Unbalanced at the top – Increase with that?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

The “Roolz CO2 Temperature” theory goes like this:

• The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increases.

• This absorbs more of the longer-wave radiation, resulting in peak-atmospheric (TOA) unbalanced radiation. This is the TOA balance between incident sunlight (after some is reflected back into space) and longwave radiation traveling from the surface and atmosphere.

• To restore balance so that the incoming radiation equals the outgoing radiation, the surface force must heat up until enough additional long waves are present to restore balance.

Now, I mentioned before that this theory is untrue because there are several other ways that TOA radiation balance can be changed or restored. Including:

• Increased surface or cloud reflectivity can reduce the amount of sunlight entering.

• Increased absorption of sunlight by aerosols in the atmosphere and clouds can lead to larger swept long waves.

• An increase in the number or duration of thunderstorms moves additional surface heat into the troposphere, moving it above some of the greenhouse gases and leading to increased wavelengths.

• A change in the ascending versus descending portion of atmospheric radiation can lead to an increase in the stratosphere.

• Increased convection (horizontal movement) of heat from the tropics to the poles can increase the amount of longwave radiation

When you think about the radiative balance in the atmosphere (TOA), you normally imagine that across the earth, TOA is pretty much equal everywhere. However, nothing can be further from the truth…this is the TOA imbalance as shown in CERES . satellite data.

Figure 1. Average radiative balance in the atmosphere (TOA), from March 2000 to February 2021. Positive values ​​indicate an imbalance when there is an excess of incident solar radiation relative to irradiance. outgoing long wave radiation (heat) and vice versa for negative values.

As you can see, the only place where the incoming and outgoing radiation is equal is shown by the black/white lines. In the tropics, there is much more incoming (after reflected) solar radiation than outgoing longwave radiation. And outside that region towards both poles, there’s more outgoing longwave radiation than incoming solar radiation.

This is the result of the “convection” mentioned above, the horizontal transfer of energy towards the poles through ocean currents and atmospheric motion. And this is a huge energetic movement. It is a continuous flow of about 15 petawatts (1015 watts) on the black/white lines above.

How much energy is that? Well, if you put a 1 gigawatt nuclear power plant every three meters along the black/white lines above the earth’s circle at about 40°N/S above the Equator… how much would they generate in total? energy.

Or to put it another way, it’s more than a thousand times the total ongoing primary energy consumption of everyone on the planet.

With that in mind, let me get back to the TOA balance question. Increasing CO2 will absorb more long waves, resulting in fewer long waves emitted at TOA. This makes TOA more balanced positive.

And theoretically, an increase in surface temperature should increase the amount of outgoing long waves at the TOA. This will make TOA more balanced negative. In short, when the surface temperature upward, TOA balance will go down

In looking into this, I realized that I had never really considered this relationship. Here, again from the CERES dataset, are the two variables mentioned – surface temperature and TOA disequilibrium.

Figure 2. Surface temperature variation, March 2000 – February 2021

This matches well with other global surface temperature reconstructions, such as Berkeley Earth and HadCRUT, although each of these global temperature datasets is slightly different from the others.

Next, I consider the change in TOA imbalance.

Figure 3. Change in TOA radiation imbalance, March 2000 – February 2021

When I saw that, I said something that sounded a lot like “YIKES!!”.


Well, if you recall from above, when the temperature rises upward, the TOA imbalance is supposed to go down … But not. The TOA imbalance does not even remain at the level. It will be upward.

To investigate this further, I made a scatter plot of the TOA disequilibrium relative to the surface temperature… and here it is.

Figure 4. Scatter plot, radiation imbalance in the atmosphere (TOA) versus surface temperature, March 2000 – February 2021

Same problem, only worse – there is NO statistically significant relationship between surface temperature and TOA radiative imbalance.

Curious… clearly, the conclusion from this should be that other factors affecting TOA equilibrium have more influence than surface temperature variation.

For me, this is not a surprise. I view the climate system as a giant natural heat engine governed by the Law of Tectonics discovered by Adrian Bejan. According to the Laws of Tectonics, flow systems far from equilibrium must continually change and evolve in order to last… and as a result, as in this case, the simple assumptions of gas science Postmodernism doesn’t simply turn out. Here is Figure 1 climate analysis by Bejan and Reis titled “Thermodynamic optimization of the global circulation and climate“…

Notice how the climate system naturally evolves to have an area of ​​high temperature AH and low temperature area AOFFER … Compare with Figure 1 at the top of this post. The Bejan/Reis article is the most engaging. I cannot recommend it enough to anyone interested in the climate. The Law of Construction is the first new law of thermodynamics in more than a century, and it applies to many types of natural systems. More information about the Law of Construction is available at, along with an excellent article on the subject in Forbes here.

Further thoughts on the matter happily accept…


Como de Costumbre: When you comment please quote the exact words you are referring to. This avoids many misunderstandings that occur with intranets. I can and am happy to defend my word. I cannot defend your interpretation of my words.

A technical note: Over a 21 year period, the LW lifted from the surface has increased by ~1.5 W/m2, of which about 1 W/m2 helps it to fly into space without being absorbed by the GHG and redirect downward. This should have reduction TOA imbalance is about 1 W/m2.

And in the same period, an increase in CO2 is required increase TOA imbalance is about 0.6 W/m2. Actual result should be 0.4 W/m2 decrease in TOA imbalance in period.

Instead, we saw a 0.8 W/m2 increase in TOA imbalance… that’s why I say “YES!”.

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