Sunday, March 02, 2008

A formal reply to Gerlich and Tscheuschner

Arthur (of dot earth fame), has composed a formal response to Gerlich and Tscheuschner. He comments on the thread All you never wanted to know about Gerlich and Tscheuschner

My formal response to G&T here:

"Proof of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect".

Contrary to the claims of G&T, I show here that:
1. An average surface temperature for a planet is perfectly well defined with or without rotation, and with or without infrared absorbing gases.

2. This average temperature is mathematically constrained to be less than the fourth root of the average fourth power of the temperature, and can in some circumstances (a planet with no or very slow rotation, and low surface thermal inertia) be much less.

3. For a planet with no infrared absorbing or reflecting layer above the surface (and no significant flux of internal energy), the fourth power of the surface temperature always eventually averages to a value determined by the incoming stellar energy flux and relevant reflectivity and emissivity parameters.

4. The only way the fourth power of the surface temperature can exceed this limit is to be covered by an atmosphere that is at least partially opaque to infrared radiation. This is the atmospheric greenhouse effect.

5. The measured average temperature of Earth’s surface is 33 degrees C higher than the limit determined by items (2) and (3). Therefore, Earth is proved to have a greenhouse effect of at least 33K.

Silly to think this was even needed, but, I hope it helps. Spread it far and wide if you feel like it! :-)

That's all folks! Cue the merry-go round


Anonymous said...

Check out the latest from Tamino. It looks like Mr. Surfacestations found himself another big fat rake.

--An amused anonymouse

Anonymous said...

amused anonymouse, you mean Hansen's Bulldog, the blogger previously known as Tamino.

But back to the topic at hand, "Arthur (of dot earth fame)" has indeed done a fine job in placing this at

Do we know yet from anywhere what G&T's take on "Arthur (of dot earth fame)'s" submission is? Will we be seeing versions 4, 5, ... from G&T do you think? Or will they let it fade away quietly?

Of course, what would be nice to see now at is something like:

Title: Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics
Authors: Gerhard Gerlich, Ralf D. Tscheuschner
Comments: This paper has been withdrawn
Abstract: This paper has been withdrawn by the authors due to critical errors; see

What chances?

Cymraeg llygoden

Arthur said...

I emailed Dr. Gerlich last night with a link to this - I had emailed him a version of the "dotearth" critique about 10 days back. So far I've heard nothing coherent from them by way of response.

Eli, thanks for the publicity :-)

EliRabett said...

Cymraeg, Eli would not bet his bottom carrot on the proposition having been involved in previous arXiv wars in another life. More likely G&T will submit a 200 page revision, burying the veg even deeper in the verbs.

Chris Colose said...

Good article. I would warn this crowd against giving G&T more attention than they deserve. I'm not sure anyone would be fooled by G&T's piece, and anyone who gave it a second thought would probably find Arthur's piece a bit too technical. As such, this probably does litte more than stir up more blogosphere controversy, as the original article was not even subject to peer reviewed scrutiny.

I would bet G&T will in fact respond in some insane way to this, which will ony get into "the last word wins" for the "lay people" who do not understand the physics of the points being made. No one else was fooled.


guthrie said...

Chris- the important thing is that less well informed people can, when a denialist goes "Ah ha, you thought the greenhouse effeect was real" and throws G&T at them, then reply "So you claim, but unfortunately they made a number of schoolboy errors".

A lot of people are swayed by apparently unanswerable questions or comments, and the important thing is not to letthe denialists dominate the discourse, by pointing out that every weapon they try to bring to bear is made of chocolate.

Hank Roberts said...

Guthrie's right that
> "the last word wins" for the
> "lay people"
and in a quick look at dozens of threads on various blogs, the "last word" is very often an uncited claim by a persistent fabulist denying something well known.

I think hosts figure it's not worth their time to refute such, and they get tired, and they don't want to post a personal refutation as the last thread, so they close it.

Result -- the last word is often by one of a few familiar denial bloggers.

Look around and see what you think.
Maybe Andy Revkin's "sociologists" can look at it once they review the 1200 comments in his now frozen thread where this G'n'T nonsense was so prominent for a while.

Arthur said...

Speaking of "last words" laying around littering the web, after I contacted Dr. Gerlich he included me on an email to a huge number of his contacts regarding arguments he was having with one Jochen Ebel. It turns out this Ebel went to the trouble of translating G&T's entire paper into German, and adding his own commentary:

-- see the "Weiter zum vollstandigen Paper..." link at the bottom for a PDF of Ebel's marked up version, which he titled "Der Treibhauseffekt existiert doch!" (roughly translated, "The greenhouse effect still exists!").

I'm working on getting a translation of Ebel's commentary into English, I think it would be useful to have that around.

Anyway, I responded to Gerlich's entire mailing list with a reference to my paper above, and got into an argument with one of the correspondents who has his own website that supposedly proves the 33 C temperature differential is caused by "gravity" and "motion of the atmosphere", and is related to the pure mass of the atmosphere, rather than its radiative properties.

Here it is:

--- so, see how many problems you can see with this, and spot the fundamental logical leap that invalidates the entire thing :-)

EliRabett said...

Hi Arthur,

I'm not so sure, if only because it is so long. Anyhow here is a working translation of the web page

The greenhouse effect exists!

Both authors of the paper "Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics" (Prof. Gerhard Gerlich and Dr. Ralf D. Tscheuschner) are calling for discussion of their theses. A detailed discussion requires that it must be clear what is being discussed. One must gather the original text together and /or cite it. Because it is necessary to quote much of the original here, citations will resemble an unauthorized raw translation. The quotes are so extensive, because Professor Gerlich in emails to the author of this paper urged: "If you have something" refute ", you should cite the appropriate passages completely and make it clear to the reader the meaning of what was cited." Especially"... don’t provide any false summaries of my articles."

T he complete work is available on the Internet ( So as leave no possible grounds for such suspicions it will be cited in German (2) in such a way that comparison of the citations with the English original text will be easy. Chapter numbers, numbers and equations image numbers are retained. The page numbers, and footnote numbers differ. Such a juxtaposition of citation in the original language (English) and translation (3) was also used by the authors in their work.

Through this commentary, I am taking part in the discussion. This is similar to a Atmoz’s blog , - where some of the observations contained herein have already been talked about.

The layout: Below, quotations are in black, comments (to facilitate the distinction) are in a different color (also corrected typographical errors). "Author" is the author of this paper, "Authors' are the authors of the paper commented upon (sic-G&T). The fact that the typography here, and the typography presented by the authors of the paper are similar is possibly because the authors most likely used latex.

The notes (a) through (f) in the abstract of the authors (p. 6) are partly justified - but instead of a correct formulation they threw out "the baby with the bathwater". In other words, the greenhouse effect exists and without question is physically justifiable. An example of how this is handled by the authors is that their extensive literature survey omits the work of Albert Einstein [74], where he deals with the behavior of radiation in gases. Yet Einstein’s work explains the greenhouse effect.
Einstein provides the basic justification for the interaction between radiation and greenhouse gaess that the authors call for in their Section 1.2, p. 10 (paragraph after equation (3)) and which is justified in section 4.4.3, p. 91.

An understanding of the first two laws of thermodynamics is essential for the understanding of the greenhouse effect. See section 4.4.2, p. 90, which shows that the greenhouse effect does not violate the second law of thermodynamics - to the contrary: arguing against the greenhouse leads to an implicit violation of the second law of thermodynamics. If the greenhouse effect did not exists, spontaneous variations in temperature under isothermal conditions would result.

In particular, without the greenhouse effect you cannot describe the actual temperature gradient in the atmosphere as a function of altitude. eg: The existence of the tropopause above which the temperature is almost isothermal and below which there is an almost adiabatic temperature gradient. See the text in sections 3.3.4 (p. 35) and 4.4 (p. 88).
I hope that my paper triggers a scientific debate and not what the authors find fault with in others. Quote from page 87:

. . . Stirring up trouble with allegations, personal attacks and assaults against authors by those who apparently treat this as part of their "scientific" work.

Without Einstein’s equations, one cannot describe the greenhouse effect. They are omitted in the work of the authors. Therefore, the following questions remain:
How can the authors explain the

* Existence of the tropopause
* The temperature decrease with increasing height below the tropopause
* The nearly isothermal temperature dependence in the area above the tropopause

without the greenhouse effect?
At this point go to the complete paper with detailed citation (pdf 2.8 MB.

1) The translated citations almost completely come from Version 2.0
2) Most are German readers and it should be understandable for German readers.
3) If there are errors in the translation (or other errors) please send me an Email. I will correct the errors. In cases where the translation is not clear I request from the authors a clear(er) formulation

Anonymous said...

Here is another one you guys can have fun with

Arthur said...

I've started a conversation with Ferenc Miskolczi, the author of the "" paper mentioned just above. There seems to be a central problem - his application of the virial theorem appears to translate somehow into "representations" of the atmospheric kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy, which are never spelled out, but he somehow seems to think relate directly to atmospheric and surface radiative fluxes.

See in particular p.6 - p.7 where he states "To identify E_U as the total internal kinetic energy of the atmosphere, the E_U=S_U/ 2 equation must hold."

But this is nowhere proved in his article. In fact, for Earth it is roughly true that the surface radiative flux is roughly twice the top-of-atmosphere flux from the atmosphere itself, which is what S_U and E_U represent in this paper. But that is merely a coincidence for Earth, and certainly not precisely satisfied as a virial relationship would be.

So the entire discussion about radiative fluxes, which revolves around this "virial" assumption, seems to have no basis in fact. Unless he can somehow give a clearer explanation via email than he does in the paper...

Anonymous said...

Arthur, you may be aware that this paper by Miskolczi is beginning to get legs in the blogosphere. It's already been picked up in mainstream press by Melanie Phillips in The Spectator.

It'd be interesting to see how your communication exercise progresses.

Cymraeg llygoden

Anonymous said...

Gavin and raypierre make comment on the subject of Miskolczi's paper at #90 and #92.

Cymraeg llygoden

sadunkal said...

Miskolczi commented back:

No 134, 136, 137, 138

To be honest I find raypierre's responses to him silly by the way...

EliRabett said...

sad, Miskolczi's paper is embarrassingly bad. As Arthur Smith points out his assumptions are simply wrong and thus his conclusions are garbage. Of course Miskolczi digs his heels in and screams GALILEO.

When some fool comes up to you on the street and claims that he is made of green cheese, of course you take a chunk out of him.

sadunkal said...

Someone really needs to explain why it is so bad ? Raypierre also claims that, but refuses to go into detail after Miskolczi challenges him to do so.

So what's so wrong about it?

EliRabett said...

The argument is bad because it assumes things that are not the case (see Arthur Smith's comments above) and basically Miskolczi falls into the habit of assert something in one place and then taking it as proven in another without proving the assertion (many of which are wrong) Folow the link below to Dot earth Discussion. .

Anonymous said...

Concerning your argument, as presented in your paper:

a/ What is the relevance of the "average temperature" computed the way you have done it, using a plain arithmetic spatial average? I could understand that if we were interested in heat, but not if it's temperature that is of interest.

b/ Are we, with respect to global warming, interested in the temperature of the atmosphere or that of the surface? There is a considerable difference. If it is the former, note that the heat capacitivity varies, indicating that an arithmetic average is not realistic.

c/ Why not include a time average? This question might at first sound silly; we all know that you are looking for the temperature in stationary conditions, but we are also highly aware that the average temperature on Earth has not been constant over time. Thus, when you refer to Earth's "average temperature," you are obviously referring to current conditions and disregarding long-time temperature changes, such as in ice ages.

d/ To sum up the questions above, don't you think that a heat distribution is more significant than an "average temperature?" And then, we'd be more interested in the average heat distribution, over TIME.

e/ Your assumption 3 ("no IR absorbing or reflecting layer") in your argument does not apply to Earth, but plays a central role in your "proof." That is, your proof only applies to a planet satisfying these assumption, which the Earth does not.

f/ Why do you, in pt 5 claim that the greenhouse effect is "at least" 33K? I can't see that your calculations represent a lower bound on the temperature difference. It could perfectly well be the other way around, especially since you don't account for time averages, and you base your calculations on conditions that are known to be false.

The fact is, I think, that you have no proof at all. You have much less: a convincing argument at best, but I'm not so sure it is convincing either, as some of your assumptions are false; some techniques are questionable; and some assertions of a spatial "average temperature" have very little relevance to Earth's climate.


Anonymous said...

I see G&T are to publish their paper on falsification of the greenhouse effect in International Journal of Modern Physics B 23(3): 275.

Cymraeg llygoden

Anonymous said...

Yes. It is now published.

International Journal of Modern Physics B, Vol. 23, No. 3 (30 January 2009), 275-364

It makes much more sense that the "traditional" IPCC view:

1. A warm body (the earth) radiates heat to a cool body (the atmosphere)
2. The cool body "back-radiates" (IPCC term) heat to the warm body.
3. This process continues perpetually, with heat flowing round and round in a continuous cycle.
4. The result of this perpetual process is that the warm body becomes warmer.

What is most amazing is that both alarmists and skeptic scientists have taken the above blatant 2nd Law of Thermodynamics violation at face value for so long. Many will shout that all bodies radiate ... yes they do but NETT heat flow is always from hot bodies to cool bodies (without the input of work), not the reverse. Note also that the 2nd Law does not care about the wavelength of radiant heat.

Atmospheric gases do absorb radiation from the sun and the earth. NETT radiation from the cool daytime atmosphere is to space. The Sahara desert in daytime has a very low "greenhouse gas" concentration above it, yet contrary to greenhouse theory, it is a hot place rather than a cool place.

Night time, rotation of the earth, convection, conduction, latent heat all add greatly to the complexity of climate. However the basic daytime atmospheric greenhouse model as presented by the IPCC and most school textbooks, is nonsense.

No greenhouse means no "greenhouse gases" ... just absorbers and emitters.

Hank Roberts said...

Well, he made another try a week or so ago, apparently.

Google's cache has the text, tho' not the figures.

Search Results

[0911.3735] The Greenhouse Effect Does Exist!
Authors: Jochen Ebel. (Submitted on 19 Nov 2009) Comments: Removed by arXiv admin because of [excessive quoting]

Somewhere, briefly, in something I couldn't find a few hours later, he said that when he had quoted briefly, they said he had misunderstood, but when he quoted less briefly, they said he was taking too much of their text.

Apparently they won this round too.

ScienceofDoom said...

Much later than everyone else - new article:

On the Miseducation of the Uninformed by Gerlich and Tscheuschner (2009)

EliRabett said...

Late but delicious!

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Heard nothing about the G&T paper in the denialosphere for months and then suddenly about a week ago I see denialists begin posting about it in blog comments, forums, etc, obviously from a source they have read (and conveniently they never say where they read it from)

So what's the source? Who has injected the G&T tripe into the denial machine for another spin? Watts? Icecap? Inhofe? Genuine question if anyone knows, I am curious.

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As Arthur Smith points out their assumptions are simply just wrong and so his a conclusion are garbage. Of course Miskolczi digs his / her heels around and shouts GALILEO.

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co2ishealthy said...

Sorry for your stupidity, and lack of knowledge of basic physics.
You CANNOT add a scalar (mean of Earth temperatures = 15° C) to a vector (LWIR = 235 W/m^2 = -18° C) and say that the difference (= 33° C) is the GHE ahahahahahahah!

Go back to school stupids, GHE is good for greenies and post communists.
Even a child knows physics better than you, ahahahahahahah.
There people believing GHE effects, as there are people believing fairy tales


a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Oh dear. We have a greenhouse effect denialist, and one who thinks replying to a 3-year old post about 200-year-old established science, throwing around terms like "vector" and "scalar" (wrongly, as it turns out) and saying Bwahahahah... will hide the fact that he is an utter intellectual flyweight.

Come, let us ridicule him in the style he deserves.

CO2ishealthy said...

Ah ah ah, go back in your dilbert space, idiot!
Hilbert is now vomiting in his grave, reading about a stupid who tried to take his name.
You are ridicolous, with your greenie stupid slogans: "delialist", you have no clue of physics, my dear asshole.
When you don't know how to reply, your only word is: "you're a denialist!", or "your paper is not peer-reviewed!" ahahahahh.
(By the way, Albert Einstein had just 1 peer-reviewed paper out of 300!)

Ivar Giaever is a physicist and Nobel Prize (among more than 700 well known "deniers/scientists") and said that you GHE/AGW believers are the new believers a false religion and pseudoscience, as Richard Lindzen said too.

Maybe your mother and father (is it possible to find who is your father? I don't think so) let you without affection in your childhood, so you desperately need to believe something, yesterday it was communism, today it is CO2-causing-warming, ahahahahahhhh!

Dear asshole, before saying something about vectors and scalars, go back to primary school, so that maybe (maybe) you learn something about sums.
Maybe (maybe) you could start to know that our outer vacuum space is not at all "cold", because temperature (hot and cold) is a feature of MACROSCOPIC bodies, and so our atmosphere cannot be neither a "greenhouse" nor a "blanket", because there's no "cold gas" (as outside greenhouses or blankets) but just a vacuum devoid of matter (apart from rare atoms of hydrogen).
We have a warm surface of Earth (average 15° C) surrounded by a cold (average -18° C) gaseous fluid, and nothing else above.
Without atmosphere, our Earth would be very much hotter, like our Moon that reaches 117° C at the equator, and loses very slowly (in 14.75 terrestrial days) 290° C, because on the moon surface heat is being lost just by radiation and not by convection.
So, without atmosphere and convective gaseous masses our Earth would quickly reach very high temperatures, but without possibility (as on the Moon) to cool enough, due to the fast daily rotation.
YOU ARE THE TRUE DENIERS, because you ignore basic physics! Ignorants!!!

bill said...

Poe? Or genuine idiot?