Figure 1. The tropopause is the boundary betweeen the lower atmosphere, the troposphere, and the stratosphere immediately above.
A warm thundercloud rises up to the tropopause but not beyond, see figure 2.
Figure 2. In the troposphere the temperature drops with increasing altitude, whilst it increases in the stratosphere. Here data from ballon measurements are displayed.
The thundercloud in figure 1 shows how warm air rises upwards as long as the surrounding temperature gets cooler. The cloud is also cooling, but its center keeps some warmth. This maintains its lifting power until the surrounding air gets warmer, which happens at the tropopause. Then the cloud does not rise anymore, but starts flowing out laterally. The temperature gradient shown here is crucial for the temperature at the surface.
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There is no ”Greenhouse Effect”.
Although the climate is an incalculable chaos with many different driving forces, it’s easy to understand its most crucial factors. The main questions are:
- How can Earths surface temperature be much warmer than that which the Sun’s radiation would generate at our distance from the Sun? The difference is some 30 – 90 degrees.
- What forces are driving climate change? This applies to parts of a degree up to a few degrees.
The temperature spans are so different, that different processes may apply.
The atmosphere is obviously important in the first question, because the surface temperature of celestial bodies with atmosphere is much warmer than on those without atmosphere. Many researchers have studied the atmospheres, for example, T. D. Robinson and D. C. Catling of the University of Washington, Seattle. Their report on 8/12 2013 can be found on Google: ”robinson catling tropopause”.
They studied temperature and pressure up through the atmosphere on all planets from Venus to Neptune as well as on Saturn’s moon Titan. Both pressure and temperature decreased by height up to the height at which the pressure is about 0.1 bar, one tenth of the pressure at the ground on Earth. Higher up the pressure decreased, of course, but the temperature increased. The gas mixture did not matter. The amount of carbon dioxide had no measurable effect.
Mars has an extremely thin atmosphere and Venus an extremely thick atmosphere of 93 bar and about 470 degrees at the surface. Their conditions are quite different from those of the other planets.
On Earth, the pressure is 0.1 bar at about 11 km altitude. There the temperature is about minus 60 degrees. At lower levels the gas i more dense, so infrared radiation appears not capable of penetrating from the surface. Whether carbon dioxide does trap heat or not, does not matter. Its effect is ”blown away” and mixed into the whole of the troposphere by its turbulence. Thus the temperature of the tropopause can be assumed to correspond to energy balance with space.
Gas molecules rush around in continual collisions with each other. The temperature is a measure of their speed. When a molecule is bumped downwards, it gains more energy from gravity, so that its velocity increases and hence its temperature. On the way down the pressure rises. This is true of the general gas law: A gas volume that is compressed becomes warmer. Gravity is providing the power of compression.
The pressure at the surface becomes a measure both of the thickness of the atmosphere, i. e. its mass, and of the warming that makes the Earth habitable.
We have an “Atmospheric Effect”, which depends on the mass of atmosphere and of gravity. Thus there is no “greenhouse effect” nor any “greenhouse gases” according to the IPCC hypothesis. The latter assumes that infrared radiation from the ground is absorbed by carbon dioxide, thus warming the air and preventing the radiation to escape from Earth, which then would be warming. It has missed three essential conditions:
- a) The amount of heat is minute, because carbon dioxde can absorb radiation only in a very narrow spectral band.
- b) In that band also water vapor is absorbing some radiation and there is much more of it than of carbon dioxide.
- c) The heat “blows away” immediately in the turbulence of the atmosphere.
Question 2 is more complicated. The climate has always changed due to numerous natural driving forces. These are insufficiently known. Computer simulations therefore need so many guessed parameters that their results cannot prove anything.
Instead, we look at nature. There is nothing in the universe that stands still or moves linearly. Everything turns, swings and pulses with different rhythms. We may search in history for different periodic cycles, which are superimposed on each other. Many have been identified, for example those of Milankovitch. These refer to changes in Earth’s path around the Sun, in the inclination of its axis of rotation, and in the direction of the axis in space. The periods of the cycles range from 21 years to 400,000 years.
More nearby is the varied activity of the sun, which is partly indicated by the number of sunspots. As early as 1801, William Herschel reported a relationship between the number of sunspots and the climate. From 1752 there is accurate documentation of their number. It varies greatly with a period of about 11 years. With a period of 200 years, the number has declined for a long time, which has been associated with colder climate in the 17th and 19th centuries.
Solar research now shows that the Sun has entered such a period of low activity. This makes it highly likely that the next few decades will be cold.
The Danish scientist Henrik Svensmark has a theory explaining the relationship. The solar magnetic field encloses Earth and its strength varies with the sun’s activity. If it is strong, it nudges the positively charged cosmic particles aside so more of them miss Earth. Now it’s weak, why more particles reach Earth and collide with the air’s molecules. Then condensation cores for water vapor are formed, which increases cloud formation. The clouds reflect the sun’s radiation, so that the Earth becomes colder.
This appears to be the primary process of climate change.
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