Friday, July 28, 2017

Eli Responds to Gerlich and Tscheuschner


Sometimes Eli gets the feeling he was created for Twitter.  In answer to the old question of how a cooler atmosphere with greenhouse gases can warm the surface


Extended remarks from John Tyndall in 1859, who put it better
[T]he atmosphere admits of the entrance of the solar heat, but checks its exit; and the result is a tendency to accumulate heat at the surface of the planet.

18 comments:

Florifulgurator said...

Please insert a comma

James Cliborn said...

Nicely done!

EliRabett said...

Flor, when twitter goes to 141. . .

David B Benson said...

Off topic, I suppose, but a useful opinion piece based on the End Permian event:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/29/opinion/sunday/when-life-on-earth-was-nearly-extinguished.html?ref=todayspaper&referer=http://www.nytimes.com/pages/todayspaper/index.html?nytmobile=0&nytmobile=0

JDM said...

Or "You know how your car interior gets real hot on a cold but sunny winter day? It's like that."

Bryson said...

For me the interesting question is psychological. How do reasonably intelligent people who seem to have normal awareness of phenomena like closed car windows raising interior temps way above the surroundings fail to realize that the same principles apply to GHGs and their effects?

Windchasers said...

Bryson: Can you be intelligent without being thoughtful?

So, there are multiple related mental phenomena here:

1) How aware are you of the phenomena (e.g., hot car on a cold day).

2) How much you generally think through problems and how much you think through the implications of the phenomena you observe. ("hmmm, what does a hot car on a cold day mean?")

3) How your thought processes are effected by other filters, like political ones. You might normally think things through carefully, but when it comes to a hot-button issue, you set aside your critical thinking skills.

I might be missing some. What other things might influence someone's ability to critically think through an issue?

Russell Seitz / Bright Water said...

End Permian has given way to what, at ten days duration , must be the shortest period in geological history, the Swampian Age of the Anthropocene Epoch

https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2017/07/new-press-office-head-to-lead-recycling.html

JDM said...

On the critical thought problem, I think part is that people usually just don't think about the general principles behind what they experience. And part is that many people are very literal when it comes to metaphors, which means that even when a metaphor (or model; I don't know which you'd call an example like the closed car) is used to explain an effect it's still unhelpful. ie., So inside the car is hotter than outside, but then how does that mean anything in regards to climate and weather, which are outside. The answer to that would be that our "outside" is "inside" compared to the "outside" of space. Inside our atmosphere/outside our atmosphere. But if one is too literal-minded that conceptual leap won't be made and the metaphor or model will fail to inform.

I think there's a lot of people like that.

Some folks might be able to understand it better if they've lived - or been in long enough - areas of similar temperature but lower and higher humidity. These also hold temperature better or worse depending on stuff in the atmosphere, water it the case of humidity. But there too if someone is too liter-minded they likely will fail to be able to use the metaphor or model to grasp the larger principle.

Bryson said...

There is a challenge in communicating how to think about such things. I'm a philosopher, but my father is an engineer whose PhD thesis was about heat transfer (in a particular kind of context). So yes, some people are better prepared (and more willing) to see the connections (conduction, radiation and convection move heat around, etc.). Still, we can try to fill in some gaps:

"Look, the glass is cooler on the outside than on the interior-- so it's not conducting heat into the car (conduction only moves heat from hotter to cooler places), it's keeping the heat energy inside, while the sun's light continues to pour energy in... The effect of CO2 in the atmosphere is a lot like that!"

This doesn't work for everyone, of course-- but why would someone reject what thermodynamics tells us about such things? Surely not because they're convinced that thermodynamics is wrong (cf. G&T...); most don't have any understanding of thermodynamics at all. So the reasoning has to run in the other direction: It's something like, I reject AGW (or, for some who prefer a more rhetorical label, CAGW)-- so arguments against the effects of GHGs in the atmosphere are good things, and I will endorse them. (This is closely related to an obscure grad studies slogan: one person's modus ponens is another's modus tollens...)

We live in a high, dry area (southern Alberta) where the effects of humidity are minimal and we get wonderful nighttime cooling. A great illustration of the effects of (the absence of) another greenhouse gas...but we still have a lot of climate deniers in town.

Russell Seitz / Bright Water said...

Sorry for the 404- try this link to the A-T boundary extinction

lifeisthermal said...

TSI(1360,8)/(4/3)=4/3*8g²
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/electric/elesph.html#c3

(surface)sigmaT⁴=4g²

(TSI/4)-sigmaT⁴(effective)=g²

sigmaT⁴(effective)=
(TSI-sigmaT⁴)/4, with T=surface

Works on Mars and Venus as well.

Is it time to burn the blankets?

lifeisthermal said...

Moon=1/2(TSI/4/3)/4

lifeisthermal said...

Come on now, just give up. Climate science is a religion. A really boring one.

snarkrates said...

Oh-oh. You summoned lifeisthermal. The thread is dead. This guy is officially dumber than owlshit.

Mal Adapted said...

lifeisthermal must have attended an AGW-denier madrasa instead of high school.

lifeisthermal said...

Is "denier" your magic word? Did the bald, fat guy Mann trick you into that you don't need physics if you repeat that word over and over?

Martin said...

Most "Deniers" appear to believe thermodynamics is the only thing that governs natural processes but completely ignore the influence of kinetics, i.e. the rate at which they occur. They seem to only care or know about fundamental physics and probably paid little attention during chemistry classes where kinetics is a fundamentally important subject. Kinetics is for example what prevents our oxygen filled atmosphere from spontaneously burning all of us to ashes in an otherwise thermodynamically favored reaction.

The greenhouse effect (GHE) is indeed a kinetic effect so trying to use thermodynamics to understand it will not work. Just as with the burning of combustible material a physical process can appear to break thermodynamic principles but in reality it is only kinetics that plays a trick on you. The problem for "deniers" is that, in my mind, they don't know much or anything about kinetics so will not be able to understand the GHE. They should really take a course in chemical reaction kinetics and then apply that thinking to other equilibrium and non-equilibrium processes. But because they are deniers they will of course object to learning anything new.

Thinking of the GHE in terms of a general kinetic process also alleviates the issue often raised by "deniers" that real greenhouses are not warmed due to any radiative effect but due to prevention of warm air escaping the system. This convective effect is indeed also a kinetic effect that can be described using the same kinetic formulas as the radiative GHE. By all means you could just as well call it the 'warm sweater effect' because the kinetic principles are basically the same. But again "deniers" will resist any attempts to try to widen their understanding and to see things from a different perspective.

PS. With "deniers" I refer to the most obnoxious kind that actually have some training in natural sciences but are not able or simply refuse to learn or be open to new principles and other views. That is, they are really really inert ;-)
People without any science education will likely not be as obnoxious if they are treated with respect. DS.