Does global warming theory contravene the laws of physics?

A lot of skeptics, including physicists, think it does.

Oddly, though, any comprehensive defence from Warmists against that view is very hard to find. They seem very much afraid of opening that can of worms. So it is mainly a subgroup of the skeptical community who say that the physics is OK -- even if other things are not.

So it was Jo Nova -- normally a ferocious skeptic --who recently put up an article in defence of the physics of Greenhouse theory.

The comment thread on her article is however long and bracing. The thesis she defends is thoroughly picked apart. Interested readers should read both the original article and the comments but for the assistance of those who do not have time for that, I have picked out just one interesting comment. It is by Alan Siddons. See below:
Joanne’s interpretation is that GHGs inhibit radiational cooling. That’s the blanket theory. In this view, the sun brings the surface to a certain temperature and GHGs act to sustain it, thus increasing the average temperature by limiting how fast the nighttime earth can cool.

The principal problem with this, of course, is that the earth is seen to emit all of the energy it gets from the sun, i.e., there’s no sign of a blanketing effect.

This, of course, is profoundly embarrassing to greenhouse theorists — which is why the actual theory isn’t what Joanne describes. Theorists will admit yes, the earth appears to be naked. But that’s only an illusion, they’ll argue. In fact, the GHG blanket does indeed block the exit of light, cloaking the earth and making it darker as seen from space.

But since this blanket gets warm, it emits infrared back to the earth, the result of which is to heat the planet so much that it radiates the SAME AMOUNT as it would without the blanket.

Ergo, the earth without a greenhouse effect emits about 239 W/m² to space. And the earth WITH a greenhouse effect emits about 239 W/m² to space.

Reminds me of a joke. Gunslinger brags about how fast he can draw and stands still like a statue. Then he asks, “Wanna see it again?”

Anyway, although greenhouse proponents often start with a blanket analogy, they’re soon compelled make it an electric blanket, thereby contradicting their initial premise. Rather than inhibit cooling like passive insulators, their GHGs are active heat sources. These heat sources warm the earth below while simultaneously making it appear that the earth isn’t being warmed at all.

Any introduction to greenhouse theory will prove this. Introductory models have 239 W/m² emitted upwards from the surface and 239 W/m² returning, thus bringing the total to 478, enough to bring the surface temperature to 303 Kelvin. Once this impossible point is conceded, determining the “correct” temperature from back-radiation is only a minor detail. Lindzen, for instance, estimates the average surface temperature from this extra radiation as a blistering 350 K.

But the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere is far lower than the surface, and it remains that a cooler body cannot heat a warmer body. Greenhouse theory does violate the 2nd Law. It’s not a matter of semantics.

Hammer’s post is a sad indication that after everybody else has finally abandoned the self-contradictory intricacies of Greenhouse Theory, AGW skeptics will be standing among its last defenders.

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