A Heat Pipe is an interesting gadget. It moves heat by evaporating a working fluid at the hot end and condensing it at the cold end. In between, you can transport the liquid back to the hot end with capillary action or with gravity and precipitation.
Heat pipes are used to keep the permafrost frozen where the hot oil of The Trans-Alaska Pipeline warms the soil:
The heat pipe proper is the red metal tube, the fins on top are to more efficiently couple the “cold end” to the air.
From the wiki:
A heat pipe or heat pin is a heat-transfer device that combines the principles of both thermal conductivity and phase transition to efficiently manage the transfer of heat between two solid interfaces.
At the hot interface within a heat pipe, which is typically at a very low pressure, a liquid in contact with a thermally conductive solid surface turns into a vapor by absorbing heat from that surface. The vapor condenses back into a liquid at the cold interface, releasing the latent heat. The liquid then returns to the hot interface through either capillary action or gravity action where it evaporates once more and repeats the cycle. In addition, the internal pressure of the heat pipe can be set or adjusted to facilitate the phase change depending on the demands of the working conditions of the thermally managed system.
Yes, the “solid surfaces” bit is something of a stretch, but the surface of the earth is a solid, and the frozen water that forms at altitude as hail and snow is also a solid, so I’m willing to make that “poetic license” stretch…
But look at the rest of the description. Liquid is evaporated, absorbing heat. It moves to the cold interface where it condenses and liberates heat. Just as water at the surface evaporates at temperatures such as 10 – 40 C and rises to altitude (where, on the flight to Florida, the indicated temperature was -40 C ) where it condenses and even freezes. The definition goes on to “capillary action or gravity” returns the working fluid to the hot surface to repeat the process.
That is EXACTLY what happens in the daily storms here in Florida. It gets hot (about 90 F ) water evaporates, rises to altitude. Each afternoon, a thunder-storm forms. Cool rain falls (the rain that hit me in the pool today was about 70 F per my skin) and we are left with significantly cooler air and surface temperatures. This repeats each day taking massive quantities of heat to altitude. IR has no noticeable role in the process…
This image gives an idea of the structure of a capillary based heat pipe. A gravity based one does not need the wick. Condensation at the (higher) cold end just drops back to the bottom as precipitation.
To focus on infrared and ignore Heatpipe Earth is to be wrong. Simply, utterly, and dramatically wrong.
A tropical rains storm can drop an inch or two of rain, even up to a foot. (Call it 5 cm to 25 cm ). That represents a gigantic quantity of heat transported by our Spherical Heatpipe in that one location. A one meter square, 10 cm in depth of rain, has 100 x 100 x 10 cm = 100,000 cc or 100 kg of water. That 100 kg has had about 40 C to 80 C of temperature change plus at least one and possibly two phase changes. (Vapor to liquid, liquid to solid) as it lost the heat of fusion and heat of vaporization at altitude). The total heat transported just makes IR a bad joke in any explanation of surface temperatures.
Exactly how much depends on things we do not know. Actual temperatures, actual mass flow rates. (Though with vertical wind speeds measured at a couple of thousand feet per minute there is plenty of mass flow and vertical speed to work with). The wiki gives an idea of the limit case in highly engineered cases. In nature, even tiny fraction of that amount dwarfs the IR attribution of a couple of Watts/m^2
The advantage of heat pipes over many other heat-dissipation mechanisms is their great efficiency in transferring heat. They are a fundamentally better heat conductor than an equivalent cross-section of solid copper (a heat sink alone, though simpler in design and construction, does not take advantage of the principle of matter phase transition). Some heat pipes have demonstrated a heat flux of more than 230 MW/m².
But what's a couple of orders of magnitude among friends …
This is the chart for this afternoon in Kissimmee, Florida (near where I am). We just had a thunderstorm (that sent us out of the pool as the thunder started).
Notice that at about 4 pm the barometric pressure starts to drop, then the temperatures plunge from over 90 F to near 80 F. That was the thunderstorm arriving. Now realize it was not just the air that cooled, but there were a few inches of cold water deposited into the surface. That is one heck of a lot of “cool” dumped by Heat Pipe Earth onto Tropical Florida all while a July Tropical Sun was still high in the sky.
This happens most days. Fairly reliably each afternoon.
On the monthly view, you can see an even larger storm a couple of days ago:
That is the Lesson Of The Thunderstorm. That is the vision of the globe from Florida.
Thor rules, IR drools…
Yet another great article that should open the eyes of any AGW proponent.
Unfortunately these people are all brainwashed and beyond savior.
I like the idea of a spherical heat-pipe. :) BUT… a heat pipe just transfers heat – it is neither created nor destroyed.
I would have thought the heat would just get moved from equatorial oceans (evaporation) and transferred to to other places where it would be released when water vapour condenses as rain or snow. This, surely, must be in the climate models. The Greenhouse effect (in theory) traps heat thereby preventing it from leaving the planet and so increases temperatures.
The Australian government has announced its new Carbon Tax (groan). Despite a categorical statement prior to the recent election that “there would be no carbon tax”. This statement probably swung the election towards the current government. One feels that such lies should be contestable in court!
Sandy says “the heat would just get moved from equatorial oceans (evaporation) and transferred to to other places . . .”
Actually, most of the time the equatorial storms do not carry moisture very far. Take a look at a global satellite view; this one will do (I think)
Updates every 3 hours and with the red triangles (arrows) you can select a view. The air becomes warm and buoyant as water is evaporated or transpired and the air rises, cools, and the vapor then condenses – clouds and rain may then follow.
That air is then moved pole ward and much comes down in what are called the subtropical high pressure zones (STHP). On land these areas are deserts or nearly so. Oceans have warm dry air (descending and adiabatically warming) over them in these regions, and often haze because there is very little wind. Sometimes these are labeled as the “Horse Latitudes.” [An interesting term usually associated with Spanish ships dumping horses over the side to preserve drinking water. More likely a British term associated with a celebration of “paying off the dead horse” and the singing of shanties.
Pole ward of the STHP zones there are areas of Westerlies (winds coming from the west) and these might bring warm air, say, from the Hawaiian Islands to the Oregon/Washington coast. Along the way evaporation adds water vapor to the atmosphere and the mountains cause a lifting, cooling, and rain or snow event that can be significant.
A better way of thinking of GHGs (instead of trapping heat) is that they help a tiny bit in warming the atmosphere and making it more buoyant. Thus, they increase the upward convection in the troposphere (promoting more cooling), and do not act as a blanket to slow or shut it down. So the “blanket” analogy is a very poor concept.
If you look at
You can actually see the ‘heatpipe’ output as infra red at the cloud tops. In the dry areas of the atmosphere no peaks of infrared.
The problem is that the AGW proponents always resort to quoting Stefan Boltzmann’s equations that show radiation increasing with temperature. Therefore they are totally unable to understand the radiation of ‘latent’ heat as water vapor changes phase to water then to ice in extremely cold levels of the atmosphere as they confuse ‘heat’ with ‘temperature’. .
In the tropics the convective updrafts in thunderstorms can reach vertical speeds of over 100kts with liquid water carried to 30,000 feet or more before it freezes.releasing large quantities of heat just below the tropopause where the atmospheric density is very low and the ‘green house effect’ (sic) is close to zero.
A typical hurricane rain production in one day uses energy “equivalent to 200 times the world-wide electrical generating capacity ”
The same hurricane in terms of kinetic energy in one day uses the “equivalent to about half the world-wide electrical generating capacity”
The large weather systems thousands of miles across also carry huge amounts of energy up to the tropopause where it is released. This is how convection carries far more energy to the tropopause than radiation.
The thunderheads spread tremendous amounts of water vapor and ice crystals thousands of feet into the atmosphere. Each morning you can see the tops of these storms spread across the sky. Without contrails, the Florida sky is the prettiest of any that I have ever seen. I love summer.
The transfer of heat is to the altitude where the condensation happens, which can be up to 50,000 or so feet. Well above the bulk of the atmosphere and well above the bulk of the CO2. Basically, to the Stratosphere, where we have an even lower understanding of what happens… and where that Solar UV variation had a large impact on total atmospheric height and very high altitude temperatures…. The sun modulates the heat flow from the top of the heat pipe out to space, in essence.
@R. de Haan:
Thanks! Glad you liked it.
@John F. Hultquist and Ian W.:
Nice contributions. IMHO, the Weathermen of the world have it right about how the system works, weather structure is a critical part of how climate forms, and he IR guys have a theory that “markets well” with a simplistic explanation of things that just happens to be quite wrong…
BTW, I think you are being a bit modest on potential height:
So the warmer it gets at the surface, the more effectively massive quantities of heat are dumped at altitudes up to 70,000 feet. Not a lot of air left up that high.
I think that matters…
Yup! Very pretty indeed…
BTW, while thunderstorms are more regular and more dramatic in the tropics, they are not limited to the tropics… This same effect happens in many places on the sphere of Earth:
So even in Alaska, when the surface gets warmer the Spherical Heat Pipe gets to work…
“The summer and warm season storms will build to a higher altitude since the tropopause cap is at a higher elevation. “
” If the updraft speed is intense it will take longer for the updraft to slow down to a halt when it enters the tropopause.”
Show a misunderstanding of what the ‘tropopause’ is. The tropopause is the boundary in the atmosphere between air that is moving (tropo) due to convection and air that is unaffected by convection. Therefore, the tropopause does not ‘cap’ convection it is where convection stops due to lapse rates balancing out and momentum of an updraft being lost..
The tropopause (the top of convection) in the tropics is at 60,000 feet or more because the convection is so much more powerful due to the more direct insolation of the Sun’s heat. Whereas at the poles the tropopause can be below 30,000 feet as there is less convective weather but there is less powerful frontal uplift as there is less heat energy.
Rather like putting a large pan of water half onto a small burner and watching the water boiling up over the burner while the water surface away from the heat is lower,
Ian W @ 2:14
E.M. was quoting a meteorologist on the “tropopause cap” comment — a person that should try to get the right words to go along with the concept. This is an issue I find frustrating. As you indicate, words matter. The “green house” notion is one of the worst. A lot more focus on convection and the “Spherical Heat Pipe Earth”, and a lot less on green house anything, would be useful.
Where I now live we don’t get many thunderstorms of any size but previous locations included Cincinnati, Iowa City, and Atlanta. Some of the planes used back then on shorter (and lower) flights were great for viewing mid-west storms.
I’m willing to accept that some folks are not as fully precise as I’d like and that some ambiguities do not mean a failure to understand, just a failure to present only one possible interpretation.
So “slow down to a halt when it enters the tropopause” can just as easily be read as “slow down to a hale when it becomes the tropopause”. Yes, it is sloppy to use “to enter” without a sense of distance and duration, yet one enters into matrimony at a point and being a bachelor comes to a halt then… so the usage of “to enter” meaning “to become” is acceptable, if lumpy…
Similarly, “slow down to a halt when it enters the tropopause” as an analog of “slow down to a halt when it becomes the tropopause” (much as bachelor party time comes to a halt when one enters holy matrimony…)
To me, it looks like the guy does know his stuff, just uses the language in a bit strained, but valid, way…
The bit I cared about was the 70,000 ft number… Not a lot of CO2 above that point…
I am currently sitting in the middle of Arkansas. It’s hot. Africa hot. Tarzan couldn’t take this kind of hot. No relief in sight. It rained in Grand Canyon for two days and was actually quite comfortable. It rained at Meteor Crater. It rained hard in Winslow. By the time we got to Amarillo, it was dry as can be. They have not had rain there in four months and I saw some pretty bad looking stock grazing on what was there to graze on. A lot of “skin and bone” cattle.
Currently in Little Rock it is 89 degrees (at 10:48 PM local) and humidity to match. Looking at the national radar, nothing but clear skies all the way to the East Coast. Say, where are all those hurricanes we were supposed to have this year?
C02 is more important in the stratosphere because the strat is dry. The energy that enters the earth system via radiation leaves the earth via radiation. The altitude at which the energy radiates to space is a function of the opacity of the atmosphere. Adding C02 ( especially in the strat) raises the effective height at which the radiation leaves. Raising that height does one thing: it delays the cooling. That delay of cooling ( or warming if you like) is a direct consequence of the opacity of the atmosphere. That opacity is a function of what gases are present at what altitudes in what concentrations. The dry strat and the important of C02 ( even small amounts) there were discovered back in the 40s. The discovery was the result of airforce studies. We studied this because we needed to know how to hide our aircraft from sensors (like ir sensors) on the ground. Anyone, like me, who worked in the area of hiding planes can tell you how important that work was to protecting our aircrews:
here is a nice piece on it
“The breakthroughs that finally set the field back on the right track came from research during the 1940s. Military officers lavishly funded research on the high layers of the air where their bombers operated, layers traversed by the infrared radiation they might use to detect enemies. Theoretical analysis of absorption leaped forward, with results confirmed by laboratory studies using techniques orders of magnitude better than Ångström could deploy. The resulting developments stimulated new and clearer thinking about atmospheric radiation.
Among other things, the new studies showed that in the frigid and rarified upper atmosphere where the crucial infrared absorption takes place, the nature of the absorption is different from what scientists had assumed from the old sea-level measurements. Take a single molecule of CO2 or H2O. It will absorb light only in a set of specific wavelengths, which show up as thin dark lines in a spectrum. In a gas at sea-level temperature and pressure, the countless molecules colliding with one another at different velocities each absorb at slightly different wavelengths, so the lines are broadened and overlap to a considerable extent. Even at sea level pressure, the absorption is concentrated into discrete spikes, but the gaps between the spikes are fairly narrow and the “valleys” between the spikes are not terribly deep. (see Part II) None of this was known a century ago. With the primitive infrared instruments available in the early 20th century, scientists saw the absorption smeared out into wide bands. And they had no theory to suggest anything different.
Measurements done for the US Air Force drew scientists’ attention to the details of the absorption, and especially at high altitudes. At low pressure the spikes become much more sharply defined, like a picket fence. There are gaps between the H2O lines where radiation can get through unless blocked by CO2 lines. Moreover, researchers had become acutely aware of how very dry the air gets at upper altitudes — indeed the stratosphere has scarcely any water vapor at all. By contrast, CO2 is well mixed all through the atmosphere, so as you look higher it becomes relatively more significant.
It’s hot and humid in Indiana as well.
With respect to CO2, the higher in the atmosphere you get the closer to the point were the energy absorbed by CO2 molecules does not thermalize because the mean free path becomes longer than the mean time to re-radiate the energy.
How about that new paper on the effect of volcanoes being underestimated?
Here in Atlanta, it is clear sky mornings with afternoon thunderboomers. High today, tuesday, should rise to 96ºF. The humidity makes it unbearable, and we have each chugged at least a gallon of tea/Gatorade by the end of the round (golf). It’s just like living in Miami again. Definitely a ‘heat pipe’ over here.
you just wrote an excuse not an explanation, no figures and no theory. Try giving us an excuse for why there is no heat buildup in the upper troposphere like the models and all you lukewarmers tell us will happen.
IPCC theory, and, I am told, basic physics says exactly what you have repeated. Hearing it one million times with all the calls to authority of our wasteful USAF research does not improve it or make it one whit more useful. WHY ISN’T IT HAPPENING!!!!
Here, I will repeat it again, as we add co2 it warms the atmosphere raising the tropopause. As this rise happens it raises the average emissions altitude. As the average emissions altitude is raised the average emission is reduced due to the cooler emissions temperature. This reduction in emissions temp backs up the heat rasiing the temps even more. yadayadayada.
WHY ISN’T IT HAPPENING!!!
Now, I will ask this question once again. Are you telling me that something happens to the lapse rate?? If the temperature at ground level rises and the lapse rate stays the same then the temps in the raised tropopause also rises so we have higher temps at higher altitude. Higher altitude means more VOLUME at higher temp and more CO2 (and more H2O) emitting at higher altitude at the same temperature!!! Is this why the IPCC canard isn’t happening??? Natural feedback improves cooling as temps increase???
Oh, and Mosh, how can CO2 be well mixed if the Strat has little Co2?? Well mixed is another canard that doesn’t translate well to reality. It is very relative. Are you becoming a playback device for IPCC twaddle??
kuhnkat: […] Natural feedback improves cooling as temps increase???
Certainly an interesting technical idea: an inflatable radiator, with the radiating surface area driven by the heat flow rate through the device. Much along the lines of Willis Eschenbach’s thermostat hypothesis.
Experimented with heat pipes long long ago and forgot the details and so have not made the connection.Thanks EM.
The thunderstorm concept has been around see the papers here from Willis and the late Dr Van Andel http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/uploads/media/EE_21-4_paradigm_shift_output_limited_3_Mb.pdf
Also consider the update of the theory from Van Andel here http://climategate.nl/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/CO2_and_climate_v7.pdf
I understand that a team of researchers in the Nederlands is updating and refining Van Andel’s work for publishing in a major peer reviewed journal. That could be the knockout blow for the AGW alarmists.
In context of E.M.’s heat pipe analogy (or else convective heat transfer by thunderstorms), the Van Andel article referenced above by “cementafriend” (nice idea that) contains a very interesting diagram, which is showing the IR absorption as a function of altitude. I’m just quoting the caption:
Hence Steven Mosher’s reference to WWII military research above has it upside down in context of this thread. The question if the influence of CO2 compared to water vapor becomes relatively more “significant” with altitude isn’t of much interest if the combined absorption of both gases approaches zero above 11 km. Besides that, using statistical terms out of context is really a bad habit.
A couple of comments:
Most notebook computers these days use heat pipes to cool the processor. It’s fun if you get the chance to take one apart. In these versions, the condensed liquid wicks back to the processor.
You may be interested in Willis Eschenbach’s “Thunderstorm Thermostat Hypothesis”, published here:
Free essay version here:
I want to apologize for my phrasing. I have been rather frustrated lately and it came out. I am not technical enough to KNOW whether any of this is fact. I can only look at the observations compared to what is projected and say HUH??? I get really tired of having the same studies and bits of reality repeated as if it will mean more this time than last. It is obvious that there are missing pieces from the consensus view and repeating the same old canards does NOT help.
Just delete me or laugh me down if I become too irritating or boring.
not my idea. There are a number of quite intelligent people on the web who write about climate and appear to have a much better handle on what is probably happening than the consensus. I specifically liked Stephen Wilde’s hot water bottle effect:
I agree what I wrote is similar to Willis’ ideas which I enjoy reading. He is very good. It most resembles the IPCC official model view though, except, for some reason they think that the emissions height will rise but the temperature of the gasses will not increase fast enough to keep things balanced. Except they can’t point to anywhere except in the models where it actually happens. It simply seems more physical for the temps to increase also as CO2 increases and the warming raises the tropopause. Unless they can break the lapse rate the temps HAVE TO INCREASE to the tropopause and after the tropopause the radiation is gone!! The best I have been told is that the increase in emissions altitude is faster than the increase in temperature. Again, it doesn’t seem physical due to the increased volume as the tropopause rises. If they can push more co2 into the atmosphere without heating that wouldn’t raise the tropopause. Of course, without heating who cares. The claim is that this is what the math says will happen. Sorry, it isn’t just math and I believe it is too complex to actually compute outside of a model, which hasn’t been able to project anything useable!!! They simply laid a bare claim out there and expect us to swallow it.
Erl Hap and Carl Wok also have some interesting views of how things interact:
I don’t hink any of them have the whole picture, even added together, but, do get closer than the consensus.
The smart guys are still trying to figure out how lift really works and the best way to model it and the IPCC types think they can model the atmosphere!!!!
Claes has some very interesting papers on his site so look around a little!! He is part of the Slaying the Sky Dragon Team. Don’t know if they are right, but, couldn’t be more wrong than the IPCC!!
have you looked at the 5 segments starting with this?
Some bits are a bit painfully slow but there are some astounding messages.
Just delete me or laugh me down if I become too irritating or boring.”
I didn’t see any issue. You were speaking to the facts, not slandering a person. “The facts just are. -E.M.Smith”. A subtile distinction I make: It’s OK to feel strongly about the facts, even though ‘they just are’, but tossing emotion at another PERSON causes an emotional escalator to start running… so needs to be dampened.
So, for example, I will say “That is a brain dead policy” but not “He is brain dead as he believes that policy is valid”. One is an insult “to the person”, the other may be a statement of fact, or a statement of personal evaluation of the facts, but not an insult… (I would be likely to then ask “WHY do you think that policy is brain dead? i.e. ‘defend your evaluation of the facts’).
So I’m “not laughing” (down or otherwise), have no irritation (how can one be irritated at a fact?), certainly not bored, and see no reason to delete anything.
Not seen it yet (and probably not until later today). Thanks, and I’ll look at it when time permits. (Yesterday was consumed with a dead battery in the car… Darned thing up and died after only 5 or 6 years ;-) but This Time For Sure! I’m sure the car is “all better now’… And Today is “catch up” and prep for “round 2 interview” tomorrow…)
E.M. – very interesting topic, this heat-pipe analogy. It got me to thinking about how much overall heat is “piped” away and never has a chance to be absorbed by CO2 in the lower atmosphere. I dug up a paper that shows, on average, the Earth receives 2.61 mm (millimeters) of precipitation per day. More precipitation falls in the tropics, less in the temperate latitudes, and even less near the poles.
If the IPCC is correct, that each square meter of Earth receives, on average, 240 watts of radiant energy from the Sun, then that 2.61 mm of rain requires a bit more than half of the 240 watts to evaporate the water then let it fall as rain/snow.
If this is correct, and I invite critical (but polite!) confirmation or refutation, then it is no mystery why the IPCC models do not include clouds, rain, snow, and the like. Instead of 240 watts/sq meter, the CO2 heating effect is actually working with about 105 watts/sq meter. The evaporation/rain cycle is transporting 135 watts/sq meter up to the condensation height, where the water vapor returns to a liquid state or ice state. The heat at that altitude is then radiated into space where there are very, very few CO2 molecules present to absorb and re-radiate the energy.
refer to Table 3.1 “mean rainfall over land and ocean 1988 – 2003”
Figure 9 of Noor van Andel’s draft (linked by “cementafriend” above) shows that the temperature anomalies from 1958-2008 had been of opposite sign below and above the tropopause, with the stratospheric part cooling. His figure 10 shows the trend line, with satellite and radiosonde data being mostly in line with each other. One can see that the tropospheric and stratospheric temperatures are slowly wandering in opposite directions ever since 1960, resulting in an almost linearily increasing delta T between surface and lower stratosphere. Therefore, heat-pipe like devices piercing through the zone which contains 90% of atmospheric mass (the blanket that is troposphere) must have become more efficient over time. Maybe this resolves the paradox that the frequency of hurricanes actually did not increase with warmer sea surface temperatures? However, the most interesting question concerns the mechanism which cooled the the tropopause region at the same time.
@Hugo M & Cementafriend:
I find those trends of opposite sign just fascinating… It speaks very strongly to some ill-defined process that is the real driving event. While I’d suspect a good “Dig Here!” to be the solar UV modulation of atmospheric height and Ozone content; who knows what is actually doing the deed…
It clearly makes the IR / CO2 hypothesis a bit, er, “challenged” ;-)
At least partly. I really wonder what the reason could be. Especially the step change after 1993, when the Pinatubo interference faded out (and solar cylce 22 almost ended). If the cooling would be the result of reduced solar UV flux, then this process must have already started in 1960 without a marked relation to the solar cycle. Also considering the difficulty to relate the radiometer data stemming from the various TSI missions to each other, is it reasonable to assume that a slowly and slightly declining UV flux could have slipped through undetected so far?
That seems actually to be the case:
via WUWT’s new temperature reference page, I’ve seen that Ryan N Maue has a graph on accumulated cyclone energy, here:
While there seems to be an increased variability over time there is no recognizable long term trend in regarding energy May be the increasing delta T (about 1.5 K) is small when compared to a difference of around 70 K between surface and lower stratosphere. The cyclone frequency is even declining over the decades. However, visually, I’m inclined to reckon an anti-correlation between cyclone energy and solar cycle.