A. Does Venus Support a Greenhouse Effect?

The IPCC reports three things that prove the validity of the Greenhouse Effect.   One of those three reasons was the atmospheres of Venus and Mars.  This is set forth as:

“Secondly, we know that the composition of the atmospheres of Venus, Earth and Mars are very different, and their surface temperatures (shown in the table below) are in good agreement with those calculated on the basis of greenhouse effect theory”.  Page xxxvi of the 1990 Assessment Report.

The table referenced in the quoted paragraph is set forth below:

There was no proof, evidence, calculations, or analysis to support the quoted statement.  It is a bare statement standing alone.  The warming of 523°C for Venus indicates a sign error for the black body temperature of 46°C and should have been -46°C.

Out of a review of the 12 assessment reports encompassing over 9000 pages and more than 5,000,000 words, the word Venus appears 7 times and Mar appears 6 times.  For one of three stated reasons for proof that the greenhouse effect theory exists, it is woefully short of evidence.  Complicating this problems is that most academic publications on the Greenhouse Effects, rely on and use the IPCC as evidence that the Greenhouse Effect is a proven hypothesis.  That is, if the IPCC says so then it is “well settled” among the scientific community.  The media and entertainment business have gone a step further claiming that Venus proves a “run-away Greenhouse Effect” and that Earth will follow that path if humans do not stop using fossil fuels. 

The basis for Venus supporting the Greenhouse Effect appears to rest on two pieces of data:  (1) at 477°C Venus is very hot, and (2) Venus has an atmosphere composed of 95% Carbon Dioxide.  That appears to encompass the entire analysis. 

Attributing the hot Venus temperature on CO2 while excluding all other sources is improper.  Venus is the most volcanic planet in the solar system.  Basing the high temperatures on CO2 and the Greenhouse Effect and nothing on volcanism violates scientific laws. 

Under Kirchhoff’s Radiation Theory, absorptivity and emissivity must be equal. [https://www.thermal-engineering.org/what-is-kirchhoffs-law-of-thermal-radiation-definition/]  That is, something that absorbs sunlight readily such as a black surface, is also the best radiator.  Conversely a surface that is “white” is a poor absorber and a poor radiator.  Venus has white clouds of sulfuric acid that covers the entire surface of Venus.  That means that the white clouds of Venus is also a poor radiator and reduces the amount of heat from escaping.  As an analogy, a bad radiator in a car usually results in it overheating.  The reflectivity of Venus is about .7, i.e. it reflects 70% of the incoming radiation from the sun.  That also means that the white sulfuric acid cloud surrounding the planet will only radiate 30 percent of the heat that reaches the cloud surface.  The remaining 70% will be reflected back to the surface.   

Hence. the acid cloud reflects the heat from the volcanic surface back to the surface trapping the heat inside the atmosphere. The IPCC assigns zero temperature effect to this reflection issue.  

The absorption spectra for CO2 are shown below:

The absorption spectra shows that CO2 has peak absorptions occurring at a wave length temperature equivalents of 1100° C, 760° C, 370° C and -80° C.   The absorption profile for CO2 at a temperature of 477° C (wave length 5.5µm) and the temperature of Venus’s surface is shown as zero.  As such the infrared with this temperature wavelength would be relatively invisible to CO2.  On the other hand, sulfuric acid droplets have strong absorption spectra covering the 477 ° C temperature range. [Neumann, J (1973) Radiation Absorption by Droplets of Sulfuric Acid Water Solutions and Ammonium Sulfate Particles, Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, Vol 30, pgs. 95-100 at Fig 1pg 97.] 

The atmosphere of Venus is 90 times greater than it is on earth.  A denser gas has a much higher thermodynamic transfer via convection and conduction than a thinner gas.  Venus has sustained wind velocities from 80 mph in the lower zones to 200+ mph in the higher zones.  Radiative transfers would be insignificant compared to the convective heat transfers.  The low emissivity (poor radiator) of the white acid cloud at the top of the atmosphere severely restricts the amount of radiation leaving the planet.  The same acid cloud also acts as a thermal mirror reflecting the heat to the surface and keeping the temperature high.  The wide spread volcanism keeps pouring heat into the atmosphere and is the most likely reason that Venus is so hot.  The IPCC places all of these factors as zero asserting that the entire warming temperature above a black body (523°C ) is because of CO2.  This is shown by the IPCC Table above.  Compounding this position is that the IPCC presented no calculation, analysis, proof, or discussion supporting this assertion.

Nikolov N, Zeller K (2017) New Insights on the Physical Nature of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect Deduced from an Empirical Planetary Temperature Model. Environ. Pollut. Climate Change 1: 112 studied Venus, Mars, Earth, Moon, Titan and Triton.  The author analyzed numerous different physical criteria associated with each planet and moon in relation to a potential Greenhouse Effect Theory.  They found that the Greenhouse effect was the result of “atmospheric thermal effect rather than a cause for it.”  The conclusion was that the Greenhouse Effect was not a valid basis for explaining thermal deviations on any of the planets and moons investigated. (pg. 17)  

If Venus was the result of a run-away greenhouse effect because of the high CO2 concentration, then such would suggest that Greenhouses could be converted into power plants by injecting CO2 and waiting for a run-away effect.  In reality many commercial greenhouses currently inject CO2 to increase plant production. [https://dutchgreenhouses.com]  Those greenhouses are not run-away mini-environments.  Almost all greenhouses require supplemental heating at night.  Bottom line is that there is no such thing as a run-away greenhouse effect.  The Earth did not experience a run-away effect in its entire geologic history when the CO2 content was twenty times higher reaching 8000 ppmv.  The most noticeable thing that happened when the concentration reached these high levels was an explosion in plant growth.  See the Supporting Documentation to Question 12C.   Most of the coal we see today stems from this exceptionally high plant grown period.  If a run-away environment did not happen when the CO2 concentration was 2o times higher, there is no scientific basis to believe that it will happen today.

The above discussion illustrates that Venus does not support or prove a Greenhouse Effect.