Getting a grip on atmospheric thermodynamics

“In summary heat transport by thermal radiation in Earth’s atmosphere is orders of
magnitude faster than heat transfer by molecular diffusion. Heat transfer by conduction in
air (that is, by molecular diffusion) is so small that it is normally irrelevant compared to
heat transfer by radiation or heat transport by convection. Heat convection by moist air,
which can carry lots of latent heat, as well as sensible heat, is especially important.”

This understanding of atmospheric heat is quite different from the kinetic model that we were taught in physics classes. Not only are the molecules bouncing off of each other(and here modes get complicated), but these electromagnetic interactions are possible as well, and as WAW( Wijngaarden ) points out, at the speed of light such electromagnetic interactions are so much faster as to possibly swamp out the kinetic model.

As we witness say a Helium balloon lift off from Earth and gain in volume as it rises; and cools; this is quite an apt analogy as the rubber membrane acts just as mathematics would have it, but for a little bit of back pressure. Each and every thermal uplift on Earth is doing just the same. Of course they matter, but then to put atop this the electromagnetic puzzle of radiation and reabsorbtion: this is a bit farther along than that simple-minded approach of gas molecules bouncing off of each other in a glass box.

In effect this falsifies the claims which people make about weather versus climate. Yes, still true, but weather does make climate. The big picture is formed by the many small effects. Thinking very large, warm rain on ice could be quite a problem. It’s avoidance would be quite nice for the future of wee Earthlings and the polar bears too. The idea that we could one day come to manage the cells that emerge out of Coriolis force, keeping the poles dry in summer months, and moistening them in winter, is potentially feasible by the very laws which make this subject so difficult to master. To spare the Earth violence and devastation whether by flood or by drought is exactly the answer which makes best sense, and why not gain some electricity in the process? The engegetic system needs to be de-energized correctly. Well, if a butterfly in Brazil brought me all this rain this summer, then when we ring the planet in wind turbines that torque the flows and steer the fronts and yield us all evening showers and partly cloudy skies the next day… leaving a night-light on in the bathroom… in a blueish sky sort of way…

So, when did physics change so drastically? Who discovered this? Where are the papers? Does it have a name? Is there a PBS Nova about it?

You don’t have to answer all of those?

Thats 6 questions in one post with no comment. Imagine if tim or I had done that?

What do you fear most?”
"I fear that love is not enough "


You are always welcome to ask questions. You can be guaranteed of an answer.

It is posting 6 unsupported speculations that draw negative attention.

And do you see that these negative off-topic comments tend to hijack a serious thread about an existential problem for mankind?

Read the science and learn. Then you can speak knowledgeably about these things.

Actually, Tim does that often. I literally stated that I don’t expect answers from all of them. It’s a way of telling him that I don’t understand him, that I need more info.

Communication seems to be difficult for you. Sometimes people have to be banned because of that. It’s not that they have evil intentions, but that they’re ability to interact is not a fit.

The fact that I’ve linked to WAW in the OP here is not actually controversial.

Gavin Schmidt(GS), in October, 2010 published Taking the Measure of the Greenhouse Effect
where he writes:
“If, for instance, CO2 concentrations are doubled, then the absorption would increase by 4 W/m2, but once the water vapor and clouds react, the absorption increases by almost 20 W/m2 — demonstrating that (in the GISS climate model, at least) the “feedbacks” are amplifying the effects of the initial radiative forcing from CO2 alone.”

and this is where I am getting this term ‘amplification’ from. This is supposedly a scientific paper and I think it is adequate to take these words literally. As far as I know we are not dealing in mainstream media propaganda here, are we?

There are even more contorted statements than this from Shmidt, and I’ll be sure to dig some of those up in the near future. On the one hand he is owning the saturation effect, and yet at the same time in his other hand he is pointing at the clouds of water and claiming that the CO2 is involved there. And of course he has the out of the GISS model put in parenthesis.

There is a void in the conversation as well, and it does seem to be a long term conversation in the literature between WAW and GS, and both free to refine their thinking in time I would hope, and this is going back to 2010, whereas I think we’ll more recent discussion, but the focus of doubling; of going from 400ppm to 800ppm and admitting saturation omits characterizing where the saturation kicked in, and though this is a bit tough to find:

shows that the effect already occurred down at 50ppm, which is incredible. In effect, even this graphic still does not expose the saturation point. We’d like to see that curve diminish a bit and instead we just get crumbs.

What is so magic about the 150 bottom? Why isn’t this down to zero? Why can’t anything other than this bottom be found at any concentration?

It would be most convenient for climate scientists to alter this graphic, and we would see the progressive effect of the notch; even a diminishing one; going deeper and deeper; absorbing more and more heat with more OCO.

It would be more convenient to climate deniers to see this notch down at zero; totally opaque; as in you paint the barn red; then you paint the barn read again, and one more time, and you are done. Here the process is never done. It’s phony. It’s never red enough, and it doesn’t get any more read, and furthermore even the first coat is not established as even a start on the paint job.

It is amazing just how effective this OCO stuff is. At 50 ppm we’re down at 0.005 percent concentration!
I don’t believe it. Well, the information at does go back to WAW, and I believe I bumped into it once before, but I’ll have to dig it up again because I lost it. The link here I’ll admit is an insufficient source.

These graphs are top of atmosphere flux, versus the blackbody radiation of the Earth without any atmosphere. There are many ways to get lost in this topic. For instance you can go on a journey through to the mesosphere; the thermosphere; the ionoshphere; and so forth? You’ll find very strange temperature graphs and the exposure that molecules at the greatest heights are actually at extremely high temperature… yet a thermometer will read very cold. WAW does an excellent job of explaining these contexts along the way. Schneider has a background as a mathematician rather than a physicist, and is chief manager at NASAs Goddard Institute.

Both have basically the same narrative, so the claims of controversy in the community are somewhat a political dispute that seems to have gotten out of control; not unlike the threads of CFI…

The idea that this problem could be open from the bottom of physics, whereas at the top of the troposhpere the satellites have already confirmed these graphics which are based on models whose crudity I may have overstated earlier. WAWs conclusion is quite open and no doubt he is working on something to come next. I suspect he is on the verge of a fairly large accusation against theoretical physics, and the patches that have been applied to hold the gas in the glass box in stasis, thence calling this thermodynamics; thence applying that back onto liquids and solids; only to find that the kinetics of a crystalline rod of quartz are so slow in their vibrational modes relative to a tap with a hammer that the whole business is off.

Just break the front cover of Kittel and you’ll see a mess: Phonons, Holes, Plasmons, Polaritons, Polarons, Excitons, Cooper pairs, Magnons, Vacancies, Dislocations, Donors, Acceptors.
I’m surprised that the likes of NASA haven’t felt qualified to add to this list some Atmospherons to hold the 150 line. Hmmm, they’re thinking… that’s a good idea, Tim.

Do you know how to determine if a paper is quality science or not. It’s not that hard to publish. Harder to pass peer review. Harder still to get others to validate your work.

Yes, and do you think you are not contributing to that in any way?

" Plain Language Summary

The severity of climate change is closely related to how much the Earth warms in response to greenhouse gas increases. Here we find that the temperature response to an abrupt quadrupling of atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased substantially in the latest generation of global climate models. This is primarily because low cloud water content and coverage decrease more strongly with global warming, causing enhanced planetary absorption of sunlight—an amplifying feedback that ultimately results in more warming. Differences in the physical representation of clouds in models drive this enhanced sensitivity relative to the previous generation of models. It is crucial to establish whether the latest models, which presumably represent the climate system better than their predecessors, are also providing a more realistic picture of future climate warming." -Zelinka 2020

Unfortunately this way lay the models, and as stated, the art is somewhat lost in the models.
What was good about WAW is that he dodged all of it.
I wonder what Lorenz would have done in this day.

The claim that “low cloud water content and coverage decrease more strongly with global warming”
yet the entire feedback amplification effect is based on these increasing, as I understand it from other sources. Once again it is like economics. More rain causes more drought…
Given the range that Zelinka finds acceptable 1.8–5.6 K for a carbon quadrupling then to claim to be settling into +1.0 for a while now seems realistic.

No, more rain results in bigger snow packs in the mountains that during summer will gradually run off and keep a steady supply of water in tributaries and prevent drougths.

A silver lining of the storms: Mountain snowpack will feed California’s reservoirs.

**> More winter snow in the Sierra Nevada will mean more water for California’s reservoirs in the spring. Water-wise, we’d rather have a big snowpack than a whole bunch of rain,” a meteorologist said.

That matters because as the Sierra Nevada snowpack melts in the warmer months, it typically provides about 30 percent of the water supply for a state that has been reeling for years from punishing droughts and the major wildfires they help to fuel.Jan 11, 2023

The problem with GW is that during warmer winters snowpacks in the mountains are smaller and melt faster and during summer soil evaporation is greater. Those are the main causes of droughts.