The Steel Greenhouse Ruse

Amateur scientist Willis Eschenbach developed a thought experiment to demonstrate how the greenhouse effect “works”:

It’s been refuted many times before, but I’ll make it even simpler.

The main claim is that the outer shell’s presence will force the inner core to warm up and radiate twice as much compared to no shell at all.

We start with 235 W/m² emerging from core and going to shell. I’ll use an inner and outer surface area of 1, and consider what is going on every second to make things simple.

235 Joules emerges from the core in the 1st second and goes to the shell . Willis reminds us:

In order to maintain its thermal equilibrium, the whole system must still radiate 235 W/m² out to space.

However … the first thing Willis does is break this rule, and sends 235 J back to the core. Nothing to space.

Now a new 235 J emerges in the 2nd second from the core which gets added with the 235 J that’s coming back from the shell from the 1st second.

The core now sends 470 J to shell. This 470 J now gets split into 235 J back to core and 245 J to space.

Second 3 and on just repeats. So you see what he did there? By violating a rule, he gets to cycle in an extra 235 J every second.

There’s a more accurate variation where the rule is violated several times but with less offending Joules each cycle. It goes like this:

Second 1: 235 core->shell, 117.5 shell->core, 117.5 -> space
Second 2: 352.5 core->shell, 176.25 shell->core, 176.25 -> space
Second 3: 411.25 ... 205.625 ... 205.625
Second 4: 440.625 ... 220.3125 ... 220.3125
Second 5: 455.3125 ... 227.65625 ... 227.65625
Second X: 470 ... 235 ... 235

I think you get the idea. I wrote a program to do all this, here. The first variation is easier to describe. Here’s some fun satire to illustrate the main point:

Imagine you’re the head manager of a sugar factory.

Every minute, a bag filled with 235 grams of sugar slides down a chute and lands in a basket. You take this bag and walk across the factory to place it inside a truck for later delivery.

You’ve been trying to figure out how to cheaply increase your production for a while now, and one day you finally got a great idea …

You decide to place a table at a halfway point between basket and truck.

In the first minute of implementing your great idea, you move the bag from basket to table. You decide not to then carry the bag to the truck, but back to the basket. You drop the bag in the basket a second before a new bag comes down the chute. When that new bag drops in the basket, and you see two bags, you say to yourself: “I’m a genius! I just doubled production!”.

You now carry two bags to the table. Then one bag to the truck, and one bag back to the basket. You then repeat this over and over.

You convince yourself that seeing two bags in the basket and carrying it to the table means that you’ve doubled production. The proof is self-evident. Congratulations!

Unfortunately not everyone agreed with you. Many thought you are crazy. So you fired them and hired those that agreed with you. You wanted consensus, and you got it!

Now I’m going to illustrate the greenhouse gas fallacy in the most primitive way, using only 2 water molecules:


We’re at second 0, before any greenhouse magic begins, so the shell is still at 0 J, but the nuclear core is at 235 J. The intensity of motion represents the amount of energy present.

Energy is in fact motion. The universe has only two things: things and motion of them. I’m excluding space.

Willis (and all greenhouse gas junkies in general) believe that energy is just like matter, and you can pass it back to where it came from to have more of it.

What Willis et al end up doing is adding motion to existing motion to intensify motion. They believe this is science, but it’s actually a false philosophy.

Philosophy – core vibrates at twice the intensity


In actual science, we know that the max energy into a system is the max energy THROUGHOUT the system. But in Willis’ philosophy, you can create a feedback loop that causes more energy (motion) somewhere in the system, but it’s all fine as long as just the final output (to space) obeys conservation of energy in regard to original input. This is completely false. Conservation of energy must be followed at every boundary.

Science – shell achieves vibrational resonance with core


In reality, the shell will just come to resonate with the core. There will never be a molecule that vibrates more intensely than what the original energy supplied into the system allows.

This is all just 220 year old basic science. Hopefully, climate scientists might learn some basic experimental thermodynamics rather than relying on a falsified thought experiment.

Summary: You can’t make something vibrate more vigorously by confining it with another thing vibrating at an equal or lower rate.

Enjoy 🙂 -Zoe

Published by Zoe Phin

34 thoughts on “The Steel Greenhouse Ruse

  1. After 11 years, is Willis still comfortable with his clamorously failed gedankenexperiment ? If yes, this is the most unbelievable part in my view. Thought experiments should be banned – they must be a mean for stupidity to enter into the DNA of the thinker.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be a climate scientist with credentials, you must believe in the GH effect. You must. If you don’t have credentials, you must suck up to those that do, otherwise they won’t take you seriously. That’s what we’re seeing here. The lunatics are running the asylum, and the guards just go along with it.

      If you don’t agree, you will be ridiculed. Some are brave enough to not care, others are like Willis.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 10 meter diameter sphere has surface area of 314.16 square meters and volume of 523.6 cubic meters and hemisphere as 1/2 of this: 157.08 square meter and 261.8 cubic meter.
    If had 1 meter thick ice which say is 1000 kg and made hemisphere with inside diameter of 9 meter
    and outside diameter of 11 meter, it have would have 157.08 cubic meter and have at 1 gee weight of 157.08 tons
    And if instead 1 meter it was 4 cm thick: 157.08 / 25 = 6.2832 cubic meter.

    There are clear plastics with density of around 1 {water’s density}
    Say had 10 meter diameter hemisphere was clear plastic, say High-density polyethylene: .95 which was 4 cm {1.575″] thick and have mass of about 6 ton or weigh about 2372 kg [5229.4 lbs] on Mars.
    Mars atmosphere at surface has about 1/60th the density of air and less than 1/100th of Earth air pressure.
    Or Mars surface atmosphere is about .02 per cubic meter and it’s air pressure .095 psi

    The scheme, put a 10 meter diameter hemisphere on Mars with volume 261 cubic meter.
    261 times .02 per cubic meter = 5.22 kg. And add 5.22 kg of oxygen, giving an absolute pressure of .19 psi
    or .095 psig. And density of .04 kg per cubic meter.

    The amount of square inches with 10 meter diameter area is 121,736.37 square inches and times .095 =
    11,564.95 pounds of force, and plastic dome has the mars weight of 5229.4 lbs.
    It seems need add some weight or anchor the dome if want make internal air pressure be .095 psig.
    Prep area for dome:
    Make hole about 8 meter diameter and level ground 2 meters around the hole. Total volume of hole will be 50
    cubic meter when 3″ below the level surface- average depth about 1 meter deep. Oh, also make trench and put 1 meter diameter pipe with entrance outside and inside the hemisphere. And then back fill and cover horizonal pipe so and have pipe go up with two access door {one outside and one inside.
    Place dome on level ground with the hole in middle. Then fill hole with 50 cubic meters of water.
    Now, at night, dome should be cooling down, if dome is cooler than 0 C, and spray the inside with water, water will freeze.
    And spraying water [at 1 C] on dome, will warm the dome- mostly from latent heat of freezing.
    Or if spray enough water on inside of dome, one should be able to prevent the outside of dome from reaching, say -10 C.
    But also with the more ice added, one is adding insulation, or at some thickness of ice, the outside part of dome could get cooler than -10 C.
    Plan is add enough ice to make dome weight more than 11,564.95 Mars pounds. The plastic already is 5229.4 lbs
    11,564.95 – 5229.4 = 6,335.55. And since the 4 cm thick plastic weighs as much as water. If made ice inside the dome say, 10 cm {4″} thick that should be more than enough.
    Now would like to add more than 10 cm of ice during the night as some it could melt during the day {and could have additional water vapor pressure which could enough to escape dome due to lack weight of the dome- so perhaps 15 cm of water would be better- if there enough cooling during night.

    Of course another aspect is once get dome thickness to say 30 cm thickness and add more than .095 psig, one could get a “runaway greenhouse effect” to use term of global warming cargo cult.
    Or “plan” is adding even more water so pit has the 50 cubic meter or water and tens of tons of water as ice on the inside of dome
    AND see if make it so the pool of water doesn’t have it’s surface water freeze at night. And if it doesn’t have it’s surface freeze at night- one might grow plants in the dome.

    What type disasters await such a plan?


    1. I see what you’re doing here. A greenhouse powered biodome without external energy source. The failure of the GH effect will expose the fraud. Unfortunately, climate scammers will correctly point out that there will be conductive heat transfer horizontally, and angled vertical radiation to the surface. They will blame the lack of heat up on that.


      1. Ice 2.18 W(meter K)
        Concrete, stone 1.7 W(m/K)
        Earth, dry 1.5 W(m/K)
        Granite 1.7 – 4.0 W(m/K)
        Gravel 0.7 W(m/K)
        Ground or soil, very moist area 1.4 W(m/K)
        Ground or soil, moist area 1.0 W(m/K)
        Ground or soil, dry area 0.5 W(m/K)
        Ground or soil, very dry area 0.33 W(m/K)

        So conduction of ground is horizonal and at most to meter depth
        10 meter diameter circumference is 31.4159 and 1 meter depth 31.4159 square meter

        Dome has 157.08 square meter and each square meter conducts more heat than smaller area
        of 31.4159 square meter. And the 50 cubic meter of water will warm ground around quite a bit.
        Or Mars low average temperature and few meter of top of surface might have ground less than
        -40 C. When add the water water could be 5 C and assume going lose water and heat to the
        ground and cool from such heat conduction loss. And when going spray water night, assume water
        will have cooled to about 1 C {or need liquid to spray it]. Or night and spray, there already be some
        heat gradient spreading downward and horizontally from pool of across the ground.
        And ground will be average temperature and night reaching coldest temperature.
        So end of night where put on 10 to 15 cm of ice on dome, if looking with IR what does around the
        dome look like?
        It seems dome is brightest, and ground near dome perimeter is warmer near it as compare a meter from it.
        And if look under ground it look like flatten 11 meter diameter hemisphere but right below pool it extends the deeper-
        So 11 meter would be 5.5 meter flatten 4 meter deep, under middle of pool 5 meter below the bottom of pool..

        Or roughly around volume of dome: 261.8 cubic meter or Mars regolith.
        And for fun we figure initial heat sink of around 40 C of Mars regolith and assume something like
        Concrete, stone 1.7 W(m/K) and specific heat of Concrete 880 or Granite 790 joules/kg/K
        Density: concrete: 2,400 granite 2700 kg per cubic meter
        Concrete cubic meter: 880 x 2,400 = 1,920,000 joules per k
        Granite: 790 x 2700 = 2,133,000 and averaged 2,026,500 joules per K. Or 2 million Joules
        262 x 2 million is 524 joules per k
        1 cubic meter of water 4200 joules kg or 4.2 million joules
        50 cubic meter of water 210 million joules per K if cooled by ground by 4 K: 840 million joules.
        Now gets complicated if pour water into basically a dirt hole- I will lose water- could liner in it
        but didn’t {maybe should use liner}. water going soak in “dirt” and at some point water could freeze-
        which gives something like a liner. Also permafrost and experience I had as kid frozen dirt ice expands-
        and don’t if like of my “foundation” of dome being near dirt turning into permafrost.
        But I was thinking I would lose less than 10 cubic meter of water to the dirt, and for fun, say 5 cubic meters.
        Hmm, to not do liner, I think pool will only hold 25 cubic meter of water- not steep walls and maybe 1.5 meter
        deep in middle- lose 5 cubic meter to mud and making “permafrost”- say wild guess of 1/2 cubic meter to “permafrost”
        which gives me heat, 500 kg and 334,000 joules per kg: 167 million joules.
        So lose about 75 cubic meter water to dirt and ice on inside of dome and be left 25 cubic meter in pool at 1 C
        and total used 100 cubic meter of water at 5 C
        Ground gets 167 million joules making ice, and 1680 million joules the 100 cubic meter cooling to about 1 C,
        which then spray on dome {1 degree and latent heat lost to heating dome.
        167 + 1680 = 1,847 million joule
        1,847 million joule / 524 joules per k would be 3.5248 K
        So further away distance might warm -40 C ground to -39 C ground a meter away permafrost line to mud might could be somewhere around -20 C”. If so, I don’t think I have problem with foundation.
        And it seems at night when everything around -70 C the dome outside surface could around -30 to -40 C
        And have surface water of pond warmer than 1 C.
        If instead it was say 15 C, that is what could call a runaway greenhouse. But having air at 15 C during day, I would say is a runaway greenhouse.
        And if have such low pressure and/or density as twice or even 5 times Mars air density 5 C or 15 C air is not going warm or cool a person much. but it is a vacuum- a person can’t live in the vacuum even with air mask- you need 2 1/2 psi for that. And .095 times 5 is .475 psi. But a plant is not mammal, in it might be able to live- if doesn’t freeze. And living plants would also be heat source, but air would not cool them much or plants would lose much heat to the air.


        1. “A dome would also scatter a lot of sunlight away. That’s why biodomes never took off. Flat surface is best.”

          Domes are structurally strong, though they could be hard to make.

          Got anything against cylinders?
          And pretty easy to make.
          10 meter diameter and 2 meter high with flat roof: 10 meter diameter disk with twice wall thickness as walls.
          Would be about the same. Not sure work well on Earth, but with low gravity of Mars it probably work.
          Hmm, ah, sticking the ice to it, wouldn’t work.

          “Guinness World Records has just confirmed that the Iglu-Dorf building crew (Switzerland), supported by Volvo, has built the Largest dome igloo (snow) ever in Zermatt, Switzerland, measuring an impressive 10.5 m tall, with a vast internal diameter of 12.9 m (42 ft 4 in).”

          And I guess an older world record in Feb 2011

          {Notice the light levels it ]

          “The largest icedome in the world with a span of 30 meters is ready.
          The Pykrete Dome was build by students of Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands, together with friends, family, and with enormous support from the community of Juuka, Finland.”

          So sprayed water used & whatever Pykrete is:
          Pykrete is a frozen ice alloy, originally made of approximately 14 percent sawdust or some other form of wood pulp (such as paper) and 86 percent ice by weight (6 to 1 by weight).”
          Yeah, they wanted to make an aircraft carrier out of it:

          Largest domes from various material:

          Anyhow, since using ice {and would be transparent ice rather than snow}
          only a hemispheric shape could work.


  3. “To be a climate scientist with credentials, you must believe in the GH effect. You must. If you don’t have credentials, you must suck up to those that do, otherwise they won’t take you seriously. That’s what we’re seeing here. The lunatics are running the asylum, and the guards just go along with it.

    If you don’t agree, you will be ridiculed. Some are brave enough to not care, others are like Willis.”

    It sounds depressing….but truth must come to surface, sooner or later. What’s your guess on “when”…? At 58, all things seem to indicate that I won’t have enough time 🙂
    Good news is … your are much younger.

    Thanks for your great articles.


    1. I’m 35 years old, and not in a position of influence. My hope is to influence the youth.

      Thank you for spreading my links far and wide. Keep doing it! If you can 🙂


    2. “It sounds depressing….”
      In terms of science rather than state of world, which different topic {but to the moment all good news- peace, rising equality, etc, etc} but in terms science what matters is does it predict {the or a future}.
      One could ask a question, according to the “greenhouse effect theory”, can greenhouse gases cause us to leave our
      present Ice Age?
      I would say the extreme position of believer of “greenhouse effect theory” who have some understanding of the religious doctrine, say that greenhouse gases could delay the outset of entering a glaciation period by 75,000 years.
      Or in other words, the answer is no, greenhouse gases can cause us to leave our current Ice Age, as it can only extend for very long time {and it’s quite unreasonable guess it would extend it by 75,000 years].
      Or idea Earth could get close to being like Venus is just straight delirium. And idea Earth could return to past periods
      of warmer global climates {when not in a Ice Age} is simply unrealistic. Or all talking about in term outer extremes is having a much, much longer interglacial period- then returning freezing hell.
      But in terms of “greenhouse effect theory” it has not predicted anything accurately.
      Though believers could say it’s not “precise” enough and needs to be “developed” before one expect
      to to predict anything. Which why I call it, a cargo cult. If it can’t predict anything, it’s utter garbage, want to waste
      their time on “developing” and decades have already been wasted doing this to no improvement. And predictable
      that none is forthcoming. Airplanes may show up, but not actually related to the cargo cult’s rituals and efforts.
      Some could claim, we kept the hope alive, or some such nonsense,
      Real science can tell where Mercury will be in future. Or whether a detected space rock going to hit earth and kill everyone on Earth. Or how much A and B chemicals to add to get C chemical. One can get results, other going to some altar and making sacrifice to curry favor of gods. Or say the rights words to get governmental grant money- same thing.
      Anyhow if someone tell me what going happen to a dome on Mars, I am interested in entertaining their guesses.

      So, assume Mars has far less geothermal heat than Earth {say 1/2 or less}. It gets average of 600 watts of sunlight during daytime {because it has thin atmosphere- though one the angle of sunlight, but point at Sun, get average of 600 watts {and dome kind of sort of “always points at sun”- turning it makes no difference, lifting one end or other could be a bit help {not doing that}. And basically you in vacuum. And have a 24 hour day.


  4. I think water in pond will warm to about 15 C, but will not boil due to high level a partial pressure of water vapor. Or I have H20 on the dome and on surface of pool.
    According wiki, 15 C has partial pressure of 0.0168 psi
    Twice Mars pressure is .19 psi so with the water vapor pressure about .2 psi absolute and about .19 psig
    If ice on dome melts, loses weight and one loses the air pressure in dome.
    Don’t think 15 C pool temperature going melt the ice in dome, rather tend to think ice will build up, more ice built up
    on dome will cause less warming of pool.

    Or it aligns my my bias that one cover Mars tropics with water {lots of lakes}, the water should cooler than 15 C, and one would not have “much” evaporation of water from each lake
    And one can live in lakes on Mars.
    And one can heat lakes with nuclear energy waste heat, have a warmer lake water, and a bit more loss of water from evaporation {but we have lots evaporation of water {of lakes or anything] on Earth, and likewise isn’t a problem if
    Mars water is a low enough cost/price. But Mars water not likely to become as cheap as water on Earth {in the first several decades of living on Mars- probably in such time periods, remain higher than 10 times Earth water prices.
    And like on Earth, they consider ways lower lake reservoir water loss from evaporation, one perhaps can do such things with Mars lakes.


  5. Hello Zoe,
    I am just an amateur, following the climate and related physical discussions on different websites. What I strive for is a model, like you propose, that I can understand follwing simple physical equations. When I look at the definition here, and on the other models als presented here – there is one thing I miss: These models are open.
    Means, earth, atmosphere exchange their energy with – whom?
    In the Eschbach model here, I would imagine a 3rd box or sphere which reflects the interaction with the sun, and maybe the rest of the universe very helpful. especially when it comes to energy converation. This is not about the calculations, it is on the visualitations. Maybe the box has to be around sun and earth, showing their interactions inside, and with the “Rest or the Universe”, to make the picture complete, and argue with energy flows and conservation. This is just an idea, on what I miss to understand that topic better. maybe you can make something out of it.
    Great work You do!


    1. Unless there’s induction, it doesn’t really matter. There is little thermal interaction beyond Sun, Earth, Moon trio. A system that is 99.999% closed may as well be 100% closed.


  6. The problem is the equilibrium point, isn’t it?
    Either the system is at equilibrium, or not.
    If it is not, then let the system get back to equilibrium before claiming it is at equilibrium.

    The traditional cilmate graphic in this link halfway down, show the earth at absolute Zero, I think, doesn’t it?
    The only radiation coming from the earth is re-transmitted heat, no endogenous heat from 288K or whatever.


    1. Heat emitted from a body can return and make the body hotter still? Sounds like fiction. Not a single proper experiment shows that CO2 can have such an effect. There is a reason why Al Gore and Bill Nye had to cheat


    2. “The problem is the equilibrium point, isn’t it?”
      And the question is why does it change.

      Our current Earth spends most of the time in glaciation period {a different equilibrium] and we presently in an interglacial period {which duration is about 20,000 years or about 1/5 of durations of glaciation periods]}.

      Our oceans hold about 1000 times more heat than our atmosphere per degree of temperature.

      Though one talk about equilibrium points- and ocean is biggest equilibrium point .
      One could also include tropical ocean surface as an equilibrium point- tropical ocean absorbs the most amount sunlight, it’s air temperature is most warmest in terms average temperature [it’s warm because it has higher and more uniform temperature. And tropical ocean remains near a constant state during glaciation and interglacial Or it’s 60% of rest of world which has larger changes in terms of it’s equilibrium.

      The problem or question is why does our cold ocean change. Why does vast amounts energy be absorbed and also vast amounts are lost.

      Our present world is in an Ice Age, and it’s due to a cold ocean. The ocean’s temperature is about 3.5 C, in warmest parts of interglacial period it may to up to about 5 C and in coldest times cool below 2 C.
      The heat content of ocean of 1 degree, is equal to entire atmosphere being 1000 K.
      During our interglacial period before the present interglacial {which call Holocene interglacial] the ocean has been determined to warmer than 4 C, perhaps as warm are 5 C.

      The last interglacial period, Eemian


    3. There’s nothing thermodynamic about an equilibrium point. Even if the Earth’s surface was a thousand degrees (it was a star), it would still contain a place very high up in its atmosphere where it was cold and energy from the sun matched energy from the Earth. This location tells you nothing about why it’s so hot below. Cold can never explain hot. Cold is just downstream from hot. Climate scammers merely use anti-physics mathematics for cold to lift itself by its bootstraps to “become” hot.


      1. I misunderstood it because it makes no sense does it?
        I think I’d made a picture of a bomb in my head which re-equilibrizes when it explodes ?


  7. Thought experiments re surface temp of Earth with variables

    Scenario A

    1. Earth 100% albedo/reflective, starts at 0 K
    2. No Geothermal heating
    3. Sunshine
    4. Transparent inert (no specific heat) atmosphere, made of 100% CO2 with IR capability

    A billion years later –
    Earth still 0 K
    All the sunlight was reflected from shiny Earth
    CO2 no effect because reflected sunlight not IR wavelength
    Even if CO2 did capture IR and down-well, Earth still 0K because it just re-reflects the IR back again, endless weird loop.
    No heating.

    Scenario B

    1. Earth 100% absorbent Black Body (BB); starts at 0 K
    2. No Geothermal heating
    3. Sunshine
    4. Transparent, inert atmosphere, no CO2

    Billion years later –
    Earth heated, steady temp.
    By black body absorption, slow heating of earth, then Black Body IR re radiation, earth has heated up and reached an equilibrium temp. This temp is governed by Energy of sunlight in = energy of BB radiation out and specific heat of the earth.

    Scenario C

    1. Earth 100% absorbent BB: starts at 0 K
    2. No Geothermal
    3. Sunshine
    4. Transparent, inert atmosphere composed of 100% CO2 with IR absorption/readmission capability

    Billion years later –
    Earth same final temp as in B.
    The CO2 ‘Greenhouse Effect’ is real, but does not affect the final equilibrium temp of the earth’s surface, which is governed by sunlight in = BB radiation out (at least in Scenario C, excluding Geothermal).
    The CO2 IR feedback loop has made this temp be reached quicker.
    The Greenhouse effect simply speeds up the equilibrating process.

    Start adding other variables to get other situations.
    1. Geothermal
    2. Atmospheric effects ? (I haven’t worked this out)
    BB / Grey body / Specific Heat of Atmosphere
    Pressure/Temp differential between Earth surface and TOA

    But the surface temp of the earth is only ever governed by Heat in = Heat out, once equilibrium is reached ? And possibly some atmospheric effects such as pressure/temp gradient (? – don’t know).
    And the earth never started at 0K because of Geothermal Energy. In fact it cooled down to it’s current temp.

    I think the NASA picture of “Earth’s Energy Budget” is woolly unfinished confusion because theirs is a picture of a system clearly NOT in equilibrium – which of course is what they need to show global warming. It is persuasion by confusion.

    As Willis correctly says at the top, Energy flows need to match.
    The NASA energy budget breaks pic that rule, it is not in equilibrium. It then calls that rule-breaking “Global Warming”. What they need to do is run the algorithm. This would re-equilibrize the system at the original temp with no global warming.

    (There is a situation where the NASA pictogram might be true, ie, where the earth has not yet reached it’s equilibrium temperature. But that differential would not be caused by CO2 but simply by the fact that the energy system had not yet achieved equilibrium,and was in the middle of a rebalancing itself. This is not the case on earth otherwise the earth would have been heating up towards that equilibrium point for millions of years.)

    NASA ‘Earth Budget’ diagram below.
    The TOA flux values are 0.6 W/m2 different. So are the earth’s surface flux values.
    This diagram actually shows CO2 BLOCKING 0.6 W/M2 to create the global warming effect.

    This is deliciously persuasive because it is so complicated that mere plebs can never understand what the Climate Change Gurus are saying. What the profs are not doing is running the 0.6w/m2 over more time.

    This pic is simply a measurement of heat exchange over 1 second (the Watts) after pumping in lots of CO2 into the model to ‘block’ IR at the bottom of the atmosphere. Even that is wrong since my guess is the TOA would still be radiating at the old full rate from the top, probably creating weird weather in between. If the profs did run the calcs over time, it might create some local climate variations short-term, but longer-term the heat flux from surface to TOA would re-establish to what it was before, because it has to reach equilibrium. Heat out can’t be more than heat in. Earths climate and surface is governed by energy inputs from Geo and Sunlight, and poss some atmospheric stuff.

    I haven’t worked out how or if the surface temp is affected by the atmosphere, BB/Grey body/Temp&Pressure/Specific Heat effects. But this is nothing to do with CO2 and IR actions in my view.


    1. –Scenario A

      1. Earth 100% albedo/reflective, starts at 0 K
      2. No Geothermal heating
      3. Sunshine
      4. Transparent inert (no specific heat) atmosphere, made of 100% CO2 with IR capability–

      There are surfaces which are near 100% reflective to certain or wide spectrum of electromagnetic radiation.
      But don’t think there something reflective to entire spectrum of our sun- else, it would great insulation, which
      important in space vacuum, and not heard of it. Most common reflective surfaces used is Aluminum {Mylar} and silver. And btw quartz over silver has lowest temperature in sunlight in vacuum, it’s somewhere around -40 C, don’t have reference handy, but it’s much lower than glossy white paint. But silver all by itself would get pretty warm- and how quartz over silver “work” is quartz emits more, and cools the silver surface under the transparent quartz. also called, OSR:
      “OSRs work because the cover has a very high emissivity, and the metalized reflector … Quartz over silver”

      Next question is where is it reflective. Earth is mostly reflective because transparent gases can reflect, similar to transparent water can reflect. Clouds reflect because they are droplets of water. But clouds don’t reflect most of global sunlight, though more than say snow on the ground. Though if had large part of Earth surface, snow, then the snow would reflect a significant amount of sunlight.
      Mars has 95% of it’s atmosphere CO2, the thin near vacuum Mars which has total mass of 25 trillion tons, and about 26 times more CO2 than earth has per square meter. And roughly Mars has no greenhouse effect.
      If Mars had say 200 trillion tons of nitrogen added to it {or oxygen or any other non greenhouse gas] then “people” would imagine it would have a greenhouse effect.
      Or if removed all earth gases which were not greenhouse gases, Earth would have no greenhouse effect. And it would be near vacuum “atmosphere”- far closer to vacuum than Mars.


    2. There’s no accumulation of 0.6 W/m^2 over time.
      Makes no sense. Think about it:

      0.6 W/m^2 * 10 seconds = (60 Joules)/(10 Seconds) / m^2

      Heat fluxes don’t tell you any thing about temperature.

      Two hot objects can come to thermal equilbrium.
      Two cold objects can come to thermal equilibrium.
      Heat flux is now zero in both cases, and yet if you didn’t know the temperature, you could never figure it out.

      Fluxes don’t determine temperatures, ever. Difference in temperatures determine fluxes.

      Temperature will always be based on energy, and never a difference of energies (heat).


      1. Well, the whole climate thing, is about explaining different temperatures that Earth has had.
        Or daily weather causes different temperatures at small region, put such variation occurs in bigger regions and extending globally. Or figuring out what effect {if any} of CO2 increases would easy, if not for “natural variation”.
        And basically large scale {global} changes are mostly about “ocean circulation” as are small regional changes.

        Another example is stuff like Urban Heat island effect, which mostly about increases local night time air temperature, and for small regions “dwarfs” air temperature changes as compared to any possible warming from CO2.

        What find interesting is how could you change global temperature of Mars.
        In way, I don’t think you can and/or I don’t need to worry the Mars global air temperature. And it would hideously expense to do anyhow.
        So I am interested mars settlements. And many imagine one has terraform Mars to make in tolerable planet for life and human life, and I think the only “terraforming” needed is to add water.
        And Mars what needs is “cheap” pressure, which water can provide.
        Water also works for moon, but Moon probably needs to import lots water {and our solar system has huge amount water in which, some of it, could be brought to the Moon].


  8. And just to throw in the mix I found this, actual measurements of earths IR at the surface, what they call OLR – outgoing longwave radiation.
    2 points

    1. The IR v heat profile is linear. Ie, it does NOT follow Boltzmann.
    2. The IR at 300 K is 300 W/M2. The NASA ‘Energy Budget’ pictogram shows it at about 400 W/M2

    Haven’t really had time to digest it, just putting it out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Yeah I’ve seen this before. I don’t understand why there’s a linear relationship, but I’m sure it’s not due to water vapor as the article claims.


      1. Water vapor could be said to be result of warmer world,
        What seems to missing from article is ocean temperature {the entire ocean which averages about 3.5 C].
        To even mention runaway effects “misses” that Earth has cold ocean, and Cold ocean is our Ice Age.
        Even if our ocean was instead of 3.5 C, and was 20 C, it’s still crazy to talk about “runaway effect” but mad and psychotic when our ocean is cold and we living in an Ice Age.
        Or one could put Earth at Venus distance from the Sun {twice as much sunlight} and you still not have worry about a runaway effect. Earth ocean would not boil even at Mercury distance. And Venus never had an ocean.
        Venus might been a small gas giant. Or a bigger version, of Saturn’s moon, Titan.
        Keep in mind it gas giants, were thought they could not form near a star, until we found lots hot giant which very near stars. Or there no evidence Venus had an ocean, the only thing we think we know about Venus is it appears to have very young surface, and relatively new is Earth ocean floor surface is even younger than Venus.
        But water vapor causes less high air temperature or cause more uniform day and night temperature, and such uniformity of temperature is ‘global warming”.
        Or as said before, the evidence of hottest every recorded air temperature being over century ago, is evidence {not proof against} global warming. Or more global warming will occur with less extreme air temperatures {and less extreme cold temperatures}.
        Of doomster cargo cult envisions the end of world {like all crazy religions}.


  9. This is correct –

    Is Atmospheric IR endogenous Black Body Radiation?

    Is Atmospheric IR generated naturally from factors within the atmosphere?
    Ie, is the Atmosphere a Black Body?
    If so, we should see the IR intensity increasing at a faster rate than the temp rise

    Temp in K
    Top of Atmosphere 222
    Sea Level 287

    IR Flux in W/M2
    Top of Atmosphere 240
    Sea Level 340

    Increase in Temp 129%
    Increase in IR 141%


  10. Hi Zoe!

    I think you are completely right about the ‘Greenhouse’ image, aren’t you?

    NASA’s narrative – the earth’s ‘Energy Budget’ picture tends to talk about energy in a linear way.
    And this familiar ‘linear’ way of thinking seems to comfortably lead us to a destination or a conclusion

    NASA’s story is – a ray of light leaves the sun, hits the earth, bounces back to the atmosphere, and is then “down-welled” once again by CO2. Ending up on the earth, it tends to heat the earth, NASA’s story goes. Their story stops there. Heating up earth!
    This seems a reasonable and persuasive story as far as it goes, but actually it is a poor way to understand the mechanisms at play?

    The Thermodynamic picture is one of interplay, a more complex, balanced system.
    (Excluding Geo for the moment -)
    Sunlight hits the earth, which then warms the atmosphere
    The sun, atmosphere and earth achieve thermodynamic equilibrium, with energy fluxes between them.
    The heat fluxes operate in a number of pathways, IR, convection and evaporation, conduction.
    The fluxes include IR from the earth to the atmosphere, and IR back from the atmosphere to the earth.
    The atmospheric IR is a natural part of it’s thermodynamic heat profile. It is not simply IR reflected from the earth.
    This thermodynamic system is pretty much balanced.
    Heat does not, and cannot flow from cold to hot.

    Let’s change the system a bit.
    If we release CO2 from the ground, into the atmosphere, and, if what NASA says is true, that the atmosphere then reflects MORE IR back to earth because of this, this causes a themodynamic imbalance, a variation to the energy flows.

    Less energy goes into the atmosphere from the ground, because the IR is now being reflected back rather than being absorbed, according to NASA.

    Of course, thermodynamically, this is nonsense to think the story ends there.
    This is a many layered system in operation, not a linear story-line with a nice tidy ending.
    The thermodynamic system has a number of self-righting mechanisms.
    If the earth receives more IR back, it will evaporate more water, or convect more heat up, or just simply send the IR back into the atmosphere again to re-heat the cooling atmosphere.
    So nothing really happens temperature-wise. The thermodynamic temperature remains constant.
    Heat does not flow a-symmetrically between two places at equal temperature.
    Any CO2 ‘cooling’ effects are counterbalanced by any of several other evening-out thermodynamic effects.


    1. “The Thermodynamic picture is one of interplay, a more complex, balanced system.
      (Excluding Geo for the moment -)
      Sunlight hits the earth, which then warms the atmosphere”

      It would be clearer, if said, sunlight hits transparent ocean surface, and mostly heats the first couple meters of ocean surface- though a significant amount the sunlight’s daylight reaches to about a 100 meter ocean depth which allows oceanic plants to grow to such depths.
      NASA’s Earth heat budget, says on average the earth’s surface receives: 163.3 watts of sunlight:

      But Tropical ocean {about 40% of Earth surface] receives more than 300 watts per square meter on average, and it’s said tropical ocean receives more than 1/2 of Earth’s sunlight.
      And it’s said the tropical ocean is the heat engine of the entire world.

      I would say the high average temperature of the tropics, could be misleading when one talks about the average temperature of Earth being about 15 C. Because like bright kids in a class, if you had 40% of class, it increase grade average of entire class. So if class had C average with 40% of class being smart, the 60 % of class seems like could be getting a passing grade.
      Also, human mostly live on land surfaces, and average land temperature is about 10 C, whereas average ocean temperature is about 17 C. And only small part of world’s land surface is in the tropics, and likewise these smart kids it raising the land class average temperature.
      Or in short, 15 C is cold, but Earth is actually in an Ice Age. A warmer part of Ice Age which is called the interglacial period {our interglacial period is called Holocene interglacial period}. Any being in Ice Age, means our ocean is cold.
      And entire ocean average temperature is about 3.5 C.
      And if Earth is not in Ice Age [most of Earth history} the ocean is 10 C or warmer.

      And if worried about Earth becoming a Snowball Earth. My opinion is Earth has never been in a Global Climate called a Snowball Earth, due to the geothermal heat of Earth’s ocean floor. And since “everyone” now, seems to agree that more than 75% of all volcanic activity occurs within our oceans, we can’t have a Snowball Earth.

      But in terms of Earth history, despite having perhaps the most sunlight in Earth’s history, it appears we are currently in one of the oldest periods {if not the coldest} of Earth’s entire history.


  11. And I wonder whether the cooling of the earth actually has to do with Geothermal?
    Is there a model of the earth as a molten ball of iron cooling for billions of years?
    Is an equilibrium reached for Earths heat loss v internally generated nuclear heat + incoming insolation?

    Earth sciences are fascinating because there so many, as yet, unquantified variables.

    What’s fun is Terraforming, another reason to get this right.
    I wonder where the next planet we will find, or even that we can encourage a bioamourous atmosphere on, might be located? Get your wormholes working!


    1. “And I wonder whether the cooling of the earth actually has to do with Geothermal?
      Is there a model of the earth as a molten ball of iron cooling for billions of years?”

      They don’t know enough about what factors which causing Earth to be molten ball,
      but most think Earth molten ball has been cooling in terms of say the last billion years.

      There is wide agreement that Earth average air temperature is cold {we are in an Ice Age} due to plate tectonic
      activity which changed the surface of planet Earth. Or as like say, our modern world {last 50 million years] is a different world.
      Or due to plate tectonic activity we have had dozens of different worlds. And our present world is an Ice Age world.

      And roughly speaking, our ocean has not been explored- fairly recently we discovered we a young ocean floor. And also fairly recently we have accepted the theory of Plate tectonic.
      Also what is more recent, is that earth experienced many impact events, and the Dinosaur went extinct due to a impactor which was somewhere around 10 km in diameter hitting Mexico. And such dinosaur impactor impactors, are occurring clocklike in term +100 million years and say 1 km diameters occur “clocklike” on much shorter time time periods than 100 million years. And impact events larger the dinosaur impactor occur “clocklike” in terms of say about 1/2 billion years.
      And cargo cult of Greenhouse Effect Theory predates these new things we know about the world. Or why I call it cargo cult, is it invented by committee of ill informed, people. It like trying to understand airplanes if you are isolate people not exposed to modern world, and you make cult/religion to explain it.

      So, have not explored ocean floor {much] and assume more than 75% of Earth volcanic activity occurs on ocean floor, ocean floor is about 150 million year old or very little of it is over 200 million, impactors have significant effects [but still have not got much data about these effects {most of course would have impacted the unexplored ocean floor], nor are people really informed about it, yet.
      Modern Education can summed as bad/poorly done brainwashing or one can kind and call it, quite primitive.

      And governments wasting vast amount it’s citizens wealth, incompetently doing something about global CO2 levels.
      Or only actual way to lower CO2 levels would be doing more nuclear energy- and they against using nuclear energy [due to other cargo cults- more a broader religion of stupid}.


      1. But in simple terms, The Sun is a big fusion reactor, really, really, big. And Earth is a nuclear reactor, which we don’t understand very well.
        Or we probably know more about our Sun, and we don’t know much about our Sun.


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