Some thoughts on pivnurt

Yes, another “inner word”. I use “pivnurt” as a single word. It is the pronunciation of the formula


or the “Ideal Gas Law”. I first started doing that in high school chemistry class when we were first learning and memorizing the formula. So for years, any time doing chemistry or gas problems, I’d just apply pivnurt and not even notice that it was a “me word”…

So what IS the “Ideal Gas Law”? It came about from a synthesis of several other earlier observations about gasses and chemistry. It incorporates Boyle’s Law and Charle’s Law.

The ideal gas law is the equation of state of a hypothetical ideal gas. It is a good approximation to the behaviour of many gases under many conditions, although it has several limitations. It was first stated by Émile Clapeyron in 1834 as a combination of Boyle’s law and Charles’s law.

So what are those parts? P is pressure. V is volume. If pressure goes up, volume must go down as long as all other things are kept equal (that is, the other side of the equation does not change). On the other side, n is the amount of stuff you have in “moles” (a particular number of atoms or molecules of ‘stuff’). For the atmosphere as a whole, n is almost a constant. (More on that a bit later). R is a constant. T is temperature. So if Temperature goes up, either Pressure or Volume must go up (for a constant amount of gas).

There are a few caveats on pivnurt, but not all that many, really. It’s an ideal gas law. Real gasses can vary from it a little bit. For most practical purposes, natural gasses are close enough to ideal to not care about that point.

So what good is it?

It’s a great tool for solving all sorts of chemistry and engineering problems. For example, if you fill a cylinder with some air and fuel, and ignite it, you know a couple of things. The fuel and air burn getting hotter, so T is going up. The big fuel molecules get broken down and combined with oxygen making CO2 and H20. So take methane. CH4. It combines with 2 oxygen molecules to make CO2 + 2( H2O). 3 molecules at the start, and 3 at the end. All gasses. No change in n in the formula. So that flame puts pressure on the cylinder via more T, not more n. All the work you can do with an engine comes from that heat. Put a piston in the bottom and you have a gas engine. The work you can do comes from the excess of P, changing into a larger V, as the piston moves down. Eventually restoring equilibrium with that larger T. So pivnurt lets us see how an engine works, on the chemical and pressure level. Turning T into P into V into motion.

Or go the other way. Pump air into a tank or a car tire. V is getting smaller, so P goes up.

The Air We Breathe

This same law applies to the atmosphere. IMHO, folks have spent far too much time looking at computer models and far too little thinking about fundamental laws of nature. So, some thoughts on what pivnurt says about AGW.

As a first approximation, assume that n is a constant. This isn’t quite true. As water evaporates, n gets bigger from water vapor. As rain condenses, n gets smaller as water vapor leaves the air and turns into a liquid. But for now, on a global basis, assume “it all averages out” (even though it isn’t a necessity). Also, if n is nearly a constant, P will be nearly a constant as well. Yes, we have “highs and lows” in weather systems, but they are down in the millibar range. Bar being “one atmosphere” of pressure. Millibar being 1/1000 of a bar. So it’s a small variation and largely localized. We’ll come back to that too. But for now, assume n and P are constant.

That means V and T are the only things that can change much. Since pressure is set by n and gravity, both held near constant, it can’t change much on a global basis. If we have global warming, we ought to get more atmospheric volume. As we’re on the surface of a sphere, that’s got to show up as greater atmospheric height. We had that happening up until the sun went quiet. When the sun went quiet, the atmospheric height shortened. (So much so that satellites were having less drag and NASA made mention of it). That, per pivnurt, says that things got cooler.

Note that pivnurt says nothing about WHERE the atmosphere got cooler. Stratosphere, surface, whatever. It’s also possible that some parts warmed while others cooled. The “net net” of it all, though, is that height got lower. V got smaller. T was, on average, shrinking. IMHO, this is MORE accurate than just looking at surface temperature since it is a measure of the total atmosphere.

About that n…

OK, what could make that less than accurate? Well, n is assumed constant on average globally. Yet that isn’t a constant. More heat would evaporate more water and make more water molecules in the atmosphere. That would make n larger. Colder air holds less water vapor, so when very cold n drops (which is another way of saying that it rains, snows, hail falls, etc.) So when it is hotter, with n larger, both P and V ought to get larger. Now I don’t remember anyone saying that atmospheric pressure was significantly or even noticeably higher in the ’90s, so IMHO there was not a lot more n happening. There could have been some, though, but not a whole lot.

Most likely, that added V was all due to added T, not added n.

Now, as V has gotten smaller, we’re getting a bit more rain. As things have gotten cooler, we’ve had more water leaving the air. Now I can’t say if that’s less n, net of water going into the air. I can only speculate on it. But, IMHO, we’ve not had stories of either a massive increase nor a massive decrease in global humidity. That’s why I was happy to assume n is nearly constant up above.

My thesis has been that the shift to a sleepy sun has more IR causing prompt evaporation from wet water surfaces and less UV / Blue being absorbed deep in the oceans. That a 30 year ocean warming from deeper UV / Blue into water has been replaced with gradual cooling of all that water as IR causes surface evaporation instead of storing as deep heat. That added source water shows up as added rain / precipitation, not more humidity. But say I’ve got that wrong. Then the added rain means less n (and in short order we ought to have reports of unexplained very low humidity…) and some of the lower amount of V would be from water leaving the air. Yet, if that is true, then “water vapor feedback” ala AGW theory is wrong. Water is driven by the solar cycle, not CO2.

So looks to me like either the “water vapor feedback” is all wrong (n getting smaller), or we have nearly constant n and the sun is driving the lower V (and required lower T). Also the sun is causing the added rain (so my UV / IR thesis has legs…)

I just don’t see any way out of that logic box. Either n is nearly constant, and the solar changes caused less T (so CO2 is not the driver); or n is variable, and has varied with the sun, not with CO2. Pivnurt says so.

Ancillary Bits

This is just a few odds and ends on the same line.

First off, if pivnurt is to hold, then any increase in global warming (more T) and any increase in water vapor feedback (more n) MUST show up in more PV. In the absence of any notable change in P, that can only show up as V, that on the surface of a sphere, must be height.

It looks to me like accurate measurements of P, the standard atmosphere pressure, and H the top of atmosphere height, give us a fairly good reading on n and through that water vapor content of the air, and T via atmospheric height. They act as a cross check on all the other more hypothetical and manipulated lines of reasoning and data.

Are there complications? Sure. Combustion puts some amount of new molecules into the air, making minor changes of n and of mass (so P is slightly changed). But the null case of not much change of atmosphere and humidity would only be confounded by a very peculiarly perfect offset, so not very likely to happen. Why worry about a very unlikely case until you know it exists? That can be put off until a later time when and if that case shows up. Certainly none of those changes showed up as quickly as the atmospheric height changed.

It is also possible for there to be offsetting changes. A warmer stratosphere could be coupled with a cooler troposphere, or vice versa. But that ought to show up rapidly in the satellite data. We ought to be able to figure that out very quickly. (This is another way of saying that the ideal gas law applies to a well mixed gas, and the atmosphere isn’t all that well mixed). So looking a bit at things like height of the tropopause and relative temperatures of stratosphere, troposphere, mesosphere, etc. would yield useful clues about how much non-mixed things are. Is the change of height due to a change of relative temperatures and / or relative placements of those layers.

Yet that, then, would also tend to toss a monkey wrench into the AGW mantra. If such things happen as a matter of course, then that implies a degree of variability in the surface temperature records that is unconnected with actual global warming; but only to changes of air mixing. If the stratosphere can cool all on its own, then the surface ought to be able to warm all on its own. If air mass ratios between troposphere and stratosphere are variable, then one must look at the heat content of BOTH at the same time, not just the surface.

In short, I think PV=nRT puts some tight bounds on what can happen to things like atmosphere height and surface pressure; and those things are relatively easily measured. That implies we really need to start accurately measuring top of atmosphere, tropopause, etc. along with average surface pressure. They can tell us things we want to know.

For water vapor feedback to be strongly positive, P must go up or V must go up. V is down, so it must be P, up a lot. A simple measure of P can falsify the notion of more water vapor in the air.

For AGW to be true, with lots of warming, T must be up. That means V must be up (as n is either constant, or if water vapor feedback is true, n is rising) for any given P. Yet V is down. So where’s that exceptionally high pressure? How can that be squared with the idea of more storms (that have lower P) lowering the average p?

So, IMHO, putting a V and n box around AGW constrains what can be asserted about water vapor and T.

Subscribe to feed

About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in AGW Science and Background and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

84 Responses to Some thoughts on pivnurt

  1. Adrian Vance says:

    CO2 is a “trace gas” in air, insignificant by definition. It absorbs 1/7th as much IR, heat energy, from sunlight as water vapor which has 188 times as many molecules capturing 1200 times as much heat making 99.9% of all “global warming.” CO2 does only 0.1% of it. For this we should destroy our economy?

    The Medieval Warming from 800 AD to 1300 AD Micheal Mann erased to make his “hockey stick” was several degrees warmer than anything “global warmers” fear. It was 500 years of great abundance for the world.

    The Vostock Ice Core data analysis show CO2 increases follow temperature increases by 800 years 19 times in 450,000 years. That makes temperature change cause and CO2 change effect; not the other way around.

    Carbon combustion generates 80% of our energy. Control and taxing of carbon would give the elected ruling class more power and money than anything since the Magna Carta of 1215 AD.

    Google “Two Minute Conservative,” When you speak ladies will swoon and liberal gentlemen will weep.

  2. John Robertson says:

    Beautifully constrained, however you are back in the thinkers trap, using logic to argue against a religion.
    Nice to read your recent posts, I felt completely bummed out by the cause, as in I know its shabby politics and why is it not over with already , so took 40 days off line.
    Took a road trip around western Canada, we live on a spectacular continent.
    We are fighting against a religion, beliefs and feeling trump logic.
    To the cultists,those who doubt their faith are at best mentally deficient or at worst evil. So arguing the beliefs of this cult , with the members,is doomed, circular arguments will result.
    Having had plenty of time to think, undistracted by fresh internet inputs, I have a couple of ideas,
    Logic is for the undecided and the people too busy to have paid attention to these fuddites.
    To engage the faithful I propose we create a thesis of IPCC quality.
    That trees are rooted in place due to a starvation diet of CO2. That when CO2 reaches an arbitrary level(say750ppm) the trees will emerge from their coma and al la Tolkein go forth to destroy the works of man. Pure plagiarism of course but the faithful seem willing to buy anything that dooms modern man. So a pseudo science-cy report that plants can become mobile under high levels of atmospheric CO2, a few wikipedia articles of the attack of the killer (greenhouse) tomatoes and this myth should be off and doing the rounds as part of the Fuddite Gospel.
    For as cultists only mockery might reach them.
    As for government, they must answer for their part in this massive destruction of public treasure, their dereliction of duty and their intent to saddle the next two or three generations with the bill for our stupidity and hysteria.Treason is not too strong a word.

  3. omanuel says:

    PV = nRT is taught in many different classes of chemistry and physics.

    Like the area of a circle, “Pie are squared.”

  4. kuhnkat says:

    Adrian Vance,

    it is probably time we gave up on the ice cores. Between the Ice Queen being pulled out of the Greenland Ice at a depth of about 250 feet after 48 years and the FACT that the aircraft were still empty so not heavier than the ice and the FACT that there were HUNDREDS of ice layers seen by the diggers as they retrieved the aircraft, the SCIENCE of glaciology is a FARCE!!! Most of it is apparently based on matching preconceived expectations rather than hard science. If we can trust any paleo science it is primarily from before the Climate Scam. Back then they believed the Hypsithermal was 2-5c warmer than current. Unless we wish to get magical the Greenland Glacier would have, at the least, been much smaller. It may have completely melted as we are talking about thousands of years at that elevated temp. Strange how much pre climate alarmism science is ignored or rubbished by the current scammers.

    Here is a good overview of the problems with some papers referenced:

  5. w.w.wygart says:

    Insert everything Steven Wilde says in his New Climate Model here:

  6. Dan Pangburn says:

    A licensed mechanical engineer (retired) who has been researching this issue (unfunded) for 6 years has discovered what actually caused global warming and why it ended. The time-integral of sunspot numbers (with appropriate proxy factor) calculates the average global temperature trend since 1610. An overlay of average global temperature measurements shows the OSCILLATIONS above and below the trend that are the net effect of ocean cycles. . Rational carbon dioxide change has no significant influence.

  7. P.G.Sharrow says:

    @Oliver; Pie are round, but pi may be squared if necessary. LoL pg

  8. Graeme No.3 says:

    kuhnkat says:
    Thanks for the link, but I hope you aren’t publishing too widely.

    I mean, the radical idea the author has that high levels of CO2 occur during warm periods and low levels during cold periods, could cause some fuddites to confuse cause with effect.
    As AGW theory is at the present, that CO2 has been constant for X thousand years therefore the temperature cannot have varied, is a powerful recruiting method when people investigate the past and realise that the temperature has varied.


    Pivnurt defines the GHE (Greenhouse Effect) which is determined by the main bulk of the atmosphere rather than by trace gases as falsely stated by Arrhenius’ in 1896:
    “The selective absorption of the atmosphere is……………..not exerted by the chief mass of the air, but in a high degree by aqueous vapor and carbonic acid, which are present in the air in small quantities.”

    Carl Sagan accurately predicted the surface temperature of Venus in 1967 using PIVNURT even though he did not know the composition of the Venusian atmosphere. He calculated the surface temperature for various gas mixtures from 100% Nitrogen to 100% CO2. Thanks to PIVNURT it made very little difference what the gas composition was because Cp (Specific heat at constant pressure) for CO2 is similar to that of Nitrogen. Please note that radiative transfer equations have no relevance to the surface temperature of planets (such as Venus) with 100% cloud cover:
    Go to this URL and then click on the “Send PDF” button.

    Sagan correctly calculated the surface temperature on Venus by extrapolating the ADR (Adiabatic Lapse Rate) from the cloud tops to the surface. Much later, Sagan’s calculations were vindicated by surface probes (USSR) and Magellan orbiter microwave measurements (Jenkins et al.).

    Hansen on the other hand cannot explain the Venusian surface temperature using mathematics. All he has is hand waving and fairy stories.

    For those of you with a high boredom threshold I recommend these links:

  10. Good thinking by Chiefio but in fact the fact cloudiness decreased when the Earth system warmed and has now increased with the current pause (which may soon become cooling).

    In view of that, pivnurt (good word), needs to applied somewhat differently:

  11. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: Think about it: It is one of the equations which represent the unified field, provided we make variable the Regnault´s constant, as every “constant” varies as the law of sine or of the cosine= sin x + cos x, or, what is the same as the ratio between the lengths of the legs of a square triangle, formed by electricity and magnetism.

  12. RobL says:

    I are an engineer specialising in thermodynamics, and I never use pv=nRT. Much more usual to use mass specific form of the equation pv=RT. p [Pa], v [m³/kg], R [kJ/kg/K], T [K].

  13. D. J. Hawkins says:

    Filling the tank, V does not go down. n goes up. V goes up a little depending on how important we consider the elasticity of the steel tank, P goes up a in proportion to the work expended and the “n” we push into the tank. T will go up with P. The case for the tire is a little more complicated, but essentially the same.

  14. Paul Hanlon says:

    Brilliant, Chiefio.

    Only yesterday I was looking at UV and how much of it strikes the Earth. Unfortunately, most of the links I found were in the context of the harm it can do to us and the ozone layer. Amounts seem to vary between 3-10% of TSI.

    At the equator, TSI can be 1kW/m^2, which would equate to about 60W/m^2 of UV. UV has apparently dropped 10% over this last solar cycle, and the tropics hold the greatest extent of ocean. 6W might not seem much, but over that area it is a massive amount of energy no longer going into the deep ocean.

    The fact that it goes into the deep ocean makes it special, because this is not energy that will dissipate the same night, unlike IR, or indeed both IR and UV over land. It could be stored for years, to come up wherever the currents may take it.

    So if it is not going in in the first place, that has to have long term consequences. It makes more sense to me than the small drop in TSI, or the gravitational effects of the planets on the solar barycentre. Mind you, I never made the connection between the implied rise in visible light as a result, and the effects that that would have on precipitation. A very lateral piece of thinking there.

    BTW, thanks for “Fuddite” and “pivnurt”. I see Fuddite has already made it to WUWT, and now I’ll never forget that equation.

  15. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. Perhaps you would like to know how it is usually referred to this equation in spanish: PV=PAVO (turkey in sp.) and RT= RATON (mouse in sp.)

  16. Paul Hanlon says:

    @Stephen Wilde

    I followed your link and then the onward link to Tallbloke’s Talkshop. Fascinating exchange. I think Chiefio is talking about something slightly different to your theory here, although I don’t want to put words into his mouth. Also, I think Bill Gilbert had it bang on is his assessment of your proposition. Rather than applying pivnurt, you were applying pivmurt :-). I haven’t visited TBTS in a while. Must correct that error.

  17. Hi Paul.

    I’d forgotten some of the details of that Talkshop exchange.

    Will review it again. It’s not a simple issue.

    Bill suggested applying thermodynamics rather than the Ideal Gas Law but however one does it the atmosphere works to keep ToA energy balance stable whatever the atmospheric composition.

  18. I’m not convinced that the distinction between n (moles) and m (mass) is necessary.

    A mole is just a convenient generic unit of measurement where a substance is made up of a mixture of elementary entities of different masses:

    “Mole is a unit of measurement used in chemistry to express amounts of a chemical substance, defined as the amount of any substance that contains as many elementary entities (e.g., atoms, molecules, ions, electrons) as there are atoms in 12 grams of pure carbon-12 (12C), the isotope of carbon with relative atomic mass 12”

    from here:

    So for the purposes of a practical application of ‘pivnurt’ they would be effectively interchangeable would they not ?

  19. This formulation seems to resolve the criticisms of Bill Gilbert and others:

    PV = nRT = m Rspecific T

    from here:

    which gives the ability to vary m (mass) and Rspecific (for the specific gas composition) in response to a change in V in accordance with my article.

    Thus when V changes one can vary m and Rspecific without T having to change.

    Adding GHGs or otherwise changing atmospheric composition where P at the surface remains the same would alter Rspecific, m and V such that the change in V on one side of the equation would offset the changes in m and Rspecific on the other side leaving T unchanged.

    Unless I have missed something.

  20. D. J. Hawkins says:

    My comment has been in moderation for two days now. Have I been a bad boy?

    [Reply: No. I’ve been a very busy person trying to make enough money to pay off the credit card used to get to my new job… It’s not about you at all. ]

  21. Paul Hanlon says:


    The major take-out I got from the TBTS exchange was that moles are not equal to mass or density, and if you are not using moles, you can’t use pivnurt. You can still use a gas law, just not the Ideal Gas law.

  22. D. J. Hawkins says:

    @Stephen Wilde says:
    16 October 2013 at 10:37 am

    Yes, I believe you may have missed something. The meaning of Rspecific is the ration of R to the molar mass, M as seen further down the article you cite. You can’t vary Rspecific as it is merely a function of the units you are using. If I’m working with grams of O2, then Rspecific is R/32.02grams/mole. If I am working with a mixture of gases, then M is the average molar mass. It’s fixed by the units and composition of your system and cannot be independantly varied. Since the composition of the gas mixture may change over time, this is a cumbersome convention to use.

    For convenience sake, chemical engineers often work with quantities expressed as lbmole or tonmole which allows quick calculation of reactants and products on an industrial scale. A tonmole of O2 would be 6,404 pounds mass in weight. One lbmole of O2 (32.02 pounds mass) combine with one lbmole of C (12.011 pounds mass) to form one lbmole of CO2 (44.01 pounds mass). Assuming that the reaction is isothermal and the gasses start in a sealed vessel at not much more than atmospheric pressure, pressure in the vessel will be halved since the total number of moles in the system is halved.

  23. Paul.

    I accepted that within the TBTS exchange by switching to the use of m and Rspecific.

    If that was all that you were pointing out here then that is fine.

    The term

    PV = nRT = mRspecificT

    means that it makes no practical difference.

  24. Paul Hanlon says:

    Sorry Stephen. Yes, that was all I was pointing out here. You hadn’t updated your blog post to reflect the TBTS exchange, and I got confused as to where you were coming from. I’m just at the level where I can actually understand these things now.

    The first time I saw you elucidate your theory on WUWT (sorry, no link but I think it was about three years ago), I commented that I thought it made a lot of sense, and I have been following your progress since through your comments there. About the only place I would differ is regarding the effects that planets have on the solar barycentre.

    I just don’t think there is enough power there to affect things enough to make the differences that we’re seeing, but I also think that the sun is having an effect, but we just don’t definitively know how yet. I think the variations in UV could be powerful enough, especially given the penetration to the deep oceans.

  25. Thanks Paul.

    I’m not involved in the barycentre aspect because it makes no difference to me how the solar variations are induced.

    I differ slightly from Chiefio on a couple of points but he is right in principle about the relevance of the Gas Laws.

    Perhaps I should revise my article to refer to mRspecificT instead of nRT

    I think I have narrowed down the initial solar effect on the atmosphere to a uv effect on ozone amounts in the stratosphere which may be of the opposite sign to established climatology and if that is right then the CFC scare was wrong too.

    Chiefio’s hypothesis of IR induced evaporation being the primary cause would not deal with the observed stratosphere temperature changes when solar variations occur.

  26. Roger Sowell says:

    EM, a small error.

    Pump air into a tank or a car tire. V is getting smaller, so P goes up.

    Actually, V remains constant for the tire or the tank. Pressure increases because n increases when air is added to the tire (or tank).

    Also, the assumption that average P for the atmosphere is a constant is somewhat in error. Local P varies with the local temperature, hence cold air masses bring an increase in barometric pressure. Trying to determine the planet-wide average surface pressure is as futile as the average surface temperature.

  27. crosspatch says:

    Earth has a funny atmosphere and what makes it funny is the stratosphere. So as you rise from the surface it gets colder until you reach the stratosphere, then it gets warmer as you rise until you reach the mesosphere. So the stratosphere acts as sort of a “lid” on the lower atmosphere and keeps the upper atmosphere somewhat isolated from what goes on down there.

    I like to think of the boundary at the tropopause as a membrane of sorts. Maybe think of the troposphere as a balloon inside of a balloon with the space between the balloons being the stratosphere. In any case, the tropopause puts a convective “lid” on our atmosphere. That surface is ultimately where a lot of heat radiates from, too, as that is the convective lid. If you think of a greenhouse, it is the glass but isn’t any more opaque to LWIR than the rest of the atmosphere. Actually, the statosphere is very dry and it isn’t very convective because it gets warmer with altitude (particularly during daylight hours). If it weren’t for airliners dumping tons of CO2 and water vapor into the statosphere every day from burning jet fuel, it would be much more transparent to LWIR than it is. Airliners like to fly there because it reduces drag and because there is little convection, there is less turbulence.

    A thunderstorm can “push” the tropopause up to 60,000 feet or more and in polar winter a cold sinking air mass can pull it all the way down to the surface so the tropopause isn’t nice and even like a balloon, it is lumpy. High pressure systems are “dimples” and low pressure systems are “bumps” on it. Individual storms are like “pimples”. But generally speaking, if you increase the temperature of the troposphere, just like increasing the temperature of a balloon, it expands.

    If you increase the temperature of a balloon and it expands, that tends to increase the radiative surface of it which tends to want to make the temperature go back down. It wants to reach equalibrium. So you take a balloon and put a lightbulb inside. Measure the temperature of the air. Turn on the light bulb, the balloon will expand. The total surface radiation will increase and the temperature of the air inside will not rise as much as it would have if the balloon had not expanded. So an expansion of the tropopause would act to moderate the temperature of the temperature of the troposphere. It is a negative feedback. If you think of the troposphere as a radiative surface (where a thunderstorm’s convection will stop and spread out), that surface increases.

    A greenhouse is a bad analogy for what happens on Earth’s atmosphere because in a greenhouse, the convective barrier is also the LWIR barrier. Our atmosphere doesn’t work that way. Most of the molecules that block LWIR are closer to the surface and get thinner as one goes up. By the time you hit the convective barrier the majority of water vapor and CO2 are well below you. That was the case until aircraft started pumping tons and tons of CO2 and water vapor into the stratosphere and that water vapor doesn’t precipitate out easily. But how effective would a greenhouse be if the air inside could convect right through the glass? It wouldn’t be very effective at all. Yes, it would collect some of the LWIR being emitted from the surface and re-radiate some of that downward, but that would just speed up the convection of the heat to higher altitude where it would radiate it above the LWIR barrier. So one would expect increased CO2 to increase nighttime convection and chance the balance of cooling mechanisms at night from more radiative to more convective. In other words, increased CO2 would likely result in more nighttime thunderstorms but that is also a negative feedback on temperature change.

    Where the big change comes in is changes in the stratosphere. Increase the amount of LWIR blocking there and no amount of convection can get you above it. So yeah, maybe CO2 HAS had an impact but maybe the CO2 we introduce at the surface level doesn’t have much. Maybe the greater impact isn’t even CO2, maybe it is water vapor. I would be willing to bet that stratospheric absolute humidity has a greater impact than tropospheric absolute humidity because the more you try to block CO2 at some level of the troposphere, the more you just convect above the blocking. That is, until you hit the tropopause. The more you increase the CO2 and water vapor in the stratosphere the more you CAN warm the troposphere without any of nature’s feedbacks being able to mitigate against it.

    Maybe regulating CO2 emissions in the surface is absolutely useless. Maybe what they should be doing is keeping water vapor out of the stratosphere.

  28. crosspatch,
    You conclude that regulating CO2 emissions won’t affect surface temperatures significantly. IMHO. I am convinced that you are right.

    You point out that temperature rises with altitude in the stratosphere which I attribute to the fact heat transfer in that region is dominated by radiation rather than other processes.

    In the troposphere convection and phase changes (the melting of ice and the evaporation of water) are the dominant heat transfer processes. Consequently temperature falls with altitude in a linear fashion as can be calculated using pivnurt and thermodynamics. The temperature gradient (Dry Adiabatic Lapse Rate) can be shown to be = -g/Cp, where g is the local acceleration due to gravity and Cp is the specific heat of the atmosphere at constant pressure. Where significant water vapor is present the lapse rate is lowered, explaining why the troposphere is thicker at the equator than at the poles.

    Occasionally radiation can dominate the effect of convection in the troposphere leading to “Temperature Inversion” which means that temperature rises with height. When the concentration of water vapor is high this can lead to surface fog or freezing rain.

    Carl Sagan used the gas equations and thermodynamics to (correctly) predict the surface temperature of Venus in 1967 even though he was not sure whether Nitrogen or CO2 was the main component of that planet’s atmosphere. In Sagan’s opinion it made little difference as the Cp for those gases is similar.

    The same concept works on Earth, Jupiter and Titan. All of these planets have tropospheres which exhibit temperature gradients that closely approximate to -g/Cp.

    Please note that Sagan did not consider radiative transfer in his calculations. Sagan was right about Venus while Hansen was wrong. It should be beyond obvious that CO2 could not cause Hansen’s “Runaway Greenhouse Effect” on Venus because radiative processes in the troposphere of a planet cannot have any effect on surface temperature when a planet has 100% cloud cover.

  29. Pingback: Classical Values » PV=nRT

  30. Jerry Lawson says:

    Would you happen to have a link to NASA papers showing reduced orbital drag?

    {Reply: It is up here somewhere. I’ll look for one, but you could just do a web search for “NASA solar orbital drag atmosphere”… -E.M.Smith }

  31. D. J. Hawkins says:

    I’ve had comments “in moderation” for a week now. Any hope they might soon be released from durance vile?

    [Reply: Unfortunately, due to the need to grub for money, I am unable to service the blog daily. I hope to change that in the next couple of months, but only increased efficiency in money grubbing will determine what happens. I tried doing this all based on donations, but not enough cash showed up. Sorry. So once a week (or sometimes two) I get time to ‘service all the demands’ after work and life maintenance is satisfied. I’ve set up “white lists’, so once someone is ‘vetted’, their comments will show immediately. But sometimes folks first comment may sit for a long while until I hit the queues. That is the price paid for being a totally free and low contribution level site. I do what I can, but this is entirely a one man unpaid show. -E.M.Smith ]

  32. omanuel says:

    Pivnurt illustrates the “settled science” that world tyrants have tried to use to mask post-1945 propaganda as scientific truths.

    The “science was settled” by Fred Hoyle [1] amd Hideki Yukawa [2] when the Second World War ended and frightened world leaders decided to hide the source of energy in cores of stars and atoms.

    [1] Fred Hoyle, “The chemical composition of the stars,” Monthly Notices Royal Astronomical Society 106, 255-259 (1946); “The synthesis of elements from hydrogen,” Monthly Notices Royal Astronomical Society 106, 343-383 (1946).

    [2] Hideki Yukawa, Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (1946); Introduction to the Theory of Elementary Particles (1948)

    The rest of the story will be told in an autobiography, “A Journey to the Core of the Sun.”

  33. I’ve removed my article on the matter from my site pending further thought.

  34. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Stephen; I look forward to your re-examination. pg

  35. Thanks pgs.

    The problem was a misapprehension as to the nature of the Gas Constant. Even though it varies with individual gases it is a function solely of mass / molecular weight and so is not helpful in trying to ascertain the thermal effects of molecular characteristics other than mass.

    I think the solution lies in more general thermodynamics.

    There must be a solution because the temperature cannot get too high for ToA radiative balance and I am not convinced by the AGW proposal that lower layers can warm whilst higher levels cool because the increased temperature differentials within the atmosphere must then affect the general circulation.

    Chiefio is circling around the same issue as are many others.

    We need to show why the radiative only solution is not sufficient to account for climate changes. It clearly isn’t because observations show that to be so.

    The answer could be that GHGs have some effect but that it is trivial compare to changes in sun and oceans.

  36. p.g.sharrow says:

    The stratosphere works mainly through radiation working with dry gases, slow convection caused by little in the way of pivnurt differences. Add Water as in the lower levels and there is a great deal of convection due to phase changes as well as energy pumping from the same causes. The active fluid of Water is the refrigerant of the Earths Airconditioner and makes this a two part problem. Any solution must examine this as a complex system. Simplification just breeds error. GHGs is just a simplification error that should be discarded as Max Planck tried to do a hundred years ago when he got professor Arrtherous to admit that his “Greenhouse” experiment and his conclusions were poorly done. The Stratosphere is the “greenhouse” insulation blanket due to its poor conductivity and lack of convection.
    But what do I know. I’m just a refrigeration mechanic. 8-) At least you and Smith can “see” the system for what it is. You just need to sew the tapestry together in a written form that others can grasp. I feel that you have the best total understanding of any that I have read. Good luck. pg

  37. omanuel says:

    Two new items of interest:

    1. Susan Lindauer, a former CIA asset, reports: “US Government Afraid of American People”

    2. A new paper: P. M. Robitaille, “Forty Lines of Evidence for Condensed Matter — The Sun on Trial: Liquid Metallic Hydrogen as a Solar Building Block,” Progress in Physics 4, 90-142 (Oct 2013):

    Professor Robitaille and I now Agree: The core of the Sun is condensed matter.

    We Disagree: The condensed matter is neutrons, not hydrogen.

  38. gallopingcamel says:

    As an undergraduate I was a big fan of Fred Hoyle with his “Continuous Creation”. He was one of us (Cantabs) so he had to be right.

    Sadly, it turned out that the evidence for a “Big Bang” was convincing. Fred was a fighter; he fought for his theory until the day he died. Looking back, he was a great man with traits we should all envy but he was sometimes…….wrong.

  39. omanuel says:


    I too was an admirer of Fred Hoyle.

    The BBC kept Fred Hoyle tied up in films and interviews when we were both at Gregynog in 1976, so I did not get to talk with him at length.

    Fred Hoyle’s autobiography undercuts the SSM (standard solar model).

    Hoyle’s and Orwell’s roles in history could be explained if

    1. Hoyle were blackmailed into writing the 1946 papers that he denounced In his 1994 autobiography, and

    2. Hoyle told Orwell in 1946 about the deception he was forced to write. That was the year Orwell started writing “Nineteen Eighty-Four”.

  40. P.G.Sharrow says:

    @ omanual
    “The Neutron IS condensed matter.”
    Very good sir. Nice, short, to the point statement of fact. 8-) pg

  41. I’ve removed the faulty material from my article and republished a revised version here:

    The Gas Constant is the global thermostat and this essay describes what happens.

    I have a separate essay in hand describing how the Gas Constant causes GHGs to fail to increase surface temperature but instead change atmospheric volume.

    The volume change caused by the gas constant in response to radiative absorption is separate to the volume change caused by the different molecular weights of gases.

    The latter is tied to mass but the former is not and in my previous version I had conflated the two phenomena incorrectly.

  42. omanuel says:

    @ P.G. Sharrow

    The hydrogen atom is an expanded neutron, so yes, the neutron is a condensed form of hydrogen.

    FEAR of powerlessness is the root cause of self-deception

    1. In 1945 about the source of energy stored on cores of atoms and stars

    2. In 2013 about the source of energy and hydrogen made in the Sun

  43. I think I’ve nailed it.

    Adapting the Gas Law for planetary atmospheres.

    The usual form, PV = mRspecificT applies to a parcel of gas within an existing atmosphere. Gravitational potential energy can be ignored because such a parcel expands equally up and down. The intermolecular forces are small enough to ignore.

    For a planetary atmosphere as a whole that is not good enough because gravitational potential energy is very close to 50% of the energy in an atmosphere. I suggest the following variant:

    PV = mRspecificE

    Where E represents total atmosphere energy content (KE + PE) and the value of Rspecific determines how much of E can be in kinetic form (KE) as heat and how much in potential form (PE) as height.

    In that way we can allow factors other than mass, gravity and insolation to affect V without affecting T because T is determined only by the amount of KE needed to keep the mass of the atmosphere off the surface at a given height and in turn that is determined by mass (m) and the individual gas constant for the particular atmospheric composition (Rspecific).

    Once one has enough KE to do that job all additional factors influencing total atmospheric energy content must go to PE alone.

    from here:

  44. Paul Hanlon says:

    @Stephen Wilde

    That is profound.

    It is profound not just in the ideas put forward, but also in the way it describes those ideas in terms that the average self taught layman scientist can understand. Kudos to you, sir.

    What I see are a number of different mechanisms going on all at the same time. The light from the sun hits the Earth. It interacts with both the Earths’ atmosphere and its surface to create heat, mostly around the Equator.

    If it gets too much at the Equator, thunderstorms arise, and they dissipate that heat straight out to space. However, heat is still there so it spreads towards the poles, mostly through water.

    If it gets too much at the Poles, ice melts and exposes more of the sea to the atmosphere. We see that this is another thermostatic mechanism by the rebound of ice extent following the melts in 2007 and 2012. The ice actually acts as an insulator, inhibiting the loss of heat to space.

    However, because the Antarctic is surrounded by the Southern Ocean, it doesn’t melt as much as the Arctic, hence what we are seeing currently. When the AMO migrates to the South, then there will be more melting of the Antarctic, but it will only be acting as another thermostat. If there isn’t, we should be worried.

    All the time, as pointed out so well in your post, the atmosphere is expanding and contracting according to the new realm, dissipating heat some times and conserving it other times, leaving a balance that happens to be ideal for humans as we are currently constituted. No guilt need apply.

    Water is what allows us to live here. I think I calculated that at the average temperature of water at 277K, it equates to the same amount of energy stored, as what is received from the sun in a year. This acts as a huge balancing mechanism (it’s own thermostat, if you will). Not just in the overall temperature, but also in the delta of that temperature. Except in the extremes, such as the polar regions or deserts (where most of us don’t live) temps don’t vary by much more than 20K.

    But there’s another thing about water. The difference between its boiling point and its melting point is 100K, whereas with CO2 it is 22K, and with Methane it is 20K, which allows a water based planet the ability to support a much greater diversity of species, which is probably why we cannot discern if there is life on Mars, or Titan, for instance.

    Anyway, I digress. Thank you for a great article.

    Paul Hanlon

  45. Thanks Paul.

    Please pass it on.

  46. R. de Haan says:

    I second Paul Hanlon’s comment. really great work Steven, thanks.

  47. suricat says:

    Stephen Wilde says: 28 October 2013 at 2:46 am

    “PV = mRspecificE

    Where E represents total atmosphere energy content (KE + PE) and the value of Rspecific determines how much of E can be in kinetic form (KE) as heat and how much in potential form (PE) as height.”

    Think again Stephen. You need a ‘parallel “shunt” factor’ that can account for ‘latency’ where the energy is invisible to ‘sensible heat’. Thus, radiative potential.

    Think on Willis’s “steel greenhouse”! The planet’s ‘core’ provides ‘sensible radiation’ from the planet’s ‘surface’ which is ‘equal’ in ‘W/m^2’ to the ‘sensible radiation’ from the ‘shell’! This is an ‘impossible scenario’ that leads to a ‘perpetual refrigeration device’ between the planet’s surface and the ‘shell’.

    The only redeeming factor to come from the ‘steel greenhouse’ model, is that there are ‘other’ energy transports in play that aren’t addressed within the model.

    Let’s concentrate on the ‘phase changes’ for H2O. :)

    It displays a ‘large’ latent heat for phase change between the liquid/gas state, thus, buffers temp change whilst ‘accentuating’ volumetric change, but the compound also alters density (as a ‘unique’ gas [~3/5 the density of N2]) which leads into a ‘mine field’ for any ‘PVT’ calculation.

    Tread carefully.

    Best regards, Ray.

  48. Hi Ray.

    I agree about the effects of the phase changes of water but believe we should treat them separately from the adiabatic cycle.

    The effect of the water cycle is to introduce an even more effective energy transport mechanism than simple up and down adiabatic convection.

    Thus adding the water cycle (latent heat) just means that the adiabatic cycle doesn’t need to work so hard to achieve the desired outcome of system stability.

    Without the water cycle to assist the adiabatic cycle would need to be more vigorous to achieve stabilisation of the system.

    After all, latent heat doesn’t register on sensors as heat and in that respect it is similar to gravitational potential energy.

    So I think your comment is valid but does not detract from what I have suggested.

  49. suricat says:

    Stephen Wilde says: 9 November 2013 at 11:45 am

    “I agree about the effects of the phase changes of water but believe we should treat them separately from the adiabatic cycle.”

    I disagree. The inclusion of water, and its vapour, ‘alters’ the ‘adiabatic lapse rate’. Thus, ‘water availability’ is ‘instrumental’ in the ‘formulation’ of the ‘state’ of the local “adiabatic cycle”.

    Dry air is heavier than humid air, thus, the water vapour content (though ~1% on average, can be present to values of ~4% in hot regions) dictates the local ‘ELR’ (environmental lapse rate). The Dry Lapse Rate is ‘hypothetical’ and can only be ‘visualised’ by individual ‘cognisance’ from ‘first principles’, but the ELR can be realised by individual experimentation at ‘whatever location’ by a ‘field trip’.

    Surely, a further ‘logic trip’ into the reasoning behind this ‘local variation’ would be easier for an individual to either, comprehend, or ask more questions?

    “The effect of the water cycle is to introduce an even more effective energy transport mechanism than simple up and down adiabatic convection.”

    I concur, but the ‘atmospheric hydrological cycle’ ‘promotes’ “adiabatic convection ” ‘invisible to temperature change’ until the cycle achieves its ‘maximum altitude’ for activity. ‘At’ the water cycle’s ‘maximum altitude’ for activity it releases ‘heat’ into the surrounding altitude’s atmospheric mass (this may be the ‘saving grace’ for Willis’s “Steel Greenhouse”)! It’s also the logic behind the IPCC’s non existent ‘Hot Spot’. The altitude is more open to ‘radiation to space’ and this should have been more of a discussion of whether or not to ‘raise’ the altitude of the ‘tropopause’ than a ‘true hot spot’ scenario for the IPCC.

    “Thus adding the water cycle (latent heat) just means that the adiabatic cycle doesn’t need to work so hard to achieve the desired outcome of system stability.”

    Yes and no. Yes, the ‘atmospheric hydrological cycle’ increases the energy transport of the ‘adiabatic cycle’, but no, the atmospheric hydrological cycle ‘destabilises’ the adiabatic cycle by altering ‘wind speed’ through a chain of events that involve ‘SST’ (sea surface temperature), Earth’s rotation and surface atmospheric pressures in the region of its activity. Not to mention that water vapour is lighter than air, so also ‘speeds’ the adiabatic cycle.

    “Without the water cycle to assist the adiabatic cycle would need to be more vigorous to achieve stabilisation of the system.”

    No. As I said before, water vapour ‘destabilises’ the adiabatic cycle. It’s the ‘origin’ of Hurricanes and Tornadoes.

    “After all, latent heat doesn’t register on sensors as heat and in that respect it is similar to gravitational potential energy.”

    Sorry, but no again. If you want to align ‘H2O latency’ with ‘gravitational potential energy’, you need to assign a ‘-‘ sign to that. Same goes for any ‘inertial value’.

    “So I think your comment is valid but does not detract from what I have suggested.”

    Always thinking about something, at this time it’s climate. However, climate is only the kind of weather you may expect at your locality :)

    Best regards, Ray.

  50. Ray,

    “I disagree. The inclusion of water, and its vapour, ‘alters’ the ‘adiabatic lapse rate’. Thus, ‘water availability’ is ‘instrumental’ in the ‘formulation’ of the ‘state’ of the local “adiabatic cycle”.”

    Of course it does but the ideal lapse rate rate set by mass, gravity and insolation remains as it is and any diversion caused by water vapour at lower levels gets compensated for by an equal and opposite change in the lapse rate above the point of condensation.

    ” If you want to align ‘H2O latency’ with ‘gravitational potential energy’, you need to assign a ‘-’ sign to that. Same goes for any ‘inertial value’.”

    I already implied that by pointing out that the effect of latent energy is to reduce the need for such a strong adiabatic exchange. That does imply assigning a ‘-‘ sign.

    I do not think we have any significant disagreement.

  51. suricat says:

    Stephen Wilde says: 12 November 2013 at 4:29 am

    “Of course it does but the ideal lapse rate rate set by mass, gravity and insolation remains as it is”

    Of course it does (remain as it is), but this only occurs, in proximal observation, ‘above’ the tropopause where the atmospheric hydrological cycle doesn’t extend to. Below the tropopause, the ideal lapse rate is nonsensical. Doesn’t even come ‘close’ to observation. Thus, the ‘mainstay usage’ of ‘ELR’ (Environmental Lapse Rate) for these lower altitudes. At least that’s what I’ve come to understand during my ‘personal’ research for climate.

    “and any diversion caused by water vapour at lower levels gets compensated for by an equal and opposite change in the lapse rate above the point of condensation.”

    This may well be true for disruption to density and gravitational characteristics, but ‘energy transport’ is a ‘different kettle of fish’ (pardon the pun).

    When we look at ‘energy transport’, the ‘energy’ is ‘moved invisibly’ from an altitude where this energy is entrapped within Earth’s atmosphere, to an ‘altitude’ where it can ‘freely’ radiate into outer space! This is probably the most significant aspect of the atmospheric hydrological cycle! It ‘spans’ the ‘depth to extinction’ hypothesis to a ‘place/altitude’ where ‘depth to extinction’ doesn’t exist. This makes ‘the system’ Earth’s ‘thermostat’ when the Clausius-Clapyron relationship is taken into consideration for surface temperature.

    “I already implied that by pointing out that the effect of latent energy is to reduce the need for such a strong adiabatic exchange. That does imply assigning a ‘-’ sign.

    The ‘-‘ sign was applied to ‘gravity’ and ‘inertia’. Not ‘latency’!

    Please clarify. :)

    Best regards, Ray.

  52. p.g.sharrow says:

    The Troposphere is the portion of the atmosphere we live in and it is a creature of the hydrological cycle. Without water it would not exist. Any modeling of climate /weather must take the behavior of water into consideration for an accurate picture. Without water the Stratosphere is the better model. A large part of the earths atmosphere is liquid in the oceans! 8-) pg

  53. Ray.

    Please clarify what you mean by ‘aligning gravitational potential with latency’.

    I saw it as meaning that the behaviour of latent heat in water vapour reduces the work needed to create gravitational potential because water vapour is lighter than air hence it can be given the ‘-‘sign as suggested by you.

    I think there may be a semantic issue in there somewhere.


    I agree and have previously said that the oceans should be treated as part of the atmosphere if one is to produce a comprehensive analysis of the climate system.

    The troposphere is the product of a temperature inversion at the tropopause caused by ozone reacting directly with sunlight above that level but I agree with you that the hydro cycle dominates beneath the tropopause.

    In the end though it is all down to the gas constant because the weight of the atmosphere on the surface and the work needed to hold it off the surface (as per the gas constant) affects the net energy cost of the evaporative process. I went into that in tiresome detail in one of my earlier essays:

  54. suricat says:

    Stephen Wilde says: 13 November 2013 at 3:29 am

    “I think there may be a semantic issue in there somewhere.”

    I’ll take the ‘plural’ of this, ‘semantics’ ([meaning 3] ‘Logic’, the principles that determine the truth-values of the formulas in a logical system).

    Forget any ‘heat’ context for the time being.

    ‘Water vapour’ (WV) per ‘unit mass’ occupies a greater volume of Earth’s atmosphere than any of the other major gas constituents. IOW, it’s the ‘least’ dense (mass/volume = density)! Because WV is such a ‘light’ gas, gravity acts upon ‘other gasses’ with more effort per ‘unit area’. Hence, from Archimedes Principle, gravity acts more strongly upon ‘other gasses’ than WV, thus, WV is propelled upwards leaving ‘other gasses’ to fall under gravitational influence. There are ‘turbulence’ issues that evolve, but I don’t want to go into these ‘issues’ at this point.

    So, your assumption that “I saw it as meaning that the behaviour of latent heat in water vapour reduces the work needed to create gravitational potential because water vapour is lighter than air hence it can be given the ‘-’sign as suggested by you.” is ‘confused’. Your assumption of this wrongly related to ‘heat’ (unless you’ve not revealed your full, and on-going, understanding on this point of logic)!

    Gravity and inertia are less attracted to WV than most other atmospheric constituents! That’s why the inertia within ‘cyclonic/anticyclonic’ weather systems ‘separate’ WV towards the ‘eye’ of the system and may well be the source for jet streams between Climate Cells. The ‘-‘ sign is significant to ‘gravity and inertia’.

    Let’s come back to the ‘heat’ context. ‘Latent heat’ is what it’s labelled as, ‘hidden heat’. Because there is more ‘reversible heat’ present than can be realised by a thermometer, the ‘label’ of ‘latent’ (hidden) is a good choice to describe the migration of ‘energy’ (energy that would otherwise alter temperature) into another, reversible, form that can once again display ‘sensible heat’.

    ‘Latent’ content of atmospheric constituents can only imply a ‘reversible’ exchange between attractors (the ‘proponents’ are only ‘sleeping’), so when these ‘energies’ are ‘unavailable’ to the ‘observed system’, the ‘sleeping components’ are considered to be ‘latent’.

    There are so many ‘latent energy’ component issues ‘below the tropopause’ that a ‘radiative conclusion’ is in-definitive below this altitude, and I’ve said as much to Ferenc Miskolczi in private e-mail dialogue.

    Temperature and Lapse Rate are divided by latency!

    Best regards, Ray.

  55. Ok Ray. Still no significant disagreement.

    I would say that the work needing to be done to overcome gravity and inertia is reduced by the fact that water vapour is lighter than air which is what you seem to be saying.

    So the energy cost of uplift can be a ‘-‘ sign and the energy saved by the vapour being lighter than air can be set against it as a ‘+’ sign or vice versa depending on perspective.

    I think that concept is implied in my original narrative.

  56. p.g.sharrow says:

    Perhaps we should say that gravity causes climate and water causes weather. 8-) pg

  57. pg,

    I don’t like to disagree with you but I have a problem with this statement:
    “The Troposphere is the portion of the atmosphere we live in and it is a creature of the hydrological cycle. Without water it would not exist.”

    There is very little water on Venus, yet the planet has a well defined Troposphere with a temperature gradient corresponding to the predictions of thermodynamics (L = -g/Cp).

  58. p.g.sharrow says:

    @gallopingcamel; I rather doubt the Venus Troposphere is anything like the Earth Troposphere. Though like other larger space bodies an atmosphere exists and can be divided into “named” regions, there is not much that they would have in common. Stephen describes the evolution of Ozone above the Tropopause as a feature of the Stratosphere. A feature that I had not examined before. I must consider this further as the conditions in the Stratosphere are much different compared to the Troposphere. Gas pressures and temperature are only part of the features involved in weather and climate. Energy content and circulations caused by energy differences in the constituents of the total atmosphere are the activators of “weather”. pg

  59. suricat says:

    Guys, my understanding of the ‘Earth’s’ tropo is an altitude which encompasses ~80% of atmospheric mass, but I think this is probably better defined by the altitude of the ‘first’ temperature inversion from the surface of a planet.

    stephen wilde says: 14 November 2013 at 2:52 pm

    “I would say that the work needing to be done to overcome gravity and inertia is reduced by the fact that water vapour is lighter than air which is what you seem to be saying.”

    Gravity and inertia are not ‘overcome’, they both remain, individually, constant! The subject is, actually, less complex than that.

    Surface atmospheric motion at, and just above, the surface are subjected to an enhanced Coriolis effect ~at the region of the Ferrel Cells, which encourages circular atmospheric motion relative to the surface. We observe ‘anticyclones’ in the NH and ‘cyclones’ in the SH because of this Earth rotation feature (the Polar and Hadley Cells only display ‘planar centrifuge’ and ‘radial centrifuge’ properties respectively for Coriolis effect).

    A cyclonic/anticyclonic event presents as a ‘vortex’, with all the usual implication for the forces involved with such a beast. A vortex possesses a rotational plane and the atmosphere rotating within that plane possesses inertia. The ‘rate of rotation’ and the ‘inertial weight’ of the atmospheric constituents determine the forces involved. Gravity, acting as a ‘constant’, is the only ‘unchanging’ force (as is the Coriolis effect for the planet’s rate of rotation).

    If you concur with the above then it really ‘is’ “less complex than that.”.

    ‘Gravity’ and ‘inertial acceleration’ are ‘indistinguishable’. Thus, the centrifuge within a vortex generates a ‘gravity well’ at the ‘centre’ (eye) of the vortex. This causes ‘lighter elements/compounds to not only migrate to higher altitudes, but to migrate towards the ‘centre’ (eye) of the vortex as well!

    Look at any Weather Chart and you’ll observe ‘more’ WV, or rain, within a ‘low pressure’ system. The ‘lows’ attract ‘lighter’ atmospheric components.

    I digress. I really wanted to say that the ‘best estimate’ from Trenberth et al didn’t ‘hit the spot’ for ‘latent transport’. Guess I’ll leave this for another post. :)

    Best regards, Ray.

  60. pg,
    It is no coincidence that the temperature gradient in the lower atmosphere follows the -g/Cp equation whenever we are able to measure it. Here is NASA’s list of planets and moons that obey the rule:
    g Cp DALR
    m/s2 J/gm/K K/Km Atmospheric composition
    Venus 0.88989 0.8501 10.468 96.5% CO2, 3.5% Nitrogen
    Earth 0.97986 1.0040 9.760 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen
    Mars 0.37410 0.8312 4.500 95.3% CO2, 2.7% Nitrogen, 1.6% Argon
    Jupiter 2.42561 12.3591 1.963 89.8% Hydrogen, 1.2% Helium
    Saturn 1.00009 14.0129 0.714 96.3% Hydrogen, 3.25% Helium, 0.45% Methane
    Uranus 0.88007 13.0137 0.676 82.5% Hydrogen, 15.2% Helium, 2.3% Methane
    Neptune 1.11046 13.0137 0.853 80.0% Hydrogen, 19.0% Helium, 1.5% Methane
    Titan 0.13580 1.0440 1.301 98.4% Nitrogen, 1.4% Methane, 0.2% Hydrogen

    The radiative properties of gases may affect temperature gradients in the stratosphere but they have essentially no effect in the troposphere. The specific heat at constant pressure and “g” determine the temperature gradient. If I sent you the following link before, please accept my apologies:

  61. Ooooops!
    That table looked so pretty when I pressed the “Post Comment” button. Maybe Chiefio can sort it out into columns!

  62. suricat says:

    I think GC has already said most of it, but I’ll persevere. :)

    I can’t locate the paper from Trenberth that lead to the publication of Trenberth’s ‘Caricature’ of ‘Global energy fluxes’ (if anyone has a ‘link’ that’s not ‘pay walled’, I’ll appreciate its provision), but I have a link that indicates some of his ‘interest’ at around this time and it comes from ‘The Journal of Climate’, Volume 12, at page 1368:

    You can read this if you want to, but it’s basically about ‘rainfall’ to Earth’s ‘surface’ and its evaporation. This isn’t the ‘atmospheric hydrological clycle’. It’s the ‘surface hydrological cycle’! The two just don’t permutate to be alike! The sequences and arrangements differ greatly.

    A ‘significant’ percentage of ‘precipitable water’ just doesn’t strike the surface. It’s evaporated again as it ‘transits’ (falls) to the lower depths of Earth’s atmosphere. This ‘”significant” percentage’ cuts the ‘radiative balance’ to near ‘zero’ for surface temp balanced by ‘radiative calculation’ means/methods.

    Trenberth’s methodology is ‘out of whack’ with reality. PV = nRT = mRspecific T, ‘rules’. :)

    Best regards, Ray.

  63. p.g.sharrow says:

    Yes, simply a heat pump, moving energy from near the surface up towards the tropopause for radiation to space. pg

  64. suricat said:

    “Gravity and inertia are not ‘overcome’,”

    I used the word ‘overcome’ in the sense of being able to move mass against those forces. I agree that neither are used up or depleted by the work needing to be done to move mass against them.

    The hydro cycle is indeed an effective heat pump superimposed on the ‘idea’l lapse rate which is always in the background.

  65. Pingback: Atmosphere Heat | pgtruspace's blog

  66. p.g.sharrow says:

    “Gravity concentrates matter and energy toward the planetary surface. This creates the “Ideal” lapse rate.The hydro cycle is an effective heat pump,moving energy from near the surface up towards the tropopause for radiation to space, superimposed on the ‘ideal’ lapse rate which is always in the background. Surface atmospheric motion at, and just above, the surface are subjected to an enhanced Coriolis effect ~at the region of the Ferrel Cells, which encourages circular atmospheric motion relative to the surface. This moves ‘weather’ atmospheric conditions, about in the Troposphere. Solar heating of the Troposphere changes it’s volume and therefor altitude and latitude of weather conditions. The Oceans are a vital part of the Troposphere as they are a massive reservoir of water and solar energy for the hydro cycle that moves energy from the surface to the Tropopause at the base of the Stratosphere for radiation to space”.

    Just some cut and paste of the above comments to create a train of thought. pg

  67. pgs.

    That is good. I agree.

    Some of my earlier essays overlap with that somewhat since I have previously suggested that the oceans should be regarded as part of the atmosphere for energy retention purposes.

    Rather than limiting the concept to the Ferrel Cells I have proposed involving the entire global air circulation and especially the latitudinal positions of the permanent climate zones and the degree of zonality or meridionality of the jet stream tracks.

    I think we should also consider solar thermal effects in the stratosphere since that affects tropopause heights just as much as thermal effects in the troposphere.

    Basically, I think climate shifts are a result of the interplay between top down solar effects on the stratosphere and bottom up oceanic effects in the troposphere.

  68. tom0mason says:

    Just a thought…
    I look into the sky and see great columns of nimbus or is it cumulonimbus clouds, anyway they look great on the skyline back-lit by a rising sun. Nature is beautiful.
    But then my thoughts wonder again – those great clouds are the conveyors of heat energy around the globe. And an essential for human life too, each of us is about 55% water, and with the human population getting on for 10 billion, that’s an awful lot of stuff we have in those many bodies.
    Of course nearly all humans in the course of a day, burn many types of fuels and all of these release yet more water into the atmosphere. I wonder if any of these things have an effect on the biosphere we inhabit?
    I’m sure lots of research must have been done on it by someone somewhere…

  69. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Stephen; The examination of the Tropopause as a system rather then an interface between the Stratosphere and the Troposphere might prove fruitful. Too often the study of one excludes understanding of the other. The description of the Tropopause covers a rather large volume between the definition of the Stratosphere and the Troposphere regions.You have pointed out the chemical reactions caused by the hard radiation radicalization in the Stratosphere, as well as the change of phase pumping that moves energy through the Troposphere. At times the convection caused turbulence of the Troposphere intrudes deeply into the base of the Stratosphere and at times the lack of energy from below allows the Stratosphere to settle to the surface. People have tried to explain from the bottom up and others from the top down. Maybe you need to start in the middle and work both ways. 8-) pg

  70. “Maybe you need to start in the middle and work both ways. 8-) pg”

    Isn’t that what I am doing by focusing on changes in the gradient of tropopause height between equator and poles ?

    My concept of top down and bottom up processes interacting places the tropopause at the centre of any action like a planet wide pair of seesaws.

  71. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Stephen; Kind of like the interface of the hydrological cycle at the Ocean’s surface. 8-) pg

  72. suricat says:

    Stephen Wilde says: 17 November 2013 at 11:36 am

    “I used the word ‘overcome’ in the sense of being able to move mass against those forces. I agree that neither are used up or depleted by the work needing to be done to move mass against them.”

    Good. The ‘only’ energy “used up” is ‘heat’! This is absorbed to effect the ‘change of state’ (endothermic) of ‘water’ into ‘water vapour’ (WV). Needless to say, the process is ‘reversible’ and reverses when cooler conditions at, possibly/probably, higher altitudes permit this ‘reversal’ with the commensurate value of ‘exothermic’ emission.

    “The hydro cycle is indeed an effective heat pump superimposed on the ‘idea’l lapse rate which is always in the background.”

    Disagree! The ‘Ideal Lapse Rate’ is a ‘standard’ for ‘perfect gasses’. Water, WV and Ice are ‘not “ideal”‘. The ‘triple point’ is too close to Earth’s normal temp and pressure to permit this. Ice, water and WV deviate greatly from this ‘standard’ when Ice ‘sublimates’ to WV and WV ‘super-cools’ to Ice. You need to question the validity of H2O as a ‘perfect gas’ in Earth’s atmosphere. It isn’t!

    H2O, in all of its presentations, ‘ISN’T’ a ‘perfect gas’. I fact, it buggers the entire temperature regimen, and thus, radiative system completely by ‘attracting’ thermal energy into another ‘system’. It’s a ‘shunt’ (in electrical terms) for ‘any temp based lapse rate’ that you want to consider.

    Apologies for my late response.

    Best regards, Ray.

  73. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Ray; I am not sure that there is enough gas, water vapor, in the Troposphere to effect piv-nurt in any material amount. H2O is definitely the working fluid of the Earth’s air-conditioner. It is also the working fluid of the “Fume Scrubber” that maintains the quality of the air we breath. pg

  74. suricat says:

    p.g.sharrow says: 19 November 2013 at 4:07 am

    “”@Ray; I am not sure that there is enough gas, water vapor, in the Troposphere to effect piv-nurt in any material amount.”

    Think again pg. The ‘Clausius Clapyron’ (CC) relationship is all pervasive in the troposphere. Clouds melt and form as the energy properties alter in the atmosphere. The WV “gas” is only ‘observable’ when the atmospheric hydrological cycle is ‘positively’ challenged by temp and pressure.

    The CC relationship lives in another ‘dimension’ from temps!

    Best regards, Ray.

  75. omanuel says:

    The Journal of Food & Chemical Toxicology retracted a study that linked tumors in rats to the ingestion of Roundup resistant corn that had been genetically modified to be resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup.

    The study authors said Friday “they were standing by their findings.” (LA Times)

  76. omanuel says:

    The deceptively convincing model of nuclear binding energy proposed by the late German theoretical nuclear physicist, C.F. von Weizsacker, probably kept

    1. Germany from building an atomic bomb during the Second World War, and

    2. Post-WWII society from knowing that neutron repulsion is the source of energy in cores of heavy atoms, stars and galaxies.

  77. Bill says:

    The surface pressure will stay “constant” regardless of global warming. The surface pressure is really just the weight of all of the air above. Since we have to reason to suspect that global warming will cause the loss of any air, the total amount of atmosphere is constant, so the pressure is constant.
    Thus it is that it is the volume (or more commonly density) of the atmosphere that will change if T goes up. Density is not routinely measured, even at research facilities. More often it is calculated from temperature and pressure measurements.
    The lapse rate, -g/Cp, must be followed on average. Craig Bohren shows in his book on atmospheric thermodynamics that the lapse rate is a condition of maximum entropy, i.e. it is the “equilibrium” condition. That condition is disturbed by the periodic addition of solar energy, but will always tend towards the lapse rate. So it is no surprise that any body with an atmosphere obeys the rule.

  78. omanuel says:

    Thanks to being snowed-in today, Chapter 2 of the autobiography, “A Journey to the Core of the Sun,” was completed and is now posted below for your consideration:

    This chapter provides clear and unequivocal evidence:

    1. Neutron repulsion is the source of energy in cores of heavy atoms and stars
    2. The Sun made our elements, birthed the solar system and sustains our lives
    3. Iron-56 is the most abundant and most stable atom in the Earth and the Sun
    4. Weizsäcker’s “nuclear binding energy” obscures neutron repulsion selectively

    These are the main conclusions to the research assignment I received from the late Professor Paul Kazuo Kuroda 53 years ago.

    Comments from you and others would be much appreciated.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  79. omanuel says:

    I hope that the Chiefio and some readers will ask themselves why Professor Robley Evans left off the decay energies of the neutron and the tritium atom from Figure 2.1?

    If he had included those two data points, the intercept would have been at -1.5 MeV instead of -1.8 MeV, as predicted from his equations.

  80. omanuel says:

    Here’s the link to Professor Robley Evans’s 1955 textbook, “The Atomic Nucleus.”

    The decay energies of the neutron and the tritium atom were omitted from Figure 2.1 on page 35 of the textbook (page 59 of the above pdf file).

    The entire concept of “nuclear binding energy” is as senseless as deciding if a floor is level by measuring the distance from the floor to the point directly above it on a sloping roof ! The roof is higher over neutron-rich atoms and lower over proton-rich ones.

    The deceptively convincing model of “nuclear binding energy” has successfully blocked the public from realizing neutron repulsion (N.R.) as the source of energy in cores of heavy atoms (Th, U, Pu, etc), some planets (Jupiter, Saturn, etc), ordinary stars (the Sun, etc.) and galaxies (the Milky Way).

    N.R. is the energy source that powers atomic bombs, nuclear reactors, stellar luminosity, stellar explosions and gamma-ray bursts.

    A friend pointed out that past pulses from the Sun’s core may have

    1. Produced the historical cosmic catastrophes Velikovsky identified, and
    2. Been repressed from memories of our ancestors’ cosmic catastrophes
    Mankind in amnesia

  81. omanuel says:

    Thanks to the decision of the latest Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry to acknowledge, in public, serious flaws in Nature, Science, Cell, etc., Jo Nova allowed me to post the following information about discoveries in the 1970s that ended established dogmas on the origin of the solar system in 1983:

  82. omanuel says:

    Chiefio et al.,

    Deception was brought into nuclear science after the end ofWWII, with von Weizsacker’s equation for calculating “nuclear binding energy per nucleon, B.E./A.”

    That is now almost as popular as the ideal gas equation, PV = nRT.

    B.E. = Z (M H-atom) + (A – Z)(M neutron) – M(A,Z)

    where Z is the atomic number,
    A is the mass number, and
    M(A,Z) is the mass of the atom.

    Unfortunately, values of von Weizsacker’s “nuclear binding energy per nucleon” do not indicate nuclear stability.

    Values of Aston’s “nuclear packing fraction, f correctly show nuclear stability.

    f = (M – A)/A

    Where M and A have the same values as in von Weizsacker’s equation.

    Oliver K. Manuel

Comments are closed.