Saturday, July 30, 2016
It Beggars the Imagination
When I first became aware of the "global warming" debate in late 2009 (a debate which was, years later, infamously changed to "climate change" when the "global warming pause" from 1997 to the present made it "politically expedient" to direct attention away from the continuing LACK of scientifically measurable global warming), I knew as a hard scientist that to find the truth I needed to dive to the heart of the matter and first seek definitive evidence CONTRARY to the consensus climate theory (of the "global warming greenhouse effect"), because there is no use holding, much less promulgating to the world, a theory that is definitively contradicted by real-world observations. Any scientist working within a theory always needs to keep a close eye out for such game-ending observations; it's known as looking for weaknesses in the theory being followed.
I have since found out that the weaknesses far outweigh the claims, and overwhelm the theory, at every turn, throughout climate science, and this is true not just of the "greenhouse effect", but even of the more fundamental "radiation transfer theory", which outlandishly treats the Earth's surface as a blackbody surrounded by vacuum (because atmospheric scientists "measure" the "radiation" coming off the Earth as just that coming off such a vacuum-surrounded blackbody). This fact alone should have caused competent scientists to demand a better radiation transfer theory, on the grounds that the "observed" Earth radiation is almost certainly a misnomer, and is really a measure of the TEMPERATURE of the surface, mistakenly interpreted as a blackbody radiation intensity (and a real "thermal radiation" spectrum). When one looks at the fundamental assumptions in the radiation transfer theory, one sees this error at a glance, because the theory divides the atmosphere into many layers, and the layers are all assumed to be "grey body" radiators, that is, blackbody radiators attenuated only by a local "emissivity" factor (a constant, less than 1, multiplying the fundamental Planck distribution spectrum of a blackbody). There are other obvious weaknesses in the radiation transfer theory (I have recognized it as basically a light extinction model, not a radiation transfer model), but the main one is this error of making everything a blackbody or a quasi-blackbody, mitigated only by a fudge factor called the "emissivity factor". A graduate student in physics could see that this theory almost certainly only works because the atmosphere is in fact subject to a strict vertical temperature distribution, a predominant, set (i.e., unchanging) distribution of temperatures, and so long as you have a predominant, unchanging set of temperatures, you can formally replace it with a set of "blackbodies", or "greybodies" with "emissivity" fudge factors. Such a theory won't allow you to predict temperature from radiation "forcings", because the reality works just the opposite way, with temperature controlling the "radiation" being measured, not vice-versa. But climate scientists don't want to question that theory, even though their models, based upon "radiation forcings", are infamously unable to track the observable global mean surface temperature. As I have found, from my 2010 Venus/Earth atmospheric temperatures comparison, it is the simple, set temperature distribution of the troposphere (known as the "lapse rate" structure) that controls the global mean temperature, not any constituent of the atmosphere such as carbon dioxide (CO2) or other so-called "greenhouse gases". That set, vertical temperature distribution can be overwhelmed, but only near the surface, by local and transient causes including night versus day, the seasons, localized temperature inversions and weather changes (of course it varies with latitude, but you can use an average, or mid-latitudinal, lapse rate structure, as the century-old Standard Atmosphere does); but it rules the global mean temperature, at any level in the troposphere, utterly, and the Venus/Earth comparison proves that definitively.
In the context of that Venus/Earth comparison, this post is about emphasizing how only the difference in the distance of the two planets from the Sun accounts for the Venus/Earth temperature ratio, which is essentially a constant (1.176) over the range of Earth tropospheric pressures (above and below the thick Venus cloud layer). This fact should be emphasized because of the huge differences in the conditions in the two planetary atmospheres, all of which are presumed by climate scientists to affect the temperature, but which have precisely zero effect in actuality. These differences include the amount of CO2 in the air (0.04% in Earth's versus 96.5% in Venus's); the amount of sunlight reflected, not absorbed, by the planet (either at the surface or off the planetwide cloud layer of Venus), 30% by Earth and 70% or more from Venus; and the difference in planetary surface (Earth being 70% ocean, Venus all solid crust).
But there is a further huge difference in the two planets, in the theory learned and defended by climate scientists, and this post was written primarily to remind everyone of it. It is a truism among today's climate and atmospheric scientists that "the Sun warms the Earth, and the Earth warms the atmosphere". But that physical "explanation" certainly doesn't extend to the other, cloud-enshrouded planets, which all show the same "negative lapse rate" structure that Earth's atmosphere does, even though their clouds absorb all of the sunlight before it can reach the surface. So the lapse rate structure does not depend upon warming the planetary surface first. As mentioned in my Venus/Earth comparison post, other physicists have pointed out that conditions for the "greenhouse effect" are not met on Venus, precisely because the effect requires that the atmosphere be heated from the surface, and not enough sunlight gets through to the surface there to heat it first.
So the biggest "difference" (though it's not real) is the different physics one has to imagine for atmospheric warming on Earth versus Venus. Venus, and all the other planets with massive atmospheres are obviously warmed from the top down, while Earth is believed by today's scientists to be warmed from the surface. Add that "difference", in the supposed fundamental physics of atmospheric warming, to all those other differences between Venus and Earth. And yet, the two atmospheres don't respond differently at all, to all those differences; only the distance from the Sun matters, very precisely.
Despite all the work that has gone into the theories championed and defended by atmospheric and climate scientists, despite the lifetimes of work that have been invested in them, the simple Venus/Earth comparison I did, fully 19 years after the Venus data I used became available, tells me--and any competent physical scientist--they are wrong, and wrong-headed, and indeed incompetent (because I am not a "climate expert", and what I have done is what any competent scientist, even any student of science, should have done more than a generation ago). This state of affairs beggars the imagination--and yet it goes on, as a runaway political agenda, and a cult idea ("global warming", or "climate change"), that is sowing the seeds of destruction in every direction, throughout the world.