What is Waiting in the Wings?


We recently finished a series of posts on the 2 good greenhouse gas in which we established that all the “earthlight”, the long wave spectra emitted at the temperature of the planet surface is extinguished within about 100 meters of the surface in the bands comprising the fundamental bending strike zone of CO2.

This past series established what CO2 cannot do to warm the planet. We are told that the “wings”, bands outside the fundamental bending zero transmission zone will pick up the slack and warm the planet. This series will explore what CO2 can do to warm the planet.

Modtran Transmission v Fundamental bend

The argument is very simple. The earth emits a finite amount of light. When that light is extinguished by complete absorption and zero transmission, it’s gone! It can’t just sneak around somewhere. The atmosphere completely blankets the earth.

In the graphic above transmission to the tropopause at 280 ppm CO2 is shown. There is a large flat spot of zero transmission. This flat spot is defined by the fundamental bending mode of CO2 shown here at 400 ppm. The zero transmission zone grows accordingly when 400 ppm transmission is plotted, but the point here is that zero at 280 ppm and zero now equals zero difference.

The red plots are the significant excitation bands for CO2. The fundamental 667.4 band represents nearly 90% of the total energy, and the other bands had to be exaggerated orders of magnitude to even get them to show up in the graphic. Four of these bands fall outside the primary zero transmission flat spot, but two of these, 647.1 and 720.8 form their own zero transmission troughs even at 280 ppm. This leaves only 544.3 and 597.3, shown with dotted lines to their corresponding troughs as candidates for warming in the wings.

What of these wings? Below are MODTRAN CO2 only 280 ppm vs 400 ppm comparisons for a few altitudes:

Modtran 5km 280v400ppm CO2

Modtran 10km 280v400ppm CO2

Modtran 15km 280v400ppm CO2 Modtran 20 km 280v400ppm CO2 Modtran 70 km 280v400ppm CO2

If your eyes are anything like mine, you will see that there is very little difference between the 280 and 400 ppm plots for CO2 alone and that no large lateral “wings” of radiance emerge. Ain’t much chicken on them wings.

In the next post we will explore what makes the “wings” take flight. Water.

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10 Responses to What is Waiting in the Wings?

  1. patrick199405042 says:

    “If your eyes are anything like mine, you will see that there is very little difference between the 280 and 400 ppm plots for CO2 alone”

    My eyes tell me it’s 2.2 W/m^2. It’s what MODTRAN says, after all (see your last screenshot), and that is all that mainstream science says it is. Pretty much “nothing”.
    560 ppm would also mean “nothing”, right?
    1120: Ok, now I can see it! 8.4 W/m^2 – well, that would be 2.5°C+ without any feedbacks, already.

    Anyway, the number I have heard is 3.7 per doubling – and the number in your screenshot is too high by 0.3 (should be 1.9), mine cited above by 1.0 (1120 should be 7.4, not 8.4). I don’t know why, I have not researched this topic.

    Can you argue why I should read on further? I was expecting something more than “I don’t see anything” and “15 micro meters is saturated at 1 meter” (who the … says otherwise???).

    Maybe part VII is going to validate 3.7 W/m^2 per doubling and you are going to say that climate sensitivity is 0.15C/doubling, so who cares, right?

    • gymnosperm says:

      You don’t give yourself enough credit for actually thinking. Most alarmist dementia hails from just internalizing and writing on the exam whatever the professor/newscaster/self appointed guru says. Nobody knows exactly what climate sensitivity is. The evidence keeps pointing down. CERES keeps pointing LW radiation to space up. That’s what CO2 is supposed to be preventing…

      • patrick199405042 says:

        I cannot respond well to your claim about LW. Ofc, I have ideas, but no clear rebuttal or data.

        That is a different argument, though. From creationists, to climate change “””skeptics”””, the pattern is predictable: You change topics.

        Why not, instead, defend – or [better] delete this piece of garbage post when you (presumably) have dozens of other points that (potentially) are any good? When I want to convince — or educate — someone I don’t keep crap just because I have (perhaps) good content, as well, or should I? And what is the educational – or convincing – part of this post?

        I’ll just plug this video by potholer54 here because I *feel* ^^ like it. I think if you watch or listen to it in bed to sleep, you will like it, too, because I feel^^ that normally, you actually are opposed to the feelie crap you spout here (this is a compliment, thank me for it! 😀 ).
        “Science Vs the Feelies”:

  2. gymnosperm says:

    “From creationists, to climate change “””skeptics”””””.” Interesting. I group creationists with climate change alarmists. Full of superstitious feeling and ignorance; not appraised of the relevant data.

    I am not sure which crappy post you think I should delete, the arrow (among many and not sure which), or the modtran graphic where I observe only slight visual difference. You are correct that the difference in W/m2 is in line with the mainstream, and someday (if I ever finish the Grand Canyon) I will revise the post to acknowledge this. I still feel that the graphic is valuable in illustrating how it works.

    Here’s the thing, CERES and MODTRAN cannot both be right. The Branscomb AFB work on which modtran and hitran are based is very good at getting projectiles in the troposphere down chimneys in Iraq. Perhaps not so good in the stratosphere. Modtran predicts relentlessly declining LW to space, CERES measures the opposite.

    Furthermore, CERES clearly shows that the net flux, which IS declining and causing the warming, is being dragged down by a reduction in SW flux. All three phases of water are good SW absorbers, CO2 is not.

    • patrick199405042 says:

      I’ll just do a quick and totally incomplete response. ^^
      I’m excited. Thanks for pointing me to this interesting paradox. ^^ Or rather: For scaring me and getting me to successfully (?) find someone to explain (or “explain”) it to ease my discomfort again and make me feel excited that I have found counterarguments. 😛

      That a heated planet radiates more LW radiation was obvious to me. It heats up until incoming = outgoing again.

      Less obvious is that it would outweigh the speed at which the greenhouse effect is increased (say 0.2 W/m^2 delta forcing each decade courtesy of the supposedly rational humans 😛 ) — resulting in this paradox you put forward. ^^

      This guy here tries to explain it with a lot if greek letters, I’m not sure if I can make sense of it all, not at night, definitely:
      https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/blog_held/46-how-can-outgoing-longwave-increase-as-co2-increases/
      Anyway, he says it agrees with models, so perhaps you can show that he cherry-picked them?

      The other weird part was the decreasing loss of solar radiation which he shows also agrees with models.
      “partly due to surface (snow and ice) albedo feedback and partly due to positive short wave water vapor feedback. The latter does not get mentioned much because it is often lumped together with the larger infrared feedback, but it accounts for something like 15% of the total water vapor feedback (water vapor absorbs solar radiation, reducing the amount of solar radiation reaching the surface, so more vapor mean means less reflection from the surface and less loss of energy to space through this reflection.”
      [Apparently he and I agree that absorbtion != reflection and the thought that absorbtion decreases actual reflection was new to me – in the other comment section you can respond to my claim that convection being OP makes it not matter where radiation is absorbed]

      Anyway, I suppose it can only go down from here because for now I am giving the greek letter guy the benefit of the doubt. ^^ [ Feels better to procrastinate (potentially) the skeptical part and take comfort in the “fact” that the discrepancy has been “explained”. 😛 ] E.g. there is the cloud feedback ofc, increasing the outgoing SW.

      [Side note: Thanks for being nice in response to my vitriol. I have to say I have sympathies for you and the other alternative science proponent I (in her case frequently) annoy. I have only been nice to her, but if I had been an asshole like I was to you she would have responded in kind 😀 ]

  3. gymnosperm says:

    Energy is the aether of our time. We don’t know what it is. According to Mr. Einstein, it equals mass times the speed of light squared. He was a REALLY smart guy. According to our best cosmology, 70% of our universe is comprised of energy completely dark to us.

    Be that as it may, our classical understanding, to which Mr. Einstein fully subscribed, is that energy is conserved. What that means is that the same energy cannot be at the same time cooling and warming the planet.

    Your friend needs education. Absorption cannot decrease reflection unless it takes place above the reflecting surface. The largest reflecting surface is cloud tops.

    Cloud tops vary considerably in altitude. A time series of various cloud types can be seen above. Clouds are actually liquid water.

    As pointed out previously, all three phases of water absorb incoming SW from the sun. CO2 is a wimp in these spectra.

    Dude, it’s the water.

    • patrick199405042 says:

      “Your friend needs education. Absorption cannot decrease reflection unless it takes place above the reflecting surface. The largest reflecting surface is cloud tops.”

      I guess. ^^ Perhaps that is a big reason why it is only 15% of the WV feedback according to the guy. Largest != only.

      I have some learning to do. In the mean time: Why do you think these models – that are presumably mainstream, i.e. they predict AGW – predict exactly what you feel contradicts AGW? Decreased outgoing SW, increased outgoing LW. In the “transient period” that is.
      I have only seen the “1% up till 4x” scenario, maybe you can poke holes in it.

      • patrick199405042 says:

        “Be that as it may, our classical understanding, to which Mr. Einstein fully subscribed, is that energy is conserved. What that means is that the same energy cannot be at the same time cooling and warming the planet.”

        Maybe you can clarify by drawing a few quick and dirty graphs in paint of what happens when the sun gets whatever% hotter in a blink of an eys.

        Incoming energy (flat), outgoing and imbalance. Three graphs. Nah, 4 temperature. Maybe you can add some more pretty graphs as to what the alarmists are claiming would happen and how it violates conservation of energy.

      • patrick199405042 says:

        Oh. On a black body planet without confusions such as an atmosphere/clouds/etc.

      • patrick199405042 says:

        Aw, you deleted my rot13 encoded comment. What a shame. ^^

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