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Monday, October 13, 2014


TSI Albedo Surface subsurf. App. Surf.

TSI/4 TSI*(1-1)/Pi() TSI*(1-1)/4 Sub-App Wm-2/K K/Wm-2
Winter 1410 0.215 4.00 3.14

Wm-2 352.50 352.32 276.71 75.79

Eff. K Degrees 280.80 280.76 264.31 16.45 4.61 0.22
Summer 1310 0.215 4.00 3.14

Wm-2 327.50 327.33 257.09 70.41

Eff. K Degrees 275.68 275.65 259.49 16.15 4.36 0.23

Based on the Forcing, Feedback, Response and other Mumbo Jumbo post here is a little table for the more realistic conditions on Earth.  All of these are still "ideal" estimates meaning take with salt, but if we didn't have an upper atmosphere reflecting sunlight and molecules getting t-boned by higher energy photons/particles, we might have the actual estimate Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) "felt" at some easily "seen" atmospheric level we will call the Top of Our Atmosphere (TOOA) not to be confused with TOA, another idealized estimate.  The App. Surf. is the Apparent Surface that some space ship tooling around would see.  In order for the Earth to exist when the space ship tourists arrive, the Energy in would need to be pretty close to the energy out.  With any luck the tourists measurements will suck as much as ours and they will say Ein = Eout and not worry about minor uncertainties.

If they arrive in Winter, they might be surprised that our planet is colder than they would expect and if they arrive in Summer they might think Earth is not going to be around much longer because it is over heating.  

You should note that in the chart, albedo is lowered to 0.215 from the conical 0.30.  I did that so the energy calculations for the surface and subsurface would be the same.  That would be an equilibrium and/or steady state condition required by a less than perfect black body with a semi-transparent fluid atmosphere/surface but still homogeneous by design .  In the real world, some portion of the albedo is provided by the cloud surface, some portion is provided by the physical surface and some portion provided by the above the cloud surfaces.  The majority, about 72% is provided by the base clouds, which are...?  That is right sports fans, a response to surface and sub-surface temperature.  

Since Earth has a less than perfectly circular orbit, there is a small difference between Winter and Summer and in the far left column you have a 0.22 and 0.23, K/Wm-2.  That would be the apparent "Sensitivity" in degrees K per Wm-2 observed.  Since the observed energy depends on the atmospheric response required to equalize Tsurface and Tsubsurface, the Ein=Eout requirement is co-dependent on the Esurf=Esubs requirement. 

Earth also has an orbital tilt peculiarity.   That means that TsurfNH and TsurfSH, for the hemispheres, would also need to find a happy place.  This is before considering all the issues with real estate location.  Our Ideal Model of Earth already has a number of co-dependent equilibrium/steady state conditions that must be met or no Earth as we know it would exist.  Most of the flexibility needed to meet the conditions is provided by the rapid climate response cloud team.  

While this isn't all that complex to me, some get confused by more than one equilibrium/steady state requirement and try to simplify (over simplify IMO) to a single requirement.  You need to be extremely careful with the likely long list of simplifying assumptions needed for that degree of reductionism because they are ASSUMPTIONS not facts.  Jumping in to debate issues with overly simplified models is a bit like arguing with a drunk, doesn't do much good.

If you aren't into arguing with drunks, a tad more complex model would include another "surface" located above the normal cloud base in the drier part of the atmosphere.  This would be the surface layer where increased CO2 would play a larger role.  To play with that layer, the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) data which is available in absolute temperature format with masking ability from Climate Explorer can come in handy.  This can provide an approximation of the subsurface for the dry air "surface" portion of our puzzle.

With a rough average of 272 K degrees, about one C below freezing, available "subsurface" energy at a minimum would be 310 Wm-2 and thanks to a very narrow atmospheric window, about 20 Wm-2 of extra energy "MAY" be available at any time if you would like to get more detailed.  Note that my mask is for 65-65 degrees or the portion of the surface that is actually illuminated year around thants to the peculiar axial tilt situation.  At the poles especially during winter, they would be part of the dry "surface" and in the Antarctic most of the area would be "dry" all year.  Trying to lump in these dry surfaces would tend to overly complicate this supposedly simple post on co-dependent thermodynamic states which doesn't "solve" anything, just introduces another way of looking at the same tired old problem.

When you have two or more co-dependent states with different response times, you can expect oscillations or hunting while the states try to find their happy place.  When you have several co-dependent states, you can expect more interesting hunting.  But if you know the preferred state, then you can make some progress without resorting to Chaos Math, which I consider an nice thing.

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