year and probably destined to put more than 10x/year in the next few decades than humans were "back then." Also his simple radiative calculations didn't include the various feedback mechanisms (e.g. lowered albedo).

    The main point is even if the IR blocking power of Co2 were completely saturated an lower altitudes--it would still get hotter at the surface due to increased Co2 at mid and high altitudes where those same frequencies aren't.
    I'm not at all sure that is the case. Can you show me how your statement is correct?

    I note also that you did not answer my other questions.
    I think what Lynx Fox means has to do with how black body emissions change with surface temperature. See this:



    Please notice the two primary bands I marked where it says "upgoing thermal radiation." Notice that the transmission levels stay within the confines of the middle of the three power levels. The figure shows a range of 210 K to 310 K, we can assume the middle one is 260 K. In celcius, these are -63 C, -13 C, and 37 C. A little off if you ask me to represent the cold to hot regions, as the equatorial areas will exceed the 37 C.

    Now notice what happens when you shift from the middle curve (260 K) to the left curve (310 K). The nearly saturated (almost no transmission) of CO2 on the right marked area covers less area of the black body power, but the left CO2, whch also blocks almost all the IR it can now has a significantly larger area to block. The hight of these stay proportional to the height of the part of the curve they are under.

    Now something else. If you play with Spectral Calc Blackbody Calculator, you will notice that the total radiative heat is
    17.55 watts/meter2/sr for 210 K. It is 41.24 for 260 K and 88.35 for 310 K. I used 0.5 emissivity. This value is linear in the values, 0.5 will give half the value as 1. It doesn't matter what you use unless you want to get accurate results by individual surface types. The peak of the curves are at 13.80µm for 210 K, 11.15µm for 260 K, and 9.348µm for 310 K. Consider how the curve and power shifts with temperature, and there are notable differences in power. Since CO2 already blocks about 95% or more of the spectra it coves, I think it has little merit. But it is this relationdhip I think Fox is refering to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Callendar's model assumed steady Co2 increase based on mid-19th century estimates. (see link above). We are putting far more Co2 into the air (~5x) now compared to mid-19th century.
    I would still argue that since we are at near peak ability to block the IR it covers, that CO2 matters little for temperature increases.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Callendar's model assumed steady Co2 increase based on mid-19th century estimates. (see link above). We are putting far more Co2 into the air (~5x) now compared to mid-19th century.
    No Lynx_Fox, your main point, I'm not sure your main point is correct. Nice dodge. Show me how the frequencies could be saturated at low levels and not at upper levels of the atmosphere.
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    I think you are wrong about relying on it in that form. Sure, there would be a delay associated with the greenhouse effect. I say that viewpoint doesn't matter unless you want to break down all the intricacies, and I solidly believe it would be very, very small by changing any one gas.
    Solidly believing something doesn't make it true. You want to talk about paint, let me talk about jugs of water. Open two taps so the flow of water is exactly equal. Then place two different sized jugs under each one. Which jug will hold the most water? The big jug takes longer to fill than the first. Once they are full, both spill the same amount of water over the sides (equilibrium), but the biggest jug still holds the most water. Still don't see what I mean?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    The main point is even if the IR blocking power of Co2 were completely saturated an lower altitudes--it would still get hotter at the surface due to increased Co2 at mid and high altitudes where those same frequencies aren't.
    I agree, you didn't answer Cypress' question.

    How does the upper CO2 have an effect?

    Consider this. If the heat of lower CO2 already converts near 100% the Co2 absorption spectra to heat, tranfers that heat to the O2 and N2, then primarily rediate it out as the spectra of O2 and N2, how does this have anything but an insignificant effect?

    What is now warming the upper atmospheric CO2?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I think you are wrong about relying on it in that form. Sure, there would be a delay associated with the greenhouse effect. I say that viewpoint doesn't matter unless you want to break down all the intricacies, and I solidly believe it would be very, very small by changing any one gas.
    Solidly believing something doesn't make it true. You want to talk about paint, let me talk about jugs of water. Open two taps so the flow of water is exactly equal. Then place two different sized jugs under each one. Which jug will hold the most water? The big jug takes longer to fill than the first. Once they are full, both spill the same amount of water over the sides (equilibrium), but the biggest jug still holds the most water. Still don't see what I mean?
    No, I do understand. Look at the post that I apperently was making when you posted yours.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    I agree, you didn't answer Cypress' question.

    How does the upper CO2 have an effect?

    Consider this. If the heat of lower CO2 already converts near 100% the Co2 absorption spectra to heat, tranfers that heat to the O2 and N2, then primarily rediate it out as the spectra of O2 and N2, how does this have anything but an insignificant effect?

    What is now warming the upper atmospheric CO2?
    Just a quick clarification - why are you including O2 and N2 in this discussion? The infrared absorption excites four modes of vibration in the O-C-O molecule and none in O-O or N-N, so what role do these latter two molecules play?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tenderheart bear
    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    I agree, you didn't answer Cypress' question.

    How does the upper CO2 have an effect?

    Consider this. If the heat of lower CO2 already converts near 100% the Co2 absorption spectra to heat, tranfers that heat to the O2 and N2, then primarily rediate it out as the spectra of O2 and N2, how does this have anything but an insignificant effect?

    What is now warming the upper atmospheric CO2?
    Just a quick clarification - why are you including O2 and N2 in this discussion? The infrared absorption excites four modes of vibration in the O-C-O molecule and none in O-O or N-N, so what role do these latter two molecules play?
    Didn't I explain that well enough?

    The heat conduction from the CO2 transfers dramatically to the O2 and N2. Because of this, the CO2, when it loses heat by IR emission, has far less to lose. Most this energy is already transfered through conduction. The wavelengths the N2 and O2 now emit when they lose energy in this manner are now wavelengths that CO2 is transparent to. Therefore, there isn't this increased feedback effect as claimed. The advocates of the process we are disussing assume that the CO2 will re-radiate and keep the CO2 wanming in ways specific to Co2, but I point out that in is insignificant, because this occurs in the primary two gasses already.

    Did I explain that any better?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    Didn't I explain that well enough?

    The heat conduction from the CO2 transfers dramatically to the O2 and N2. Because of this, the CO2, when it loses heat by IR emission, has far less to lose. Most this energy is already transfered through conduction. The wavelengths the N2 and O2 now emit when they lose energy in this manner are now wavelengths that CO2 is transparent to. Therefore, there isn't this increased feedback effect as claimed. The advocates of the process we are disussing assume that the CO2 will re-radiate and keep the CO2 wanming in ways specific to Co2, but I point out that in is insignificant, because this occurs in the primary two gasses already.

    Did I explain that any better?
    Why are you stating there is a dramatic heat transfer from diatomic to monatomic molecules, when in fact no such process is occuring? As well, conduction has a minimal effect on this scenario as all three gases have extremely low thermal conductivities.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tenderheart bear
    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    Didn't I explain that well enough?

    The heat conduction from the CO2 transfers dramatically to the O2 and N2. Because of this, the CO2, when it loses heat by IR emission, has far less to lose. Most this energy is already transfered through conduction. The wavelengths the N2 and O2 now emit when they lose energy in this manner are now wavelengths that CO2 is transparent to. Therefore, there isn't this increased feedback effect as claimed. The advocates of the process we are disussing assume that the CO2 will re-radiate and keep the CO2 wanming in ways specific to Co2, but I point out that in is insignificant, because this occurs in the primary two gasses already.

    Did I explain that any better?
    Why are you stating there is a dramatic heat transfer from diatomic to monatomic molecules, when in fact no such process is occuring? As well, conduction has a minimal effect on this scenario as all three gases have extremely low thermal conductivities.
    Monatomic...

    If you say so.

    That's just under 1% of the atmospheric makeup.
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