B. How is the Greenhouse Effect Hypothesis Different from Kirchhoff’s Radiation Laws?
The concept of Greenhouse Effect Theory is set forth in its definition (Question 1) and controls the narrative. For example, to support this carbon dioxide connection, there has to be proof of a CO2 connection to temp of “Climate Change.”
Elevating the importance of CO2 above water vapor is not appropriate. Water vapor completely dominates CO2 in the Troposphere (75 percent of the entire atmosphere mass is in the Troposphere). This is discussed in detail in the answer to Question 9 (Greenhouse Gases). As one of the arguments to resolve the water vapor problem the IPCC zeroed in on a section in the atmosphere where CO2 concentration is greater than water vapor, i.e. the upper atmosphere (top of the Troposphere and the Stratosphere). But, this raises some serious problems. The upper atmosphere is colder than the atmosphere in the lower zones and heat flows from hot to cold and not cold to hot.
The Greenhouse hypothesis resolves this problem by asserting that CO2 in the upper atmospheres emits infrared radiation in all directions including the lower Troposphere and the Earth’s Surface and heats those lower zones. This “cold heats hot” hypothesis is throughout the definition of Greenhouse Effect. The IPCC (1990) at page xiv and carried through all subsequent IPCC assessment reports states:
“Some of the infra-red radiation is absorbed and re-emitted by the greenhouse gases. The effect of this is to warm the surface and the lower atmosphere.”
IPCC (1990) at page xiv, Fig 1.
“More of the outgoing terrestrial radiation from the surface is absorbed by the atmosphere and emitted at higher altitudes and colder temperatures. This results in a positive radiative forcing which tends to warm the lower atmosphere and surface.” IPCC (1995) at page 14.
The reference book Encyclopedia Britannica adopts the IPCC definition and states:
“The greenhouse effect on Earth. Some incoming sunlight is reflected by Earth’s atmosphere and surface, but most is absorbed by the surface, which is warmed. Infrared (IR) radiation is then emitted from the surface. Some IR radiation escapes to space, but some is absorbed by the atmosphere’s greenhouse gases (especially water vapour, carbon dioxide, and methane) and reradiated in all directions, some to space and some back toward the surface, where it further warms the surface and the lower atmosphere.” Emphasis added.[https://www.britannica.com/science/greenhouse-effect]
Wikipedia also follows the IPCC definition and stated at page 1, second paragraph:
“Radiatively active gases (i.e., greenhouse gases) in a planet’s atmosphere radiate energy in all directions. Part of this radiation is directed towards the surface, warming it. The intensity of the downward radiation – that is, the strength of the greenhouse effect – will depend on the atmosphere’s temperature and on the amount of greenhouse gases that the atmosphere contains.” Emphasis added. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect]
These sections are quoted to remove any confusion as to what is being asserted—cold gases in the upper atmospheres heats the warmer surface and warmer lower atmospheres. This means that something cold is heating something warmer. It is directly contrary to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, i.e.
“For example, heat always flows spontaneously from hotter to colder bodies, and never the reverse, unless external work is performed on the system.”[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_law_of_thermodynamics]
The Greenhouse Effect hypothesis appears contrary to a number of basic natural laws. Every IPCC Assessment report (1990, 1995, 2001, 2007, 2013, 2014, 2018, 2019) failed to discuss, dispute, consider, or even use the words “Second Law of Thermodynamics”. This is discussed in more detail in Question 4.
The IPCC 1990 at page xiv states its basic assumptions and three reasons why the Greenhouse Effect is true.
The greenhouse effect is real; it is a well understood effect, based on established scientific principles. We know that the greenhouse effect works in practice, for several reasons.
Firstly, the mean temperature of the Earth’s surface is already warmer by about 33°C (assuming the same reflectivity of the earth) than it would be if the natural greenhouse gases were not present. Satellite observations of the radiation emitted from the Earth’s surface and through the atmosphere demonstrate the effect of the greenhouse gases.
Secondly, we know the composition of the atmospheres of Venus, Earth and Mars are very different, and their surface temperatures are in general agreement with greenhouse theory.
Thirdly, measurements from ice cores going back 160,000 years show that the Earth’s temperature closely paralleled the amount of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere (see Figure 2). Although we do not know the details of cause and effect, calculations indicate that changes in these greenhouse gases were part, but not all, of the reason for the large (5-7″C) global temperature swings between ice ages and interglacial periods.
The IPCC does not list any scientific principles or natural laws to support the validity of the Greenhouse Effect nor provide any calculations. It said “it is a well understood effect, based on established scientific principles.” Because of this assumption, all of the IPCC Assessment report did not concern itself with proving that it exists. It was a basic assumption.
They listed three things – and only three things – as proving the Hypothesis. Those are: 1- the fact that the Earth is warmer than a black body earth and therefore the CO2 must be responsible for this increase in temperature; 2- Venus and Mars support the theory; and 3- ice core measurements going back 160,000 years shows that the greenhouse gas concentration parallels global temperatures. Things that are absent from their list are: (a) the identity of any scientific principle or natural law supporting their position; (b) the basis why Venus and Mars supported the hypothesis; (c) the identity of any laboratory test or experiment as support; (d) the statement that a correlation between CO2 and Temperature existed, but failed to disclose which came first. The records show that CO2 content rises after temperature increases, i.e. the temperature controls CO2 and not the other way around.
The three reasons given by the IPCC to support the Greenhouse Effect is discussed below. A more detailed discussion of each reason is set forth in other questions.
Black Body. A black body is an idealized theoretical concept that is a perfect absorber, i.e. radiation goes in but does not come out, is not reflected or scattered (no atmosphere) and has some thickness. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_body#Kirchhoff’s_perfect_black_bodies] This is a theoretical body that does not exist. It is used to establish a reference point to determine what may be affecting the body. On Earth, temperature measurements of the surface can be recorded and then compared to the black body temperature standard.
The IPCC has taken the position that a black body temperature includes an atmosphere with numerous reflecting and scattering elements. It takes the position that applying an albedo to the black body calculations will yield a number that represents a temperature without a greenhouse atmosphere. The IPCC then concludes that any difference between that temperature and the measured temperature has to be from the effect of greenhouse gases and particularly CO2. This is an erroneous assumption. No person, machine, device or measurement, can divide temperature into incremental elements reflecting different causations. This is a classic bootstrap condition. See Question 1. Causation is an action whereas temperature is an observation. The same thing applies to albedo. The IPCC attempts to describe a particular type of albedo that excludes greenhouse effects. It cannot be done. The albedo includes elements of solids, liquids, shapes, colors, and many other aspects. Clouds, ice and snow are major elements in determining albedo and those elements are associated with water vapor which is a greenhouse gas. If water vapor is excluded from the albedo analysis, how can one determine a “greenhouse free albedo”? It cannot be done. In addition, albedo changes from day to day, week to week, month to month and year to year, and the IPCC uses one single value. Variability also applies to the incoming radiation from the sun which changes daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. The IPCC assumes one value. There is a variability with respect to the outgoing infrared radiation. It varies by the second, minute, hour, day, week, month etc. The IPCC analysis further assumes no convection heat transfers from winds, no heat transfers from evaporation or freezing mechanisms, no heat transfers from biological actions, and many other transport phenomena. It is far too complex and interwoven that mortal man has no chance of solving.
Quorvita made a black body analysis in Question 8. That analysis discussed several variable , including albedo. Applying the normal deviations in the observed albedo resulted in a change in the solar radiation flux of 12.76 watts/m2 whereas the warming influence from carbon dioxide was only 2.3 watts/m2. This means that CO2 had no scientifically measurable effect over normal variances in the albedo. And, this is considering only one variable. There are many variables with their own standard deviations as discussed above. Ignoring all of these deviating variables and blaming everything on CO2 is not credible.
Venus & Mars. The IPCC’s citation of Venus and Mars as proving the validity of the Greenhouse Effect Hypothesis is not credible. The observational data does the opposite. It directly disputes its validity. See the table below showing the projected warming amounts based on a Greenhouse Effect Analysis using the data from the three planets. The fact that the projected warming amounts based on a Greenhouse Effect are not close negates its validity. Venus should be hotter by 66,000+°C when based on an Earth model or 200,000+°C hotter when based on a Mars model. The average warming temperature on Earth would be 0°C or equal to its black body temperature if the Venus model is used or a scorching warming of 103°C if a Mars model is used. Venus and Mars illustrates that the Greenhouse Effect is not the mechanism that warms the planet above its black body temperature. This is discussed in more detail in Question 7.
Ice Core History. With respect to the Geologic ice core history as supporting the Greenhouse Effect Hypothesis, it does the opposite. The ice core history going back millions of years rather than 160,000 years proves that CO2 increases after the temperature rises. This means a rising CO2 concentration occurs AS A RESULT of the Temperature rise. The IPCC has reported it backwards and has performed the classic “side step” dance by using vague language i.e. “Earth’s temperature closely paralleled the amount of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere.” Technically that is true statement, but which came first is not answered. The cause for the CO2 rise was likely from the increasing ocean temperature. Boyles Law confirms that the solubility of CO2 in the Ocean water goes down when the temperature increases. This means a rising ocean temperature causes CO2 to bubbles out of the water and into the atmosphere. Not only do the historical CO2 records disprove the Greenhouse Effect Theory, Current measurements likewise disprove CO2 as being the cause for the temperature increase. This point is discussed in detail in Question 6.
Finally, the statement that the Greenhouse Effect is “is a well understood effect, based on established scientific principles” is not backed up with any evidence in any of the many IPCC Assessment Reports. The assessment reports assumed that the Greenhouse Effect is true and proceeded with extensive investigations of the various consequences if nothing is done to eliminate fossil fuels. The fact of the matter, the Greenhouse Effect Hypothesis is directly contrary to several Scientific and Natural Laws, and there is no Scientific Natural Law that supports it. This is discussed in detail in Question # 4.
If there is any person or entity that knows of any proven scientific principles, Natural Laws, and data that support the Greenhouse Effect, as opposed to bare opinions, please provide Quorita with the evidence.