Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Incompetent Skeptics II: Willis Eschenbach

In the interests of openness, which is one of my prime watchwords, the following is a submission I made today to Anthony Watt's site, wattsupwiththat.com (which takes a strong "lukewarm greenhouse believer" stance), and the quick result of that submission, which I made to correct ideas being promulgated on that site, according to the definitive facts I have uncovered, and to register my displeasure at the unbridled arrogance increasingly displayed by Willis Eschenbach on the WUWT site:


In comments following a recent post by Willis Eschenbach, that author repeatedly and arrogantly dismissed those he called "Pressure-Heads", at one point with the following words:

" ... I have clearly shown, in 'A matter of some gravity' that if there are no GHGs and the atmosphere is transparent, then no pressure or gravity mechanism, or any other method, can raise the surface above the S-B blackbody temperature.... Duh."

The following is my response, for informational purposes only, to such naive hubris:

WARNING: The following does not come from a "Pressure-Head", so empty your mind of that prejudice. Of course pressure does not determine the temperature. But in a planetary gravitational field, with input solar energy, the atmosphere DOES take on a vertical pressure distribution, described by the elementary physics of the hydrostatic condition, which determines the vertical temperature distribution known as the lapse rate structure. The empirical Standard Atmosphere is defined by that structure, and the Standard Atmosphere is confirmed as the governing STABLE state of our atmosphere, by my Venus/Earth temperatures comparison (which also corrects current climate science on a whole handful of basic physical points).

Your assumptions, in your quoted words above, are irrelevant to the real situation in our atmosphere. The REAL atmosphere absorbs 15-20% of the incident solar energy. It is NOT "transparent" to IR radiation. Duh.

In fact, the atmosphere is fundamentally warmed, and the governing hydrostatic, vertical temperature lapse rate structure maintained, by that IR absorption (not by convection, and particularly not from the surface, which is independently heated by the Sun and does NOT fundamentally warm the atmosphere--does not change the governing lapse rate structure--but only contributes to the "weather"). Duh.

Atmospheric IR absorption does not mean there is a greenhouse effect, of increasing atmospheric temperature with increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Again, there is no such effect (that is the hard, definitive fact, from the comparison of two detailed atmospheres, having hugely different concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide). Duh.

But even without the definitive Venus/Earth comparison, there are no competent scientists defending the greenhouse effect (including, in particular, you), because such defenders fail to see that the atmospheric "backradiation", from the cooler atmosphere to the Earth's surface, is, in the theory, re-emitted by the surface at its own, higher temperature--which violates both energy conservation, as any first-year physics student SHOULD be able to see in the infamous Kiehl-Trenberth Earth Energy Budget diagram, and the second law of thermodynamics. Duh.

The reason you refuse to see the obvious is because you have been miseducated to believe in the radiative transfer theory, that falsely indicates the unphysical consensus greenhouse effect. Not only is that greenhouse effect nonexistent, but the radiation transfer theory that indicates that effect must also obviously be wrong--given my Venus/Earth findings--in its assumed thermodynamic effects, and misses the real thermodynamics of the atmosphere completely. The reason for that is also clear, to me: The radiation theory starts from the assumption of detailed thermodynamic equilibrium, that is, of a strict, set temperature distribution, because it ASSUMES not only that the surface is a blackbody--the 390 W/m^2 surface emission is just the power emitted by a blackbody at the 288K temperature of the Earth's surface--but also that every differential layer of the atmosphere emits as a "gray body", i.e., as local emissivity times the Planck distribution function. These assumptions are only valid, and only formally so, in the presence of a strict, set temperature distribution. It is therefore a formal theory only, whose apparent empirical confirmation is only the EFFECT of the lapse rate structure (which provides the set temperature distribution), not the CAUSE of it, or of any real thermodynamics. This point has also been made independently by Prof. Claes Johnson, who has written that so-called measurements of downwelling and upwelling longwave radiation are really only temperature measurements, (formally) converted to equivalent blackbody radiation levels.

Incompetent (duh) and angry (duh) arguments are damaging the credibility (duh) of WUWT (duh), and other sites critical of the consensus global warming scare. (DUH)

Anthony Watts e-mailed back:

"Sorry, not going to publish this, especially with all the 'duhs'. It will do nothing but create even bigger divides."

to which I replied:

"You are creating your own divides, that is now perfectly clear (you can't take your own medicine, as doled out by Eschenbach). Duh. Nevertheless, you--and Willis Eschenbach (duh)--have been informed of the facts, which is my intent. I will put this up on my own blog, for the sake of openness."

This is merely information for readers, and not intended to evoke arguments and vain debate over speculative theories. This is just how it is, between believers in the greenhouse effect--skeptic or otherwise--and those relative few of us who know better. I don't want to be part of vain arguments, and I don't think those who have become interested in my views would want me to indulge in them.

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