The tallbloke climate site appears to have warmly (and all too quickly) embraced the "Unified Climate Theory" of Nikolov and Zeller. Here I offer my physical understanding, and my reasons for rejecting that theory, even though it supports my Venus/Earth analysis, and appears, to many commenters, to extend my findings to other planetary bodies in the solar system.
Among the many comments at the tallbloke site, are the following:
Stephen Wilde wrote: "If temperature is set by pressure and solar input then in the end the effects of both volcanoes and GHGs [greenhouse gases, esp. carbon dioxide] must be neutral unless they affect total atmospheric mass."
and tallbloke wrote: "quite a lot of the Sun’s energy is directly absorbed in the atmosphere"
These observations basically follow from my Venus/Earth temperature comparison, and I have emphasized for more than a year, not only that the Venus/Earth temperature ratio, at points of equal pressure over the range of Earth tropospheric pressures, depends only upon the planets' distances from the Sun, but also (and Nikolov & Zeller have not said this) that the atmosphere is fundamentally warmed by direct absorption of incident solar infrared radiation, as tallbloke seems to understand (although his statement is evasive about making my point, contenting himself with saying only "quite a lot" of the Sun's energy is directly absorbed).
Stephen Wilde is right about the effect of increased GHGs being neutral, that is neither warming nor cooling, because from my Venus/Earth analysis, the temperature at any given pressure in the troposphere depends only on its position within the lapse rate structure (physically, due to the weight of the atmosphere above, pressing down on that level) and the solar input. It does not depend upon the composition of the atmosphere (how much of GHGs there are), nor even upon the planetary albedo. It should be noted that every pressure level is receiving energy (during the daylight hours) by direct absorption of solar radiation (so we are not talking about a temperature lapse rate appearing spontaneously, out of nowhere, or from pressure differences alone, without energy input from the Sun--OR EVEN FROM VERTICAL CONVECTION, as defenders of the carbon dioxide greenhouse effect claim; but, no matter how it is formed, it dominates over all other processes to govern the temperatures, because my Venus/Earth temperature comparison confirms the Standard Atmosphere, with its lapse rate, as the stable thermodynamic state of the atmosphere). Even before performing my simple analysis of Venus and Earth, I deduced from the most basic understanding of heat transfer, that GHGs cannot either trap heat or slow down its transport within the atmosphere; increasing their concentration in the atmosphere can only speed up heat transport, by providing a greater radiation path for it (in addition to whatever convection and conduction is going on). One of my blog readers insightfully likened the effect as that of a "lubricant" for heat transport, rather than a "furnace" producing more heat (or a refrigerator producing more cooling, for that matter). So increasing the amount of carbon dioxide neither warms nor cools, it only quickens the re-attainment of the physically dominant lapse rate structure, which the atmosphere is always trying to do.
But Wilde is not necessarily right about volcanoes having no effect, as my Venus/Earth comparison shows there is a further effect, within the clouds of Venus, and presumably in the clouds on other planets, amounting to about 5K cooling below the temperature predicted by the lapse rate structure itself. I found the same modest temperature effect (7K) for Titan (which has a particulate haze, rather than water-based clouds, throughout its troposphere), and pointed it out in my observations on the "Unified Climate Theory", here and here.
So there is good reason to think that Nikolov and Zeller's "Theory", which is really only an arbitrary fitting of planetary data to a (rather extreme) mathematical form of their own devising, is hiding a real, although modest (5-7K), physical effect--a cooling effect--upon the temperature inside clouds and haze alike.
More telling than the hiding of that clear physical effect by the "Unified Climate Theory", however, and indeed more outrageous, is the shape of their NTE function. They tried to give that function some physical support by comparing its shape to that of the Poisson formula for temperature as a function of pressure, but it should be noted (using their own Figure 5) that their NTE function WOULD APPEAR TO BE USELESS for calculating the surface temperature of 5 of the 8 planetary bodies they considered, as all of those 5 bodies (Mercury, Moon, Mars, Europa, and Triton) have practically zero surface pressure, while their surface temperatures vary greatly (in other words, the NTE function is a vertical straight line, at a surface pressure of zero, in their Figure 5). Yet they claim, in their Table 1, perfect prediction of the surface temperatures of 2 of those 5 bodies (Mars and Europa), and near perfect prediction of another (Triton). It is my understanding, in the case of Mars, that its surface temperature varies widely, one would presume precisely because its pressure is so low, thus unstable. Even if their data and calculations are correct in this, this unphysical result explains the extreme form of their NTE function; and the extreme accuracy of their predicted temperatures cannot possibly be true. And sure enough, if one checks their values for the OBSERVED surface temperatures, one finds they claim to know every one of those temperatures to within 0.1K! I do not hesitate to call this delusionary.
So I reject the "Unified Climate Theory", as it now stands, just as I reject the consensus greenhouse effect, as unphysical and incompetent. There is no physical insight in it, that is not already in my Venus/Earth analysis.