30 May 2010, 10:02am
Climate and Weather
by admin

Exposing the Blackbody Model

“The globe is warming, the globe is warming!” So say the Alarmists. And when queried as to why, they say, “greenhouse gases, greenhouse gases!”

But wait, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a few molecules per million. How could such a scarce gas warm the planet?

And the Alarmists reply, “Stefan-Boltzmann, Stefan-Boltzmann!”

Generally that ends the conversation right then and there, because neither you nor the Alarmist have any idea what they’re talking about.

This post will clear all that up by edifying you and your Alarmist buddy about blackbodies.

“Stefan-Boltzmann” equations are also known as “blackbody” thermodynamic equations, and they lie at the heart of the vaunted “global warming models” which Alarmist scientists use to predict “climate change”.

The Stefan-Boltzmann Law says that the energy radiated by a blackbody radiator per second per unit area is proportional to the fourth power of the absolute temperature and is given by P/A = (5.6703 x 10^(-8)) watts/square meter x Kelvin temperature ^4, but that’s not important.

What is important is that the Earth is not a “blackbody” or a “perfect Planck emitter”, and therefore the global warming models are wrong. Their fundamental starting equations are incorrect, and so all the predictions made by those models are wrong.

What’s more, NASA (our National Space and Aeronautics Administration) has known for 40 years that the Stefan-Boltzmann Law does not comport with reality. They discovered that quirk of physics when planning the Apollo Moon missions in the 1960’s. The Moon is warmer than it is supposed to be, according to Stefan-Boltzmann. And the Moon has no atmosphere.

It turns out that the actual Universe is a lot more complicated than any simple physics theory.

All this is carefully explained in a new paper (written by Martin Hertzberg, PhD, Consultant in Science and Technology, Hans Schreuder, retired analytical chemist, and Alan Siddons, former radiochemist) entitled A Greenhouse Effect on the Moon? [here]. Some excerpts:

We’ve been told that the earth’s surface is quite a bit warmer than calculations predict. Theory has it that heat-trapping “greenhouse gases” account for a 33° Celsius disparity. But it turns out that our airless moon is also quite a bit warmer than predicted. Might something be wrong with the prediction method itself, then? It’s a natural question to ask, so let’s look into it.

Climate science’s method of deriving a surface temperature from incoming radiant energy (whose intensity is measured in watts per square meter) is based on the Stefan-Boltzmann formula, which in turn refers to a theoretical surface known as a blackbody – something that absorbs and emits all of the radiance it’s exposed to. …

Treating the earth’s surface as a blackbody thus seems very problematic from the start, yet this is the first assumption climate science makes when predicting the earth’s temperature.

Moreover, the principal method for predicting a planet’s temperature is surprisingly arbitrary and simplistic. On the premise that a sphere has 4 times the surface area of a flat blackbody disc, the power of solar radiance on a sphere is assigned a value 4 times weaker. …

Is it any surprise, then, that even a relatively simple body like the moon would refuse to conform to such a method? …

Since an “average temperature” method provides no information about day and night temperatures within a particular zone, NASA scientists working on the Apollo project had to employ a blackbody sun-angle model to chart the lunar surface temperatures astronauts might encounter. …

[NASA scientists discovered that] actual daytime lunar temperatures were lower than expected because the real moon also conducts heat to the inside rather than radiating all of it to space. Conversely, actual surface temperatures throughout its two-week night were higher than expected because the moon “feeds on” the heat it had previously absorbed. Thus (within the zone in question) the surface of the real moon is roughly 20° cooler than predicted by day and 60° warmer by night, the net result being a surface that is 40° warmer than predicted. …

All without greenhouse gases.

Not only do solid surfaces challenge the blackbody premise, however, but gases too. The atmosphere of every planet in our solar system is also ‘warmer than predicted’. …

A blackbody calculation, then, doesn’t prepare us for atmospheric temperatures either, let alone inert solids.

The Earth is not “unusually” warm. It is the application of the predictive equation that is faulty. The ability of common substances to store heat makes a mockery of blackbody estimates. The belief that radiating trace gases explain why earth’s surface temperature deviates from a simple mathematical formula is based on deeply erroneous assumptions about theoretical vs. real bodies. These faulty assumptions are discussed in detail elsewhere, where they are shown to lead to the ‘cold earth fallacy’.

Global warming Alarmists claim that greenhouse gases warm the Earth, and that any slight change in the composition of those gases will have enormous consequences for the Earth’s surface and atmospheric temperatures. But greenhouse gas theory is founded on Stefan-Boltzmann blackbody radiation theory, and that theory is not the way the real world works.

Gases in the atmosphere do not warm the Earth’s surface. The Sun does. The atmosphere acts as a partial insulator, slowing down the re-radiation of surface heat into outer space, but the atmosphere does not warm the surface any more than the insulation in the walls of your house heats your house.

Furthermore, CO2 is a trace gas and adds next to nothing to the insulation capacity of the atmosphere.

The temperature of the Earth’s surface does not vary very much. The best estimates are that global temperatures have risen by 1 degree F over the last 100 years. The best predictions are that global temperatures will drop by that much over the next 30 years. Those best predictions are based on predicted solar output.

The energy coming from the Sun is what warms the Earth, and solar output is not constant. The Sun is currently experiencing a slight reduction in energy production at certain wavelengths, especially in magnetic field strength. That effects the amount of solar energy that strikes the Earth. The current solar situation is eerily similar to the Maunder Minimum of the Little Ice Age.

Albedo also plays a role. Solar magnetic field output is linked to cloud formation on Earth. Clouds have a high albedo, and reflect a certain amount of solar radiation back into space before it ever reaches the Earth’s surface.

You may have noticed that it is warmer when it’s sunny than when it’s cloudy. The more clouds, the cooler it is. Here in the Willamette Valley (aka the Valley of the Big Cloud as my friend John B. calls it), the clouds have not parted for more than a day (hour) or two since last August, and we are experiencing one of the coolest years on record here. Slight changes in cloudiness can have a seemingly disproportional big effect on surface temperatures.

The global warming models touted by the Alarmists fail to incorporate changes in cloud cover caused by changes in solar magnetic field strength. The models do, however, incorporate (are based upon) the Stefan-Boltzmann Law which has been shown to be faulty in application to the actual Universe.

The upshot is that the models used by the Alarmists are funky, and the globe is not warming at all. In fact, the Earth is cooling will continue to cool as long as solar magnetic field strength is down — for the next 30 years or so based on the best guesses of solar astronomers.

It might be a good thing if Congress didn’t exorbitantly tax energy, since we need energy now more than ever. And we don’t need to cap carbon emissions, since CO2 has nothing whatsoever to do with global temperature. Warmer is better, anyway.

Now that you’re up to snuff on the latest physics, why don’t you ask your local Congressmoron if they voted for the Stefan-Boltzmann Law. Let us know their answers and we’ll post them here. It ought to be a real hoot.

20 May 2011, 3:39pm
by Flash

Greenhouse Effect and The Filtered Black Body (fBB) Model

There are a lot of complicated models which try to explain the Greenhouse Effect. I’d like to look at a much simpler one.

Start with the Earth as a theoretical Blackbody (it isn’t but let’s start from there). It would be sitting happily at about 255K (-18°C) radiating away all the incident heat from the Sun across a wide spectrum of wavelengths.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_body for more information.

What would happen if we wrapped it in a coloured film which filtered out all of the radiance in the 600-700 wavenumber region?

Our model Earth would quickly move to a new dynamic thermal equilibrium: it would pump out more heat on the other bands which it could transmit by raising temperature.

To an outside observer, the Earth would still have the total power output of a Blackbody at 255K but it would look like a Blackbody at 295K (22°C) but with some of the radiant spectrum filtered out.

An outside observer would conclude that the filter had made the Earth 40°C hotter.

This temperature rise is known as the “Greenhouse” effect.

So what does the Earth actually look like to an outside observer?


It looks very much like a Blackbody with some of the spectrum partially filtered out. Graphically it looks like a Blackbody at about 295K with some chunks missing.

So given a theoretical temperature of the Earth with no Greenhouse Effect of 255K, our simplified model of the current Greenhouse Effect is 40°C .

The fact that Earth is not a true Blackbody is the Greenhouse Effect. All real objects will exhibit some Greenhouse Effect since none are true Blackbodies.

Some people ask why the Moon (with no atmosphere) is not at its theoretical Blackbody temperature and exhibits a Greenhouse effect. The answer is: it is a real object! The stuff it is made of does not radiate perfectly across all frequencies, and the top 1cm or so acts as an infra-red filter of the heat below. All real objects will have some Greenhouse effect.



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