Another error made by climate consensus is they treat all earth's warming the same, whether the origin of warming is solar or back-radiation. But is it not at all the same.
Evaporative cooling. Reality versus climate models
The sun directly warms earth's atmosphere, ground and water surfaces. We can demonstrate it experimentally. For some reason, climate scientists have a very hard time measuring warming from back-radiation! It's especially difficult to measure back-radiation warming earth's water surface, oceans etc. No studies show back-radiation warming earth's water surface. Yet they assume warming from this back-radiation is greater than warming from sunlight!
This is partly because back-radiation (infrared) can only penetrate mere micrometres (µm) into water before it is absorbed. Note: 1 metre = 1 million µm. Sunlight can penetrate up to 100 metres before it is all absorbed, and most sunlight is absorbed within 10 metres. As such the sun's energy can warm earth's oceans. This warmth can be kept to affect our climates.
In contrast, back-radiation only warms a very thin, microscopic, skin layer on top of oceans (thermal skin layer, TSL). Sunlight warms oceans deeply; back-radiation does not. Most of the back-radiation warming is pretty quickly lost.
Heat is lost from water surface in 2 ways: called evaporative cooling and black body radiation. About 50:50.
Energy can be used by water in 2 ways:
- It can warm water - to raise the temperature.
- It can break chemical bonds which otherwise keep water as a liquid. These are the so-called hydrogen bonds keeping liquid water in chains of about 6 molecules:
(H2O)6 (liquid) + LHV --> 6 H2O (vapour)
In this second case the water temperature does not increase when it absorbs the LHV energy. Instead, LHV changes the state of water from liquid to vapour. The water vapour then evaporates. This kind of energy is called latent heat of vaporisation (LHV).
Once evaporated, water vapour joins the water vapour cycle of about 9 days. It takes about 8 days for the water vapour to ascend the atmosphere, and about 1 day for it to make clouds and turn to precipitate. It then comes back down to earth as rain, hail, sleet, or snow.
Water vapour, WV, ascends slowly (because it is lighter than normal air). After 8 days WV reaches the upper troposphere. There it condenses, and releases LHV it absorbed previously. LHV then radiates out to space (but some comes back down to earth: because atmospheric radiation by gases is omnidirectional). This kind of surface cooling system is called "evaporative cooling". It is responsible for about half the heat lost by the surface. The other half is lost as black body radiation.
Let's get back to the problem of measuring the effect of back-radiation warming the surface. Climate models assume sunlight and back-radiation are equivalent. That the same energy amount, has the same warming effect - no matter the frequency of radiation. As we just saw, this assumption is nonsense. Climate scientists don't have experiments measuring backradiation from carbon dioxide warming the surface. Oceans cover 71% of the earth. It's agreed (by skeptics and warmists) that over 90% of climate warming works through ocean warming.
Infrared penetration into water against radiation frequency. Wong & Minnett, 2018. The main carbon dioxide absorption band is for 15µm / 666 cm-1. This shows a penetration into water no further than ~ 4µm. Note: 0.005 cm = 50 µm.
The penetration depth obtained from I(–z) = I0 exp(–a(–z)) (equation (1)) with Rimg obtained from Bertie and Lan (1996)
This is a huge flaw in consensus climate science.
- Elizabeth W. Wong & Peter J. Minnett, 2018. The Response of the Ocean Thermal Skin Layer to Variations in Incident Infrared Radiation
Full | pdf
- Elizabeth W. Wong ; Peter J. Minnett; 2016. Retrieval of the Ocean Skin Temperature Profiles From Measurements of Infrared Hyperspectral Radiometers—Part II: Field Data Analysis
- Bertie, J. E., & Lan, Z. (1996). Infrared intensities of liquids XX: The intensity of the OH stretching band of liquid water revisited, and the best current values of the optical constants of H2O(I) at 25°C between 15,000 and 1 cm−1. Applied Spectroscopy, 50(8), 1047–1057.