The case of two different fluxes!

Today I will be investigating the difference between two different types of fluxes that elude almost every climate scientist. Let’s take a typical simple conduction problem you can find in every high school or college textbook:

Figure 1: Conduction through a concrete block

We need to figure out the temperature and radiative emission on the colder side (Tc and Ec).

The formula for conduction is:

         Q         k * A * (Th-Tc)
Power = --- = q = -----------------
         t               L

We can rearrange this equation to suit our needs:

           q * L
Tc = Th - -------    (Equation I)
           A * k

And now we solve for Tc:

            2  *  8            16
Tc = 75 - ----------- = 75 - ------ = 75 - 25 = 50
           0.8 * 0.8          0.64

Tc is 50°C.

What is the conductive heat flux inside the concrete block? That is given simply by:

                        q      2 W
Conductive Heat Flux = --- = -------- = 2.5 W/m²
                        A     0.8 m²

And how much radiation is emitted from the right hand side (Ec)? To figure that out we have to apply Stefan-Boltzmann’s Law:

Cold-side Radiation = Ec = εσ(Tc)⁴   (Equation II)

First we need to know the emissivity of concrete. According to these experts, it is between 0.85 and 0.95, so we will use 0.9. Now we solve:

Ec = 0.9 * 0.00000005670367 * (273.16+50)^4 = 556.58 W/m²

As you can see we have two different flux (W/m²) figures: 2.5 and 557 W/m². We need appropriate labels for them so we don’t confuse them:

Conductive Heat Flux through the medium (CHF)2.5 W/m²
Cold-Side Radiation from the medium (CSR)557 W/m²

We can easily see that despite the small CHF through the medium, the emergent CSR is 557/2.5= 223 times larger.

Let’s now combine Equation I and II to summarize what is going on:

         /       q * L  \ 4
Ec = ε*σ*| Th - ------- |
         \       A * k  /

Remembering that CHF is just q/A, we reduce further:

CSR = εσ(Th-CHF*L/k)⁴

It becomes obvious now that CHF and CSR have an inverse relationship. The higher the CHF, the lower the CSR, and the lower the CHF, the higher the CSR.

Why is the distinction between CHF and CSR important?

Professors Davies and Davies have done a good job in measuring Earth’s heat flux:

We present a revised estimate of Earth’s surface heat flux that is based upon a heat flow data-set with 38 347 measurements, which is 55% more than used in previous estimates.

We conclude by discussing our preferred estimate of 47 TW, (rounded from 46.7 TW given that our error estimate is ± 2 TW)

It’s unfortunate that they call their measurement “surface heat flux”, when in reality they measure heat fluxes at various depth ranges which they don’t disclose, and then average that. They measure CHF. The value they get for averaged CHF is 46.7 TW divided by Earth’s surface area: 47×10¹² / 510.1×10¹² = 91.6 mW/m².

91.6 mW/m² is a very small number when compared to the average insolation we receive at the surface, which according to NASA’s official energy budget is 163.3 W/m². 0.0916/163.3 = 1783 times smaller. Perhaps you’ve heard of the idea that the sun supplies 99.95% of our energy? Well guess what? All of this is nonsense, because CHF is irrelevant!!! What is relevant is CSR!

What Davies & Davies should have done is measure all the averaged parameters (Th, k, L) and not just q or q/A (CHF). We need to know the actual CSR before we can start comparing it to insolation. This is key, because without CSR, climate scientists have a completely erroneous view of the way things really are.

Assuming k = 1 and A=1, we examine all the possible temperatures that produce Davies’ CHF (q/A) of 91.6 mW/m².

Depth = 110 metersDepth = 10 meters°C/m
All result in Conductive Heat Flux of 91.6 mW/m²

Let’s think about this: Does it matter whether it’s 0.84°C or 9990.84°C 10 meters below your feet? Of course it does! But you can’t tell the difference using CHF. Only using CSR can we tell the true radiation emerging out of the earth!

We will now transform the above table into CSR, using emissivity = 0.93643 (why this number?).

Depth = 110 metersDepth = 0 metersCSR
10°C-0.076°C295.31 W/m²
100°C89.924°C922.81 W/m²
1000°C989.924°C135,150 W/m²
10000°C9989.924°C589,112,205 W/m²

Makes a big difference, right? It would be interesting to know the actual Earth-wide averaged CSR, but we will leave that for another day. (Update: That day came: Measuring Geothermal, CSR = 294 W/m²)

In short summary, most climate scientists are clueless about the difference between CHF and CSR and therefore erroneously greatly underestimate the power of geothermal. It may even be the biggest scientific scandal of our time!

Yours Truly, -Zoe


Go on to read Measuring Geothermal (1) and Measuring Geothermal (2).

Published by Zoe Phin

143 thoughts on “The case of two different fluxes!

    1. The atmosphere is not a ball or meteor that falls to the ground. Can’t you see that the atmosphere is aloft and not falling? If it did fall, you would have a one time heat up and its dissipation via radiation. One time!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You cannot create energy in this experiment. You completely forget about conduction into the air at each end. Assuming you are adding new energy by radiation at the left end and assuming it raises the temperature of the left end above the ambient temperature then there will be some conduction back to the air and so Stefan-Boltzmann calculations do not give the equilibrium temperature achieved at the left end by the radiation because that surface does not have black-body or grey body characteristics as it loses some energy by other than radiation. The same applies for the right hand end which cools partly by conduction to the air and partly by radiation. So all you calculations are wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I presented a simple textbook problem. If the conductive material is inside a vacuum tube, then there is no conduction or convection – only radiation. But even without a vacuum tube, conduction is tiny and even on all sides, and therefore doesn’t discredit the gradient that will form.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Let me start by saying I don’t have this level of education in physics or math but I do have a skepticism of any science that is being used by people and organizations that aren’t scientists to push agendas about social outcomes.
    A lot of the predictions (all of them?) that have come from the IPCC have turned out to be wrong so the modelling they use has to be called into question.
    For this reason, Zoe, I applaud your efforts to bring to the public sphere this type of granularity concerning the way climate scientists actually use the physics to produce their findings.
    Personally I find it an affront when I’m continuously told “the science is settled” and to shut up because I’m not just parroting what the spokespeople are saying from organizations like the IPCC.
    Keep up the good work, Zoe. I like seeing the equations and the methodology explained. It’s something that’s lacking in most of the other sites I come across. They tend to get bogged down in arguing about historical factors/readings (of various core samples, tree rings, etc) and their significance in the interplay/influence with the advent of ice ages, warming periods, and so forth.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hey Zoe, I came to your site from this thread at Principia Scientific I got a sense you had something important to offer but you weren’t getting much respect in this thread. Most of the discussion went way over my head – I’m not competent at math/science/physics (high school dropout) but I’m very curious to find out what is true or not about climate change… I agree that there would be geothermal energy emitting from the earth. It’s a living being – stuff grows out of it. I was reminded of this when in a packed train yesterday on a hot day – a man with a beard was shoved up next to me and I could feel his body emitting heat. So this intuitively makes sense. But how can a layperson understand what you’re saying from a conceptual level? Is it even possible?… If my understanding is correct, Postma and many of the people you were in dialogue with in the said thread were claiming there is NO heat emissions from the earth? Btw, I’ve consumed many of Postma’s videos so I’m broadly aware of his work. But I haven’t quite grasped what you say he’s missing… thanx, Nicky

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.

      “Postma and many of the people you were in dialogue with in the said thread were claiming there is NO heat emissions from the earth.”

      If only they read and understood this article…

      Postma has blocked me from any possible way to contact him. He used to like me, then he got jealous or something.

      Postma thinks he found a great paradigm, but he can’t even explain why it’s ~15C at the surface.He really can’t. Well, you saw my arguments.

      My argument in this post boils down to this:

      Planck’s and Stefan-Boltzmann’s Law are derived from radiation oven experiments where the oven was at near perfect equilbrium, i.e. the conductive heat flux was nearly 0 W/m^2, yet nearly 0 W/m^2 is NOT what emerges.

      The best analogy I can think of is spending. You spend $80/day every day. How much money can you take out of the bank every day?

      Postma and most climate scientists will say $80/day. I say more information is needed. That’s the difference.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for the reply. I’ve re-read this post a few times in an attempt to absorb more. Though I’m not sure if I’m over hurdle one yet… Is the example experiment meant as an analogy to illustrate heat coming FROM the earths core? And emitting to the surface?… Or am I stuck already?… Feel free to link me to relevant posts to catch up.


      2. Zoe,

        I have only just discovered your blog. It’s great. I am a retired electronics engineer. Your calculation of the temperature of the cold end is absolutely right. Every electrical engineer uses this calculation many times during their career. I am looking forward to reading the rest of your posts.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Great. Thats what we need in climate science. People with electrical engineering experience. There is much more electrical stuff going on than the mainstream wants to acknowledge.

          There is a fellow calling himself WXCycles at Joannes place. To me he’s the gold standard in observational reportage of what is going on between the lower stratosphere and the upper troposphere and the consequences. Well the thing is he proves day after day my prejudices of the way electricity moves through the atmosphere, on its way to the deep earth. But he doesn’t see it. So I started calling him Epicycles. Despite that blind spot I would encourage everyone to follow his work.

          I won’t be on Joannes any more, but earlier I was leaving comments showing the implications of his observations. Thats if you wanted to confirm to yourself that his observations prove the movement of electrical energy.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I understand electrostatic discharge, induction, etc. It may even be possible that what I call geothermal, is just capacitor disharge. I just don’t have a source of data I can mine that will reaffirm this. Gravity may even be electrostatic cling. I don’t know. And because I don’t know I, I’m limited in what I can say with confidence.


  4. Thank you for your reply, Zoe. I think I’m comprehending what you’re saying; that the CHF and CSR inverse relationship suggests more heat is being emitted from the surface (via the core) into the atmosphere than is estimated by main stream science (or not even considered?), and the sun is emitting less heat than is estimated because of the suns low CHF towards the surface?… or something like that?


    1. You’re very welcome 🙂

      Solar and Geothermal need to be compared apples to apples. Either CHF to CHF, or CSR to CSR. When scientists compare Earth CHF to Solar CSR, they are committing a fallacy.

      One wonders whether they’re conscious of what they are doing. By focusing on Earth CHF, they ignore Earth CSR, which gives room for the fallacious Greenhouse Effect.

      It is my contention that the so called Greenhouse Effect is nothing but Geothermal CSR flipped upside down.

      They flipped what geothermal does into what they claim greenhouse gases do.

      CHF is based on a vertical differential.
      CSR is an absolute.

      The current state of climate science is completely disconnected from reality. Their assumptions are fallacious assertions.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay I think I get what you’re saying. With regard to this following statement…

    “Solar and Geothermal need to be compared apples to apples. Either CHF to CHF, or CSR to CSR. When scientists compare Earth CHF to Solar CSR, they are committing a fallacy.”

    Are you saying if scientists compared the suns and earths CHF they should get the same surface temperature as they would if they compared the suns and earths CSR?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CHF is based on a vertical differential. It is the steepness of a thermal gradient.

      CSR is an absolute. Best to use that.

      If you took two ice cubes (at 0 celcius) and pressed them together: They will emit 315 W/m^2 from all sides (assuming they were in a vacuum). Because they are the same temperature, CHF between them is 0 W/m^2. CSR is 315 W/m^2.

      Now imagine you expose 165 W/m^2 of solar energy on to them.

      Consensus science would add 165 to 0 and get 165 W/m^2

      Rational science would add 165 to 315 and get 480 W/m^2.

      Notice that in the article, there are many temperatures that produce the same CHF.

      You could be melting in hot lava, and consensus scientists would be saying that can’t happen because the temperature difference between the top of the lava and a meter below is very little. At least they would say that if they thought CHF was relevant to the situation. They don’t do that for someone drowning in lava, but for the climate that’s exactly what they do.

      Think of it this way: if the CHF between earth’s core and your feet was 0, it would mean you’re standing on >5000 degree ground.

      CHF is a differential, and CSR is an absolute.

      I hope that helps.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So perhaps think of CHF as the heat lost through a length of resistor, and Cold Side Radiation CSR as the voltage and current coming out of the other side, ready and available to do heat work in the atmosphere?

        Btw – your insight is fantastic.

        Did you study in Russia at all? Last time that I came across such logical clarity was in Russia.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, it’s so simple a climate scientist could understand it, IF they wanted to. But they prefer to think that’s it’s GHGs that are “raining down” all this energy from their tiny mass in the atmosphere. We live in a crazy clown world.


        2. You have youtube critics? When I checked for your youtube I couldn’t find any videos. 20 subscribers but no content. Do you just beat people up in the comments?


  6. This is an interesting way to think on it, intuitive and rational. When I make any attempt to describe the idea to, for example – a farmer – the response is often something like “hmm, well the earth is supposed to be hot inside, I wonder …” but the more educated, (i.e schooled), the person is, the more resistant or argumentative they are, whichever pill they’ve chosen to swallow on the warming issue. Maybe it’s as simple as: people who heat their homes with wood-stoves are just more intelligent about how these things really function.

    Anyways, thanks for the arithmetics and coding tips, and please just keep on shining that light into the fog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much.

      It is indeed simple to understand.

      If you ask a climate scientist how much radiation a frying pan emits, he will not use conduction physics to give a small answer. He will use the correct physics. But when it comes to climate, by analogy, he’ll be measuring the thickness of the pan, the temperature difference between top and bottom, and the thermal conductivity (k) factor. He’ll get the wrong answer, then claim you can’t cook eggs without emission from GHGs.

      It’s just stupid and sad. They are indoctrinated fools. It’s really difficult for some people to accept that the experts are this grossly misinformed about the basics. Even I couldn’t believe it at first. I also couldn’t believe that I personally uncovered this huge scandal.

      We are being led by the blind.


  7. Hi Zoe
    What you are doing here is great and you seem to be attracting some people who can properly check your work. Please email me privately. Let’s talk and work at this together.


  8. I don’t understand what your figures are in the following equation:

    Ec = 0.9 * 0.00000005670367 * (273.16+50)^4 = 556.58 W/m²

    if the equation is supposed to be filled-in values for the following equation:

    Cold-side Radiation = Ec = εσ(Tc)⁴ (Equation II)

    How does Tc become (273.16+50) ? — if Tc is 50?

    And why, if I’m seeing this correctly, would you use Celsius in the Stefan Boltzmann equation, when that equation requires the use of Kelvin?


      1. It would have been much more clear, if you had indicated this, because, as is, it looks like that number comes out of nowhere, or that you are trying to add kelvin and celsius of two different temperatures. But, okay, I see what you did there, but now for the bigger issue:

        I don’t know what the heck you are doing in those two tables. What is all that? Sorry, if I seem dense, but it really is not clear what you are doing there.


        1. I’m showing the proper relationship between CHF and CSR. CSR is relevant to energy budget, and CHF is not.

          Boltzmann and Planck had a CHF of ZERO, and what’s emitted on the far side is not ZERO.

          Using CHF to claim geothermal is tiny, is as stupid as claiming that the sun is irrelevant because its CHF is tiny. One must compare apples to apples, and not oranges to apple seeds.


  9. Using CHF to claim geothermal is tiny, is as stupid as claiming that the sun is irrelevant because its CHF is tiny. One must compare apples to apples, and not oranges to apple seeds.

    Why would anybody even claim that the CHF from the sun is tiny, when the concept is not even applicable to any significant level? For all practical purposes, the CHF from sun to Earth does not exist, whereas with Earth-core/Earth-surface, it DOES. CHF is irrelevant for the sun, whereas for Earth, it is not.

    Why are you comparing the nonexistence of a concept for one system to an existent concept for another system, to claim that the comparison of the two systems is stupid? You set up an illogical premise in order to set up a stupid comparison. That’s comparing apples to elves. (^_^)


    1. What do you mean, Robert?
      Are you saying the hot sun does not produce a conductive heat flux in the atmosphere? That hot sun?

      Are you saying the sun does not have a CHF within itself? Have you bothered to check the CHF within the sun itself to see how small it is?

      Once you see how small the CHF is within the sun will you then say the sun can’t heat anything? HYPOCRITE


      1. No, what I am saying is that, in the space between the sun and Earth, there is NO MEDIUM to even speak of conduction. The space between the sun and Earth cannot conduct heat.

        Flux is a radiation calculation determined over an astronomical distance where no conducting medium exists for heat transfer. This was the context within which I was addressing your analogy.

        Let’s step back a second from your mistaken assessment of my hypocrisy (^_^) to look your Figure 1 again.

        In your Figure 1, you focus on Cold-Side-Radiation (CSR or Ec) and Conductive-Heat-Flux (CHF), but you do not give any attention to Hot-Side-Radiation that results from the 75C temperature on the other side.

        You use the Stefan Boltzmann equation to figure Cold-Side Radiation (Ec), as follows: Ec = εσ(Tc)⁴

        Can we not also figure Hot-Side-Radiation (Eh) similarly? — Eh = εσ(Tc)⁴

        We convert 75C to Kelvin (using your conversion figure of 273.16), which gives us 75 + 273.16 = 348.16K

        To be clear, 75C = 348.16K

        And, using the Stefan Boltzmann equation as you did to find Cold-Side-Power, we can do the same to find Hot-Side-Power, which I will denote (consistent with your notation) as Eh, which gives us:

        Eh = 0.9 * 0.00000005670367 * 348.16^4 = 748 W/m^2

        So, now we could create a table showing:

        Hot-side radiation to the medium ………………… 748 W/m^2
        Conductive heat flux through the medium …….. 2.5 W/m^2
        Cold-side radiation from the medium …………… 557 W/m^2

        For your table showing only Conductive Heat Flux and Cold-Side-Radiation, you noted, “We can easily see that despite the small CHF (Conductive Heat Flux) through the medium, the emergent CSR (Cold Side Radiation) is 557/2.5= 223 times larger.”

        … to which I could add:

        “We can also easily see that despite the small CHF (Conductive Heat Flux) through the medium, the entering HSR (Hot Side Radiation) is 748/2.5 = 299 times larger.”

        By not focusing on the hot side of the conducting medium in terms of flux, you consider only the Conductive Heat Flux and Cold Side Radiation in terms of W/m^2, which gives the first impression that you are pointing out something remarkable. This is what was throwing me, I think, because there is nothing really that remarkable about comparing a HEAT-TRANSFER flux to a standing flux — because they are two different things. One is a TRANSFER of power, while the other is a sustained power caused by the greater power on the other side feeding it via this transfer.

        We now see an entering flux of 748 W/m^2 TRANSFERRING power at a rate of 2.5 W/m^2 to sustain an emerging flux of 557 W/m^2 on the other side of the conducting medium. That 557 W/m^2 is NOT a heat TRANSFER flux. Rather, it is a sustained flux that the heat TRANSFER flux ENABLES from the GREATER sustained flux of 748 W/m^2 on the other side.

        In different words, a temperature of 75C on one side of the conducting medium sustains an ENTERING power of 748 W/m^2, which power transfers THROUGH the medium at a rate of 2.5 W/m^2 (2.5 joules per second per meter squared) to produce a temperature of 50 C on the other side that sustains an EMERGENT power of 557 W/m^2.

        How this 557 W/m^2 flux might transfer (or not) its own power to another medium depends on what medium it goes to next and what that medium’s temperature might be (colder? … hotter?), which is unspecified in the example.

        I do not see how all this makes geothermal heat transfer any more of a factor in what keeps Earth’s temperature in a habitable range. Again, sun power dwarfs it many times over.

        DISCLAIMER:Any hypocrisy is unintentional, at best, and just a misunderstanding at worst.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Robert,

          “No, what I am saying is that, in the space between the sun and Earth, there is NO MEDIUM to even speak of conduction.”

          Earth’s atmosphere is not between sun and earth?

          Does not the sun ray’s hit Earth’s surface and thereby create a CHF in Earth’s atmosphere?

          Does not the Sun have a CHF within it just before surface EM emission?

          “We now see an entering flux of 748 W/m^2 TRANSFERRING power at a rate of 2.5 W/m^2 to sustain an emerging flux of 557 W/m^2 on the other side of the conducting medium. That 557 W/m^2 is NOT a heat TRANSFER flux. Rather, it is a sustained flux that the heat TRANSFER flux ENABLES from the GREATER sustained flux of 748 W/m^2 on the other side.”

          Yes, kind of! I think you’re finally starting to get it!

          The CHF is a small tiny value that represents flux lost per distance times material conductivity (k).

          You can take that metal bar and stick it into the Earth vertically, and I think you will finally understand it (after some value changes). You will understand that Earth is more than capable of sustained 0C at the surface.


  10. Zoe,
    Does this mean that the Bond Albedo for the Earth is incorrect? The calculation for Bond Albedo assumes that the outgoing radiation is reflected solar irradiance however your theory suggests that the calculation might be ignoring a significant extra contribution from the Earth itself. This would presumably lower the Bond Albedo (less solar radiation reflected but the total is still 0.304 of incoming as the Earth’s output is added in.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My impression is that Bond Albedo is limited by optical depth from space.

      If you look at the “official” energy budget, the surface only receives from the sun 163.3 of 340.3 W/m2. So the “albedo”, or whatever you would call this, must be 0.52, not 0.304.

      Your thoughts on this?


  11. Zoe, you start from a false declaration of your exercise supposedly found in any text book. ( You do not support that claim either ). Maybe you need to check the details in your text book.

    You assert the rate of heat flow in the block as a given ( 2 watts ) and derive Tc. So far so good. You then make the illegitimate jump to assuming that this is consistent with the tiny surface area emitting the heat flow necessary to assure this level of heat flow. Nothing of the sort follows. That bit was not in your text book, you made that up yourself.

    If you chose a different arbitrary heat flow of say 1W , you get a totally different answer. This should tell you you have a problem.

    If you want to impose an arbitrary heat flow, you can do so as long as you don’t make any assumptions about what boundary conditions are on the “cold end”.

    Alternatively you can specify how the heat is extracted from the cold end ( for example by Plank radiation into a void at absolute zero ) and work backwards to find out what the heat flow would be in the block of concrete in this situation. That would give physically consistent results.

    One of the most fundamental axioms of physics is the conservation of energy. If you have one heat flux on one side of a boundary and a different heat flux on the other side you have a violation of conservation. That is the second indication you have a made a mistake.

    You are little too sure of yourself and you as yet limited knowledge of physics. You should be a little more humble before trying to “shame” people who know a bit more than you do.

    Have fun learning.


    1. “If you chose a different arbitrary heat flow of say 1W , you get a totally different answer. This should tell you you have a problem.”

      From my research, I found concrete has a k value of anywhere between 0.5 and 1.1, so I chose 0.8. This can’t change.

      Yes, I suppose I could have changed the dimensions to suit you, but then you’d complain to change it back to what I have now.

      Is your argument that CSR = CHF?


      1. Thanks for the reply. I am not questioning the value of k you used, nor your dimensions. It’s a little strange that you make such a claim, maybe you should start by quoting what I wrote that claimed that.

        What I was referring to is where do you get the 2 watts? That is an arbitrary choice, not research.

        You do not address the key issue that you assume, without justification, that this value is consistent with Planck radiation being the means of evacuation of the heat flow from the cold end. There is nothing in such text book example calculations which specifies what the heat sink at that end is. Again you need to check hypothetical “text book” or maybe link to such an exercise to justify the claim. We can then look at what is specified at that end.

        It seems that because it is not specified you are incorrectly assuming it is empty space and thus Planck radiation is what is happening. That is fundamentally where you are going wrong. It is simply not defined. In order to freely chose the heat flow as such an exercise may do, you have to leave that undefined, as I explained.

        My argument is that conservation of energy must be maintained across the boundary of the surface at the right hand side : your “cold end”.

        You seem to think that you can have “two different fluxes”. I am pointing out that if the power flux on either side of that boundary is different you have a violation of the the conservation of energy at that boundary. If you think that does not apply, you need to say why not. Choosing to ignore conservation is not an option.

        I hope you will pay a little more attention this time and come up with a more coherent reply.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “You seem to think that you can have “two different fluxes”. I am pointing out that if the power flux on either side of that boundary is different you have a violation of the the conservation of energy at that boundary.”

          Again, is your argument that CSR = CHF? YES or NO

          “If you think that does not apply, you need to say why not.”

          Total energy = Translational Energy (Conduction) + Vibrational Energy (EM Radiation potential)

          Equipartition Theorem

          You don’t conserve subtypes of energy, only total energy.


        2. “You don’t conserve subtypes of energy, only total energy” . Agreed.

          Nothing is moving here apart from molecular vibration, so there is no kinetic energy other than thermal. Equipartition between the different degrees of freedom seems to be a total red herring, it’s all thermal and accounted for.

          So where is the other energy you think is being ignored to balance the difference between the heat flux in and the radiated flux out of that boundary, if you consider they can be different?

          Your example says heat flow is steady ( in equilibrium ) and one dimensional, so the temperature profile of the bar is constant : no parts are getting warmer or cooler, no net change in the heat content of bar of concrete and no losses in the other two dimensions.

          We both agree that total energy has to be conserved, so where is the difference between 557 and 2.5 W/m^2 going?

          Yes or No ?

          I’m open to the idea they may be different if you can account for the discrepancy and not violate conservation of energy.


        3. Greg,
          If Area (A) is in dimension (x,y), then
          L and K are in the z-dimension. You see it?

          All you see is two things using W/m^2 and you think they must be equal because two subtypes of energt must have their heat flows conserved, for some reason.

          “Nothing is moving here apart from molecular vibration, so there is no kinetic energy other than thermal. Equipartition between the different degrees of freedom seems to be a total red herring, it’s all thermal and accounted for.”

          I read this as gibberish, no offense.


        4. Greg,
          Set your stove for 400F. Place a frying pan on top. After 30 minutes, what flux are you getting out of the top of the frying pan? (don’t over complicated this with pedantics)


        5. “L and K are in the z-dimension. You see it?”

          If K is what you previously called k , it is an omni-directional property of the material and does not have a direction, but L yes. Again you are trying to pretend that I’m questioning things that I have not even referred to. There is no disagreement about direction, you are just trying cloud the issue.

          All you see is two things using W/m^2 and you think they must be equal because two subtypes of energt must have their heat flows conserved, for some reason.

          What are these “subtypes” you keep bringing up? I’ve asked you to explain what other energy you think is being ignored and you ignore the question. It seems you do not know, maybe there isn’t one !

          I read this as gibberish, no offense.

          I’m just trying to make sense of your pseudo scientific gobbledygook , like the subtypes and the irrelevant throwing in of “Equipartition Theorem” without making any clear point. Looks like you are just trying hide behind a few scarey sciencey terms in the hope you will look more learned, instead of making any coherent point. No offense.

          We both agree that total energy has to be conserved, so where is the difference between 557 and 2.5 W/m^2 going?

          With your frying pan ( ignoring conducted and convective losses via the air), at equilibrium the heat input from the flame will equate to the radiated EM flux from the pan. Fluxes are equal energy is conserved. Or maybe you think it is giving off 200 times more EM energy than the flame is producing ?


        6. Now Greg, please tell me the conductive heat flux through your frying pan. And please don’t tell me it’s the same as the emergent radiation. Do use the conduction formula. No excuses for not having the k and L values.


        7. “If K is what you previously called k , it is an omni-directional property of the material and does not have a direction.”

          Really? Because k is in units W / (m * K). What direction do you think m is in?

          Omni directional would imply a cubic m, No, genius?


        8. Look , I’m not interested in diverting this discussion into a juvenile and imprecise frying pan analogy.

          Please address the fundamental question it seems you are so intent on ignoring:
          We both agree that total energy has to be conserved, so where is the difference between 557 and 2.5 W/m^2 going to / coming from?

          If you cannot align your ideas with the fundamentals of science you need to just give up , stop insulting others and go back to school.


        9. I don’t have a “theory” to test. I’m not the one trying to rewrite the fundamental laws of physics.

          Now you have refused to answer that question for the fourth time, I hear your embarrassed silence LOUD AND CLEAR.

          Your “fans” , whoever they are, may fall for this but no one over the age of 20 is likely to buy it.

          Now I don’t want to defend climate scientists, they are by 97% a bunch of lying, disingenuous grant seeking activists, so full of hubris they think their meagre science skills mean they are qualified to run the planet. They may even under estimate geothermal , though not for the reasons you suggest.

          However that is not ” the biggest scientific scandal of our time” , that accolade without doubt belongs to the CO2 scam.


        10. I’ll help you out. You previously said:

          “at equilibrium the heat input from the flame will equate to the radiated EM flux from the pan. Fluxes are equal energy is conserved.”

          OK, so here you seem to suggest that input and output fluxes are equal, so the top and bottom temperatures must also be equal.

          Now what is the conduction formula?

          Cond = -k (Ttop – Tbottom) / (pan height)

          Since Ttop = Tbottom, Cond = 0

          Now what is CHF?
          CHF = Q/(A*dt) = k (Tbottom – Ttop) / (pan height)

          CHF is also 0.

          Thank you for playing 🙂


        11. You are playing all by yourself. If you are not able to apply science to your initial example nor able to address your obvious logical blunders even when they are repeatedly pointed out to you , I’m not surprised that you make an equal mess of your frying pan analogy.

          You are displaying the same mentality as the average flat-earther. You refuse to engage in logical discussion or apply basic science, yet you are convinced you have made some major scientific “discovery” that the rest of the world is unable to see. This is also the problem with discussing climate with your generation.

          You know nothing but arrogantly think you know it all and everyone else is stupid. This is akin to thinking that the rest of the world is mad. At some stage you need to realise that it is not the rest of the world which has a problem.

          Have fun growing up. The arrogance of youth will ( eventually ) be tempered by experience and you will ( hopefully ) begin to acquire a little wisdom and humility.

          BTW if you can get 557 W/m^2 radiated from 2W/m^2 thermal input you have solved the worlds energy needs. I suggest you apply for a patent immediately. You will be rich beyond your dreams.

          Good luck.


  12. PS the expression εσT⁴ is the total radiation of a body in all directions into space , ie integrated over 4 pi steradians ( an enclosing sphere ) not a small planar surface emitting in a limited direction.


  13. @Greg: “Please address the fundamental question it seems you are so intent on ignoring: We both agree that total energy has to be conserved, so where is the difference between 557 and 2.5 W/m^2 going to / coming from?”

    The amount of energy from the CSR (= 557 w / m2) ultimately comes from the temperature of 75C (> 557). The energy flow in the material – the CHF – actually has no independent energy value.

    The only thing the heat flow does is determine the decrease in temperature on the other side (CSR temperature). As the source, the HSR is the only independent energy carrier.

    Every comparison, between CHF and HSR / CSR – under the law of conservation of energy – is like comparing apples with pears.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jack, you are falling for the trap which Zoe set for herself in pretending that the mythical “text book” example, which she made up herself, is physically meaningful.

      Her first diagram could be from a text book except that she added the ” E=? “. There is no text book on such a problem which makes any linkage to the false assumption that the heat sink on the “cold end” S-B radiation. She refuses to even deal with that once it is pointed out.

      If she won’t deal with that, it stops being a scientific discussion and she joins the flat-earther mentality.

      The “hot end” has a given heat source which is assumed to supply ( by whatever unspecified means ) enough heat energy to maintain the given temperature; and no more ! It’s a given.

      Similarly at the “cold end”, there is a heat sink which is removing the arbitrary given heat energy flux flowing through the test block. There is no assumption about how that is happening, it is just one of the given conditions of the exercise. Recall that the heat flow is purely arbitrary and is pulled from the air, it is not derived from anywhere, it could equally be given as 2GW or as 2mW.

      The whole of this ridiculous waste of time is because she spuriously and incorrectly assumes that because nothing is stated about the physical conditions on the cold end she can assume it is radiation to space which is evacuating all the heat. That is the fundamental error which leads to the astounding “revelation” that you can create 557 W/m^2 from 2W/m^2. It’s baloney. Sadly. ( I’d love to have some of that if it worked !) .

      Ironically, in the other thread she states another world changing reinventions of physics that “nothing radiates to space”, radiation can only land on another body. In other words an IR photon has to know in advance of being emitted , what path it will take and where it will end up and ensure is has the necessary tourist visas when it arrives. I won’t list how many scientific principals that stupidity defies.

      As Zoe and I agreed, total energy has to be conserved. That’s like having a law of conservation of the number of fruit when comparing apples and oranges. Like her, you want to have “different” sub-energies which are not conserved.

      Her calculation of Tc is fine and the calculation of Ec for a temperature at that body is fine. The logical error is in thinking that two calculations describe the same physical set up. They don’t. The fact that Ec is vastly greater means that it is NOT the means by which heat is leaving that end when you have a 2W heat flux. It would require some material with a finite thermal resistance conducting heat away more slowly or a highly polished end which radiates much less energy.

      The whole mess is a false problem created by a false assumption which she is unable and unwilling to address.

      Regrettably this will not be the killer argument which kicks the stool from beneath fat butts of deceitful climatologists and solves the whole climate question with another single cause. Climate is immensely complex and does not depend , even “mostly” on any one cause or variable.


      1. Greg you appear to be a “genius” but you can’t even figure out the CHF of a frying pan at thermal equilibrium. Start with the easy stuff, then work your way up.


        1. I said I was not interested in your ridiculous frying pan analogy. Since you can not even follow the basics on an idealised rectangular block you need to follow your own advice before “working your way up” to frying pans. You made more of a mess of that than your initial example.

          I see no point in explaining that one to you as well since as soon as your are stuck you will just ignore questions and divert to another issue again.

          You really are rather ridiculous, but that is your birth right to be so. Far be it from me to spoil your fun.


        2. What frying pan “analogy”? There is no analogy.
          If you can’t tell me the CHF through the frying pan, it looks like you’re a coward that likes to insult people while pretending to teach them. Are you a low life, or what?


      2. With all due respect for your opinion. I don’t agree with you, unfortunately only a handful of people are able to understand this. The majority is by your side.


        1. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. You are not entitled to your own version of physics. There are millions of people across the world who understand this kind of basic high school physics. There is only a handful of people who are NOT able to understand this and think you can make 557 W from 2.5W.

          I’m sorry I was not able to explain it to you in a way you could understand.

          There will always be a tiny clique who think they have invented perpetual motion, free energy or proof that the earth is flat. This makes them very special and they will fight tooth and nail to remain special. This is a psychological need which renders them immune to logic and reason.

          I can do nothing for you. I bid you farewell and leave you to your own magic corner of the universe where the laws of nature do not apply.

          You all seem to be what H2G2’s Ford Prefect would describe as “mostly harmless”.


        2. “Everyone is entitled to their opinion. You are not entitled to your own version of physics.”

          Greg I’m supporting you on one point only. But what you are saying here is utter bullshit. Because modern physics is a very obvious psychological operation. Its virtually a religion unto itself with its own demi-gods, who in sober reality weren’t even all that bright. Most of the alleged laws of physics don’t pan out. Modern cosmology has a creation myth, more irrational than all others, even those involving tortoises …. they adopted an idiotic view of stars without seeming to realise that the lightest substances naturally float to the top.

          So take a few potshots at Zoe where you think she has something not quite right. But don’t be sticking up for twentieth century physics. It was a gigantic fraud from tip to stern. Only the stuff that we have lab evidence for is settled science. And sometimes not even then. If your gurus can jump to the conclusion that stars are made of whatever floats to the top, then consider what other idiocy they are locking in as gospel?


  14. @greg: I cannot change who I am and I cannot change what is very clear to me. Again, even if I am completely wrong, grant me my own vision, after all, I grant you yours too. We call this respect.


    1. @Jack: I’m not suggesting you change “who you are” but you can do something about what seems very clear to you but may not necessarily be correct.

      There is little of this basic level of physics which is a matter of personal opinion. It’s the sort of thing which can be established by logical reasoned discussion.

      Sadly some refuse to do this out of pride or belligerence, some others are truly not capable of following such a discussion. The latter should defer to those who can. Though on the subject in hand, that is really not that hard and should be within the grasp on most people who are prepared to spend some time reading and informing themselves.

      There is no disrespect in pointing out that you are not allowed your own version of physics. The only way you get that right is to come up with something equally coherent which works as well or better than the current paradigm.

      We are in dire need of such a saviour, since modern physics has got it self into a blind alley. However, that does not include problems like basic thermal conduction.


  15. @Zoe: Could you give us a short impression about your thoughts regarding the radiation direction of photons. I am particularly interested in the existence of only one-way radiation instead of the generally accepted two-way traffic.

    This is because the current main team vision is based on two-way radiation BUT where heat always flows in one direction. In the context of the energy balance, the one or two-way approach therefore makes no difference. Nevertheless, I would like to gain a deeper understanding on this subject.

    If emissions are always only one-way traffic – hot to cold – then that also invalidates the entire concept of back-irradiation. What is your opinion about this? And .. what if there is no cold object?

    Could you also post a copy of your response on this See the link below.


    1. “@Zoe: Could you give us a short impression about your thoughts regarding the radiation direction of photons.”

      Jack you ought to not be thinking of photons. A volley of particles is not compatible with a series of waves.


      1. ” instead of the generally accepted two-way traffic.”
        That is NOT the generally accepted view.

        ” A volley of particles is not compatible with a series of waves.”

        Newton’s billiard ball corpuscular light has been superceded by the idea of a wave packet. A pulse of wavelets which propagate as a localise concentration but not with a hard boundary like a ball.

        You can compare this to the profile of the concentric rings which spread out when you throw a stone into a pond.

        I’m sure Jack will be able to get his head around that idea. Hope that helps.


        1. Looks like wordpress is trying to spam filter that gif link. You may need to copy it by hand.

          You can compare this to the profile of the concentric rings which spread out when you throw a stone into a pond.


        2. Google “wave packet”.

          You may also be interested in the soliton wave. Look it up since links get held.

          A soliton is a non-dispersive wave in a linear channel which maintains its profile in time. It contains and thus transports energy. There is no constant amplitude continuous sine wave , nor a standing wave oscillating between two end points. It may be seen as analogous to a “particle” hence its name ending in “-on”.


        3. Greg,
          Your gif shows a “tether” that was always there. You were supposed to prove how the “tether” forms from one side and attaches to the other side. That’s what your Corpuscular Theory claims: that the wave is created without attachment on the other end (and this depletes kinetic energy from the source). What happens when there is no other side?

          Your gif validates my theory, not yours.


        4. Whats the difference between waves and wave packets? The difference is that the wave packets concept is still going to be idiocy if it has been formed under conditions of enforced aether denial. Anything coming out of aether denial will be idiotic. Why wave packet? Why not just waves? Waves are what we measure when we find the wave-length for light, so waves it is. No need to get fancy about it. A wave packet would only occur if you set it up that way. To be a quick burst of light.

          And in any case a wave packet is not a photon. So we want to be very clear that the photon concept has been sent to the fires, as an artifact of a process, which came out of enforced aether denial, as a control mechanism.


  16. Your scenario is interesting but incomplete. You are correct that “As you can see we have two different flux (W/m²) figures: 2.5 and 557 W/m².” But what OTHER fluxes might there be; what other conduction, convection, and/or radiation to/from the cold end? This is where you need specific more details about the situation.

    The surroundings will affect how well the cold side actually sheds heat. For a simpl,e example, if the surroundings are a vacuum at …
    A) -273 C, then the cold end will indeed shed Ec = 557 W/m^2 of thermal IR to the surroundings, and Es = radiation from the surroundings back to the cold surface.
    B) 50 C, then the cold end will shed ZERO net thermal IR to the surrounding (Ec = 557 out, but also Es = 557 back in)
    C) 75 C, then the cold end will be ABSORBING net thermal radiation (Ec = 557 out, Es = 750 in for a net gain of 193 W/m^2
    D) 49.7 C, then cold end will shed 2.5 W/m^2 net thermal IR. (Ec = 557 out, Es = 554.5 in)
    The cold side will always emit Ec = 557, but it can ALSO absorb various amounts or radiation, Es, depending on the temperature of the surroundings. Any absorbed thermal IR from the surroundings should also be included in your analysis!

    Scenario A is the simplest, and fits your narrative most closely. “As you can see we have two different flux (W/m²) figures: 2.5 and 557 W/m². ”
    The proper conclusion here is that since much more energy is leaving than arriving, the cold end will be cooling! As you note, “It becomes obvious now that CHF and CSR have an inverse relationship” so as the end cools, CHF will increase while CSR decreases. Eventually the cold end will settle at a temperature much cooler than 50 C, and CHF will equal CSR.


  17. Hey, Zoe.

    When I look at graphics of the temp-gradient, then I see clearly the power must come from inside. It is very hot inside and 0C on the outside. It is almost a straight line on the graph! That tells it all, to me, it is. It looks to me as if the earth is for over 95 % its own stove.
    So, there is something very strange happening in ‘politics’, but so it is. The Powers that Be dictates politics.
    Thats it, I think. We better leave it for what it is.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Geothermal heat loss from the planet to the atmosphere is less than 1 watt per square metre. it is about 166,000,000 megaWatts. This is not much power considering everything else. It is low enough so that the core temperature of the Earth only drops one degree per billion years. When the Sun burns out and dies, the earth’s core will still be hotter than the Sun’s surface.


        2. Jarle,
          The temperature in both your ears are the same. Therefore the conductive heat flux between your ears is 0 W/m^2. Does that mean your ears can’t emit a potential 527 W/m^2 (37C)? Even if it’s 20C outside, your ears are not going to emit 0 W/m^2.

          The conductive heat flux is a gradient (differential) measure, and tells you nothing about what can emerge.


        3. Zoe,
          I have no problem with the absolute potential. I was just curious as to how comparable the two fluxes are (163 from sun vs. 294 from geothermal). Could you please elaborate a bit on this?

          Liked by 1 person

        4. They are perfectly comparable. Remember, this 294 is not necessary for emission. The point is that geothermal provides the surface molecules with such an equivalent of Kinetic Energy. Geothermal makes the surface molecules randomly move AS IF there was a 294 radiant source shining upon it. The sun merely adds to that.

          The conductive heat flux in the sun’s photosphere is also tiny, but again, that’s not what emerges.

          Geothermal deniers want to confuse things in order to make room for their junk theory.

          The greenhouse effect is just geothermal flipped upside down. Cool scam, right?


      1. 1. The conductivity of the slab can’t transport that much heat.

        2. The hot side radiates even more heat.Where does that come from?


        1. 1. What do you mean conductivity can’t transport that much heat?

          2. There’s obviously an energy source that is not shown.

          I have videos in the other link I provided.


        2. In your picture you state “q=2W” in the concrete slab. I take it that you used a heat transport equation to compute it, I trust your number. So your slab transports 2W of heat from the hot end to the cold end. At the cold end, it radiates 0.8[m2]*557[W/m2] = 446W. Only 2W are coming from the hot end through the slab. Where are 444W coming from?


        3. The 2W is a differential of kinetic energy levels divided by time. It is not an absolute energy level as can be emitted to a zero potential on the cold side.

          “transports 2W of heat from the hot end to the cold end.”

          Yes, and that 2W is an ADDITION to what is already there.

          The 2W is a FLOW that gets added to the top of an existing stack, so to speak.

          The temperature of both your ears are the same, therefore the conductive heat flux through your head is 0 W/m^2. Does that mean your ears can’t warm anything, like an ice cube at 315 W/m^2? Or would you ignore ZERO conductive heat flux and focus on the 527 W/m^2 (37C) your ears can emit?


        4. I your picture, 2W is a thermal flux. Don’t confuse it with kinetic energy – you don’t consider a moving slab. I thought you meant a steady state, with a temperature not changing, and with all heat flows balanced. What heat flow is already there, and why is it missing from your equations?

          Please attempt to make sense. I have better things to do.


        5. Kinetic Energy means the molecules are moving. They’re moving faster in one place than another. The difference has nothing to do with the absolute on the cold side.

          The conductive heat flux in the sun is also small, therefore the sun can’t emit solar-thermal energy?

          I make perfect sense, but some don’t want to accept reality.


        6. Hi there Curious G ol’ buddy

          I have been following this conversation from afar for some weeks. I think you are wasting your time. I was susrprisd to find you still here instead of the regular haunts. It is not possible to discuss a balanced heat flow scenario if one is missing fundamentals of heat transfer theory. You can tell by the questions the others have no background, even high school level, in physics. I don’t deride people for not taking physics, but there is a basic level of understanding required to understand a system involving radiation, thermal mass and conduction in thermal equilibrium. There is a reason why thermal engineering training is 4 years long.



          The question of how much CO2 absorbs is framed incorrectly. When trying to figure out “how much the atmosphere warms” when CO2 is present (which is the underlying motivation) the question has to include both how much is absorbed and how much is emitted. There is no net heating if there is no net gain by something within the system. The net heating of the CO2 is zero.

          Your chart showing that 5% is absorbed is incorrect. That atmosphere doesn’t exist. It shows none if the overlap with water vapour which is BY FAR the dominant GHG. What really matters for policy discussion is what happens if the CO2 concentration increases – how much additional warming is produced. That is a “nett” question, not and “absorption” question. At present concentration the answer is “approximately zero”.

          The rest is noise and wind. The lower atmospheric temperature is dominated by the surface temperature of the oceans. Oceans are not heated by back-radiation from CO2 or water vapour or anything else. They are heated by sunlight at wavelengths above IR, factored for cloud cover and ozone. Anything that affects cloud cover such as GCR’s, water vapour change and the availability of aerosol particles serve as cloud condensation nuclei changes cloud cover. The difference between a glaciation and an inter-glacial is 2.5% cloud cover. Nothing else matters much at all. The great minds of climate science like Fairbridge, Singer and Soon have been pointing this out for decades, literally. The physics hasn’t changes just because newbies found new funding sources.


  18. You don’t even understand basics. I give you a simple arithmetic problem you can find in every elementary school textbook: Alice got 5 dollars yesterday. How much does she have today?

    Your “typical simple conduction problem” is ill-defined. You don’t specify conditions on the right side of the slab. Just like my Alice example. Then you start distinguishing heat and kinetic energy. Phooey. Bye, Smarty Pants.


  19. I agree with Zoe that there’s a big difference between downward heat flow from the Sun, and upward geothermal heat flow.

    Here’s my explanation:

    Heat flow from the Sun is large – several orders of magnitude greater than geothermal. But solar heat gain at the surface of the Earth is intermittent, it switches on during day and off at night. At night Earth radiates heat to space. An the net heat gain at the Earth’s surface is zero.. Over the long term the Earth gains no heat from the Sun.

    The situation with geothermal heat is different. There isn’t a day-night cycle. Geothermal heat is a more or less constant small heat flow upwards to the surface of the Earth of something like 70 milliWatts per squ metre. And over a year the heat gain at the surface will be 70 * number of seconds in year Joules per squ metre. This ii a huge amount of heat, and it never stops.

    And that’s why I think that what melts the ice during ice ages is not the Sun and CO2 and Milankovitch cycles, but geothermal heat.


    1. It is not 70 watts (70 joules per second) it is 70 milliwatts. So 86400 seconds per day x 70 mW is 6000 Joules per day. That is 0.02% of the heat from the sun (average over the whole disk). That is very close to nothing. Geothermal heat is irrelevant to the air temperature at the surface. 99.98% of the heating is solar. A variation of solar insolation of 1/5000 would override all the geothermal heat, or double it. It’s nothing.


      1. Silly Crispin, will you ever learn?

        You can’t compare a gradient/differential measure like CHF to an absolute like CSR.

        Same way you can’t compare annual profit/loss to overall assets/liabilities.

        It’s a really stupid thing to do in both cases.


        1. And pray tell, what is it we are learning here? What planet is this? In your diagram you have a surface temperature of 1000 C and an insolation of only 165 W. The surface would rapidly cool to space by radiation – very rapidly, until it balanced with the incoming radiation (which is very little) at about -50 C.

          The conductivity of rock is poor – about R0.85 as an insulator, per inch. 100 metres represent an insulation value of R3350. Consider that 3.5 inches of pink fibreglass insulation is R14. The heat flow through 100m of rock would be pathetically low. With these numbers, the equilibrium heat contribution from below would be 9 Watts/sq m given a source temperature of 1010 C and a surface temperature of about -50 C (including the solar insolation of 165 W).

          Try it at

          What lesson is left? Geothermal heat contribution is very small. Now what is the other lesson?


        2. That’s hilarious. Do you feel that way about the sun? The sun has a small internal heat flux and it emits alot. So according to you it will cool rapidly until it matches what it receives from outside, which is barely nothing. According to you, the sun should be dead.

          It’s amazing that 1010C can’t heat 1000C, really amazing!

          But for the sun it’s OK for 5788K to heat 5778K indefinitely (or for long enough), right?

          You’re a blind hypocrite.

          You have to be insane to believe that 1000C should just yield and submit to -50C. It’s the -50C that everything must bow down to. Amazing! Utterly amazing! But for some reason it doesn’t apply to the sun. The sun can just have a normal gradient and emit in accordance without any outside enforcer, but everyone else? No!

          Unbelievable unscientific hypocrite.

          Let’s apply your braindead theory to cooking a hamburger patty on a frying pan, outside.

          According to you, it doesn’t matter what the underside temperature is, because the top will cool rapidly to the temperature the sun provides.

          The underside can get to 150C, but the
          The sun can only heat the top to -50C, and so your braindead theory will predict a gradient from 150 to -50C.

          Don’t you understand how stupid that is?
          That 100 meters in my example is the hamburger patty.

          It seems that you have a mental block understanding that 1010C will heat 1000C just fine!

          In your reality, only the sun can heat, and nothing else. That’s your apriori fallacy. And then again, the sun can’t heat, because it too has a small internal heat flux. Totally convoluted hypocritical nonsense.


        3. No, not all. There is literally an infinite variety of choices of parameters that would yield 100 mW/m^2.

          A tiny conductive heat flux means nothing to surface emission.


      2. Ok, if 1 year isn’t enough, try 100,000 years (duration of ice age) . Then try 10 million years of geothermal heat.

        Geothermal heat can raise the surface temperature of the Earth by thousands of degrees over long periods of time.


        1. It could, if it had no heat loss to space. But it has radiant heat loss to space, like all planets. As soon as the surface temperature equilibrated to balance the heat up from below and lost by radiation to space, the surface temperature would remain constant for millions of years, dropping very slowly as the core cooled (which would take hundreds of billions of years in the case of the Earth). Heat will not accumulate at the surface. If it does not, the temperature will not rise.

          If the surface were made of highly polished silver, the emissivity would be much lower and the surface temperature would cool from 1000 to some value above -50. You can calculate that temperature by changing the E value in the formula though an equilibrium temperature determination is not a straightforward task, especially of the planet rotates.

          Geothermal heating of the surface in your example would remain constant at 9 E/m^2 for all practical purposes, say, for the lifetime of the star.

          The end.


        2. The sun must have radiant heat loss to space according to Crispin’s ideology as well, yet he doesn’t take that into account for the sun.

          Actually, there is no experiment to back up what either of you are saying.


        3. As I said to one of the other contributors who I know from a science blog, you are missing such key elements of understanding that you are unable to process the scenario.

          You thesis is that geothermal heat increases the surface temperature. You must see first understand the difference between heat every and temperature. The sun radiates energy into space. All directions. Space if full of photons from all sources as all the other stars do the same. The heat flow rate (flux) onto any surface like a planet is negligible save from its sun. The planet also radiates into space.

          I do have an “ideology” about how heat energy moves – these are simple facts of nature. Geothermal heat flow in your model planet is about 9 Watts per sq m. The heat flow to the surface at 165 W from a radiative source projected onto a rotating spherical planet is 165/4 average insolation on a long term bases. That is a fact of geometry and as another pointed, has no net accumulation of heat because it radiates what it gets.

          The 9 watts is also “what it gets” so it radiates that too. The planet slowly loses its internal heat. There are nuclear processes from (especially) uranium decay that generate some with with the Earth so the drop is less that it might be were it made from Silicon dioxide only, for example.

          The average heating of the Earth’s surface from below is much less than 9 Watts. Far less. All that heat is radiated from the surface just as solar insolation is, and what back-radiation it receives from GHg’s (mostly water vapour).

          For the interest of readers who didn’t know, the Earth has been cooling on average for 8000 years and is about to cool more rapidly than it has in 200 years because of the solar minimum. The atmosphere will cool more rapidly because during solar minima explosive volcanos are more active due to galactic cosmic rays liberating gases in the magma. Watch Krakatoa in Indonesia. That is the type that responds to such events.

          Meanwhile, stay well.


        4. You keep repeating the same nonsense.

          Don’t forget that according to you, you can’t cook a hamburger patty.

          You believe that cold determines temperature at the top, and that hot can’t heat warm, but cold will set warm to cold, and then a gradient will form between hot and cold.

          I have videos showing that you’re braindead and wrong.

          You also seem to believe in backradiation heating. So in addition to all your mistakes, you believe cold prevented from leaving to even colder, becomes warmer.

          The idea that hot can warm cold is totally alien to you – but cold can do anything.


        5. It could, if it had no heat loss to space. But it has radiant heat loss to space, like all planets. As soon as the surface temperature equilibrated to balance the heat up from below and lost by radiation to space,

          It could have a very low heat loss to space if it was covered with a deep layer of high thermal resistance snow. The surface rocks beneath the snow would rise slowly,, and if they rose above above o degrees C….they’d melt the overlying snow.

          Liked by 1 person

  20. Hello All,

    A quick note to point out two errors in this discussion. Illumination by photons ignores Insolation by ionized particles, of which the solar wind is certainly composed. The number used to move between K to C is stated incorrectly as 273.16. Nmbers related to K and C are identical in magnitude, (same difference between each tick on both scales), and 273.15 is in fact the correct number. Good thing K to C and back is conversion because if it were translation, then that error of 1/100 too high will amount to something that looks much like the global warming so-called anomaly.


      1. Changes to what?

        A very large number of people know what the triple point of water is. Even that next-to-useless Wikipedia has it right.

        About the snow” comment, there is no snow on this model planet. While snow is indeed an insulator, it is a very effective radiator of IR energy because in IR, snow is black, like water. Ice is little different.


      2. Thanks for that clarification and at the same time take a minute to consider conversion vs. translation. The shell game of GHE is too often about hundreths of a degree, Also consider that triple point is a result of ideal conditions and therfore artificial, derived using water of a form never found in nature.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m just using the common definition of Kelvin from 1948 to ~2018: 1/273.16 the triple point of water.

          What is 273.15 based off? Would it not be a historical [mis]measurement of the same thing?

          I don’t know. Let them have the 0.01, if they so desperately need it?


        2. The triple point of water is not 0.0 degrees C it is 0.01 degrees C. Thus the correct temperature is 273.16 Kelvins.

          Some one thinks it is the melting point, In fact it is 0.01 above the melting point. Also consider that it is normalised to 1 atmosphere pressure. It is difficult to measure it directly.


        3. Correct value of what?
          The melting point of ice is 0.000 C (by definition).
          The Triple point of water is 273.16 Kelvins.
          The end.


        4. At what pressure? And which form of water?
          Do you accept that the triple point of water is 273.16 Kelvins? You seemed unsure before. Did you look it up?

          The melting point of pure water is defined as zero degrees Celsius. That is where the number comes from.
          No device you can afford can measure 0.000089 degrees C.

          You looked up a paper and didn’t understand it:

          the “m” refers to “molar” not a temperature.


        5. Don’t lie, I was never unsure of the triple point of water in kelvin.

          Exactly! There is no device. What they (NIST) do is take A LOT of measurements and then average them.

          The only lack of surety is in the official numbers vs. the measured numbers.

          Also, the standard pressure is not the measured pressured:

          The correct answer is within a range of 0.02 or 0.01, so I don’t make a big deal out of it.


        6. You should re-read your own messages.

          NIST does not take a lot of measurements and then average them to find the melting point of water. They find the melting point of water then assign that to be what “zero C” is.

          Are you conducting social science research with these posts? Clearly you don’t know much about radiation, temperature and heat flow or physics in general. So what are you really up to? If you are conducting social science research, you have to inform your subjects.


        7. That’s funny. You haven’t read the NIST paper and you’re telling me what’s in it.

          You make it sound like their lab has 100% perfect conditions, and all it takes is one perfect “take”. So simple, you BELIEVE.

          Well, it’s not that simple, and you are free to read about it rather than use your imagination.

          You then pride yourself on your ignorance and project your own gross incompetence onto others.


  21. Imagine that the skies all around the earth were 100% covered by thick clouds. This would be like putting a lid on the furnace below, but would at the same time reflect sunlight back to space. Do you think global temperature would increase or decrease?


      1. And what about Venus. If it lost its clouds, would it become warmer on the surface? Won’t this depend on the ratio between geothermal radiative flux and insolation?


        1. Yes, it would be warmer!

          You can add shortwave radiation to kinetic energy (which has a long wave radiation equivalent).

          It’s perfectly consistent with Planck’s Law.


        2. how does extensive cloud cover warm antarctica atmosphere in deep winter when there is no sun and has been no sun for months?

          Geothermal. Correct?

          Of course we could argue convection etc, but considerable geothermal would be Occam’s choice.


        3. Indeed. Convection is feeble. For hot air to get to the poles, cold air would have to leave. Now you’re dissipating energy into that cold air somewhere else. No net gain.


  22. So we have this onion, the planet earth, with its very hot core (5000+°C). Should we peel away just a tiny, thin layer (say 60 km, 1/100 of the onion radius), we’d get a darn hot frying surface at 800°C (or so), and no climatologist seems to care about it ? Amazing. Then it doesn’t surprise me if regular people loose faith in the experts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes!

      How is it that you can so quickly understand my point where others have failed?

      You see, the experts have developed rhetorical denial mechanisms. They will claim that that 800°C will cool rapidly to “negligible”.

      Think how absurb that is. The popular theory is that the Earth was once a ball of molten magma, and it took billions of years to cool.

      The sun is putting out 5778K, and no one believes it will cool that fast. Hotter things cool faster than colder things, and they never claim the sun will drop even one degree in a thousand years.

      But for the Earth, all forms of geothermal denial is allowed.

      The idea that the sun provides 99.5% of surface energy is bogus, and yet nearly everyone thinks it’s true.


      1. May I offer a proposal to explain two different ways of thinking about heat flow, which may underpin some misunderstandings that arise?

        The first is that a great many heat flow calculations assume steady state equilibrium conditions. E.g. the Earth receives a steady solar gain from the Sun, and its temperature rises to an equilibrium temperature. It’s a static model of heat flow

        The second approach does not assume an equilibrium end state. Instead the heat flow calculation is performed over some relatively short period of time, and new temperatures are found again and again. The result is a dynamic (or non-equilibrium) heat flow model in which the temperature of the surface of the the Earth oscillates between day and night.

        Essentially the first approach assumes equilibria where where may not be equilibria, and it does so in order to speed the calculation (along with variables that “tend to zero” and so are treated as zero)

        Nothing happens in static equilibrium heat flow models. Lots of things happen in dynamic non-equilibrium heat flow models. Using different models gets very different results.

        I spent many years constructing first static steady state heat flow models and then dynamic non-equilibrium models (of brick and concrete insulated buildings). The models purport to to do the same thing, but they actually produce very different answers

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Indeed, Frank.

          On average the sun delivers ~165 W/m^2 globe wide. This leads people to believe it’s a constant heat source, some even suggest a raise in the entire geothermal profile by that amount. In reality, the sun provides ~330 W/m^2 during the day, and nothing during the night. During the day, molecules dance vigourously. During the night they would slow down to “nothing” just before sunrise … if there wasn’t a ~335 W/m^2 equivalent provided as the base by geothermal.

          Real dynamic heating happens in real time. There is no accumulation of solar energy. The sun only heats the top ~10 meters beyond what geothermal can do.

          Climate “scientists” ignore the cause of the base, and imagine it was gases that created it.

          “Essentially the first approach assumes equilibria where where may not be equilibria”

          Bingo. The blackbody calculation assumes exactly that. You can’t assume the Earth should be in equilbrium with the Sun. It’s not. And neither is Venus.

          Somewhere in the atmosphere there is that equilibrium temperature, but it has nothing to do with enhancement of the sun by GHGs or N&Z pressure theory. It’s simply that planet being cooler farther from the surface: less matter in same volume, etc.

          This equilibria assumption is pernicious circular reasoning.


        2. Frank,
          Would you get a “steady state” gradient if the object was uniform: no area, no density, no mass variations, and no other objects to the side?

          I think not.

          Would not this example continue on until the cold side was also 75C?, i.e CHS = 0; CSR = Big … Thus only confirming my central argument.


  23. OK. Let me see if I’m getting it. Suppose that you have a planet with no atmosphere and no insolation, but with a very intense geothermal activity. Suppose that it has a constant temperature at 1000°C, from its center up to the external surface. Obviously there must be some source of internal energy (chemical, nuclear, radioactive decay…whatever) conveniently distributed inside the planet, so that such constant temperature profile is achieved and maintained over time. If you make temperature measurements at various depths, you’ll obviously find always the same value, 1000°C. If you then calculate the conductive heat flux at various depths inside the planet, all the way through the most external crust, you’ll inevitably get a null thermal flux [W/m2] q = -K*dT/dR = 0. Amazing ! 1000°C on planet surface with no measured geothermal heat flux, no greenhouse effect, and no radiation from the sun. Just (maybe) some nuclear reactions inside.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Initial formation energy + Nuclear + External induction? + Something we don’t know yet?

      Note: As the surface area increases radially out, and the density also changes, a real planet can’t have a zero heat flux from core to surface. But keeping it simplified, you nailed it!

      My most recent article has a visualization.


  24. Back to your textbook example…what might be difficult to get (at least it was for me in the beginning), is the fact that you have imposed the CHF (2 W), while in a typical textbook problem you’d probably have as a given the hot end conditions (Th and Input power), while CHF + cold end conditions would be the unknowns. Maybe in this way, more people can get it, because in such a way you do not have the impression to have “overspecified” or “arbitrarily imposed” the conditions.
    In such a case the inputs would be :

    heat flux at hot end : 559.2 W/m2
    temperature at hot end : 75 °C

    and by equating : cold end radiation = power in, minus conductive heat flow, you get the output
    cold end radiation 556.6 W/m2
    cold end temperature 50°C
    CHF = 2.5 W/m2

    This requires iterations because Tc is elevated at the fourth and first power.

    It may seem an unnecessary complication…but perhaps it makes more sense as a typical problem (sorry I am an engineer – nobody is perfect)


    1. CHF is not additive or subtractive to radiative fluxes. 75C is equivalent to 833 W/m^2.

      Problem can’t be solved with those two unknows. Only one of them can be unknown and solved for.

      Best regards, -Zoe


  25. Zoe, if I were to be given this as a calculation, I’d start by calculating Tc. You find Tc in the example by assuming q=2W and calculating Tc from that. The reality is that q is dependent on Tc so the way I’d have to do it is to develop simultaneous equations based on heat transfer through the concrete from the source and heat transferred to the atmosphere at Tc. The only way that I can see Tc being found is the assumption of energy conservation. You get different fluxes for sure but that is because you start with an assumption. There is a temperature at which the fluxes balance. Mind you, I’m 70 now and my calculator is more alcohol than brain driven.


    1. Likewise, Tc is dependent on q at the moment.
      This problem is not an end state.
      The end state is:
      Tc = 75C
      q = 0
      Ec = Eh

      Fluxes do not need to balance. Conservation of Energy is science. Conservation of Energy Flow is not.


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