Saturday, August 23, 2014

Moon Gets Hotter

Hello Mr. Keating,

I did read through your response. Its so wonderful that you actually responded. The seeming emergency stemmed from having to endure further of Paul's 'expert' comments. Also, your marked presence in every other thread and absence in mine left me somewhat alienated and self conscious.

We all know the purpose of a blanket. We all understand its material structure.
A blanket has a purpose in that it can shield or insulate our bodies from the elements without. However, its structure is in no way comparable with that of fluid mixture of gasses in our atmosphere.

And that 'questions link' must have been some such attempt at a joke. How amusing. I would definitely say keep to the occupation of physicist in place of comedian, but I hesitate because I think your true calling has yet to reveal itself.

A blanket cannot raise one's body temperature. It can only slow heat loss. The earth is not generating its own heat. It is dependent upon another body for that function. The source of this IR energy escaping the earth is outside the blanket, not neatly contained within it. So you have a bit of a problem.

Secondly, the atmosphere's function is not to trap heat, but rather to carry it away from the surface of the earth. I posed to you the problem of the moon possessing daytime temperatures far greater than those found on earth with its GHG laden atmosphere. How can there be such a result when AGW theories lead us to the opposite outcome. Very strange.

Perhaps there is within you an ability or artfulness in enlightening us on this seeming absurdity, but I really doubt it.

Just to let you know that I gambled away the $30,000, so my bookie is expecting prompt payment. I thought the soccer team would make the final 8. I should stay with football.

Gary Marshall

  • The moon gets so hot because there is no atmosphere, or no atmosphere to blunt the full force of the sun's rays. The earth has an atmosphere with which it avoids the incineration disaster of the day that the moon endures. That is half the story.

    Now do you agree with this half of the story or not? If so, then a thicker atmosphere will further blunt the incoming sun's rays leaving the earth cooler in daylight than it otherwise would have been. Agree or disagree?

    Gary Marshall

  • Response:
    The basis of this submission is that the Moon doesn't have an atmosphere, and yet it gets much hotter in the daylight than Earth does. Since there is no atmosphere on the Moon, the warming there is not caused by any atmosphere. Therefore, the warming on Earth is not caused by an atmosphere and global warming is not real.
    This is a false argument of the same variety as the claim that the current warming trend is a naturally occurring event. The natural cycle claim is that there were warming cycles in the past that were natural, therefore today's warming is just a natural event. The fallacy is that the second does not follow from the first. There is no evidence presented that just because there were natural cycles in the past, what we see today is a naturally occurring cycle. 
    The same thing with this argument. The Moon is heated to very high temperatures. Earth is heated to a high temperature. The Moon's heating is not due to an atmosphere. Therefore, Earth's heating is not due to an atmosphere.
    Let's look at this one a different way.  A fire in the fireplace keeps a person warm. A coat keeps a person warm. If you get to close to the fire you will get burned. Therefore, if you get too close to a coat you will get burned.

    See? The second does not follow from the first. They are both keeping you warm, but they are using different methods. You cannot assume that just because they have some similar result that they are using the same method. 

    Same thing with the Moon and Earth. They are both being heated by direct sunlight, but they are using different methods to retain the heat - the Moon not at all and Earth with greenhouse gases. The results are very different. Daylight temperatures on the Moon in direct sunlight can get into the hundreds of degrees, much higher than Earth's. Likewise, nighttime temperatures on the Moon will fall hundreds of degrees while they drop only a few tens of degrees on Earth. The daytime difference in temperature between the two bodies is due to Earth's atmosphere, which provides protection. Then, the nighttime difference is because Earth's atmosphere retains some heat while the Moon, with no atmosphere, will radiate its heat straight out into space.
    The Earth's surface is not a heat source, but it is an IR source. The short waves of sunlight pass through the atmosphere and are absorbed by the surface, heating it up. That is the ultimate source of heat. (I can make the same analogy with the human body. It does not generate heat, it merely releases energy stored in the food eaten.) This IR radiation would then go straight out into space and away from the surface. IR radiation is just light, almost the same as what we see with our eyes, but longer wavelength. This is why the Moon gets so cold at night. The heat source (the Sun) has been removed and any energy stored in the rocks generates IR radiation that goes straight into space, so the temperature drops dramatically. On Earth, the atmosphere absorbs this energy by means of greenhouse gases. This is neither new nor controversial. If not for the greenhouse effect, the average temperature on Earth would be about -20 degrees Celsius. What has changed is the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. As we add more GHGs, more energy is trapped in the atmosphere and it takes it longer to get out to space, raising the average temperature.

    And, yes, that is very similar to the way a blanket or coat works. Energy is absorbed by the blanket or coat, is reradiated in random directions, and slows the flow of energy from your body to the outside environment.
    The argument that a thicker atmosphere will actually lead to global cooling is another false argument because CO2 does not absorb visible light. Adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will not decrease the amount of sunlight reaching the surface. Basically, 30% of incoming sunlight gets reflected back into space, 19% gets absorbed by the atmosphere and 51% gets absorbed by the surface. Take a look at this graphic.

    The argument that a thicker atmosphere "will further blunt the incoming sun's rays" is not a valid argument unless you can show that the thicker atmosphere reflects sunlight more efficiently. This is particularly true if it is more effective at retaining heat than reflecting it. In that case, any cooling that might occur due to increased reflectivity is offset by the increased efficiency of storing heat.

    You did not prove manmade global warming is not real.

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