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Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures

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The paper explains why the physics involved in atmospheric and sub-surface heat transfer appears to have been misunderstood, and incorrectly applied, when postulating that a radiative “greenhouse effect” is responsible for warming the surfaces of planets such as Venus and our own Earth. A detailed discussion of the application of the Second Law of Thermodynamics endeavours to settle the much debated issue as to whether or not a thermal gradient evolves spontaneously in still air in a gravitational field. The author is aware of attempted rebuttals of this hypothesis, but cogent counter arguments are presented, together with reference to empirical evidence. The ramifications are substantial, in that they eliminate any need for any “greenhouse” explanation as to why the surface temperatures are as observed. No other valid reason appears plausible to explain how the required energy gets into the planetary surfaces, this being especially obvious in regard to the high temperatures measured at the surface of the crust of Venus. The paper includes some counter-intuitive concepts which sceptical readers may be tempted to reject out of hand. Physics sometimes has some surprises, and so you are encouraged to read and understand the argument step by step, for it is based on sound physics, and unlocks some mysteries of the Solar System, including core and mantle temperatures, not previously explained in this manner to the best of the author's knowledge.
Electronic copy available at:
Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures
Douglas J Cotton, B.Sc.(Physics), B.A., Dip.Bus.Admin.
February 15, 2013
The paper explains why the physics involved in atmospheric and sub-surface heat transfer appears
to have been misunderstood, and incorrectly applied, when postulating that a radiative “greenhouse
effect” is responsible for warming the surfaces of planets such as Venus and our own Earth.
A detailed discussion of the application of the Second Law of Thermodynamics endeavours to settle
the much debated issue as to whether or not a thermal gradient evolves spontaneously in still air in a
gravitational field. The author is aware of attempted rebuttals of this hypothesis, but cogent
counter arguments are presented, together with reference to empirical evidence.
The ramifications are substantial, in that they eliminate any need for any “greenhouse” explanation
as to why the surface temperatures are as observed. No other valid reason appears plausible to
explain how the required energy gets into the planetary surfaces, this being especially obvious in
regard to the high temperatures measured at the surface of the crust of Venus.
The paper includes some counter-intuitive concepts which sceptical readers may be tempted to
reject out of hand. Physics sometimes has some surprises, and so you are encouraged to read and
understand the argument step by step, for it is based on sound physics, and unlocks some mysteries
of the Solar System, including core and mantle temperatures, not previously explained in this
manner to the best of the author's knowledge.
Electronic copy available at:
Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures
February 15, 2013
1. Radiation and Heat Transfer
2. The Problems with the Greenhouse Conjecture
3. The Venus Dilemma
4. The Second Law of Thermodynamics
5. The State of Greatest Entropy
6. Quantification of the Thermal Gradient
7. Explanation at the Molecular Level
8. The Concept of “Heat Creep”
9. How Earth's Surface Temperature is Supported
10. Laboratory Evidence for the Gradient
11. Planetary Evidence for the Gradient.
12. The “Pseudo” Lapse Rate.
13. Non-Radiative Heat Transfer Processes
14. Rebuttal of Counter Arguments
15. Support for the Mantle and Core Temperatures
16. Conclusions
17. Appendix – Study of Temperature / Rainfall Correlation
18. References
1. Radiation and Heat Transfer
Historical records indicate that the world has experienced long-term periods of about 500 years of
alternating warming and cooling. The last two thousand years have seen the Roman Warming
Period, the Dark Ages Cooling, the Medieval Warming Period, the Little Ice Age and the current
warming period. So we have a long-term cycle which appears to cause variations of about 2°C up
and down over each 500 year period of alternate warming and cooling. Then, superimposed on this
are shorter periods of about 30 years of more rapid warming and cooling, which were discussed in
the Appendix of the author's paper Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics [1]
published in March, 2012 on the Principia Scientific International (PSI) website.
In the 30 years from around 1969 to 1998 (inclusive) both the short-term and the long term cycles
were increasing simultaneously. The overall rate of warming was not very different from that
experienced 60 years earlier, but it was seen to be a cause for alarm. In the 1980's there was talk of
a “greenhouse effect” which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) describes as a
process in which “greenhouse gases trap heat within the surface-troposphere system.” They then
postulate that “infrared radiation emitted to space originates from an altitude with a temperature
of, on average, -19°C, in balance with the net incoming solar radiation, whereas the Earth's
surface is kept at a much higher temperature of, on average, +14°C. An increase in the
concentration of greenhouse gases leads to an increased infrared opacity of the atmosphere ...” [2]
So they say, but the physics of heat transfer is not easily understood and, in particular, we should
not assume either that radiating gases increase the opacity, or that spontaneous radiation from a cold
atmosphere will add extra thermal energy to a warmer region of the Earth's surface. This is
discussed at length in the above-mentioned paper and it is recommended that the reader pause to
read Sections 1 to 5 and the Appendix thereof.
2. The Problems with the Greenhouse Conjecture
The so called Greenhouse Effect is based on the concept that the Sun warms the surface of a planet
and then that surface cools at a rate governed by the composition of the atmosphere. The rate of
cooling is thought to have something to do with the amount of upwelling radiation absorbed by the
atmosphere, and/or the amount of energy which then returns to the surface by way of radiation.
But, quite apart from radiation, heat is also transferred from the surface to the atmosphere by non-
radiative processes. Then nitrogen and oxygen molecules play the main role of insulating the
surface, whilst water vapour and carbon dioxide help to radiate energy out of the atmosphere, and
thus have an overall cooling effect, as we shall see in later sections.
It is indeed correct to say that radiation from the atmosphere does slow the component of surface
cooling which is itself by radiation. But, at the same time, the presence of all air molecules just
above the surface will also have a somewhat greater effect slowing the cooling of the surface.
Molecules of a gas move around freely between impacts with others, and energy is transferred into
these molecules as they collide with the surface. So ordinary nitrogen and oxygen molecules also
have an insulating role, and the closer the temperatures get between the surface and these air
molecules, the more they will slow the cooling process. They are the real blanket, for the very
reason that they do not radiate much at typical temperatures found in the troposphere. Instead, it is
water vapour and other radiating molecules like carbon dioxide which radiate energy out of the
atmosphere and thus act like holes in the blanket, as you may read in an article The Greenhouse
Gas Blanket that Fails to Warm the World [3] to which the author contributed.
Radiation from a cooler region of the atmosphere affects radiative cooling of the surface because it
provides electro-magnetic energy for some of the “quota” of radiation which the surface is emitting.
But this means that this portion of the radiation is not actually transferring thermal energy from the
surface to the atmosphere. Hence the rate of cooling by radiation will indeed be slowed, as is well
documented in Physics, but much of the radiation coming from the surface is merely returning
electro-magnetic energy which was in the back radiation from the atmosphere.
Of all the thermal energy transferred from the surface to the atmosphere, about a third is by way of
radiation, as this NASA energy budget diagram [4] shows. There you will see that only 15% of the
original incoming Solar energy is transferred by radiation which is absorbed by the atmosphere,
whereas twice as much is transferred by non-radiative processes, namely 7% by conduction and
23% by latent heat, which is energy stored in water vapour.
It will also be noted that 19% of the Sun's incident radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere and
clouds, thus warming the atmosphere. This is more than the 15% which is absorbed by the
atmosphere from surface radiation, yet some greenhouse proponents say the atmosphere is
“transparent” to Solar radiation and “opaque” to IR radiation from the surface.
Now, calculations using standard physics show that direct Solar radiation, such as that received by
Earth's surface, could not have raised the mean surface temperature by the observed amount. This
is even more obvious on the planet Venus, because the surface there receives barely 10% of the
Solar radiation that Earth's surface receives. and yet it has been measured at over 450°C. So there
appears to be something very wrong in the assumption that the surface of a planet is 33°C warmer
purely because the atmosphere slows the rate of cooling. If the Sun cannot raise the surface to a
higher temperature first, we have to ask, “cooling from what?”
As will be explained in later sections, it is the effect of gravity that does the bulk of the warming by
spreading energy in the atmosphere and creating a thermal gradient. All this cooling of the surface
is merely a marginal process which holds back the small amount of extra energy which is absorbed
when the Sun shines, and is then transferred back to the atmosphere. Meanwhile, an underlying
stable base thermal profile in the atmosphere ensures that air near the surface cannot cool or warm
too much, and nor can the surface.
3. The Venus Dilemma
So a “greenhouse effect” is even less believable when we consider the planet Venus, or indeed other
planets with dense atmospheres, namely Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Hans Jelbring [5]
points out that the carbon dioxide atmosphere of Venus has about 92 times the mass of Earth's
atmosphere. He calculated that only about 2.5% of incident Solar radiation gets through to the
surface. It is obvious that the atmosphere is being heated primarily by incident Solar radiation,
rather than the very small amount of radiation returned by the surface from that 2.5% which made it
through the dense atmosphere.
One might indeed assume that the top of the Venus atmosphere would be hotter than the base, as
surely more incident radiation would be absorbed up there. But the reality is that the base of the
atmosphere is more than 400°C above the mean radiating temperature for the whole “planet plus
atmosphere” system. So it is hotter at the base and much colder at the top.
Let us go back to when the planet first formed and imagine the surface temperature to be at about
the radiating temperature of the planet which would be a bit warmer than Earth's. Perhaps you are
thinking that heat would somehow build up over millions of years to achieve the temperatures we
now observe. Well, unfortunately the Second Law of Thermodynamics prohibits that. When
radiation leaves the surface, even if all of it returns as back radiation, the net result cannot cause the
temperature to rise. Yes, it will slow the rate of cooling, but it will never raise the temperature with
any additional heat transfer into the surface, because energy cannot be created in this process. Will
the Sun then raise the temperature more the next day? No. Actual measurements by Russian
probes dropped onto the Venus surface led to calculations that the mean radiation received at the
surface on the illuminated side is of the order of 10 to 20W/m^2 [6] because so much is reflected
and absorbed by the thick atmosphere. So it is obvious that direct Solar radiation could never
account for an extra 400°C or more, and no “runaway greenhouse effect” could amplify energy
1,000 fold.
Alberto Miatello has written a comprehensive three page analysis of what is happening on Venus in
Section 8 of his paper Refutation of the “Greenhouse Effect” Theory on a Thermodynamic and
Hydrostatic Basis. [7] He shows that the calculated thermal gradient (AKA adiabatic lapse rate) is
evident in the atmosphere and can be used to determine the surface temperature of Venus.
We will return to this “calculated adiabatic lapse rate” or “thermal gradient” in Section 6, but it will
suffice at this stage to explain that it depends upon the force of gravity and the specific heat of the
air or gases in the atmosphere, where the specific heat is the amount of energy required to raise unit
mass by one degree. Hence, if we know the gradient we can imagine a graphical “plot” of
temperature against altitude having that gradient. The level of the plot is determined as the whole
line moves up or down in parallel positions until an equilibrium state evolves in which the total
outward radiation is equal to the incident radiation from the Sun.
The important point to note is that the parameters discussed in the above paragraph pre-determine
the thermal plot, and so we can calculate at what temperature the line would meet the surface.
Notice that we have not used any information about back radiation or energy flows into the surface.
Yet, with reasonable accuracy, we can calculate “backwards” what the surface temperature ought to
be in order to leave us with both radiative balance and the correct thermal gradient.
This accuracy of the surface temperature calculations (which can be made for Earth, Venus and
other planets) cannot be coincidental. [8] One has to ask why we on Earth should be so worried
about one carbon dioxide molecule in about 2,500 air molecules, when the atmosphere of Venus is
nearly all carbon dioxide. Yet the surface temperature is still able to be calculated in the same way.
4. The Second Law of Thermodynamics
Ever since the 19th century when Loschmidt suggested that a thermal gradient would evolve in a
solid, liquid or gas in a gravitational field the issue has been debated and, more often than not,
dismissed. For example, Maxwell at the time just thought it would violate the Second Law of
Thermodynamics if there were a warmer region at the base of a column of air.
We need to look more closely at this law, which was first stated by Clausius back in 1850. His
statement read “No process is possible whose sole result is the transfer of heat from a body of lower
temperature to a body of higher temperature.” [9] This statement is indeed correct if the bodies are
at the same level or altitude, but we need to consider what happens when a gravitational field is
present. If there is in fact a thermal gradient, then we have to explain why the original Clausius
statement of the Second Law of Thermodynamics seems to be violated if isothermal conditions did
not develop.
Elsewhere in Wikipedia we find a newer statement of the Second Law of Thermodynamics [10]. It
reads “An isolated system, if not already in its state of thermodynamic equilibrium, spontaneously
evolves towards it. Thermodynamic equilibrium has the greatest entropy amongst the states
accessible to the system.”
Physicists have realised that kinetic energy (KE) [11] does not tell the full story. As we saw above,
molecules have other energy and, in particular, in our isolated cylinder of nitrogen we need to
account for gravitational potential energy (PE) [12] which can interchange with KE, just as happens
when a pendulum swings back and forth, or a stone is thrown into the air. [13] But why have they
not said that energy just needs to be conserved, as is the theme of the First law of Thermodynamics?
[14] Why do we need a Second Law, and what is this strange, abstract concept of “greatest
entropy” which they mention in there?
5. The State of Greatest Entropy
Entropy [15] has been described as “energy not available to do work” and an increase in entropy is
associated with greater disorder. In a horizontal plane, where PE is the same, then, if one region of
a solid, liquid or gas is warmer than another, there will be a propensity for molecules with greater
KE in the warmer region to share that KE with others that have less KE. This sharing takes place
during molecular collisions [16] and there is a propensity for all to end up in “thermodynamic
equilibrium” with the same KE. The process is called conduction in a solid (and sometimes also in
liquids and gases) though we will use the alternative word “diffusion” [17] strictly in the context of
the sharing of KE during collisions involving gas molecules.
Now the above statement requires “the greatest entropy amongst the states accessible to the system”
and it is effectively saying that this state is as far as we can go within the restrictions imposed by
our isolated system. For example, if an “isolated system” is a room on the tenth floor, then a ball
will only drop as far as the floor in that room. Being on the floor is one of the “states accessible to
the system” and, when the ball comes to rest on the floor, it has acquired the greatest entropy
available to it within the restrictions of the system. Throw the ball out the window and it enters
another system where it will acquire a state of somewhat greater entropy.
So we have seen that entropy can increase when PE and/or KE decrease. If we have a perfectly
insulated cylinder of nitrogen (where we will assume no external energy can be added, and no
internal energy removed) then the state of “greatest entropy” is clearly that in which the mean sum
of molecular (PE+KE) is the same in all regions within our cylinder. This conclusion is confirmed
by considering what would happen if there were a region in which mean molecular (PE+KE) were
greater than in another region. If this were the case, then the region with more energy could “do
work” as it transferred energy to the other region, rather like water from a dam generating hydro-
electricity as it converts its PE to KE whilst flowing down the pipes to the generator. If it can do
work, then it is not a state of greatest entropy.
Hence our final equilibrium state in the vertical cylinder of non-radiating nitrogen has the same
entropy in all regions, and we call it an isentropic state. But such a state in a gravitational field
must then have less KE where it has more PE at the top, and more KE where it has less PE at the
bottom. But temperature [18] is a measure of thermal energy [19] and in this Wikipedia item we
“Microscopically, the thermal energy is the kinetic energy of a system's constituent particles, which
may be atoms, molecules, electrons, or particles in plasmas. It originates from the individually
random, or disordered, motion of particles in a large ensemble.”
In fact, temperature is a measure of just the average (mean) kinetic energy (KE) of all the molecules
in any small region, and it does not include gravitational PE or other forms of non-thermal energy.
But we have just seen that gravity redistributes PE and KE in such a way that there is a KE gradient
in a column of gas, with less KE at the top and more at the bottom of the column. Hence, assuming
adiabatic [20] conditions with no phase change or chemical reactions, we have seen that the
thermodynamic equilibrium [21] state of greatest entropy which evolves does in fact have cooler
temperatures at the top and warmer temperatures below. This may be considered a direct corollary
of the Second Law of Thermodynamics,
6. Quantification of the Thermal Gradient
The derivation of the “dry adiabatic lapse rate” (in Wikipedia, for example) [22] is rather
cumbersome, starting with the ideal gas law and considering the effect of gravity on pressure, but
then eliminating pressure in the final step anyway. A much more logical derivation (which helps us
understand what the actual process is) can be derived simply by applying “conservation of energy”
principles to every movement of a molecule in its free path motion between collisions. It is only
during collisions that the actual process of diffusion of KE takes place.
So, in the free path motion of a molecule we can assume a purely adiabatic process occurs in which
the sum of gravitational potential energy (PE) and kinetic energy (KE) remains constant. As we
saw above, the temperature of a small region of a gas is a measure of the mean KE of the molecules
in the region, and that region could be a very small mass of gas in order to be able to measure
Let us consider a thought experiment in which such a region of air of mass M all happens to move
downwards by a small height difference, H in an atmosphere where g is the acceleration due to
gravity. The loss in PE will thus be the product M.g.H. because a force Mg moves the gas a
distance H. But there will be a corresponding gain in KE and that will be equal to the energy
required to warm the gas by a small temperature difference, T. This energy can be calculated using
the specific heat Cp [23] and this calculation yields the product M.Cp.T
Bearing in mind that there was a PE loss and a KE gain, we thus have
M.Cp.T = - M.g.H
T/H = -g/Cp
But T/H is the thermal gradient, which is thus the quotient -g/Cp, this being the same as that in the
Wikipedia derivation of the dry adiabatic lapse rate. [22]
However, the important point to note is that this has nothing to do with pressure, because pressure
does not maintain any particular temperature, and does not add any new energy. Different planets
have different temperatures at altitudes where the pressure is the same.
7. Explanation at the Molecular Level
There is a general perception that the so-called “dry” or “wet” adiabatic lapse rates occur in
atmospheres as a result of the surface being first heated by the Sun, and then convection flowing
upwards. However, this mechanism cannot possibly explain the observed temperatures, because the
Sun could not heat the surface to the observed mean temperature. As discussed above, this is even
more obvious on Venus where the poles, for example, appear to receive less than 1W/m^2 of direct
insolation from the Sun, and the dark side receives nothing for four months, yet cools only 5°C.
Rather than convection being the only cause of the thermal gradient, it is apparent that the gradient
is in fact established in still air at the molecular level by the conduction-like process we have been
referring to as “diffusion” involving molecular collisions which share the kinetic energy of the
molecules involved. It is well known that diffusion occurs in still air (in a room for example) and,
at least in a horizontal plane, has a propensity to equalise temperatures. Thus, if there is a region of
warmer air on one side of a room, then there will be diffusion of KE, which will lead to isothermal
conditions in that horizontal plane.
We have mentioned in Section 5 that temperature is really just a measure of the average (mean)
kinetic energy (KE) of all the molecules in any small region. This KE is the energy of motion in
three dimensions, plus additional energy associated with molecular vibration and rotation. But a
molecule also has potential energy (PE) which is “stored” energy relating to its height in a
gravitational field, as well as energy which could be released in chemical reactions and phase
changes, such as when steam condenses to water.
Let us now imagine an experiment with a cylinder of gas. For the present considerations we will
assume that no chemical reactions or phase changes take place, and that no other energy enters or
leaves our well insulated, sealed cylinder, which we will fill with pure nitrogen, so as to rule out
any significant amount of heat transfer by radiation inside the cylinder.
As you probably know, molecules move about in random directions, colliding at various angles
with other such molecules. But, as they move between collisions, they will be affected by the force
of gravity and, just like an apple falling off a tree, when molecules move in a general downward
direction some of their PE will be converted to extra KE. The opposite happens when they move
upwards, and so, as we saw in Section 5, there will be a lower mean KE among molecules at the top
than among those at the bottom. In other words, the temperature will be lower at the top and higher
at the bottom.
You could also imagine a cylinder which has removable insulated dividers that form three equal
compartments. With the dividers in place, heat the middle compartment, turn off the heater and
wait for diffusion to establish equilibrium. Then remove the dividers and some of the “warmer”
molecules will move into each compartment. However, those that move to the top one will lose
some KE, whereas those that move to the bottom compartment gain some KE. Hence, once again,
we see that the warm air both rises and falls until a new thermodynamic equilibrium state is reached
in which there will be a temperature gradient as before. This is an example of “heat creep” which
we shall now discuss.
8. The Concept of “Heat Creep”
In this section we shall see that gravity, in effect, makes a sloping thermal plot into a “level playing
field” in which energy can spread in all directions, just like a bucket full of water poured into the
middle of a swimming pool.
For example, let us consider what happens when a supply of extra thermal energy is added
somewhere in the middle of this sloping thermal profile. The effect can be visualised by turning the
graph of the temperature-altitude relationship on an angle such that it is perpendicular to the
gravitational force in the room where you are. That is, you make it look like a level playing field.
So, in the diagrams below you would be turning the page until the green section is horizontal and
the line marking the (PE+KE) axis is vertical. In each diagram the green bar represents the
(PE+KE) in the initial state of thermodynamic equilibrium. Then we are going to imagine what
happens when an additional quantity of absorbed thermal energy (indicated in red) is added in the
middle of this playing field.
Now, when a rain storm falls on a section of the ocean, the extra water spreads out in all directions,
eventually over the whole surface of the ocean, following the curved surface produced by gravity.
So it is with extra energy deposited in the atmosphere if it makes the local temperature greater than
the theoretical thermal profile would indicate it ought to be at that location.
But the extra energy actually creates a situation in which more molecules move outward than
inwards. This was not the case with the “pure” diffusion process (wherein there were random
movements) at least if the pressure gradient was not changed in the process. So this provides us
with a distinction between convection (where there is adiabatic movement of air) and diffusion of
KE which can happen in totally still air. In practice, both work together with the same result.
In general, convection requires an additional source of energy, and the most common form is that
provided by the Sun. When the surface absorbs Solar energy, that energy then transfers from the
surface into the atmosphere by conduction (diffusion) and thus provides a continuous supply of
extra energy which creates convection.
A consequence of the above discussion of the “level playing field” is that, when a supply of “latent
heat” is released from water vapour, there could be some downward convection apparently moving
against the temperature gradient. The original extra energy shown in red in the above diagram now
spreads out as shown in this diagram:
On Earth, upward rising air by normal convection would probably overpower this to some extent.
But the situation would be different on Venus because so little direct Solar radiation gets through
the thick atmosphere and into the surface. What must happen, in order to explain how the Venus
surface receives the required energy to keep it so hot, is that incident Solar energy is absorbed at all
levels of the atmosphere and then it spreads out over the thermal plane, just like rain falling on a
section of a lake leads to extra water spreading out over the whole surface.
The extra energy absorbed will only spread out evenly in all directions if there was already
thermodynamic equilibrium in the region. When such equilibrium is established, the additional KE
at some location unsettles the equilibrium, and it is just as “easy” for the energy to spread up the
thermal plane, as it is to spread down the plane, or in any other direction. So the thermal plane,
even though it actually has a thermal gradient, acts like a “level playing field” because of the effect
of the gravitational field.
Hence we have this rather strange concept that additional energy can in fact cause “heat creep” up
the thermal gradient to warmer regions, provided that there was thermodynamic equilibrium
initially. This process explains how energy can get to the base of the atmosphere and keep it warm
(or very hot on Venus) quite independently of any energy received back from the surface.
9. How Earth's Surface Temperature is Supported
If we apply the equation for the thermal gradient (derived in Section 6) using data for Earth we
calculate a gradient of 9.8°C of warming for each kilometre reduction in altitude, and vice versa for
cooling. This is called the “dry adiabatic lapse rate” though it does not require any “lapsing” as is
assumed to happen with warm air rising by convection. If there were a maximum amount of water
vapour, we would observe the “wet” or “moist” rate, which is about two thirds of the dry rate. The
reduction is due partly to the release of energy during phase change, but probably mostly because
water vapour transfers heat by radiating it to cooler molecules at higher altitudes in the troposphere,
thus having an opposite effect to that of diffusion.
Now, if you imagine plotting a graph of the temperature against the altitude, the slope of the plot is
pre-determined by gravity, specific heat and the amount of water vapour and other radiating
molecules (like carbon dioxide) which reduce the absolute value of the thermal gradient. But the
overall mean level of the plot is determined mostly by the intensity of radiation from the Sun,
adjusted for reflection and some other factors. In other words, the plot moves up and down through
parallel sloping lines if the insolation (as it is called) varies up or down, as can happen in natural
cycles, which may relate to variations in Solar intensity.
What this all comes down to is the fact that the temperature level at which the pre-determined plot
intersects the surface is itself pre-determined primarily by the above-mentioned parameters, and not
much else of any great significance. Water vapour and, to a much smaller extent, carbon dioxide
radiate heat to higher levels (never transferring heat to a warmer region or surface) and so they
reduce the gradient, and thus also reduce the surface temperature.
So gravity in dry conditions creates a steeper gradient, but water vapour reduces it by about a
third, bringing the surface temperature back down to the observed levels.
But this cooling effect of water vapour is the exact opposite of what is claimed in the greenhouse
conjecture, namely that water vapour warms and has a positive feedback, supposedly amplifying the
assumed warming effect of carbon dioxide. A brief study was carried out by the author to see if
temperature records in real cities in the real world confirmed any warming. The study is in the
Appendix to this paper and the conclusions are that there is no evidence of any warming, but instead
an indication of the cooling which was explained in the last paragraph above.
The pre-determined plot mentioned above is maintained by the process of diffusion with its
resulting “heat creep” which transfers thermal energy absorbed by the atmosphere in all directions,
including downwards towards the base of the atmosphere. This lowest region of the troposphere
then “supports” the surface temperature, preventing it getting much colder at night.
Of course, on Earth the Sun does heat the surface to higher temperatures during the day, but the
close surface temperatures slow down all the radiative and non-radiative cooling processes. The
surface could not have reached the observed mean temperature without this “ratchet” effect
whereby the temperature of the base of the atmosphere is pre-determined, and then this temperature
supports the surface temperature and makes it easy for the Sun to warm the surface with additional
temporary energy which comes and goes each day and night. Energy “creep” up the thermal
gradient provides our answer as to how sufficient energy gets into the surface of Venus, and also
explains Earth's surface temperature without any need for any radiative greenhouse conjecture.
10. Laboratory Evidence for the Gradient
Can the above-mentioned interchange of potential energy and kinetic energy take place in a sealed
cylinder of air in a laboratory, thus creating a thermal gradient in a gravitational field? Well,
Roderick Graeff [24] believes he has demonstrated that it can.
However, Graeff appears to be mistaken when he multiplies the temperature difference by the
number of degrees of freedom, namely 5 for most air molecules which are diatomic. This amounts
to multiplying the vertical KE gain by five, thus creating energy. Instead, it is suggested that
equipartition between the degrees of freedom takes place at the moment when molecules collide,
and then that extra vertical translational KE is shared equally, not multiplied.
Removing the multiplication by the number of degrees of freedom then brings the equation for the
temperature gradient into line with that derived in Section 6 for the dry adiabatic lapse rate, so the
temperature gradient T/H = -g/Cp, where T is the temperature differential, H the height differential,
g the acceleration due to gravity and Cp the specific heat.
It is apparent that the non-radiative processes, conduction, diffusion and convection all have a
propensity to create a thermal gradient equal to -g/Cp where g is the acceleration due to gravity, and
Cp the specific heat. This happens because molecules following their free path between collisions
will exchange kinetic energy with potential energy, no matter how short or long is the path length.
Hence this happens in solids, liquids and gases, and so the value used for the specific heat, Cp
should be close to the weighted mean specific heat of any substances in the region.
So, when Roderich Graeff included fine glass powder in one of his water cylinders, that would have
reduced the mean specific heat, and thus increased the thermal gradient. The walls of the container
would also have increased the gradient because of their much lower specific heat. Furthermore, the
first cylinder would have had some interaction with the other one containing only water. The
second cylinder displayed a gradient of about 3 to 4 times the -g/Cp value, but he cannot blame the
difference on convection, because convection also produces a gradient of -g/Cp. The extra
temperature difference could very well have been due to the reasons discussed above, as well as
errors in his measurements as he tried to detect what should be a difference of only about 0.002
degree. Hence, Graeff has no empirical evidence to support his claim that the theoretical thermal
gradient of -g/Cp should then be multiplied by 18 degrees of freedom for his experiments with
water. However, this is not a reason to dismiss his main claim that a negative temperature gradient
of some measurable magnitude does occur. This is proved by virtue of the fact that a positive
gradient was measured on the inside of the outermost walls of the apparatus.
The empirical results achieved by Graeff only after several months were probably exaggerated by
the effect of steeper gradients in solids. There appears to be no reason why they should be about
five times the dry adiabatic lapse rate observed in atmospheric air at similar temperatures.
11. Planetary Evidence for the Gradient.
Many seem to think that the Venus surface is somehow kept hot by the enormous pressure exerted
by the “weight” of the atmosphere which has about 92 times the mass of the Earth's atmosphere.
Others claim that there is a “runaway greenhouse effect” somehow utilising radiation that passes
back and forth between the surface and the atmosphere, supposedly multiplying the very small
amount of direct Solar radiation, which gets through the atmosphere in the first place, and into the
surface. But if that were the only energy the surface received, it would be far colder than Earth's.
A third group of people seem to think the planet is still cooling off, and so energy from its core is
doing all the work, but that is also implausible for the planet has had plenty of time to cool off, and
would have done so if its atmosphere were more like that of Earth.
Firstly, it is incorrect to think that the fact that 96.5% of the Venus atmosphere is carbon dioxide
will make it act like an insulating blanket. There will be plenty of radiation going on between all
those carbon dioxide molecules but, as explained in Section 1, heat will only be transferred from hot
to less hot molecules in the Venus atmosphere. There is a steady decline in temperatures in the
troposphere of Venus, just like on Earth, and so all heat transfer by radiation will be outwards
towards space. And, with temperatures around 730K (over 450°C) there would be a huge amount
of radiative cooling if nothing were supplying energy to keep the base of the atmosphere about as
hot as the Venus surface.
Pressure cancels out in that round-about Wikipedia derivation of the dry adiabatic lapse rate. [22]
That is because pressure has nothing to do with it, and so does not feature in the result. Pressure
does not maintain those hot temperatures. In order to compensate for the loss of energy by radiation
there must be another continual source of thermal energy headed towards the base of the
atmosphere and, some of it, into the surface. And this must be all by non-radiative processes,
because radiation cannot transfer heat from the less hot atmosphere to the Venus surface.
Only the “heat creep” explained in Section 8 can transfer energy towards the hotter surface. With
the help of the pull of gravity, this mechanism (resulting from application of the Second law of
Thermodynamics) is the only possible mechanism, and it must be the process which keeps the
Venus surface so hot. It is the height of the atmosphere which allows the thermal plot to reach such
temperatures, as it follows the thermal gradient formed autonomously by the force of gravity.
12. The “Pseudo” Lapse Rate.
Although “lapse rate” is not an appropriate description for the thermal gradient, this terminology is
being used here in recognition of the work done by Dr Hans Jelbring [5], initially for his PhD in
Climatology in 1998, and then published in a peer-reviewed journal in 2003. Very few, it seems,
have recognised how he was perhaps the first to postulate that the gravitationally induced thermal
gradient negated any need for the alternative (and fallacious) concept that back radiation was
needed to create such a gradient. In discussing the influence of gravity, Dr Jelbring wrote in 2003
that this “has rarely been acknowledged by climate change scientists for unknown reasons. Its
numerical value can be calculated using familiar knowledge in physics.”
So, why has the influence of gravity been largely ignored for yet another decade? We could
postulate that, here on Earth it seems intuitive that the base of the atmosphere is in fact warmed by
the heat of the Sun which first warms the surface, which then warms the air. A close look at those
energy diagrams, however, usually shows that something like 50% of incident Solar radiation is
absorbed by the surface, but only about 7% actual enters the very base of the atmosphere by
conduction processes, sometimes called “diffusion” when gases are involved. Most of the energy
which enters the atmosphere (either on the way down or back up) is actually spread unevenly over a
wide range of altitudes. This does not appear consistent with any concept of a fairly uniform
gradient in temperature.
Now Jelbring explains that what he calls the “pseudo adiabatic lapse rate” on Earth is only about
70% of the theoretical lapse rate calculated for an ideal gas in a closed system, perhaps shaped like
a tall cylinder with uniform cross-section.
It has been common practice on Earth to explain the less steep “wet” rate as being due to the release
of “latent heat” when water vapour condenses in the clouds. Indeed this would release extra
thermal energy which would spread out in all directions over the sloping thermal plane, but it would
be a localised weather event which would soon disappear. Furthermore, it does not explain an
observed reduction in the lapse rate on other planets, which have no precipitation in the form of
rain. And nor would it explain the apparent reduction in the thermal gradient in Earth's outer crust,
which is discussed in Section 15.
So, if both diffusion and convection in the atmosphere have a propensity to produce a dry adiabatic
lapse rate of about 9.8C degrees per kilometre on Earth, why then is the measured mean value only
about 7C degrees per kilometre? I suggest that the reason has a lot to do with radiation between all
radiating molecules at different altitudes within the troposphere.
Unlike the non-radiative processes (which involve an exchange between kinetic energy and
potential energy) radiation has a propensity to make the different levels more equal in temperature
as they radiate towards each other. So this will have a levelling effect working against the non-
radiative processes, and thus reducing the lapse rate.
So the wet adiabatic lapse rate is less than the dry one because there are more water vapour
molecules at different levels radiating towards each other, and also because the specific heat of
water vapour is higher than that of dry air. There will always be some water vapour and carbon
dioxide at most levels in the troposphere, so the observed “pseudo” lapse rate is indeed less. Over
the course of many years, a lower thermal gradient causes a lower surface temperature because the
whole temperature plot swivels around an anchor point somewhere between its ends. So water
vapour, suspended water droplets, carbon dioxide and other radiating molecules all contribute
towards this cooling effect. As mentioned above, this appears to be the case in the data analysed in
the study documented in the Appendix to this paper.
13. Non-Radiative Heat Transfer Processes
You will recall that, in the process we have called diffusion, there is no overall movement of air in
any one direction when thermodynamic equilibrium is established. When an additional supply of
thermal energy is added, there will be a net flow of molecules away from that source, as we saw in
the discussion of “heat creep” in Section 8. This can be observed as a very slow adiabatic
movement of air which is correctly referred to as convection.
We tend to think of convection as always moving warm air upwards, but that is because of our
experience here on planet Earth, where the Sun warms the surface and creates a “one-sided” supply
of extra thermal energy which generally over-powers any convection coming from thermal energy
absorbed in the atmosphere.
Wind will over-power the slow process of adiabatic convection. But note that wind should not be
lumped in with convection, because it is important to understand the difference. Whilst net
downward convection is rare in Earth's troposphere, net downward wind movement is common, and
it is indeed the process which returns the air that rose by convection back towards the surface.
To understand the wind cells, we need to consider the “funnel effect” in the troposphere as wind
travels from the Equator towards the poles. Not only does the height of the tropopause “ceiling” get
lower, but the volume of air between successive equally spaced “circles” of latitude surrounding the
globe also reduces rapidly as the poles are approached. Hence, when air rises by convection in the
tropics it is replaced by incoming Trade Winds, and it also “squeezes out” pole-bound winds under
the tropopause ceiling, because the temperature inversion in the stratosphere stops further rising.
Then the funnel effect inevitably causes some downward component in the pole-bound winds, much
of which returns to the surface about a third of the way to the poles. Wind cells are more complex
than this simple description, but at least it provides the general concept of air rising by convection
and returning in downward wind.
14. Rebuttal of Counter Arguments
Sometimes it is argued that the gravity effect is not evident in the oceans, but we must recognise
that the processes of adiabatic diffusion and convection are very slow indeed, and are easily over-
ridden by local weather conditions such as winds, ocean currents and even by an excessive supply
of new absorbed energy, such as is observed in the stratosphere.
Just as we see a temperature inversion in the stratosphere, where the Sun warms the top, so too do
we see it in the top layers of the ocean. Solar radiation penetrates the top layers of the ocean, but
more of it has already been absorbed the deeper it goes. So this produces a steep cooling in the
thermocline, whereas the temperatures are fairly homogeneous at deeper depths. You can see a
typical plot here [25] and learn more about the thermocline on this [26] page, where we read
Thermoclines may be a permanent feature of the body of water in which they occur, or they may
form temporarily in response to phenomena such as the solar heating of surface water during the
day. Factors that affect the depth and thickness of a thermocline include seasonal weather
variations, latitude and longitude, and local environmental conditions.
So it is evident that currents and variations in Solar radiation play havoc with ocean temperatures,
and they over-ride what would be a much less steep gravity gradient because of the much higher
specific heat of water. In a nutshell, there will be a supply of extra energy from the Sun which,
even beyond the depth where radiation reaches, will continue to warm from the top by current flow
and downward convection, just like the “heat creep” in the atmospheres of Venus and even Earth.
Another argument relates to the conjecture that a perpetual cycle of energy would occur if a wire
were run up the outside of Graeff's cylinders of air. But this is not the case, because all matter,
solid, liquid and gas has molecules which move to some extent and have kinetic energy that they
share with neighbouring molecules in collision processes, such as conduction in solids. So, as
Loschmidt postulated, we do indeed expect thermal gradients in solids and liquids, as Graeff
observed in his experiments. So the wire would also develop a thermal gradient which would be
effective in preventing a continuous flowing cycle of energy. In essence, the wire and the gas
should be considered as a single system with a mean specific heat. If you had two tubes of water at
different slopes, and then joined the ends at the top and bottom, would water flow continuously in
an endless loop? No, and neither would thermal energy through the wire and the cylinder.
15. Support for the Mantle and Core Temperatures
The mystery of planetary core and mantle temperatures can now be unravelled with the concept of
heat creep. Borehole measurements [27] indicate a thermal gradient of about 25 to 30°C/Km in the
outer 10Km or so of the Earth's crust. This is what we would expect, because the mean specific
heat of earth, rock and clay is about a quarter that of atmospheric air, and a “pseudo” rate would
also develop because of intra-molecular radiation. But specific heat increases significantly at higher
temperatures, leading to the thermal gradient in the deep mantle being perhaps even less than
1°C/Km because the specific heat is in the denominator of the -g/Cp quotient.
Now, we need to see the big picture. There must be a continuous thermal plot which rises, at least
from the top of the troposphere, down to the surface and then, at a steeper upward gradient in the
outer crust, curving over to an almost level plot as it approaches the core. The whole plot has
evolved autonomously by conduction and diffusion processes over the life of the Earth, and
presumably similar plots have evolved on other planets like Venus.
Energy from the Sun “creeps” up the thermal plane, not only supporting surface temperatures, but
even those of the crust, mantle and core. So, if insufficient energy is generated beneath the surface,
then the shortfall will come from the Sun, at least over the course of many years.
The key point is that this plot would be very stable, and we should have nothing to worry about for
thousands of years because it would take a huge amount of extra energy (which could only come
from the Sun) to raise the whole length of the plot from the tropopause to the core.
When the Sun warms the surface by day, it merely deposits extra thermal energy at the boundary so
that some flows into the crust and top layers of the ocean, and some provides extra warmth in the
first 100m or so of the atmosphere. This extra pile of energy dissipates at night, the marginal
cooling process being slowed by non-radiative and radiative processes.
But the big picture is, that the underlying thermal plot “supports” both the surface temperatures and
even those in the crust, mantle and perhaps the core. It does not matter if extra energy is created in
the core, or trapped temporarily at the surface, because the cooling process will accelerate if the
temperature gap widens, or slow down when the gap narrows. Even the apparent loss of energy in
the calculated terrestrial flow is misleading, because it is based on a thermal gradient that gravity
formed and over which energy might even be flowing up towards the mantle, from where it may be
released in volcanoes, thermal springs or undersea vents.
16. Conclusions
When Maxwell and Boltzmann dismissed Loschmidt's postulate of a gravity gradient they did the
world a great disservice, and they contributed to a belief in a non-existent warming by an imaginary
radiative greenhouse effect. The subsequent “calls to authority” should be a lesson for all in the
scientific world, for this has resulted in an absolute travesty of physics. The greenhouse conjecture
will inevitably take its brief place in history as the biggest and most costly mistake ever in the field
of human scientific endeavour. Hopefully that will be soon.
Scientists, be they climatologists, physicists or whatever, need to step outside the square and to
adopt a paradigm shift based on, and supported by 21st century science. Dr Hans Jelbring and
Roderich Graeff have each made significant contributions which must now be heeded before the
mistake is perpetuated by those who now have personal vested interests in maintaining the status
Climate has in fact been following natural cycles [28] as shown in the Appendix to the author's
paper on Radiated Energy [1] and the world can expect a period of about 500 years of cooling to
start within 50 to 200 years from now.
The Loschmidt gravity-induced thermal gradient is more than enough to explain the proverbial “33
degrees of warming” and in fact the dry adiabatic lapse rate would lead to a mean surface
temperature of about 25°C were it not for water vapour and, yes, to a much smaller extent, carbon
dioxide reducing the gradient and causing lower base surface temperatures. In the Appendix is an
outline of methodology that would almost certainly produce studies which would demonstrate the
cooling effect of water in locations around the world.
Thermal energy can and does “creep” up the very shallow thermal gradients in planetary
atmospheres and also in their solid crusts and mantles, supporting sub-surface temperatures. Indeed
the physics of “heat creep” resolves the long-term puzzles of planetary core and surface
temperatures, and, for this very reason, begs attention and claims validity for this 21st century new
paradigm shift in climate change science. [29]
17. Appendix – Study of Temperature / Rainfall Correlation
It is a fundamental AGW requirement (for there to be a radiative greenhouse effect) that water
vapour and suspended water droplets in the atmosphere should have a warming effect. This
warming effect is supposed to account for most of the “additional 33 C degrees” in surface
temperatures, increasing the thermal gradient from an assumed initial isothermal (level gradient)
state to one in which the surface temperature is about 30°C warmer. Then carbon dioxide and other
radiating molecules are supposed to raise the temperature a little more up to a total of 33 degrees
above the level gradient value. Furthermore, if carbon dioxide levels increase, it is assumed that the
level of water vapour would increase as a result, and so more warming is expected, multiplying the
effect of carbon dioxide with this extra positive feedback.
However, it is well known and acknowledged that water vapour leads to a lower thermal gradient,
otherwise known as the “wet” or “moist” adiabatic lapse rate. Rather than the dry rate (calculated
from the -g/Cp quotient to be 9.8C/Km) high levels of water vapour are known to reduce the
gradient to about 7C/Km and even down to 6.5C/Km in the very humid Equatorial regions. The
main argument in this paper would thus suggest that, because water vapour makes the thermal
gradient less steep, we should expect a lower surface temperature when the new radiative
equilibrium is established. Thus it appears that water vapour should have a negative feedback.
It seems remarkable that this apparent contradiction does not appear to have been investigated with
what could be a relatively low cost study, compared with the funds that have been spent on other
climate research. Because of this, the author spent just a few hours analysing temperature and
rainfall data for 15 cities, in order to give an indication of how a more comprehensive study could
be conducted.
It was considered most appropriate to select towns and cities within the tropics, which extend
between the Tropic of Cancer (at about 23.5° North) to the Tropic of Capricorn (at about 23.5°
South) because the Sun will be directly overhead any particular city twice a year. By selecting data
for the hottest month this will usually correspond to the month in which the Sun passed through its
Zenith, or the following month. As other variables may have affected the Northern Hemisphere, it
was decided to limit the study to the Southern Hemisphere and to select the hottest month out of
January, February or March, though nearly all turned out to be January. Such a selection avoids the
need to make compensations for the angle of the Sun at latitudes outside the tropics.
It is noted that flat islands such as Singapore have very regular maximum and minimum daily
temperatures, and this is almost certainly due to diffusion, convection and wind from the air just
above the ocean surface, where the air temperature is governed by the water temperature. A similar
effect occurs to a lesser extent with coastal cities, as well as with some cities that are close to large
inland bodies of water. Hence it was decided not to include cities that were less than 100Km from
the coast or such bodies of water.
It was also considered that there would be a need to adjust temperatures to what would be expected
at a common altitude, and 600m was selected. Cities with altitudes outside the range 0 to 1200m
were then excluded so that errors relating to assumed thermal gradients (lapse rates) would be
unlikely to exceed about half a degree at the most. It was decided to use a gradient of 7C/Km for
the third with the greatest rainfall, 8C/Km for the third with the least rainfall and 7.5C/Km for the
middle third of the cities in the sample.
The above exclusions tend to rule out Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and other Equatorial island
regions such as are found to the North of Australia. As the study was restricted to the Southern
Hemisphere, it was decided to limit it to latitudes from 16.0 to 24.0 degrees south as this would
include Alice Springs in Australia (latitude 23°40'S) which was considered close enough to the
Tropic of Capricorn, as well as most tropical regions in Australia (AU) except those close to the
Northern coastline. It also of course included a slice of both Africa (AF) and South America (SA)
and, from these three continents, a total of 15 cities were selected, there being six in Australia but
only four in South America where several were ruled out by altitude.
Cities which were within one degree of either the latitude or longitude of a previously selected city
were not considered. However, once it was determined that a city met the requirements for altitude
and coordinates, it was included in the study before referring to any temperature or rainfall data, so
none were excluded for any “exceptional” reasons relating to such data, except for Emerald in
Queensland Australia for which the source of data [30] had no rainfall information.
It is appreciated that rainfall may not be an accurate indicator of the thermal gradient, but neither
would relative humidity be any better, because suspended water droplets also play a part in reducing
the gradient, as does the release of latent heat when it rains.
The data is presented below in a format which the reader could use for further spreadsheet analysis:
City, Country/State, Continent, Altitude, Maximum, Minimum, Rainfall, Adj* Max, Adj Min
01: Manaus, Brazil, SA, 39m, 27.3, 18.7, 238.7, 23.4, 14.8
02: Goiania, Brazil, SA, 749m, 30.1, 19.5, 209.6, 31.1, 20.5
03: Kadoma, Zimbabwe, AF, 1160m, 28.6, 17.7, 183.2, 32.5, 21.6
04: Halls Creek, Western Australia, AU, 422m, 36.6, 24.4, 164.9, 35.4, 23.2
05: Charters Towers, Queensland, AU, 336m, 33.5, 22.4, 164.7, 31.7, 20.6
06: Pedro Juan Caballero, Paraguay, SA, 563m, 29.9, 20.4, 160.4, 29.6, 20.1
07: Mariscal Jose Felix Estigarribia, Paraguay, SA, 151m, 35.4, 22.9, 129.3, 32.0, 19.5
08: Mount Isa, Queensland, AU, 356m, 36.4, 23.7, 117.3, 34.6, 21.9
09: Francistown, Botswana, AF, 1001m, 30.8, 18.9, 115.5, 33.8, 21.9
10: Maun, Botswana, AF, 943m, 32.2, 19.8, 109.4, 34.8, 22.4
11: Ghanzi, Botswana, AF, 1100m, 32.4, 19.3, 104, 36.4, 23.3
12: Longreach, Queensland, AU, 193m, 37.1, 23.3, 73.0, 33.8, 20.0
13: Beitbridge, Zimbabwe, AF, 456m, 33.5, 21.9, 56.8, 32.3, 20.7,
14: Paraburdoo, Western Australia, AU, 389m, 41.2, 26.0, 51.4, 39.5, 24.3
15: Alice Springs, Northern Territory, AU, 545m, 36.9, 21.8, 39.9, 36.5, 21.4
* At 600m: for 01 to 05 use gradient 7C/Km, 06 to 10 use 7.5C/Km, 11 to 15 use 8C/Km
Means of Adjusted Daily Maximum and Daily Minimum Temperatures
Wet (01-05): 30.8°C 20.1°C
Medium (06-10): 33.0°C 21.2°C
Dry (11-15): 35.7°C 21.9°C
There is clearly no indication of any warming effect related to water vapour, and so no evidence for
the assumed positive feedback, which is a fundamental building block for the greenhouse
conjecture. Rather, the opposite appears to be the case, and water vapour does in fact appear to
have the cooling effect anticipated by the hypothesis in the main body of this paper.
It may well be argued that the sample was not large enough, but this must surely indicate a need for
some attempt to validate such a crucial assumption, which is vital for there to be any validity in the
greenhouse conjecture that carbon dioxide has a warming effect. If water vapour does in fact have a
negative feedback (as it radiates heat to higher, cooler regions, or direct to space) then so too would
carbon dioxide have such a cooling effect, albeit far less in magnitude.
18. References
... The temperature gradient can then be quantified. [1] And so, in a planet's troposphere ... ...
... So, it is not back radiation which climatologists have just guessed must be supplying about twice as much thermal energy to Earth's surface as does the direct solar radiation, but rather it is this "heat creep" process that I have explained. [1] ...
... The solar radiation determines an anchoring temperature at a certain altitude in a planet, and then the temperature gradient allows quantification at any altitude in the troposphere as in my paper. [1] Nikolov and Zeller [2] as well as Jelbring [3] incorrectly asserted that high pressure maintains surface temperatures. ...
Full-text available
I've noticed that many science students and graduates from recent decades become "formula" people without understanding the limitations and conditions under which such expressions are applicable. This has led to scientists like Drs Jelbring, Nikolov and Zeller all publishing papers in which they point out a kind of correlation (not linear) between pressure and temperature in planetary tropospheres, but then they incorrectly deduce that it is high pressure that is maintaining high temperatures such as at the surface of Venus. They think this is a result of the Ideal Gas Law (IGL) but they confuse cause and effect. For example, people know from undergraduate physics that the IGL tells us that pressure is proportional to the product of temperature and density. So, if we have a sealed, perfectly insulated cylinder full of gas and, using an inserted electric element, we raise the temperature (by adding kinetic energy to the gas molecules and making them move faster between collisions) then, since the density remains constant, the pressure will indeed increase in proportion to the absolute (K) temperature. For temperature to increase we must have a source of energy which raises the mean kinetic energy of the molecules. If some external source of energy is used it to increase the pressure then what it is really doing is increasing the density and/or the temperature. So the increase in pressure is just a result of external energy being applied that may well have increased the temperature. The point is that it was not the increase in pressure that caused the increase in temperature but vice versa. The relevance of this is that we see many attempts to explain why the surface temperature of planets is greater than that which direct solar radiation to the surface could achieve. So some people say the high pressure is causing the temperature to be hotter. That is simply not the case. Correlation does not imply cause. What actually happens occurs at the molecular level in every small parcel of air at every altitude, as was explained by the brilliant physicist Josef Loschmidt in 1876 but totally ignored by climatologists. As a direct result of the Second Law of Thermodynamics which says entropy will tend towards a maximum (by diminishing unbalanced energy potentials) we find that gravity forms a stable density gradient in the troposphere of every planet. Simultaneously it forms a temperature gradient, this being represented by the same state of maximum entropy which in physics is called thermodynamic equilibrium.
... ............ 86 Figure 39: Thermal Gradient and "Heat Creep"-new energy just added. (Cotton, 2013) ...... 88 Figure 40: Thermal Gradient and "Heat Creep"-energy is spreading (Cotton, 2013) (Briffa, et al., 1998) ...
... ............ 86 Figure 39: Thermal Gradient and "Heat Creep"-new energy just added. (Cotton, 2013) ...... 88 Figure 40: Thermal Gradient and "Heat Creep"-energy is spreading (Cotton, 2013) (Briffa, et al., 1998) ...
... In other words, the temperature will be lower at the top and higher at the bottom." (Cotton, 2013). If additional energy is added, e.g. ...
Full-text available
This paper is looking at the anthropogenic climate change debate and takes most cons and pros into account. It compares most common arguments within the climate change debate and compares evidence of alarmist and more skeptical scientists. It can be said that most alarmist uses pictures to draw catastrophes and uses political terms rather than scientific terms. Real evidence is missing especially in those areas where scientific proof is needed. There is no argument that climate is changing which includes the effects on weather patterns, oceans, ice sheets and glaciers. The argument is about if these changes are man-made by releasing additional CO2 into earth's atmosphere or not. Fact is that only 0.0018% of CO2 in earth's atmosphere is man-made. Furthermore, CO2 has some energy absorbing characteristics but only a fairly narrow energy band. Taken only these facts into account, it is fairly unlikely that CO2 causes major climate change. Another point is the propagated greenhouse effect. It is not possible that the by physics well described and accepted greenhouse effect can happen in earth's atmosphere. Therefore, the strongest points of the anthropogenic climate change supporters are falsified. Moreover, climate scientist, especially the IPCC, failed and even ignores common research practice. Research results should be based mainly on facts and should be reviewed independently. This is often not happen; other opinions are even suppressed or simply ignored. Many fundamental facts from physics, chemistry and engineering getting ideologist and prevent real knowledge and research. This is also true for any measure to save CO2 which are often not according good engineering knowledge. This paper uses huge amount of sources, from scientific paper, interviews, videos, magazines and many more to get a good overall pictures. All sources are referenced and can be read to proof findings and gain more knowledge about climate change and CO2 reduction measures.
... That is, as long as there is thermodynamic equilibrium in the atmosphere, the curves are as given by the above three formulas that are determined by only the [15], or the Connollies call "pervection" [16]. The cold upper atmosphere can absorb solar radiation and this absorbed heat is then transported to the hotter (sic) lower atmosphere that warms up by it, thereby seemingly going against the second law of thermodynamics that is often stated as "heat flows naturally from an object at a higher temperature to an object at a lower temperature, and heat doesn't flow in the opposite direction of its own accord" [17]. ...
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.