I have these nice cooking pots with glass lids. I like to watch them when I cook, and I like to think while I’m watching.
So a couple of days ago I was making potstickers in one. The frozen / boiled ones. You ‘bring the water to a boil’ then add the potstickers and wait for it to come back to the boil. I tend to put a lid on as things heat faster then on less fuel.
So I’m staring at the pot, as it slowly warms. The glass lid first fogs, then drops form and run back down into the water below.
It occurred to me, while staring at this watched pot, that it is a more faithful representation of how the Earth cools than the computer models that attribute it all to CO2.
The pot is heated from the bottom, as is the atmosphere. sunlight warms the ground. This heat is predominantly put into the air over the surface by water vapor. Plants transpire copious amounts to stay cool in the sun. Other places just have the surface water evaporate. That water vapor is light, so rises and cools from expansion as it does.
Water vapor in the pot rapidly runs into the lid. CO2 in the pot doing nothing at all. Just like the tropopause is above our atmosphere of air and water vapor. In both cases, the water vapor condenses. The pot lid forms dribbles of water returning to the ‘ocean’ below it. Similarly, cloud tops dump heat upward while water / precipitation falls back to the surface to be once again evaporated.
The pot lid dumps heat by a combination of convection and radiation. The atmosphere has the heat radiated away from just above the tropopause. BY DEFINITION: the tropopause is the place where convection fails, and heat transport by radiation can begin.
So watching that pot boil, it is simple to see what drives it. Water is evaporated by applied heat. It rises until it can rise no further, then condenses as precipitation. This puts heat into the ‘lid’ (or stratosphere) where it can radiate away.
Increase the heat, you get more water mass flow; and more heat moving with it. Minor changes to CO2 (such as breathing in the kitchen) do nothing to change the heat transport of water vapor, nor to change the temperature of the pot.
Vastly more heat can flow as water vapor and condensation that can ever move via radiation in the air in the pot.