Thursday, March 6, 2014
I have submitted the following comment to the Steven Goddard site, where the subject of Venus's hot surface is erupting again:
Convection does NOT dominate in the global troposphere, the constant vertical temperature lapse rate (temperature gradient) does; that is the stage upon which weather (and climate) plays its part. Convection just drives the weather (primarily horizontally), it does not create or maintain the vertical lapse rate--the hydrostatic condition does that (and Jerry Gorline needs to understand that his derivation above is even more easily, and effectively, done as: mcΔT= -mgΔx, as provided by the hydrostatic condition). The stable lapse rate means heat rises naturally "down" the temperature gradient--convection would only destabilize such a precise structure, and so cannot dominate, rather that structure dominates, on the global scale (too many--incompetent "experts" and lay citizens alike--in the global warming debate continue to be confused by local and transient effects that have no global effect).
The critical piece of evidence remains (I brought it out in November 2010) that the Venus/Earth tropospheric temperatures comparison shows that essentially the only difference in temperatures in the two atmospheres, at points of equal pressure over the range of Earth tropospheric pressures, is due to the difference in distance from the Sun--and that is a PRECISE quantitative fact above and below the Venus cloud layer (so clouds don't affect the global lapse rate structure either, nor does planetary albedo, at least for Venus and Earth, because that great difference between them also has no effect (obviously, unless you want to try to explain how these various effects DO matter, but add up to PRECISELY zero in the comparison of Venus and Earth). The only explanation for this is that both atmospheres are warmed by direct absorption of incident heat (infrared) energy from the Sun (so, for example, it doesn't matter that they have quite different reflections of VISIBLE light--albedos--or that little light reaches the Venus surface to heat it--atmospheric warming, to the ruling temperature lapse rate structure, has already occurred. So I concur with Jason Calley, that the astronomers are not experts--or really, all that competent--in their attempts to understand, and in their claims to fine new discoveries. (Nor do I claim to have all the answers myself. Nor am I as interested in the climate field as are most of those engaging in the unending "debate", which consists of vainly lobbing theoretical points past each others' unheeding heads, in an insane controlling political environment to boot.)