Measuring Geothermal – A Revolutionary Hypothesis

I’m proposing a brand new hypothesis. Here it is:

  1. The so called greenhouse effect is nothing but an artifact of geothermal, flipped upside down.
  2. We can measure geothermal quite easily:

Geothermal Emission = Upwelling Longwave Radiation – (Downwelling Shortwave Radiation – Upwelling Shortwave) + Latent Heat Flux + Sensible Heat Flux

In the language of NCEP Reanalysis, the formula is:

geo = ulwrf – (dswrf – uswrf) + lhtfl + shtfl


# source
# Zoe Phin 2020/02/02
F=(0 ulwrf dswrf uswrf lhtfl shtfl)                                                  
O=(0 3201.5 3086.5 3131.5 856.5 2176.5)

require() { sudo apt install nco; }
download() {
    for i in ${F[*]}; do wget -O $ -c $b/$; done
extract() {
    for i in {1..5}; do echo $i of 5 >&2
        ncks --trd -HC ${F[$i]}.nc -v ${F[$i]} | awk -F[=\ ] -vO=${O[$i]} '  
        NF != 0 { W[$4]+=$8/10+O } END { for (L in W)                              
            printf "%07.3f %07.3f\n", L, W[L]/94464}' | sort -n > .w$i
geo() {
    paste .w1 .w2 .w3 .w4 .w5 | tr ' ' '\t' | cut -f 1,2,4,6,8,10 | awk '  
        function S(x) { return cos(x*atan2(0,-1)/180) } {
        A+=$2*S($1); B+=$3*S($1); C+=$4*S($1); D+=$5*S($1); E+=$6*S($1);    
        G=$2+$5+$6-($3-$4); F+=G*S($1); print $0" "G } END { X=60.1647         
        printf "\nAverage:%07.3f %07.3f %07.3f %07.3f %07.3f %07.3f\n",     
            A/X, B/X, C/X, D/X, E/X, F/X }'    

Run it:

> source
> require
> download
> extract
> geo


-88.542	160.572	130.617	109.567	001.947	-52.117  89.352
-86.653	169.731	129.611	107.707	002.169	-52.952  97.044
-84.753	179.068	129.526	106.648	004.162	-53.255 107.097
-82.851	183.643	130.241	108.115	003.545	-49.320 115.742
-80.947	184.386	132.014	110.074	002.310	-44.688 120.068
-79.043	186.170	133.439	111.061	002.894	-43.264 123.422
-77.139	192.359	134.189	106.598	004.336	-39.082 130.022
-75.235	201.453	135.480	107.015	004.942	-37.415 140.515
-73.331	213.577	137.236	107.364	006.520	-36.813 153.412
-71.426	230.078	138.094	105.162	009.339	-37.852 168.633
-69.522	249.329	137.100	092.216	013.147	-29.933 187.659
-67.617	266.633	135.069	077.029	017.929	-21.059 205.463
-65.713	282.318	134.510	068.697	018.535	-10.248 224.792
-63.808	296.958	129.902	042.475	022.244	-00.262 231.513
-61.903	307.732	128.396	029.934	025.698	-00.212 234.756
-59.999	315.924	128.434	021.671	030.174	-00.973 238.362
-58.094	322.948	128.718	014.388	034.865	-01.690 241.793
-56.189	328.903	129.930	010.542	038.852	-04.608 243.759
-54.285	334.101	132.116	009.320	041.700	-08.192 244.813
-52.380	339.183	134.906	009.415	044.105	-10.608 247.189
-50.475	344.712	138.185	009.791	046.719	-11.703 251.334
-48.571	351.177	142.292	010.109	051.982	-10.207 260.769
-46.666	358.411	147.196	010.329	058.012	-07.006 272.550
-44.761	366.359	152.414	010.643	066.823	-03.668 287.743
-42.856	375.462	158.630	011.047	077.603	002.155 307.637
-40.952	384.799	165.580	011.384	090.318	007.026 327.947
-39.047	392.785	173.228	011.964	099.120	009.369 340.010
-37.142	399.903	181.187	013.021	103.336	011.744 346.817
-35.237	405.908	189.572	013.564	105.950	012.320 348.170
-33.333	411.725	196.549	015.631	104.388	016.865 352.060
-31.428	417.538	202.463	017.816	105.123	018.885 356.899
-29.523	422.830	207.009	019.005	109.663	018.734 363.223
-27.619	427.894	210.176	019.605	113.762	018.905 369.990
-25.714	432.643	212.739	019.920	117.687	019.344 376.855
-23.809	436.710	216.051	021.043	121.615	018.673 381.990
-21.904	440.565	219.806	020.820	127.532	018.441 387.552
-20.000	444.026	222.918	019.940	133.700	018.789 393.537
-18.095	446.273	224.950	019.483	139.782	016.592 397.180
-16.190	448.825	225.921	018.564	144.738	016.498 402.704
-14.286	451.648	226.038	017.898	150.638	014.189 408.335
-12.381	454.276	226.553	017.043	151.484	013.125 409.375
-10.476	456.781	226.559	016.880	148.830	012.093 408.025
-08.571	458.403	225.052	016.935	142.993	012.168 405.447
-06.667	459.008	221.504	017.089	136.852	010.468 401.913
-04.762	459.537	216.769	016.681	127.963	009.479 396.891
-02.857	458.436	210.836	016.090	118.484	006.789 388.963
-00.952	458.345	205.033	015.510	108.482	005.658 382.962
000.952	459.718	198.242	015.232	111.546	006.438 394.692
002.857	462.011	191.416	014.820	117.553	007.996 410.964
004.762	462.380	187.711	014.821	119.988	008.598 418.076
006.667	462.323	190.948	015.854	122.820	009.177 419.226
008.571	462.349	199.546	016.969	128.123	009.886 417.781
010.476	462.901	210.785	017.116	130.262	013.019 412.513
012.381	462.791	220.387	018.292	135.495	011.610 407.801
014.286	462.307	225.155	020.657	132.269	016.258 406.336
016.190	459.679	224.369	024.034	126.352	015.114 400.810
018.095	455.597	221.616	027.286	120.399	012.692 394.358
020.000	451.165	218.953	028.889	114.864	012.807 388.772
021.904	447.301	216.573	029.350	110.086	014.447 384.611
023.809	443.590	215.060	029.035	107.981	016.573 382.119
025.714	438.637	213.123	028.970	101.096	020.691 376.271
027.619	430.920	212.546	029.715	093.543	021.592 363.224
029.523	422.402	214.091	030.752	089.999	025.102 354.164
031.428	413.805	214.585	030.174	091.357	027.343 348.094
033.333	405.764	214.814	028.743	095.340	026.950 341.983
035.237	397.747	212.258	028.421	093.293	025.672 332.875
037.142	392.201	206.275	026.668	091.617	027.492 331.703
039.047	386.381	198.060	028.017	087.172	024.349 327.859
040.952	378.644	191.873	027.470	074.502	022.918 311.661
042.856	369.978	186.137	027.338	063.643	017.247 292.069
044.761	362.398	179.232	028.366	058.155	013.394 283.081
046.666	354.823	172.723	031.027	054.427	009.174 276.728
048.571	347.668	166.185	032.164	054.681	004.311 272.639
050.475	342.281	159.203	030.852	055.521	000.441 269.892
052.380	338.019	152.781	029.620	057.063	-04.077 267.844
054.285	334.264	146.661	028.962	056.201	-04.137 268.629
056.189	330.580	141.411	028.965	055.405	-04.194 269.345
058.094	325.893	137.501	030.894	053.379	-03.215 269.450
059.999	318.476	134.071	034.188	048.998	-04.704 262.887
061.903	309.515	130.940	038.740	045.262	-13.202 249.375
063.808	301.891	127.182	041.305	040.833	-15.629 241.218
065.713	294.212	123.862	044.413	034.349	-18.023 231.089
067.617	287.976	121.268	048.410	028.725	-16.735 227.108
069.522	282.844	120.001	052.192	023.153	-09.531 228.657
071.426	278.003	118.977	060.422	021.281	-10.585 230.144
073.331	271.879	117.964	066.545	015.967	-11.538 224.889
075.235	266.203	115.823	069.800	013.482	-10.869 222.793
077.139	259.555	116.130	078.981	008.960	-16.821 214.545
079.043	254.037	115.012	084.006	006.061	-21.808 207.284
080.947	250.528	113.843	087.865	005.230	-24.534 205.246
082.851	247.531	113.681	093.175	002.866	-27.892 201.999
084.753	247.433	112.121	093.849	002.508	-27.153 204.516
086.653	247.837	110.516	092.525	002.951	-27.169 205.628
088.542	247.890	109.704	092.062	002.538	-27.169 205.617

Average:396.983 187.114 026.813 091.591 007.370 335.643


Column 1latLatitude
Column 2ulwrf Upwelling Longwave Radiation
Column 3dswrf Downwelling Shortware Radiation
Column 4uswrf Upwelling Shortwave Radiation
Column 5lhtfl Latent Heat Flux
Column 6shtflSensible Heat Flux
Column 7geoGeothermal

The value all the way on the bottom right: 335.643, is our geothermal emission in W/m² (for whole Earth). This means that geothermal supplies a temperature of:

(335.643/5.67e-8)^0.25-273.16 = 4.22°C

Hmm, If only there was some way to reaffirm this via the scientific literature…

Sure looks like geothermal delivers at least 0 degrees celsius. Our calculation is slightly off, but keep in mind that Sensible and Latent Heat is not directly measured by satellite but approximated via satellite data and some physical assumptions. Also, these geotherm diagram have been around for decades and it’s possible they are just sticking to a convention, while the actual measured surface T has changed.

It appears that everyone in geophysics already knows the truth. It’s only climate “scientists” who think greenhouse gases raise temperature, and without them the surface would be ~-18°C. Nope, without GHGs or even the Sun, it would be at least 0°C.

Geothermal and Solar completely explain the surface temperature and the remaining energy that goes into the atmosphere. No silly greenhouse effect necessary.

This is just a teaser to get people thinking. More to follow. Subscribe and stay tuned.

Love, -Zoe

Published by Zoe Phin

86 thoughts on “Measuring Geothermal – A Revolutionary Hypothesis

  1. This only matters if you get a piece of paper that says you can “talk” to Gavin as a peer. Until then you remain a “Crank” on the internet. I desperately hope you will go out and get yourself a degree in climatology so you can add your voice to that of the very few. I’d join you if I could but I fear I’m too old to take up this debate. Dartmouth/Tuck ’88 myself 🙂 C++ is the best I ever did. You rock!! Love, love, love the fact that you put everything you do right out there.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. I don’t know. If I did, I wouldn’t have done all this work. Clearly, geophysicists know that geothermal produces 0C. They simply don’t go a step further and say 0C should emit high W/m^2 and be added to energy budget. Not that the climatologist compilers of energy budget would listen to them anyway. Geophysicists don’t understand climate science, you see?

          The IPCC had ZERO geophysicists. ZERO


        2. “They simply don’t go a step further and say 0C should emit high W/m^2 and be added to energy budget.”
          Why not? It’s always interesting to hear the other side (what a surprise that it’s me saying this :D).

          Liked by 1 person

    1. People like Michael Mann, Gavin Schmidt and the rest of the Hockey Team have brought science into disrepute by forming tribes that won’t listen to anyone who does not accept their dogma.

      As John Nash sagely pointed out, any discipline that includes the word “Science” in its title……isn’t.

      Zoe make more sense than Gavin ever will given that he is a zealot rather than a scientist. It is OK to be wrong but it is not OK to deny reality.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I will put my engineering, advanced math and physics training up against any climatologist anywhere any time. Meaning Mr. Peck your comment is political without any reality. Based on having gone through the listed training, climatologists are on the short cut path and very short on basic and advanced science, or are politicians. I suggest you watch the PBS NOVA program on Earth climate over the last 750 million years. Based on this program by paleantologists, geologists, and other scientists, there have been 4 cooling cycles of less than 25% of the 750 million year time period. The first three cooling or ice ages, Earth completely frozen over, the whole planet was an ice cube planet during those times. The last cooling period over the last 150,000 years saw ice advance and retreat 7 or 8 times with the tropics staying unaffected. During the 75% of the time Earth was in a warm period, Earth’s pole locations had tropical climates based on leaves and other organic material embedded in the rocks and dated. This program completely refutes the concern over a warming planet being caused by humanity and that the current supposed consensus on a warming planet is wrong and always has been wrong or is a political conversation without any reality. Sea level based on the last 750 million years of Earth climate will rise by as much as 400 feet. How fast is the primary question, 200 years or 1000 years, no one knows with any certainty. Florida will be under water along with east Texas, southern Lousiana, s. Mississippi, and s. Alabama. The San Joaquin valley of CA. will be an inland sea unless the Carquinez Strait at San Francisco Bay is dammed up to prevent sea water entry. Trying to mess with mother nature as the global warmers are asserting by reducing human generated greenhouse gases is a fools errand and needs to stop. Earth will do what it is going to do in spite of humanity and reducing human inputs may put off the changes but not more than 1000 years. Excersizes in futility like reducing human inputs to Earth climate are really, really dumb and a huge waste of resources. Time will bring this to reality for most people, the next 500 to 1000 years for sure.


        1. You need to go to the PBS NOVA program on the last 750 million years of Earth climate for an answer. Good question. The answer to your question is probably the core of climate change. The answer to your question is probably well hidden in the documentary or not there, suggesting to many variables for an answer in a documentary.


  2. It will be interesting to see how you end up accounting for that extra energy. No matter where you go with this its going to be politically incorrect. I trace the bad science all the way back to aether denialism. So many trip-wires no matter where you go with it. My background was economics. So I knew that the hired nonsense was big in that subject. But it was only decades later that I began to understand that every subject that could be controlled was controlled. They cannot really control chemistry. But they try to control a great deal of physics and cosmology.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “I trace the bad science all the way back to aether denialism.”

      Couldn’t agree more Visigothkhan. The wrong ideas have been promoted at least since 1905, but especially post-1945 many sciences have been worshipping seductive abstractions and celebrity snake-oil speculators, then these narcissitic Dunning-Kruger gurus tell the plebs going out and prove what they mathematically delude themselves is reality. All this was as backwards to the scientific process as rationalisation is to sound logical syllogisms. Inversion.


    2. Anyone who wants to explain surface temperature using a mathematical model needs to consider all forms of heat transfer…….conduction, convection, radiation and phase change. However in most situations it turns out that some of these processes can be ignored.

      For example, calculating the night time lunar surface temperature depends on thermal conduction from the lunar bedrock. When calculating the day time surface temperature the conduction from the bedrock can be ignored because it is four orders of magnitude smaller that the incoming TSI (~1361 W/m^2) and the outgoing IR radiation.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Even if radioactive materials were EVENLY distributed in the Earth (and they ain’t), regional temp variations would be expected. Arctic warming/cooling becomes obvious when ones considers the Pacific Rim and the simple fact that the Arctic is closest to the action (shortest distance to center of Earth). It IS geothermal/radioactivity. It is REGIONAL warming/cooling, not global. Keep up the good work, Zoe.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Nope, without GHGs or even the Sun, it would be ~0°C.”
    Zoe, this is what I was talking about to a friend this afternoon. If everything from the sun were shut off, and we had no atmosphere, what temperature would the surface of the earth be?
    Are you saying that it would be at 0C ?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Zoe – been waiting for this post. Fantastic clear thinking that intersects more knowledge vectors than you might yet realise.

        Even if your intial calculations need refining in the details, I truly beleive that your “20,000 feet” view is correct.

        You may well want to check out Russian data and research more too. Kindred scientific spirits re your thesis here.

        The potential implications of this hypothesis for the onset of Ice Ages (the sun just needs to go coronal ‘dark’, hibernation period – simplicity itself), possible plasmoid at earth’s centre, reinterpretations of earth’s cycles and human prehistory , etc etc are immense.


      2. The center of this planet is hotter than the surface of the sun yet the heat transfer measured at the surface averages ~0.087 W/m^2.

        During the day the planet receives 1361 W/m^2 on the “Day Side”. Averaging over 24 hours after allowing for energy reflected back into space the incoming solar radiation absorbed amounts to about 350 W/m^2. Thus the incoming solar energy is about 4,000 times the geothermal energy.

        That is why my model for planet Earth ignores the effect of geothermal energy.


  5. I have looked up the temps:

    On the North pole vs equator:
    100 W/m^2 correspond to 200K
    400 W/m^2 correspond to 290K

    This does not happen on Venus, does it? How do you account for the difference?


    1. Earth’s geotherm is more oblate.
      Venus’ is almost perfectly spherical. I think poles are 5K cooler, IIRC.
      Venus has barely any surface variation even when the sun is included. Sun has no latitude effect and neither does the non-existant backradiation from its CO2. BTW, that’s a big clue that there’s no GH effect on Venus.

      Earth rotates faster than Venus. That too must control oblateness of its geotherm, I surmise.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nice. 😀 I think this is the first time I pressed “like” on purpose. I was arrogant enough to assume that Venus was not that different but you are right, my bad. Venus is almost a perfect sphere, if I got it right.

        Anyway, enough of the hype. ^^ A factor of 4 is not easily dismissed by referring to oblateness.
        Also, there are also seasons, ofc.

        Maybe we will discuss the claims on CO2 later. ^^ Take it as a dodge, fine. 😉


        1. Can you explain the prediction to me? I have only read the first page where he talks about measurement (microwave -> 600K).


        2. Thats retrospective propaganda. It was his opponent Velikovsky who suggested that Venus would be really hot. In 1968 Saga would have had a great deal of data already, being at Cornell. Its not a prediction when you already have the data.

          “he first robotic space probe mission to Venus, and the first to any planet, began with the Soviet Venera program in 1961.[161] The United States’ exploration of Venus had its first success with the Mariner 2 mission on 14 December 1962, becoming the world’s first successful interplanetary mission, passing 34,833 km (21,644 mi) above the surface of Venus, and gathering data on the planet’s atmosphere.[162][163]

          180-degree panorama of Venus’s surface from the Soviet Venera 9 lander, 1975. Black-and-white image of barren, black, slate-like rocks against a flat sky. The ground and the probe are the focus. Several lines are missing due to a simultaneous transmission of the scientific data.
          On 18 October 1967, the Soviet Venera 4 successfully entered the atmosphere and deployed science experiments. Venera 4 showed the surface temperature was hotter than Mariner 2 had calculated, at almost 500 °C (932 °F), determined that the atmosphere was 95% carbon dioxide (CO
          2), and discovered that Venus’s atmosphere was considerably denser than Venera 4’s designers had anticipated”

          So plenty of satellites there before 1968.


        3. I have heard this false factiod before re Sagan. But i don’t understand how you can claim a prediction, after something has already been directly measured & predicted by others – the Soviets , Velikovsky etc. Classic case yet again of Sagan claiming others ideas as his own. Like a bevy of other post 1905 celebrity abstractionists he was more focused on PR celibrity science puthy remarks and image confection than real work (cf Elon Musk for contemp example – seriously). Ego driven intellectual celebrity, spending more time paraphrasing other’s insights to rebrand as their ‘own’.

          Just saw this Visigothkhan:

          “Thats retrospective propaganda. It was his opponent Velikovsky who suggested that Venus would be really hot.”

          Spot on.


  6. @patrick,
    My browser does not like those dots either. Try this link or Google the DOI number:…152.1119S/doi:10.1086/149625

    Click on the icon in the “FULL TEXT SOURCES” box. (Spoiler Alert) If that does not work here is the gist of Sagan’s predictions:

    Sagan did not know the precise altitude of the cloud tops so he calculated for z(c) = 44 km and 65 km. Given later measurements (Jenkins et al.) we know that z(c) ~ 65 km.

    Sagan estimates surface temperature = 727 K for an atmosphere with 100% nitrogen and 721 K for 100% CO2. According to Moroz (1997) the average surface temperature is 730 K @ ~97% CO2.

    Sagan’s paper is a “Correction” of an earlier paper made necessary by his realization that the properties of CO2 (e.g, Cp & “gamma”) depend on pressure and temperature to a greater extent than gases like nitrogen.


      1. Yes, Fourier was a geothermal crank, and so are his followers.

        “In a globe of iron the increase of a thirtieth of a degree per metre, would only give a fourth degree of actual elevation of temperature at the surface. This elevation is in direct ratio to the conducting power of the substance of which the crust is formed, all other conditions remaining the same. Thus the excess of temperature, which the terrestrial surface has at present, in consequence of this internal source, is very small; it is probably below the thirtieth of a centesimal degree”

        I debunk Fourier and his dumb followers right here:

        But you don’t have to believe me. Boltzmann and Planck derived their formulas from cavity radiation where the cavity was at thermal equilibrium, i.e. the conductive heat flux was nearly ZERO. Yet nearly ZERO is not what is emitted.

        Jesus, this is high school level physics, and the “best” climate scientists couldn’t figure it out?

        Obviously they needed a wall street financial analyst.


        1. The pressure is due to gravity acting on the mass of the atmosphere. But that mass could (must?) itself be linked to geothermal effects like volcanoes, of course. Atmosphere has to come from somewhere 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Gravity (directed force) wants to crush the atmosphere to the surface. Kinetic Energy (random motion) will not let it. It’s the K.E. that creates the atmosphere, not the force that wants to destroy it.


        3. The main thrust of my argument is that we don’t need volcanoes, vents, hotsprings, lava flows etc. Geothermal delivers a boring average 0C without needing to discuss inclusion of all those exotic things.


      2. @Oldbrew,
        Welcome………faithful friend of Roger Tallbloke.

        While geothermal energy is important when you are calculating the lunar night time temperature it can safely be ignored for day side calculations.

        On Earth geothermal heat averages less than 0.1 W/m^2 so I ignore its effect in my models.

        Have you any experience with Python or Anaconda? Zoe has declined to help me so how about you?


  7. I found this page following a link from WUWT. I am not a scientist, don’t even really follow the details of the science that well. But I don’t follow your argument (though I’ve not read any other pages either). Do you have a post that explains simply what you are getting at? So, the surface of the earth is 0C from geothermal. In the absence of an atmosphere, the earth would radiate at 0C. But we aren’t really concerned with that if on average geothermal remains relatively consistent over short time frames eg centuries. What matters the near surface temperature, that is, the air. So what we want to know is whether adding GHGs causes the atmosphere to warm above whatever average it obtains from solar insolation and geothermal. If GHGs do warm from IR, as is claimed and seems to be shown from the science, then adding GHGs makes for a warmer atmosphere. The effect should be relatively linear, I’d have thought. More GHGs, warmer air. Are you saying GHGs do not absorb IR and warm as a result?


    1. Yes, it’s warmer than 0C because the sun shines an additional ~165 W/m^2. This bumps it up to 15C plus energy for evaporation (which doesn’t raise temperature). Everything is accounted for properly.


    2. Zoe accounts for the rest with solar irradiation.

      As far as I understand the GHE, the important part is this: Radiation from the Earth surface (note: Earth cools down by radiating out into space) is absorbed pretty much instantly. I don’t understand Zoe’s formula, but the number I have heard is that 15 micro meter wavelength radiation is absorbed after just 1m (which is an extreme case, keep in mind).

      I’m looking forward to contrary experimental data if any exist.

      So radiation from the surface obviously does not get out into space. It just moves heat around in the atmosphere but that does not matter much because heat distribution is dominated by convection, anyway (or so I have heard).

      It looks different 10km up where there is very little air (-> few greenhouse gases). Few greenhouse gases mean that radiation from up there (the atmosphere also radiates) actually does get past those few CO2 molecules out into space. But the atmosphere is cold, so it does not radiate as much.

      In summary, due to absorbtion, the “job” to radiate away the heat is “delegated” from the part of Earth that is good at it (the hot=strongly radiating surface) to the part of the Earth that is bad at it (the cold atmosphere). Therefore, less energy goes out while the sun keeps shining. -> Warming

      Atm, I don’t care too much about which part of the atmosphere is supposed to heat up, since apparently convection dominates, anyway, so the whole atmosphere (nope, troposphere, where convection dominates) has to warm to some extent.

      You can see the greenhouse effect from satellite here:

      The wavelengths are shown at the bottom.
      Some wavelengths (8-10 micro meters) get out (almost?) straight from the surface – no greenhouse gas absorbs any of those much. It shows a 275K pattern (proper term: brightness temperature. 275K = 2°C).
      At 15 micro meters you can see that the radiation shows a ~220K pattern – i.e. the stuff that emitted it was very cold (273K is 0 celsius, so 220K is 220-273 = -53C).
      At 14.x micro meters you can see it is a bit hotter than 220K because it was emitted even higher up in the stratosphere. Unlike the troposphere where it gets colder as you go up, the stratosphere gets hotter the higher you go, so the effect is opposite.

      That also explains why you don’t get a linear temperature increase as you increase CO2. For some wavelengths around 15 micro meters where CO2 is strongly absorbing, adding more CO2 would not make it warmer (in fact: cooler). This is called “saturation”. However, that does not apply to all wavelengths as this graph illustrates:

      So to see the difference between preindustrial 280 ppm CO2 and ~400 ppm we have now (i.e. not x4 like the the last figure), you need really good eyes (note: this is a model):
      Or you just ask the computer^^ (it says 2.2 W/m^2 in the same picture).
      It is good that the difference is so “small” since if it were “large” there presumably would not be any life on any planet in the universe. The official number is 1.2C per doubling of CO2. It gets more “interesting” when you add feedbacks like more water vapor in the air (the strongest greenhouse gas), more clouds, less ice, increased lapse rate, methane outgassing. Some of these are enforcing, some diminishing, or both. The IPCC “likely” number is 1.5-4.5C (wow!) per doubling when accounting for those.


    3. ” Why GHG mass in particular? Why not air mass more generally?”

      Greenhouse gasses are like sunglasses. They shade energy on the way out. But they shade energy on the way in also. Any blanketing effect has to rely at least partly on the insulation properties of air. The same properties that keep you warm with a jumper. To see the heat retention qualities of the various greenhouse gasses as always net positive is a little bit strange. I think we need to consider them case by case and there are so many complications that in the end we need to refer to the empirical results. I think extra CO2 is probably taking the edge of our hotter days. I think water vapour is schizophrenic as to its effects. A refrigerant in many areas but a net warmer in some. If you were right then the overnight temperatures of Cairns versus the Atherton Tablelands should have been converging over the last few decades. Maybe they have but if so its been pretty minimal.


    4. Oops. Accidentally misquoted you GM. I think greenhouse gasses help retain some energy mostly be helping spread the energy out. But we don’t want to be exaggerating their effects by saddling them up with all heat retention duties.


      1. Visigothkhan, I wasn’t talking specifically, just more generally. An atmosphere warmer than 0K is only warm because the matter in it is warm and the matter that is warmed is the gas molecues. For a given stable heat source, the mass of matter is what counts. Given that the heat sources in question here – geothermal and solar – are stable, the only way that the atmosphere can warm is if there is more matter. Adding GHGs should warm the air, providing that it is primarily GHGs that are warmed. If the argument is that the larger effect is oxygen and nitrogen being warmed by conduction, well, OK. I don’t know enough science to argue. But as far as I know from what I have read, it is the GHGs that warm and they are warmed primarily by IR.


        1. My attempt at explaining the greenhouse effect was published with a delay. If you have missed it, give it a try. It got fairly long so it is hard to scroll past. 😉

          Btw, if you want to learn “the truth”, you will have to look at both sides – and you will not get much of the “mainstream side” here, so check out “mainstream sources”, too.


        2. I saw it before wordpress automatically sent it to spam folder.

          You present the usual stuff I was taught when I was a young and naive girl at uni.

          It’s 100% wrong, but time consuming to explain. Quickly: One needs to accept ideological and unphysical premises. They seem alright when you don’t know any better. Studies show that common people can’t tell the difference between BS and actual science. A fresh student is a common person.


        3. “Studies show that common people can’t tell the difference between BS and actual science.”
          I partly agree, yes. I


        4. Accidental submit, sorry.

          “Studies show that common people can’t tell the difference between BS and actual science.”
          I partly agree. In the end, I have to put some trust that people who do this stuff for a living actually know what they are doing, since the nitty gritty involves a whole lot of greek letters and stuff. 😉 Both in the mainstream and your blog.

          Those nice figures without many greek letters from my post seem hard to counter, though. I understand you don’t feel like rebutting everything, but how would you explain this “dip” in the 15 micron part? At 10km, the atmosphere is 220K, right? CO2 absorbs 15 microns strongly as shown by the military in test tubes (?). An alternative explanation has to explain the same facts with some degree of precision. If the fundamentals are wrong, how do we get this precise “pattern” we expect? Well, do we?^^

          Anyway, regarding scientists doing their job right: Your field (economics) is therefore a big thorn in my eye with their nonsensical “homo economicus” suggesting those people live in phantasy land. And they make a living (get funding), discuss with other phantasy land economists, make phony predictions and nobody(?) puts a stop to it. I have to admit that I am very ignorant, so this might be complete nonsense.

          To restore my trust in experts, I can only refer to the fact that other experts (behavioral economists) exist that put the “ridiculous economists” in their place, somewhat. 😀

          Where are the “behavioral economists” of climate science? I could make suggestions but rather I ask you. Who are they and why aren’t there more?


        5. Patrick,
          Get a FLIR camera. Video yourself. Now place a flat black piece of plastic between your crotch and the FLIR camera. The camera will show less radiation leaving the plastic covering your crotch. Do you understand what GH effect implies? Your crotch should start feeling very uncomfortable from all the radiation that used to but no longer reaches the camera, if crackpot GH effect theory was true.

          You can do the experiment with a thermometer touching your crotch.

          In normal science:
          Hotter radiates more.
          Colder radiates less.
          If you put cold in front of hot, hot cools until cold = hot / hot = cold

          In crackpot science:
          Putting cold in front of hot causes hot to get hotter, and cold to never reach hot.

          In normal science, there is conservation of energy.

          In crackpot science, there is conservation of heat flux (a non existant thing).


        6. Thanks for the hilarious imigary :D, however, using something biological somewhat complicates the picture. ^^ [I do think it would become a bit warmer, yes, see the final calculations.]

          So let’s stick to two black bodies in a vacuum where the hot thing is a sphere and the cold thing a hollow sphere around the hot one. For those, the hot body does not heat up, either, correct, it cools down.

          The hot thing radiates at the cold thing with 100W. The cold thing radiates at the hot thing with 10W.

          Therefore the hot thing cools down (let’s consider only the first microseconds):

          The cold thing heats up:

          Depending on how cool the cool object is you can substitute the 10W with 80W or whatever. The smaller the difference the smaller the heat transfer. Obviously, the net transfer is always from hot to cold.

          If the hot thing is electrically heated (1000W) starting at this very moment (as in the heating has not changed its temperature, *yet*) it looks like this:
          hot thing: +1000W+10W-100W = 910W
          cold thing: -10W+100W = 90W

          If there were no cold thing:
          Hot thing: +1000W -100W = 900W
          A bit less than without the cool thing.

          The question is: If the 10W from the cold object does not heat up the hot object (the net heat flow obviously is from hot to cold), then what happens to those 10W? I’d like to get a very precise answer to that question, nothing vague. If I got it right the last time, your response was simply declaring that the 10W did not exist. If I got that right, then obviously that is not good enough.


        7. I don’t have time to enlighten someone that accepts conservation of heat flux (a non-existant concept in REAL physics) as a premise.

          Rhetorically you can say something is true without it being so. Think communism.

          If you’re really that curious you can buy a FLIR camera, a piece of plastic, and a thermometer, and see for yourself that your body will not get hotter.

          What I can say is that if you studied thermodynamics without any reference to climate, you would not find the silly pseudo-thermodynamics notions that come up when climate is discussed. That’s because climate “physics” is completely seperate and apart from REAL physics. Once you understand that you will never look at climate “physics” the same way.


        8. With electrical heating, the hot object would become hotter until it radiates enough to get back into equillibrium, ofc. See the “greenplate effect”. The point is simply that the cold object slows down cooling.

          So my crotch might or might not survive it at this equillibrium temperature, I don’t know. 😉 Let’s hope for the best.


        9. GM imagine if they were putting down this greenhouse effect entirely to the latent heat of evaporation/condensation of water? That would be an over-simplification also. But much less misleading than the current oversimplification. A much more useful oversimplification.


        10. Alright, Zoe, if you don’t have the time, then who can explain it to me? Not a slayer, a physicist unconcerned with the political fun and climate science.
          Can you leave a link or names and keywords?


        11. Patrick,
          There is no such thing as conservation of heat flux.

          Think about this: you have a metal bar in space with a constant heat source on one side. It’s in steady state. One side is colder than the other. Conductively the hot side does not get hotter due to the cold side preventing it from cooling even faster to space.

          Now seperate the two sides with space/vacuum. The molecules on the hot side are moving randomly (kinetic energy) and this generates EM radiation in proportion to their speed. For some reason there is a group of people that think that some of this radiation will bounce off the cold metal bar half and return back causing the molecules to move even faster. Weird huh? Mere motion created even more motion due to the original motion plus space. Wow!

          Motion couldn’t induce greater motion before when the bar was one, but now with space separating two bars, the hot side has even faster moving molecules all due to the magic of rhetoric and ideological mathematics. You see?


        12. Nobody says this “backbouncing” causes the hot plate to heat up on its own. But it cools down slower. Right? How could it not? Now add another bunch of heating power from another source and the hot plate warms. Name anyone (who is respected among peers – you claimed that non-climate scientists say it is) who disputes any of this or tell me why it is not true. Please don’t tell me again that you don’t have time since I have been waiting for a rebuttal for this for months now. Or give me a rebutable source from a respected (among peers) non-climate scientist that explains it to me.


        13. No, Patrick,
          EM radiation does not always cool the hot object. EM radiation is a function of molecular motion. “Emitting” radiation is a reflection of motion. Nothing is drained from the motion … until another piece of matter comes in view.

          The Earth does not emit ~240 W/m^2 to space and cools off. One square meter of Earth emits ~240 W/m^2 to a remote sensing satellite, and that one square meter cools.

          Space does not slow down molecular motion (Kinetic Energy). What does Newton’s 1st law say?

          EM emission is not any kind of loss of kinetic energy, unless and until other matter is encountered by view.

          Heating is strictly a resonance phenomena. The hot object will resonate with its source. And that’s as hot as it can get, EVER. It doesn’t matter what’s downstream from the hot object. Its maximum temperature is defined by the source. Period.

          Patrick, read a couple of books on thermodynamics that don’t mention climate, so you know there will be no ideological creep.


        14. Graeme M said: “Given that the heat sources in question here – geothermal and solar – are stable, the only way that the atmosphere can warm is if there is more matter.”

          No, geothermal contribution is not necessarily stable. The Earth’s molten interior moves slowly, with hotter portions possibly closer to thinner crust areas and ocean floor at some periods. NASA even published a report with correlation to global temperature (if I can find the link again).


        15. So here is the link to the NASA study, per my previous comment that the geothermal contribution is not necessarily stable.

          The researchers were Jean Dickey and Steven Marcus of NASA, and Olivier de Viron (of Paris).

          And my comments about this were posted on August 23, 2019, on
          Geothermal ocean warming discussion thread, at Judith Curry’s Climate Etc.

          in reply to Brian R Catt regarding his paper on:
          Thermal Efffects of Magma on Ocean Heating Through Ice Ages Cycles

          Liked by 1 person

      2. The sun is pretty unstable really. The solar wind is part of this, and even just thinking about light, its composition changes a lot. But let me give you an three examples to suggest to you how crude this greenhouse thinking is.

        Suppose there is a column of air that is saturated with water vapour and no clouds. That water vapour is definitely shading out a great deal of incoming infrared energy. But its got a huge amount of latent joules there. The latency means its temperature is way lower than it “ought to be” as it were. So because its temperature is low, compared to its energy, it can go on absorbing a lot of energy. And because the specific heat capacity of water vapour is greater than the air around it, it can keep that absorption process going. So its greenhouse characteristics work two ways. And while this is a case of net warming, its greenhouse characteristics are only one part of it.

        Now compare that to some CO2. Bugger all heat capacity. If a high CO2 parcel of air gets hot its going to either rise above your head or your house, and its going to radiate its energy very quickly since its not hiding latent energy.

        Now consider a third situation. Evaporation where the air is somewhat dry. Thats going to have a refrigerant effect. That parcel of air is going straight up. Maybe it will become part of a cloud. If it does thats a double refrigerant effect during the daytime.

        So here we have three alleged greenhouse gas scenarios. Ones a great warming influence. The second is virtually neutral. The third is a magnificent refrigerant. Its not that this greenhouse story is completely wrong in every last aspect. But its made everyone stupid about climate. The stupidity is only just showing signs of lifting, and mostly from the influence of outsiders.


        1. AllHow do any of these things concern how much energy is lost to outer space?
          Why do we care about how energy is stored/pushed around in the atmosphere when talking about how much energy is inside the system?
          Ofc these things have some relevance in the details, but why do they matter in the grand scheme of things?


      3. “Why do we care about how energy is stored/pushed around in the atmosphere when talking about how much energy is inside the system?”

        Its a very odd question isn’t it Patrick? Isn’t that a bit like Hillary Clinton saying “What difference does it make?” From the point of view of reverence for science, truth and so forth its a bit of a nihilistic question isn’t it? We have a banker oligarchy of parasites, outlawing aether, trying to put electricity in a box, lying about climate science by way of carrots and sticks. Its a crime to apply political pressure to distort science. We should have these dynasts heads at the end of sticks. But they are doing these things for even bigger crimes. To keep super-high profits on our hydro-carbon paternity and to control us as slaves.

        To ask a question of this sort is to confess a lack of interest in science and the natural world. Well thats fine. So why are you commenting. It means you have a political interest and you are putting it ahead of what little interest in science you have.

        But I’m probably taking you the wrong way. There may be more to your question than meets the eye. What exactly are you trying to say here? I’m saying that energy is coming into the atmosphere in more than one form. So its not good enough to simply estimate the light going in and out. Because there is more to it than that. If electrical energy accumulates in the stratosphere that won’t show up in your calculations. If pristine energy is being created, along with pristine matter, at the centre of the earth, this won’t show up just be analysing the light.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I guess this is why I didn’t get science at school… I still don’t see your point. The average atmospheric temperature depends on the mass of GHGs. You agree with that, I think. So adding GHGs must raise the temperature. I see you have some other posts about how the radiative greenhouse gas effect is a fraud, but while you might be able to show that the calculated extent of the effect is more or less incorrect, I don’t see why that invalidates the physical fact. As far as I can see, the only ways the air can get warmer than space is from conduction and radiation from a heat source. So, the more GHGs, the warmer the air. I’ll leave it there cos I am just wasting your time now. Great site and I will read through all your posts for the extra insights you offer me.


    1. (5-10% of the spectrum that CO2 absorbs) * (0.0004 * air density) / (surface density) = almost ZERO

      The air gets mostly heated by conduction and convection.

      This does not raise the temperature of the source.


    2. Ah, nice. The discussion has moved on. Anyway, let’s see what happens now. Zoe and I have almost no common denominator, so discussing anything complex is – well, challenging. ^^


  9. Zoe, I’m a little confused by your comment about its temperature that causes pressure. Gravity works on the mass in the atmosphere. The sun (and geothermic heat) provide the energy to lift the atmosphere from the surface of the earth. Its a battle. The earth’s gravity is such that the earth is a closed system, more or less. Meteors can add mass from the outside. We send rockets out of earths orbit, very slightly decreasing the earth’s mass. In general, the earth loses heat from photons leaving though radiative transfer. The ideal gas laws give us the relationship between pressure and temperature. Volume is a bit tricky as the atmosphere can expand and contract. I don’t think you can say pressure causes temperature of temperature causes pressure. Its simultaneous. Its the combined forces of gravity, radiation from the sun and heat from the earths’ furnace, the mass of the atmosphere, etc that combine to cause the earths surface temperature and the lapse rate. The problem with the CO2 alarmist is that they want to argue that a very small change in atmospheric mass causes big changes in temperature and pressure. It is amazing to me that their are scientists that think our surface temperature is strictly a function of radiative forces.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good comment.

      “I don’t think you can say pressure causes temperature or temperature causes pressure. Its simultaneous.”

      Let’s turn off geothermal and solar. The gases become solids, and they fall onto current surface. Those “gas” solids are still exerting a pressure because they have mass and gravity is still at play. Hmm, so we have pressure, but there is no atmosphere. What’s missing? Thermal energy! Temperature.


      1. Lets drop solar and keep geothermal. I definitely agree that the atmosphere collapses to the surface. We see this at the poles during winter. The question is what is the earth’s surface temperature. THe geothermal forces would still be at work. Glactic cosmic rays hitting the earth would increase dramatically without the protection of the solar winds. Volcanic activity would increase dramatically, releasing heat. Heat would try and rise. Would the oceans freeze? Who knows. All plant and animal life would disappear fairly quickly. Its not easy to work through the general equilibrium effects of such a thought experiment. I like to take the world as it is, which is hard enough. The so-called greenhouse effect is poorly named and can not be isolated from all of the different ways heat can transfer. THe key question that has confused so many people is: what is the impact of a .04% increase in CO2 concentration from .04% to .08%. Its a 3rd order effect, which can be basically ignored in calculating surface temperatures. The “it traps heat crowd” need to spend more time thinking through the general equilibrium effects.


  10. I have heard this false factiod before re Sagan. But i don’t understand how you can claim a prediction, after something has already been directly measured & predicted by others – the Soviets , Velikovsky etc. Classic case yet again of Sagan claiming others ideas as his own. Like a bevy of other post 1905 celebrity abstractionists he was more focused on PR celibrity science puthy remarks and image confection than real work (cf Elon Musk for contemp example – seriously). Ego driven intellectual celebrity, spending more time paraphrasing other’s insights to rebrand as their ‘own’.

    Just saw this Visigothkhan:

    “Thats retrospective propaganda. It was his opponent Velikovsky who suggested that Venus would be really hot.”

    Spot on.


    1. No, not yet. That would be really neat.
      I think they are. We know it’s not solar or GH effect. Those things are too globally spread and mostly uniform. Geothermal is a wild beast. People like to model it with a uniform assumption, but that is a mistake.

      I hope to eventually model/describe all of Earth’s dynamics within a proper framework, if possible.

      Thank you


  11. Hi Zoe,
    A couple of observations on geothermal heat, at or near ground level, which you might find useful for further thought or research.
    Firstly, a historical one. Victorian Head gardeners would have been well aware of “Ground Heat” or “Terrestrial Radiation”. The fruit tree breeder and nurseryman Thomas Rivers, wrote that fragile plants and fruit trees in pots could be protected from cold Victorian winters, either outdoors, or in an unheated greenhouse, by laying them down on the bare earth, covering them with a “Common painted Table-Cover” or oilcloth, then covering that with about 12 inches of dry hay or straw. The root ball, and tender buds would happily survive being covered with snow and frost from November to March if required. He wrote that specimens kept covered up on the bare earth in an unheated greenhouse did better than in a heated greenhouse “A thermometer placed among the trees (covered, on the bare earth) registered 33 degrees F (+0.55 C), while one suspended in the house registered 21 degrees F (-6.1 Degrees C)”
    My comment on this is that River’s method of Oilcloth and straw insulation on top of the plants is preventing geothermal heat from the ground being lost due to convection and radiation.
    Quotes from “The Orchard House”, 1879 edition.
    Fast forward over 100 years to today. Consider the smaller scale Ground source heat pumps which use a coil of pipe, not far below the soil surface, which are used to extract heat. The conventional wisdom is that they are replenished with heat from the sun. However, a 2012 paper indicates that insulating the top of the pipes with a layer of mashed up rubber vehicle tires, improves the efficiency of the system. If the heat is arriving from the sun, how would insulating the pipes from the top layer of sun heated soil improve the efficiency? If there is an improvement, this suggests there is more heat coming from below than above. I understand the argument that this helps winter heat extraction, when the near-surface soil is cold, but this would also prevent the soil below being “recharged” with heat by the sun? – Something here doesn’t instinctively make sense, unless the major source of heat is deep geothermal.
    The layer of tire mush is doing the same as Thomas Rivers oilcloth and straw. Preventing the loss of geothermal heat. I haven’t read the paper, as I don’t want to fork out the cash, and wouldn’t understand the mathematics anyway, but hope these comments are of further use to someone else. See ref.23,
    “Ground source heat pump pipe performance with Tire Derived Aggregate”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. First enlightenment of the mind before one can act.
    (Meaning: if one would act wise, one first must known oneself and more, maybe. (I think of the Highest.))
    I hope you would read this message as it is meant to be written: with concern. (I do hate tó ‘big’ words.)
    (It is possible, that you now may ask yourself; ‘What has this to do with the temperature of and on and in the earth?’. Answer; It has nothing to do with that, but I write such things sometimes to people.)
    This is what I learned; the mind is most important. First things first.
    Why do I comment like I do? Because in this rare times it is important ( and ‘nice’ ) to know thyself.
    During studying (seeking) ‘what is (causes) gravitation?’ (seeking for ~20 years minimal), my pad also crossed such ‘wisdom’ of Jesus, Buddha, and others (Plato).
    For ‘g’ I still don’t know the answer yet, I think, but such other knowledge is also, in my opinion, important. Please, if you are unfamiliar with the mind, study that matter first.

    ( And I do see what you mean. Sounds o.k. to me. Earth is warm. )

    (Ik schrijf dit overal in het Nederlands, maar ik dacht, ik probeer het eens in het Engels. Hope it is readable.)

    AntiSoof 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dear Zoe, is it possible that the table with results is incomplete, as It seems that the average values calculated from these columns do not compare with the average values quoted in the summary line at the bottom of the table.


  14. Could you share the way you’ve done the area-weighing and (briefly) explain why area-weighing is needed? One would expect that area-weighing is automatically taken care of by latitude. Sorry me asking, but I like to understand how the global CSR is/can be obtained (indirectly as in this blog and/or even beter directly measured) because it is obviously one of the cornerstones in your approach, which I (BTW) like very much.


    1. Because the area between degrees 0 and 1 is much greater than 89 and 90. Since we are interested in a global surface average, we have to take area differences into account.

      The value I get for global upwelling is in accordance with known surface average temperature (~15C).


  15. If you say getting a global upwelling value in accordance with known surface average temperature, I do belief you. But beter still is to remain transparent, as we got to know you, and include all there is, i.e. the need for and the math used leading to the end result, so we (supporters) will be able to understand the whole process and advocate your approach with confidence. Don’t let this slip towards the category of Ideological Mathematics and make belief.


  16. How is the formula geo = ulwrf – (dswrf – uswrf) + lhtfl + shtfl justified? I mean you just solved for the unknown part of in and out coming flux and called it geothermal emission… So it is not a measurement, as you claim it, but just the algebraic solution of how much energy flux is missing to yield thermal equilibrium.

    Anyway. These geothermal gradients are not telling you what you think they do. They only show that if you have 0°C on the surface then you get a gradient that looks like that. They are not claiming that the earth is heating the surface to 0°C. It is also important to note that the 0°C is a convention and could easily be ±30°C as long as it is at a different magnitude than the scale of the axis.


    1. Pebbles,
      You’re outside. You have the sun shining on a pan filled with water on top of a hot plate. The water gets to a certain temperature, and it’s way above what the sun can make it alone. You’re only allowed to the difference is coming from the atmosphere. Under no circumstances are you allowed to think that the hot plate does anything.

      So you think Earth’s core can’t produce 0C huh?


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