Everyone knows that the ridiculous temperature on Venus (467 Centigrade at the surface) is a direct result of runaway global warning. With a CO2 content of over 96%, it is a cautionary tale of what could happen on Earth if we keep pumping CO2 into our atmosphere by way of carbon belching electric plants and smoke yielding transportation pods (car, bus, train and plane.) Why we all know that we face a Venusian future if we don’t stop our anthropogenic carbon profligacy.
BUT WAIT … Is there another explanation for why Venus is hot … an explanation that claims to completely debunk the CO2 based theory of global warning. Why yes NAAoids everywhere … there is.
While scrolling through the back alleys of the electronic world of cyberspace, the wizard of NAA discovered a very interesting take on why Venus is hot. I had never heard such a theory before and it is quite persuasive on the surface (sorry no pun intended.)
“Ok what is the whacky theory?” the dark elves ask. “What could you possibly have that could contradict 97% of the world’s climate scientists?”
“Listen and learn my pointed ear friends.”
Harry Dale Huffman, a research physicist, decided to take a look at Earths and Venus’s temperature using simple, completely unchallenged physics by asking the question “How much of Venus’s temperature is explained by its distance from the sun and how much is explained by “everything else?” (See Blog here) To make an apples to apples comparison, Mr. Huffman realized he would have to compare the temperature on Venus at the same millibars of atmospheric pressure. If you were to just take temperature readings at the surface, you would be ignoring the fact that temperature increases with pressure. (Note: The atmospheric pressure on Venus at the surface is 90 times the atmospheric pressure on Earth at the surface.)
So here are the results of that inquiry:
- Earths temperature at the surface is 288 Kelvin. (15 C).
- The atmospheric pressure at the surface of the Earth is 1000 millibars.
- The temperature of Venus at 1000 millibars is 339 Kelvin (66 C)
- Using only the distance from the sun, we can determine that Venus should be about 17.6% hotter than Earth in degrees Kelvin. (explanation below)
- BIG NEWS: Venus’s temperature at 1000 millibars is almost exactly the same as Earth’s … based solely on the distance from the sun. (differing only by about 0.5%.)
- The temperature comparisons continued to hold true all the way from 1000 millibars through 200 millibars, varying by a maximum of 5% and by less than 1% in most cases.
“Ok,” the dark elves say, “how in the blazes did you ever come up with the 17.6% number. That was just winging it right?”
“No my friends, it is based on immutable laws of heat transfer … to wit.”
Venus is 67.25 million miles from the sun. Earth is 93 million miles from the sun. Since the intensity of the Sun’s radiation decreases according to the square of the ratio of the distance between two objects, we can calculate the radiative power per unit of area for Venus as (93/67.25) squared, or 1.91 times (on average) the power per unit area that Earth receives. To turn this into a temperature projection we must use the Stefan-Boltzmann law that states that the temperature of two objects in space varies as to the 4th root of the radiation hitting the surface. Thus, if we take the fourth root of 1.91, we will get the factor that we should apply to Earth’s temperature to predict Venus’s temperature based on THE DISTANCE FROM THE SUN ALONE. The 4th root of 1.91 turns out to be 1.176. This formula only works on absolute temperature (Kelvin) and not Centigrade or Fahrenheit. Thus, if Earth’s temperature at 1000 millibars is 288 K, then Venus’s temperature should be 339 K.
And guess what NAAites? 339 K is exactly the temperature of Venus at 1000 millibars. Here is a graph showing how close the Earth and Venus temperatures track at the same millibars readings but with Venus divided by 1.176:
So what we have here are two worlds whose temperatures at comparable millibars readings are nearly identical, varying by 5% or less in every case and by well less than 1% at Earth’s surface millibars reading.
“But how could that be?” ask the dark elves. “Venus has way more CO2 than earth. How can that have no impact?”
“You are right … the Venus atmosphere is 96% CO2, while Earth’s is only 0.04% CO2. Venus in fact has 2400 times as much CO2 as Earth and yet it seemingly makes NO DIFFERENCE at comparable millibars temperature readings. CO2 thus can be said to be a total non-factor in determining the planets temperature. All you really need to know is how far you are away from the sun. The other factors … greenhouse gases, albedo, cloud density, etc. have minimal effects (if true, probably due to a saturation effect such that beyond a certain amount of greenhouse gases, the heat retention effect is limited.)”
I know. I know. This is a radical theory because it completely discredits climate science as it is currently taught. But it uses such basic physics and produces such astounding results, it cannot be dismissed easily. NAA thinks this is a really fun idea to consider and hats off to Harry Dale Huffman. It is a very creative approach to a major science topic in the news today.
As a side note, the first question I had is “does this work for Mercury or Mars?” Well Mercury doesn’t spin so that makes readings not comparable to Earth and Venus … one side is always hot and one side is always cool. As to Mars, it is a planet with only a very light atmosphere (about 1% of Earth’s,) thus there is no way to find any matching millibars readings on Mars and certainly no way to find a reading for 1000 millibars, because that simply doesn’t exist on the red planet. (Note: if we were able to increase the Martian atmosphere density by terraformation, the wizard guesses that the Stefan-Boltzmann law would be predictive here as well. Unfortunately a quick calculation shows that at 200 millibars (a 20 fold increase in pressure,) Mars would still be quite cold.
Does the Wizard think that this is proof that AGW is not true. Not at all, but it is something that is very thought provoking and MUST be explained before alternative theories of climate change can truly be considered. In fact, it is a theory that is very consistent with Russian scientists who have a very different view on climate change. They believe that solar activity which caused the Maunder Minimum plus changing solar angles and orbital pathways explain virtually everything you need to know about climate change. They could be said to be solar centric and not CO2 centric as most scientists in the West are. They are in fact predicting a new Little Ice Age by mid century and give some very good reasons for this based on their solar centric theories. For a good read on the Russian approach see Dr. Abdusamatov’s article HERE.
If the Ruskies are right, you better save your thermal underwear ‘cause it’s gonna be chilly. And better yet, if they are right, we better start pumping lots of CO2 into the atmosphere so we can have plenty of firewood and foodstuffs to store up before the global cooling riots start.
p.s. Does anyone want to buy my Prius? It looks like I am going to have to buy an SUV to save the planet.