OK, we’ve got a connections moment again…
I was reading the Spencer posting here:
And he had this nice diagram with Miskolczi’s computations of IR radiation side by side with conventional (that he says he ‘stole’ from someone else and annotated, so I’m going to ‘rip it off’ and put a copy here… yeah, I ought to get permission, but then again, I’m advertizing his excellent analysis for free so if he wants me to pull that, I can ;-)
What I noticed first was that the cloud reflection is shown as a constant. What happens if it’s a variable as per Svensmark? It is of magnetude 77 in the chart. The difference between the two IR arrows (the fat beige ones on the right) is about 12 (Miskolczi) to 26 ( K & T). So a modest variation in cloud can easily offset the IR “imbalance” and it is a minor PART of the IR that is supposed to be the CO2 change impact.
Then I noticed that the “thermals” and “evapo-transpiration” were shown as a similar sized constant (24 and 78 respectively). “But thermals vary a LOT over the course of a day”, I think. Which gets me thinking about hot air ballooning and how we had to be awake at Oh-Dark-Thirty to launch at dawn or the thermals would kick up and we’d be hosed and / or have a too exciting launch… Could the daily variation in thermals and evapo-transpiration tell us anything about THEIR tendency to vary with energy input variation? What happens when you get some added ‘radiative energy’ into the system? Would adding 1% or so of ‘retained’ IR really warm things up and keep it there?
That 40 to 61 “Atmospheric window” is what is supposed to be varied a tiny bit by our small changes in CO2 in the atmosphere. It is larger than the “IR imbalance” and the presumption is that added CO2 will increase the back radiation more than it increases the outbound (narrowing the imbalance and heating things up). As some heat is delivered as visible and converted to IR on the surface we have heat to dump. That we have an existing imbalance to the outgoing side, to me, argues we ought to have most of the ‘window closing’ show up in outbound imbalance, but that’s just an intuitive leap and not based on any analysis or experimentation. Then again, I haven’t seen anything that proves it will show up as inbound and not as outbound IR. In this static scoring chart we have 168 net to dump and it leaves via thermals, evapo-transpiration, IR imbalance, and the ‘atmospheric window’.) Last time I looked, 77 and 78 were larger than 40 and added together with thermals the 179 is a lot larger than 40 which makes it much much larger than the ‘delta in 40′ postulated from CO2. So we’re supposed to panic of a minor change in a ’40′ sized number while ignoring completely changes in a 77 and a 78+24= 102 sized numbers. Total of 179 to be ignored while a small delta in 40 is cause for panic.
That led me to wondering about the daily variation in atmospheric temperature with altitude. Might the (roughly) 1 kW/m^2 variation in energy flux from the sun from midnight to noon give us a clue about what would happen with a 1 or 2 W additional “heating” at the surface?
Which lead to this paper:
Some of the graphs in it have the defect of variable scales (sometimes temps start at 180 K sometimes at 200 K so direct visual scanning is hobbled and I need to read the numbers and adjust the visuals in my mind so my visual cortex integrator can see the time series of the ‘wiggles’ cleanly… PITA of a sort…) but:
The upshot of it all to me is pretty simple. Those graphs at lower elevations are darned near constant. There is about a 275 K to 285 K variation in temperature at 4 km altitude over the course of a clear tropical day. It’s the troposphere that has the largest wiggles. At 22.5 km about 200K to 250K as I eyeball the graphs. AND, IFF I’ve read the paper correctly, it’s says they are due to convections from the surface heating.
Now I may easily have gotten something backwards here, as it’s just a first read on some pretty tenuous stuff, but what this says to me is that the surface temperatures don’t change very much compared with the temperatures at altitude and it’s convection that sucks all the excess surface heat up and deposits it above the largely IR opaque lower atmosphere where it can radiate off into space (as a fourth power of temperature function ) more efficiently. And it does that with all of a 2 hour time lag…
So if we’ve got a system that can take a 1 kW / m^2 variation in surface heating, and dump it all at altitude inside a few hours via convection, exactly what in the world is all this obsession with CO2 and IR about?
Somehow I think I’m going to need to re-read both of these a few times and have a bit of think about it some more… I feel “Mocha Time” calling my name…
But at least on this side of the Mocha Mountain it sure LOOKS like there is plenty of daily variation in convection that is masked by using a single constant such that it can transport a LOAD of added heating to the upper atmosphere and let a forth power function get rid of it…
Some day I’m going to learn to get the laundry and dishes done BEFORE I read a new paper or two ;-)