This time from Berthold Klein. These misguided efforts are a real worry. Just because GHE is poor nomenclature does not mean earth acts like a physical greenhouse (it doesn’t) but the lower atmosphere is most assuredly warmed by compression, conduction, evaporation and transpiration and through absorption of infrared radiation. All manner of seriously stupid claims are made with reference to the infrared absorption and radiation part.
As a function of entropy the sun is radiating energy to the universe. Earth is in the emission path of a portion of that energy, enough to raise it to about 255 kelvins after allowing for the portion reflected rather than absorbed. Earth radiates a similar amount to the universe.
Some people get really confused thinking that the atmosphere is not part of Earth but the atmosphere is not a separate body at all and is constantly exchanging molecules and energy with the non-gaseous surface of the planet.
Within the gaseous portion of Earth’s surface – and below the altitude of effective emission (the point where incoming and outgoing radiation are in perfect balance) – we have a nice warm and humid zone in which we live.
The atmosphere is composed of molecules of non-zero temperature and as a spontaneous function of entropy radiates electromagnetic energy in all directions equally.
No repulsive force exists to prevent some of this radiation from being intercepted by Earth and since Earth is not transparent to these radiations it absorbs this energy. It is this feedback which keeps Earth’s non-gaseous surface warmer than it would otherwise be.
Some people misread their Clausius statement of the Second Law of Thermodynamics as meaning energy cannot be returned from a cooler body to a warmer, although it actually means that the net rate of multiple transfers must always mean that the warmer body will always export more energy than it receives from the cooler body. It says nothing about rate of cooling.
For those who wrongly believe the atmosphere to be the “cooler body” (not unreasonable at all) that can not transfer any energy to warmer body Earth (dead flat wrong), here’s two words: lightening strikes. Thousands of times every day electromagnetic energy is spectacularly transferred from atmosphere to non-gaseous surface in the form of lightening strikes and thus refutes the strict one-way hypothesis of energy transfer from Earth to atmosphere.
Never mind that Earth’s greenhouse effect does not work like a physical greenhouse, which curtails convective heat loss, Earth’s greenhouse effect is 100% real and useful to life on Earth. For Heaven’s sake stop gifting the CAGW wackos a cudgel with which to beat you and by extension all skeptics as entropy imbeciles.
Here, for what it is worth, is the link that precipitated this rant.