Saturday, April 23, 2016
Incompetent Climate Science: Balancing Large, Opposing "Effects", All False
In the current insane atmosphere over supposed "global warming" -- due primarily to a long-nurtured, dogmatic incompetence in all the earth and life sciences, not just climate science (which explains why the wider science community has not, as a whole, been able to recognize and repudiate climate science's utter failure), and the "expert" incompetence elevated now to a political crisis of the first order, by an opportunistic, revolution-minded political party in power (so outrageous that I, a professionally and personally dispassionate physicist, know them as the Insane Left) -- the ordinary man or woman cannot know how really broken is our system, from the top down, and hence who to believe in the public "climate change" debate.
Given that largely unrecognized, yet revolutionary context, the following "boring" (to the non-scientist) calculations will, I am sure, not cause a ripple in the beliefs of most people, or in the actions now being implemented by their "leaders" (a laughable designation, I assure you, given the leaders' determined wrong-headedness regarding the physical truth about the "climate"). I will simply provide these few calculations, dispassionately and "for what its worth" (as one says when one doubts anyone is really listening).
My 2010 Venus/Earth comparison showed that there is no greenhouse effect, because only the difference in solar distances of the two planets is needed to explain the Venus/Earth atmospheric temperature ratio, despite Venus's almost pure--96.5%--carbon dioxide atmosphere compared to Earth's minuscule 0.04%. (Surprising as it may be to believers in the "greenhouse effect", this is quite precisely true, both above and below Venus's thick cloud cover; in fact, inside Venus's clouds, Venus's atmospheric temperature is SMALLER than expected by a constant few degrees, not larger as the "greenhouse effect" would make it). As I originally wrote in that 2010 report, and as I have continually claimed ever since, the precision with which the Venus/Earth temperature ratio is determined ONLY by their respective distances from the Sun, shows not only that there is no "greenhouse effect" observed on these two hugely differing planets, but their atmospheres must be warmed by incoming solar radiation, not by heat from the planets' surfaces as climate scientists assume and teach to each succeeding generation of students.
Let us see what would be the Venus/Earth temperature ratio if other physical conditions affected it. The major differences between Venus and Earth are in 1) the albedo, or fraction of incoming solar energy that is reflected rather than absorbed, and 2) the supposed "greenhouse effect". I have already mentioned how hugely Venus differs from the Earth in its atmospheric carbon dioxide level (96.5% vs. 0.04%). The difference in albedo is also large, some 70% of the incident solar energy in the case of Venus, vs. only 30% reflected by the Earth.
For simplicity, let the intensity of the incoming solar radiation at the Earth's distance from the Sun be one unit of intensity, and let the Earth-Sun distance be one unit of distance. The solar radiation varies with distance R from the Sun as 1 over R-squared. Venus's distance from the Sun is 0.724 of Earth's distance, so the incoming solar radiation at Venus is 1/(.724) squared, or 1.91 times the intensity of incoming solar radiation at Earth.
If only the strength of the incident solar energy mattered in determining the temperature, the Stefan-Boltzmann formula tells us the temperature must vary as the fourth-root of that incoming energy, so the Venus/Earth temperature ratio, at any given pressure in the atmosphere, should be the fourth-root of 1.91, or 1.176. At 1 bar pressure, T_earth = 288K, so T_venus would be 1.176 x 288K = 339K. In fact, this is what is observed for the actual Venus temperature at 1 bar pressure in its atmosphere.
But how can we explain that observed fact, when we know that different fractions of the incoming solar radiation are actually absorbed in the two planetary systems, and also the "greenhouse effect" in Venus's atmosphere should be much, much larger than in Earth's. Venus has over 2400 times the concentration of carbon dioxide in its atmosphere as does Earth; 96.5% is some 11.4 "doublings" of Earth's 0.04%. (Climate scientists use the concept of a "doubling" of the carbon dioxide in their pronouncements to the public; they express the atmospheric "climate sensitivity" as the temperature increase expected from a doubling of the carbon dioxide).
Consider first the supposed albedo effect upon the temperature:
At Earth, incident solar = 1 (our "standard unit"), and the albedo (reflected intensity) is 0.3, so
Absorbed solar, at Earth = 0.7
At Venus, incident solar = 1.91, and albedo is 0.7, so its absorbed intensity is 0.3 x 1.91 = 0.573, which = 0.819 of Earth's 0.7.
Thus, if the albedo, or the fraction actually absorbed by a planet-plus-atmosphere system, also mattered, its maximum effect, for the Venus/Earth temperature ratio, would give
T_venus/T_earth = fourth root of 0.819 = .951,
and for T_earth = 288K, T_venus = 274K,
Note this is much smaller than the observed value of 339K. So the "correction for albedo" imagined by consensus climate scientists is very large.
Now let's suppose there is also a "greenhouse effect" to be considered. It would have to offset the large albedo effect just calculated, i.e., provide a warming of at least 339K - 274K = 65K. This would require a CO2 climate sensitivity of almost 6K per doubling of CO2 (i.e., 65K/11.4 doublings = 5.7K per doubling.
No one claims such high values; the most alarmist of climate scientists themselves, and the UN IPCC, promulgate a value of 3K per doubling of CO2, while the "skeptics" generally tout a value around 1K per doubling of CO2.
The above calculations really add little to a competent scientist's understanding of my original Venus/Earth comparison (if any such scientist existed among the "authorities" one hears from these days). These calculations merely show that the only way to "explain" the observed Venus/Earth temperature ratio, within the consensus "albedo plus greenhouse effects" theory, is to massively play with the supposed CO2 "climate senitivity", in order to exactly balance two large and diametrically opposed "effects", so that they precisely add up to zero. In the real world, scientists know that this is very highly unlikely, basically impossible, when the two "effects" are physically independent of each other, as the albedo and carbon dioxide are. (The point is made even stronger when one considers that the "albedo effect" upon the temperature is a multiplicative one, while the "greenhouse effect" is an additive one, so that it requires a different CO2 climate sensitivity at each pressure level to zero the two "effects". Performing the above "albedo" calculation at the 200 mb pressure level, for example, T_earth = 211.6K, giving T_venus = .951 x 211.6K = 201.2K, which is only 45.9K less than the observed value of 247.1K, not 65K as at the 1 bar pressure; this would require a CO2 climate sensitivity of 45.9K/11.4, or 4K/doubling of CO2, in order to precisely balance the "albedo" and "greenhouse" effects at the 200 mb pressure level.) The real situation faced by consensus climate science is even worse than this, because in addition to the differences in albedo and carbon dioxide concentrations, Venus and Earth also differ in their planetary surfaces, with one all solid crust and the other 70% deep ocean. So consensus climate science is faced with the vain task of precisely balancing not just two, but three supposed "effects" upon the temperature (one of them additive while the other two are multiplicative), which "coincidentally" all zero out in order for only the solar distances to precisely and "coincidentally" explain the Venus/Earth temperature ratio.
A competent scientist (that's me) knows better. A competent scientist knows, immediately from the precision of the Venus/Earth comparison, without needing to perform the explicit calculations above, that the atmosphere must be warmed only by incoming solar radiation, and so is not dependent, as the "greenhouse effect" is, upon a previously warmed planetary surface, nor upon any fraction of the Sun's radiation that is not directly absorbed by the atmosphere, including that which is reflected (hence, the albedo), by either clouds or the planetary surface.
On top of this simple scientific disproof of consensus climate science, of course, are the revelations of fraudulent adjustments to the world's temperature records, that fake global warming, and the hysterical claims, of imminent catastrophic "climate change", being made in the compliant media by environmental activists and "leaders" like U.S. President Obama, all of them committed not to the truth but to economic and political "transformation" of the world. They would make a new world order founded entirely upon lies.