Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

17 December 2017

Does Additional CO2 in the Atmosphere Cause Warming or Cooling?

I have long argued that CO2 has both warming and cooling effects on the surface temperature and the temperature of the atmosphere.  The first portion of the CO2 in the atmosphere provides a net warming effect, but as one adds further CO2 to the atmosphere the additional CO2 may cause a cooling effect.  The basic reason for this is that CO2 slows radiative cooling from the Earth's surface by preventing some of the radiative spectrum from escaping straight out into space through the atmospheric window.  However, by the time one approaches a concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere of 400 ppm, this effect is largely saturated.

The cooling effects are generally not so saturated.  Added CO2 provides many more emitters to radiate thermal energy into space from above the water condensation altitude in the troposphere.  This is a cooling effect.  CO2 also absorbs a bit of the longer wave infrared radiation from the sun before it reaches the surface.  It has a heat capacity which is 27% higher than that of nitrogen molecules, so it carries more heat energy upward in a convection current, which is a cooling effect which does not saturate with added CO2 in the atmosphere.  The fact that the CO2 in a given layer of atmosphere at a given altitude also radiates energy to cooler molecules in layers of air above it is also a cooling effect.

The net result is that at the lowest concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, the net effect is a warming effect.  Additions of further CO2 warm less and less, until finally a concentration is reached where further CO2 causes a slight cooling, which becomes a greater cooling as still more CO2 is added to the atmosphere.  The net temperature effect attributed to CO2 in the atmosphere passes through a maximum at some atmospheric concentration which it is extremely important to determine.  Indeed, learning the complete nature of the net temperature effect versus atmospheric concentration of CO2 is the scientific task a rational program of climate science would take as one of its central goals to understand.

I usually read the weekly reports of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), which has long been headed by the physicist Fred Singer.  He has recently retired as Chairman of that organization, but the most recent weekly report of SEPP found here notes that Fred Singer has come to understand the significance of the competition between the warming and the cooling effects of CO2.  Here is the relevant excerpt from the 16 December weekly report of SEPP:
Warming and Cooling? S. Fred Singer, our founder and newly elected Chairman Emeritus, is busily working on an interesting question: can carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, cause a cooling as well as a warming? The answer is YES, depending on subsidiary conditions. The notion has been checked by several atmospheric physicists. One issue is putting the concept into a format that is easily understandable, without many highly technical equations. The concept has the potential of partially explaining the hiatus in measured atmospheric warming despite increasing carbon dioxide (CO2). If correct, adding more CO2 will produce a cooling, not a warming of the atmosphere. Does it sound counter-intuitive? YES!
While my discussions with Fred Singer have been few and not very recent, it was my evaluation that he was one of the brighter and most open-minded of the people who had been a luke-warmer. I am eager to read his argument on this subject of the competing warming and cooling effects of CO2.  This is the very question I have been raising since December of 2010 and taking endless abuse for doing so.  Until now, I have taken pleasure in seeing the expectations for the warming effects of CO2 consistently dropping among the better scientists considering this issue, but Fred Singer coming around to the realization that added CO2 may actually cause a net cooling is a real milestone.

 

03 December 2017

When is Colder Thermal Radiation Incident Upon a Warmer Body?

In my recent articles on thermal radiation physics (here and here), I showed that the consensus physics on thermal radiation is wrong in its belief that black body radiators near one another emit the same radiation as they would when isolated from one another and surrounded by an environment at T = 0K.  That is, they do not each emit power per unit area as given by the Stefan-Boltzmann Law when they are in the vicinity of one another.

How then is it that one can detect the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation with a detector at 4K when the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation is that of a black body radiator at 2.73K?  This might at first blush seem to be an argument against my claims.  It may not be a very sound argument, however, due to the very unusual circumstances of detecting this radiation from gigantic distances and long ago.

The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation is believed to be radiation left over from the Big Bang.  The remaining radiation has had little in the universe that can absorb it since the universe cooled to the temperature at which electrons and protons could form hydrogen atoms.  The really long wave radiation left now is not absorbed by hydrogen atoms, which are about all that fill most of the space in the universe.  This microwave background radiation is cooling with time as the universe expands.

This microwave background radiation is now commonly detected by transition edge detectors using the rapid increase in resistance with temperature increase as a superconductor warms through the transition to the normal state at temperatures such as 0.1K.  A map of this background radiation is shown below:



Why does this microwave radiation background not violate my explanation of thermal radiation when it was originally detected by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson using a detector warmer than 2.73K?  One reason is that this radiation was not emitted from a cooler body to a warmer body.  It is in fact the radiation from much hotter matter and it has been in the form of photons flying about the universe for eons of time.  The Earth did not even exist when this thermal radiation was emitted, so the relative electromagnetic field energy density at the surface of a detector on the Earth to that adjacent to some matter from which this radiation was emitted is not at all in play.

Let us take a case of thermal radiation emitted from an actual body in the universe today far from Earth.  Any photons emitted because that body has a temperature higher than that somewhere else in the universe at a particular instant in time could be in flight for a long time.  Let us suppose that the warmer Earth moves into the trajectory of that long ago emitted photon and as a result the photon strikes a warmer detector on Earth.  There is every reason to believe this could happen.

These are two cases where one expects to detect radiation with a lower characteristic black body radiation temperature than a sensor might have on Earth.  Indeed, such radiation can and does bombard our planet.  This does not invalidate the theory on thermal radiation I have presented.  In the context of the Earth's surface emission of infrared radiation and its absorption of infrared radiation emitted by greenhouse gases, colder greenhouse gases do not emit radiation which is absorbed by the Earth's warmer surface.  There is no such back radiation contributing to catastrophic man-made global warming.

UN agency to Congress: Drop Dead by Paul Driessen

IARC takes US money, manipulates studies, colludes with activists – and snubs Congress

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in France has received over $48 million from America’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), to determine whether various chemicals cause cancer in humans. Of more than 900 chemicals it has reviewed, only one was ever found non-carcinogenic. The latest substance to face IARC scrutiny is glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp.

Not surprisingly, the agency branded glyphosate carcinogenic. But this time evidence is surfacing of collusion with anti-chemical activist groups and class action lawyers, serious conflicts of interest involving a key IARC glyphosate reviewer, and IARC manipulation of scientific reports along with deliberate withholding of studies that concluded the chemical is safe, so that the agency could get a guilty verdict.

Despite this disturbing evidence, and demonstrable proof of the chemical’s safety, the European Union barely extended its authorization for glyphosate use, and then by just five years, instead of the usual 15.

The House of Representatives Science Committee is deeply concerned about this corruption of science, its potential impacts on US regulatory decisions, and the use of IARC rulings by predatory lawyers who are suing glyphosate manufacturers. It sent letters to Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan (who oversees the NIH and its agencies) and IARC director Chris Wild. The letters “request” all relevant documents and the names of IARC-affiliated people who could testify at Committee oversight hearings.

Dr. Wild’s artful and legalistic response emphasized “scientific consensus” among all review panel members; said “deliberative” documents would not be made available; claimed there were no conflicts of interest among any IARC reviewers; said he and his staff would not be “pressured” by “vested interests,” the media or Congress; and said congressmen can come to France if they want answers to their questions.

In other words: Drop dead. Members of Congress who authorize taxpayer funding for IARC have no right to scrutinize its deliberations and decisions, to ensure sound science, transparency and accountability. 

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world. It is vital to modern agriculture – and one of the most extensively tested chemicals in history: some 3,300 studies over four decades attest to its safety. Indeed, virtually every reputable regulatory agency and scientific body in the world has determined that it does not cause cancer – including the European Food Safety Authority, European Chemicals Agency, German Institute for Risk Assessment and US Environmental Protection Agency.

Only IARC says glyphosate causes cancer. To help it reach that conclusion, the agency employed the services of Italy’s Ramazzini Institute, which also concocted studies claiming cell phones and artificial sweeteners cause cancer. It relies on Ramazzini even though regulatory bodies in Europe, the United States and New Zealand have investigated and criticized Ramazzini’s sloppy, suspect pseudo-science.

Dr. Wild’s agency has also worked closely with Dr. Linda Birnbaum, director of the $690-million-a-year National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences or NIEHS (an NIH agency in the HHS). Birnbaum is also a member of the Collegium Ramazzini and has directed over $90 million of US taxpayer funds to her Ramazzini colleagues, many of whom serve on numerous IARC “expert panels.”

Evidence is accumulating that Brinbaum has worked closely with anti-chemical pressure groups and even trial lawyers, thereby undermining the US regulatory and chemical review process and perhaps ultimately forcing glyphosate off the market. She has helped to coordinate and direct these activities, and has turned the United States into IARC’s biggest donor, earmarking $4.2 million to support IARC’s current effort to list more agricultural and industrial chemicals as carcinogens – including artificial sweeteners. Even GMO foods are on the agency’s hit list.

The well-funded, carefully coordinated effort to eradicate weed-eradicating glyphosate has also involved a number of devious, secretive, deceptive actions.
 
The 2014 advisory group that decided IARC would review glyphosate was led by activist statistician Dr. Christopher Portier, who worked for years for NIEHS and Birnbaum. In fact, investigative journalists David Zaruk (Risk-Monger) and Kate Kelland (Reuters) discovered, Portier drove the glyphosate review, while also working for the anti-pesticide Environmental Defense Fund and serving as the only “invited specialist” on the working group that labeled glyphosate carcinogenic.

At the same time, Portier was also advising trial lawyers suing over other chemicals that IARC had found carcinogenic – and shortly after serving on the advisory group signed with the same lawyers to work on their glyphsate suits, a gig for which he has so far been paid $160,000. No conflicts of interest?

Even more outrageous, as Ms. Kelland explained in another article, IARC repeatedly ignored or altered studies that exonerated glyphosate. One report clearly said the researchers “unanimously” agreed that glyphosate had not caused abnormal growths in mice they had studied. IARC deleted the sentence.

In other cases IARC panelists inserted new statistical analyses that reversed a study’s original finding; quietly changed critical language exonerating the chemical; and claimed they were “not able to evaluate” a study because it included insufficient experimental data, while excluding another study because “the amount of data in the tables was overwhelming.” These machinations helped to ensure a “consensus.” 

Equally questionable, NIH Cancer Research Institute scientist Aaron Blair conducted a years-long study that also found glyphosate was not carcinogenic. But he held off on publishing his results, and did not divulge his findings, knowing IARC would leave “unpublished” work out of its analysis.

This is not science. It is manipulation and deception – supported by our tax dollars, and used to drive safe, widely used chemicals off the market.

Other activists repeatedly claim “endocrine disrupting” chemicals which don’t cause cancer or other harm in high doses somehow do so at barely detectable levels. Another clever ploy claims no actual exposure is needed; kids get cancer because their parents or grandparents were exposed to something, perhaps years ago. It’s ridiculous. But convincing a jury there’s no cause-effect relationship is a Sisyphean task.

The end result, if not the goal, is to undermine public confidence in science-based risk assessments, lend credibility to agitator claims that countless chemicals contaminate our foods and imperil our health, endlessly frighten consumers, and set the stage for billion-dollar lawsuits to enrich class-action lawyers and organic food interests.

More than 1,000 US lawsuits already claim glyphosate causes cancer, and law firms are running ads saying anyone who has cancer and was ever exposed to glyphosate in any form or amount may be entitled to millions in compensation. Other lawyers are playing the same games with “manmade climate change.”

Ending legal predation will require major state and federal reforms. However, the American people elected this President and Congress to bring transparency and accountability back to Washington and international regulatory agencies. They need to use their oversight and funding powers to do so.

Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith told me he is reviewing Mr. Wild’s response. “Given the serious nature of our concerns related to IARC’s expenditures of taxpayer dollars, IARC should exercise due diligence and provide a complete response to my November 1 letter. The Science Committee will use all tools at our disposal to ensure the stewards of our taxpayers’ dollars are held accountable,” Smith said.

That is good news. Too many regulators and “scientific” panels have the attitude, “We are accountable only to ourselves. We will not have any member of Congress or the Trump Administration presume to tell us how to run our business, do science or be transparent.” That arrogance is intolerable.

Even if Dr. Wild is beyond the reach of US law, Drs. Birnbaum, Portier, Blair, et al. are not. They should be compelled to testify under oath, and funding for their agencies and work should be made contingent on their cooperation in rooting out the apparent secrecy, corruption, conflicts of interest and junk science.
   
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of books and articles on energy and environmental policy. 

21 November 2017

Did You Know That a 4K Temperature Rise Would Melt All the Ice in Antarctica and Justify the End of Capitalism?

The state government of Arizona pays the advocate of these ideas to teach our children this pathetic propaganda.

The New York Times published an Opinion article by Benjamin Y. Fong, a faculty fellow at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, entitled The Climate Crisis? It's Capitalism, Stupid.  He calls for the end of Capitalism because Capitalism will inevitably bring about a mass extinction of life on Earth.  He says the mass extinction of life will be caused by a continuation of our current political systems.  By 2100, even with the USA in the Paris Accord, we were well on the way to a 7.2⁰F temperature increase by 2100 according to Fong.  He claims that a 7.2⁰F increase in the temperature of the Earth has previously melted all of the ice at either pole and may do so again.  Consequently, socialism, even communism, has no need to justify itself, because they cannot be as bad as the death warrant stupid Capitalism guarantees us.

Let us examine stupid.  A 7.2⁰F temperature increase is a 4⁰C temperature increase.  Ice melts at 0⁰C.  The highest temperature ever recorded at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station was -12.3⁰C.  The warmest month at the South Pole is January and the average highest daily temperature in that month is -26.0⁰C.  It will be a most interesting trick when a 4⁰C temperature increase melts all of the ice in Antarctica.  This would increase the warmest temperature ever recorded there to only -8.3⁰C and the warmest monthly average temperature to -22C.  Yes, an average temperature increase of 4⁰C would probably be the result of a greater temperature increase at the poles than in the equatorial region, but there is plenty of margin at the South Pole to allow for that.

Before you kill Capitalism because you claim it will bring on a mass extinction of life, please show me that a continuation of our current political institutions will actually cause:
  • an average temperature increase of 4⁰C
  • a temperature increase at the South Pole of at least 12.3⁰C, or more realistically, an increase of 26⁰C
  • that the melting of all the ice at the poles will bring on a mass extinction of life
  • that an average temperature increase of 4⁰C, which must be much less in the equatorial regions in order to be 12.3⁰C or more at the South Pole and also more at the North Pole, will bring on the extinction of all life
  • that my chance of surviving Communist or other authoritarian socialist societies, with their history of killing over 160 million people, is greater than my chance of surviving a mass extinction
  • that a life under Communism is a life worth living
The burden of reasonable proof that Capitalism will inevitably doom us all does not go away simply because someone asserts that Capitalism will have dire consequences for the survival of living creatures on Earth.  So far, most living creatures are not doing badly under Capitalism, while specifically human beings are doing better than they ever have before because of Capitalism.  Capitalism has a history of improving the human condition, while Communism has a history of killing tens of millions of human beings and depriving those who manage to survive of their individual rights and making their survival much more marginal.

It is amazing what people with a political or religious agenda will claim for a 1.4% (4K/288K) increase in the average Earth temperature.  Or, consider the mass extinction that occurs in Denver every September when the temperature rises an average of 30F (16.7C) from the daily average low temperature to the daily average high temperature.  The stupid hat does not go on the Capitalist.  It belongs as anyone committed to reason knows on the head of those who embrace Communism and on those who embrace Catastrophic Man-Made Global Warming.  These people seem to never learn the errors of their thinking, which must be the definition of stupid.  Intelligent people have some ability to identify their mistakes and to learn from them.  Intelligence does not guarantee that onw will not make mistakes in a complex world and universe, but it does require a constant concern that one's beliefs are consistent with reality.

It is apparent that intelligence is not a requirement for a faculty position in the Honors College at Arizona State University.  Unfortunately, it is no more required in many other universities either.  Conformity of belief to the Progressive Elitist beliefs in socialism and the essentially evil nature of man is much more important at most universities than is intelligence.

15 November 2017

Avalanches of global warming alarmism by Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris

UN climate cataclysm predictions have no basis in fact and should not be taken seriously
Throughout the United Nations Climate Change Conference wrapping up in Bonn, Germany this week, the world has been inundated with the usual avalanche of manmade global warming alarmism. The UN expects us to believe that extreme weather, shrinking sea ice, and sea level rise will soon become much worse if we do not quickly phase out our use of fossil fuels that provide over 80% of the world’s energy.
There is essentially nothing to support these alarms, of course. We simply do not have adequate observational data required to know or understand what has happened over the past century and a half. Meaningful forecasts of future climate conditions are therefore impossible.
Nevertheless, this year’s session has been especially intense, since the meeting is being chaired by the island nation of Fiji, a government that has taken climate change fears to extremes.
COP23 (the 23rd meeting of the Conference of the Parties on climate change) conference president, Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, has called for “an absolute dedication to meet the 1.5-degree target.” This is the arbitrary and most stringent goal suggested by the Paris Agreement. In support of Bainimarama’s position, the COP23/Fiji Website repeatedly cites frightening forecasts made by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
One prediction stated: “The IPCC recently reported that temperatures will significantly increase in the Sahel and Southern African regions, rainfall will significantly decrease, and tropical storms will become more frequent and intense, with a projected 20 per cent increase in cyclone activity.” 
To make such dire forecasts, the IPCC relies on computerized models built on data and formulas to represent atmospheric conditions, and reflect the hypothesis that carbon dioxide is the principal factor driving planetary warming and climate change.
However, we still do not have a comprehensive, workable “theory of climate,” and thus do not have valid formulas to properly represent how the atmosphere functions. We also lack data to properly understand what weather was like over most of the planet even in the recent past. Without a good understanding of past weather conditions, we have no way to know the history, or the future, of average weather conditions – what we call the climate.
An important data set used by the computer models cited by the IPCC is the “HadCRUT4” global average temperature history for the past 167 years. This was produced by the Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, both based in the United Kingdom.
Until the 1960s, HadCRUT4 temperature data were collected using mercury thermometers located at weather stations situated mostly in the United States, Japan, the UK, and eastern Australia. Most of the rest of the planet had very few temperature sensing stations, and none of the Earth’s oceans (which cover 70% of the planet) had more than occasional stations separated from the next ones by thousands of kilometers of no data. Temperatures over these vast empty areas were simply “guesstimated.”
Making matters even worse, data collected at weather stations in this sparse grid had, at best, an accuracy of +/-0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees F), and oftentimes no better than +/-1.0 degree C. Averaging such poor data in an attempt to determine past or future global conditions cannot yield anything meaningful – and certainly nothing accurate or valid enough to use in making critical energy policy decisions.
Modern weather station surface temperature data are now collected using precision thermocouples. But, starting in the 1970s, less and less ground surface temperature data was used for plots such as HadCRUT4. Initially, this was done because governments believed satellite monitoring could take over from most of the ground surface data collection.
However, the satellites did not show the warming that climate activists and computer models had forecast. So, bureaucrats closed many of the colder rural surface temperature sensing stations, while many stations in the vast frigid area of Siberia were closed for economic and other reasons. The net result was that cold temperature data disappeared from more recent records – thereby creating artificial warming trends, the very warming that alarmists predicted, desired and needed for political purposes.
Today, we have virtually no data for approximately 85% of the Earth’s surface. Indeed, there are fewer weather stations in operation now than there were in 1960.
That means HadCRUT4 and other surface temperature computations after about 1980 are meaningless. Combining this with the sensitivity (accuracy) problems in the early data, and the fact that we have almost no long-term data above Earth’s surface, the conclusion is unavoidable:
It is not possible to know how or whether Earth’s climate has varied over the past century and a half. The data are therefore useless for input to the computer models that form the basis of the IPCC’s conclusions.
But the lack of adequate surface data is only the start of the problem. The computer models on which the climate scare is based are mathematical constructions that require the input of data above Earth’s surface as well. The models divide the atmosphere into cubes piled on top of each other, ideally with wind, humidity, cloud cover and temperature conditions known for different altitudes. But we currently have even less data above the surface than on it, and there is essentially no historical data at altitude.
Many people think the planet is adequately covered by satellite observations data that is almost global 24/7 coverage and far more accurate than anything determined at weather stations. But the satellites are unable to collect data from the north and south poles, regions that are touted as critical to understanding global warming.
Moreover, space-based temperature data collection did not start until 1979, and 30 years of weather data is required to generate a single data point on a climate graph. The satellite record is far too short to allow us to come to any useful conclusions about climate change.
In fact, there is insufficient data of any kind – temperature, land and sea ice, glaciers, sea level, extreme weather, ocean pH, et cetera – to be able to determine how today’s climate differs from the past, much less predict the future. The IPCC’s climate forecasts have no connection with the real world.
Sherlock Holmes warned that “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote this famous quote for fiction, of course. But it applies perfectly to today’s global warming debate, especially where the IPCC’s scary conclusions and forecasts are involved. Of course, this will not stop Bainimarama and other conference leaders from citing IPCC “science” in support of their warnings of future climate catastrophe.
We should use these facts to spotlight and embarrass them every time.
___________
Dr. Tim Ball is an environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba. Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition.

02 November 2017

Solving the Parallel Plane Black Body Radiator Problem and Why the Consensus Science Is Wrong

I will present the Consensus, Settled Science solution to the parallel plane black body radiator problem and demonstrate that it is wrong.  I will show that it exaggerates the energy of electromagnetic radiation between the two planes by as much as a factor of two as their temperatures approach one another.  In the case in which the two black body radiators have the same temperature, the settled science treatment clearly violates the principal characteristic of a black body cavity, namely its constant energy density, e, given by Stefan’s Law as

e = aT4,

where T is the temperature in Kelvin, a is Stefan’s Constant of 7.57 x 10-16 J/m3K4 , and e is in Joules per cubic meter.

Why does the wrong treatment of thermal radiation matter with respect to the claims of the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis?  Because it greatly exaggerates the transport of energy by radiation, it also greatly exaggerates the absorption of that energy by infrared-active gases, commonly called greenhouse gases.  It causes violations of the Conservation of Energy and implies a much higher heat content in the Earth’s surface and atmosphere than really exists there due to the absorption that should occur due to this additional and very fictional radiation.  These are important errors with very important consequences.

I have already demonstrated the failure of the settled science treatment of thermal radiation from black body radiators in the form of concentric spherical shells in a paper posted on 23 October 2017, entitled Thermal Radiation Basics and Their Violation by the Settled Science of the Catastrophic Man-Made Global Warming Hypothesis, but I want to post this solution with its simpler geometry so that the reason the consensus treatment is wrong will be even more apparent to thinking readers.

Numerous critics of the consensus science on catastrophic man-made global warming have argued that thermodynamics claims that energy only flows from the warmer body to the colder body, but the consensus scientists have argued that thermodynamics only applies to the net flow of energy.  I have long argued that the reason that radiant energy only flows from the warmer to the cooler body is because the flow is controlled by an electromagnetic field and an energy gradient in that field.  I will offer that proof in this paper.

In a black body cavity, the electromagnetic radiation is in equilibrium with the walls of the cavity at a temperature T.  The energy density e is the mean value of 

½ E·D + ½ H·B,

where E is the impressed electric field, D is the displacement, which differs from E when the medium is polarized, H is the impressed magnetic field and B is the magnetic polarization of a medium.  If the cavity is under vacuum, then D = E and B = H in the cavity volume and |E| = |H|, so e is proportional to |E|2.  The mean value of the energy density of the electromagnetic field in the cavity depends on the temperature and is created by the oscillating dipoles and higher order dipoles in the cavity walls.  The energy density is independent of the volume of the cavity.  The radiation pressure on the cavity walls is proportional to the energy density.

This physics may be reviewed by the reader in an excellent textbook called Thermal Physics by Philip M. Morse, Professor of Physics at MIT, published in 1965 by W.A. Benjamin, Inc., New York.  Prof. Morse wrote it as a challenging text for seniors and first-year graduate students.  I was fortunate to use it in a Thermodynamics course at Brown University in my Junior year.  Alternatively, see my post The Greenhouse Gas Hypothesis and Thermal Radiation -- A Critical Review.

Inside a black body cavity radiator at a temperature T, the energy density, or the energy per unit volume of the vacuum in the cavity is constant in accordance with Stefan’s Law.  If one opens a small peephole in the wall of the black body cavity, the energy density just inside that peephole is the energy density of the black body cavity and that energy density is proportional to the square of the electric field magnitude there.  The Stefan-Boltzmann Law states that the flow rate of energy out of the peephole when the black body cavity is surrounded by vacuum and an environment at T = 0 K, is given as the power P per unit area as

P = σT4

Note that P = (σ/a) e and that e in the T=0K sink is equal to zero.  A change of energy density in the vacuum volume immediately inside the peephole into the black body cavity as given by Stefan's Law to a value of zero in the T=0K outside environment causes a power of thermal radiation emission out of the peephole to the outside environment as given by the Stefan-Boltzmann Law.

Why is it that a surface which is not a peephole into a black body cavity might act like a black body radiator?  It has to be that the energy density very, very close to that surface has the characteristic of the energy density in a black body cavity radiator, namely that

e = aT4.

Any flow of energy out of the surface due to its temperature T must be caused by this electromagnetic field energy density at the surface generated by the vibrational motion of electric charges in the material of the surface.  Such flow of energy only occurs to regions with an energy density that is lower.  There is no flow of energy from the inside wall of a black body radiator because the energy density everywhere inside the cavity at equilibrium is equal.  P from the interior walls is everywhere zero.  A non-zero P is the result of a non-zero Δe.

In fact, while it is commonly claimed that photons inside the cavity are being 100% absorbed on the walls and an equal amount of radiant energy is emitted from the absorbing wall, the actual case is that the radiant energy incident upon the walls can be entirely reflected from the walls.  Planck had derived the frequency spectrum of a black body cavity from an assumption of complete reflection from the walls.

Here is the problem of the parallel plane black body radiators diagrammed, where TC is the cooler temperature and TH is the warmer temperature:





Let us first consider the case that each plane is alone and surrounded by an environment of space at T=0.  Each plane has a power input that causes the plane to have its given temperature.  Each plane radiates electromagnetic energy at a rate per unit surface area of 

P = σT4.

Consequently, if neither plane were in the presence of the other and each plane has a surface area of A on each side, we have

PC = APCO + APCI = 2AσTC4

And

PH = APHO + APHI = 2AσTH4 ,

since in equilibrium the power input is equal to the power output by radiation.

In the consensus viewpoint, shared by many physicists and by almost every climate scientist, the parallel plane black body radiators above are believed to emit photons from every surface of each plane even in the presence of the other plane with a power per unit area of

PH = σTH4 and PC = σTC4,

just as they would if they were not near one another and they only cast off photons into a sink at T = 0 K.  This viewpoint takes the emitted radiation as a primary property of the surfaces rather than an electromagnetic field with a known energy density as the primary property of the surfaces.

Thus, when these planes are in one another's presence this consensus viewpoint says that

PC = APCO + APCI - APHI = 2AσTC4 - AσTH4

PH = APHO + APHI - APCI = 2AσTH4 - AσTC4

Note that PC becomes zero at TC = 0.8409 TH and below that temperature PC is negative or a cooling power in addition to radiative cooling.  If TH = 288K, then TC = 242.2K, the effective radiative temperature of the cooler plane to space if the cooler plane is thought of as the atmosphere and the warmer plane is the surface of the Earth, both the atmosphere and the surface act like black body radiators, and the atmosphere receives only radiant energy from the surface.  This is in agreement with calculations I have presented in the past and is a result which I believe to be correct under the assumptions, even though in some critical respects this consensus viewpoint is wrong.

If these planes were isolated from one another and each plane faced only that T = 0 K vacuum, then one would have

eH = aTH4 and eC = aTC4,

because these are black body radiator surfaces.  PHI when the hotter plane is surrounded by T=0 environment provides the photon flow near the emitting surface which causes the local energy density to be

eH = aTH4 in this case.

Unlike the case of concentric spherical shells, which I considered in Thermal Radiation Basics and Their Violation by the Settled Science of the Catastrophic Man-Made Global Warming Hypothesis, there is no divergence or convergence of the photons emitted from either surface.  The relationship of the radiative power P to the energy density due to that electromagnetic radiation is always e = (a/σ) P as one traverses the distance between the planes.  

Consequently, seeing this from the consensus viewpoint,

e = (a/σ) PHI + (a/σ) PCI = aTH4 + aTC4

anywhere between the two planes, because photons have energy no matter which direction they are traveling and they do not annihilate one another based on their direction of travel.  The total energy between the planes is that of the electric field or if you view this in the consensus way, it is the sum of the energy of all the photons in the space between the planes.  The energy density e would then be the total energy of all the photons divided by the volume of vacuum between the planes.

Now, let us imagine that these planes are very close together and the ends are far away and nearly closed.  Let us have TC TH, then

e 2aTH4,

but this space between the planes is now a black body cavity in the limit that TC TH, and we know by Stefan’s Law that

e = aTH4

in this case.  In addition, we have created a black body cavity radiator here and P inside the cavity is actually zero because the interior is in a state of equilibrium and constant energy density.  P is only P = σ T4 just outside the peephole facing an environment at T = 0 K.  In the above consensus viewpoint case, each plane surface is emitting real photons, but these cannot annihilate those photons of the opposite plane.  There are no negative energy photons.  These respective photon streams simply add to the total energy density.

The consensus treatment of black body thermal radiation doubles the energy density in a black body cavity, in clear violation of the principal characteristic of a black body cavity upon which their treatment must be based.  Their treatment greatly increases the energy density between the planes whenever TC is anywhere near TH, such as is the case of the temperatures in the lower troposphere compared to the Earth’s surface temperature.  Consequently, the sum of PHI and PCI must be much smaller than they are thought to be in the consensus treatment of this problem or in the similar concentric spherical shell problem.

Let us now examine the correct solution to this parallel plane black body radiators problem.  It is the electromagnetic field between the two planes that governs the flow of electromagnetic energy between the planes.  Or one can say it is the energy density at each plane surface that drives the exchange of energy between the planes due to the energy density gradient between the two planes.  The critical and driving parameter here is

Δe = eH - eC = aTH4 – aTC4 ,

where each black body radiator surface maintains its black body radiator requirement that the energy density at the surface is given by Stefan’s Law.

Electromagnetic energy flows from the high energy surface to the low energy surface, as is the case in energy flows generally.

PHI = (σ/a) Δe = (σ/a) (aTH4 – aTC4 ) = σ TH4σ TC4

PCI = 0,

which is consistent with experimental measurements of the rate of radiant heat flow between two black bodies.  Note that as TC approaches TH, PHI approaches zero as should be the case inside a black body cavity.  Note also that when TC = 0 K, PHI is given by the Stefan-Boltzmann Law

PHI = σ TH4.

Let us recalculate PH and PC in this correct formulation of the problem:

PC = APCO + APCI - APHI = AσTC4 + 0 – [AσTH4 - AσTC4] = 2AσTC4 - AσTH4

PH = APHO + APHI - APCI = AσTH4 + [AσTH4 - AσTC4] - 0 = 2AσTH4 - AσTC4

And we see that the power inputs to each plane needed to maintain their respective temperatures as they cool themselves by thermal radiation are unchanged in this correct energy density or electromagnetic field centered viewpoint from the consensus viewpoint. Experimentally, the relationship between the power inputs to the thermal radiation emitting planes at given temperatures are exactly the same.  This fact causes the proponents of the consensus viewpoint to believe they are right, but they nonetheless violate the energy density requirements of electromagnetic fields and of black body radiation itself.

Because PCI = 0, back radiation from a cooler atmosphere to the surface is also zero and not 100% of the top of the atmosphere solar insolation as in the current NASA Earth Energy Budget.  Because PH = σ TH4 – σ TC4 , the Earth's surface does not radiate 117% of the top of the atmosphere insolation either.  These radiation flows are hugely exaggerated by NASA and in similar Earth Energy Budgets presented in the UN IPCC reports.  See the NASA Earth Energy Budget below:




This is very important because reducing these two radiant energy flows of infrared photons reduces the effect of infrared-active gases, the so-called greenhouse gases, drastically.  Many fewer photons are actually available to be absorbed or emitted by greenhouse gases than they imagine.  This is a principal error that should cause the global climate computer models to greatly exaggerate the effects of the greenhouse gases, just as they have.

It is not at all surprising that physics adheres to a minimum total energy in the system and does not generate a superfluous stream of photons from the colder body to the warmer body and does not have any more photons flowing to the colder body from the warmer body than necessary.  By means of the electromagnetic field between these two planes, the photon emission of the planes is coupled and affected by the presence of the other plane.  This is in no way surprising for an electromagnetic field problem.  One needs to remember that photons are creatures of electromagnetic fields.  Opposing streams of photons do not annihilate one another to cancel out energy, they simply add their energies.  Treating them as though one stream has a negative energy and the other a positive energy is just a means to throw the use of the Conservation of Energy out the window.  That is too critical a principle of physics to be tossed out the window.



Extending the Solution to Gray Body Thermal Radiators and Other Real Materials:

Many real materials do not behave like black body radiators of thermal radiation.  Those that do not radiate as black body materials would, radiate less than the black body radiator would.  Why would they radiate less?  This is because they do not create as high an electromagnetic field energy density at their surfaces as does a black body radiator.  From Stefan’s Law for a black body radiator, the energy density at the surface is

e = aT4

but for a gray body radiator the energy density at each wavelength λ is

e(λ) = εaT4.

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e(λ) = ε(λ)aT4,

where the fraction of the black body output at wavelength λ is variable.

An isolated material surrounded by vacuum and a T=0 K environment then has a power per unit area output of

P(λ) = εσT4 for a gray body and ε is seen to be the emissivity, and

P(λ) = ε(λ)σT4, for a general material, such as carbon dioxide or water vapor, where the absorption and emission become variable fractions of that of a black body as a function of wavelength.

For our two parallel plates above, if both are gray bodies, then between the plates

Δe = eH – eC = εH a TH4εC a TC4

PHI = (σ/a) Δe = εH σ TH4εC σ TC4

PCI = 0.

Here we see that the emissivity which determines the electromagnetic field energy density at the surface is also playing the role of the absorptivity at the absorbing colder surface.  So of course, Kirchhoff’s Law of thermal radiation that the emissivity equals the absorptivity of a material in a steady state process applies.  There is really nothing at all to prove if one starts with the primary fact and boundary condition that the energy density is the fundamental driver of the thermal radiation of materials.


Update:  Considerable additions were made on 8 November 2017.
Update:  Additions made on 12 November 2017.
Update:  The extension to gray bodies and other bodies was made on 14 November 2017.
Update:  Explanatory additions on 27 November 2017.
Update:  Further explanatory text added on 29 November 2017.