Well, well, well, Eli discovers that the EPA reads everything, including Rabett Run. We are honored. From the US EPA responses to challenges to its Endangerment Finding for increasing CO2 concentrations
Comment (3-45):You read it first at Rabett Run
A number of commenters believe that anthropogenic global warming is impossible, many citing arguments made by Gerlich and Tscheuschner (2009). Several commenters (e.g., 0430) note that the greenhouse effect is not like a real greenhouse. Several claim that it is thermodynamically impossible because heat cannot be transferred from a cool substance to a warmer substance (0430, 2210.5): for example, blankets cannot make you warmer than body temperature (1707, 0183.1,). Another thermodynamic argument for the impossibility of the greenhouse effect was proposed by two commenters (2210.3, 4509) citing Gerlich and Tscheuschner (2009) who states that the greenhouse effect as commonly formulated violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Another commenter (0711.1) requests evidence of any peer reviewed climate change paper that does not rely on computer simulation. Another theory (2887.1) holds that long-wave radiation will cause increased evaporation of the surface ocean, negating any heat increase. One commenter (0535) submitted a non-peer reviewed paper providing a different explanation for the net energy budget of the Earth, with no role for warming by CO2.
The evidence for the atmospheric greenhouse effect is well supported by the scientific literature.
The objections raised by a number of commenters to the basic thermodynamics are without grounds. We are well aware that the greenhouse effect is not at all like a real greenhouse. However, the analogy of a blanket is a little bit better: and indeed, sufficiently insulating blankets can cause overheating. GHGs (blankets) will, by reducing the rate of heat loss, raise the surface temperature of the Earth (body) until a new thermodynamic balance is achieved between incoming solar radiation (internal body heating) and outgoing thermal radiation (in the case of a blanket, including convection and non-radiative processes). This process works regardless of whether the atmosphere (blanket) is cooler than the surface (body). We are aware of the paper by Gerlich and Tscheuschner, and we have determined that the conclusions of the paper are inconsistent with the well-supported literature regarding the mechanism of the greenhouse effect. For example, as a disproof of the greenhouse effect, the paper by Gerlich and Tscheuschner presents the example of a pot of water, noting that the bottom of the pot will be cooler if it is filled with water than if it is empty. Contrary to the assertion in the paper, the primary thermal effect of adding water to the pot is not a reduction in heat transfer, but rather an increase of thermal mass. We assert that a more appropriate example for the paper to have examined would have been the addition of a lid to a pot of water, which reduces the rate of heat loss, and leads to an increase of heating of the water compared to a case with no lid. The paper by Gerlich and Tscheuschner is also inconsistent with the scientific literature with regards to the interpretation of radiative balance diagrams and the assertion that there is no “mean temperature” of the Earth, in contrast to the hundreds of peer-reviewed publications and many assessment reports which use both concepts.
This, of course, neglects the latent heat carried away from the pot and thus the heating element by evaporation of the water in the pot. Since it is well known that people who are physics obsessed are often forgetful, we postulate that the housewife forgets that she has put the pot on the range, and all the water boils away. At that point, when all the water has evaporated, measurements show that the heating element rises to a higher temperature than it was before the tea pot was placed on it.and, of course, there are the famous Rabett blanket posts