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

15 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.


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