When faced with scientific questions that are beyond my knowledge, I think it better to seek the answer from people with years of knowledge on the subject. Mainstream peer-reviewed science is far more reliable than “web-blogger science” performed by some guy on the internet.
This time Joanne Nova, in search of answers to Venus’ climate has turned to a couple of bloggers and the self-contradicting Monckton.
Jo has a couple of posts from web-bloggers that disagree with each other about whether or not Venus has a “greenhouse effect”. That is, does the high CO2 levels on Venus contribute to the high Temperature of Venus, or can the temperature be explained purely by the distance from the sun.
I pity anyone trying to understand science from “bloggers”. The science on this topic has had a long history and I suggest anyone serious about the topic read what the peer-reviewed science has to say rather than try and work out which bloke on the internet might be right.
“Skeptic” vs “Skeptic”
Jo gushes over the fact Monckton replies, therefore we can assume she swallows everything he says on the matter.
Did she realise that Monckton is disagreeing with the other climate skeptic Huffman? Did this really go as planned for Nova?
Stefan–Boltzmann law & Albedo
The “skeptic” stooges have differing opinions about how the Stefan-Boltzmann law can be used with regards to albedo.
You cannot “correct for albedo” to use the Stefan-Boltzmann equation at the Earth’s surface, because a blackbody by definition has no albedo to “correct” for.
The posting begins by making the common error of assuming that a blackbody cannot have an albedo. Of course it can. The Stefan-Boltzmann equation accounts for albedo in the simplest possible way: by simply taking it that the fraction of incident radiation that is reflected away by the albedo of the Earth plays no part in the radiative transfer at the characteristic-emission surface.
Nova admits she’s well out of her depth and states:
It doesn’t gel with my experience of a white car vs black car parked in the baking sun.
So what’s the answer. Well both Huffman & Monckton are partly right and partly wrong. Nova’s comment is simply amusing on a number of levels.
The definition of a Black body says “A black body is an idealized physical body that absorbs all incident electromagnetic radiation.“.
The Stefan-Boltzmann law states “The Stefan–Boltzmann law, also known as Stefan’s law, states that the total energy radiated per unit surface area of a black body per unit time“, but it also goes on to state … “A more general case is of a grey body, the one that doesn’t absorb or emit the full amount of radiative flux. Instead, it radiates a portion of it, characterized by its emissivity, :“.
Huffman’s right for saying a blackbody has no albedo, but wrong for saying the Stefan-Boltzmann law can’t account for it; it can when using the general form with emissivity.
Monckton on the other hand is wrong for saying a black body can have an albedo; that goes against the definition of a black body.
Monckton Forgets Feedbacks
To be fair, Monckton doesn’t usually forget many numbers, that’s why in person he can sound so convincing (even when he is contradicting himself). But this isn’t the first time Monckton has tried his hand at calculating climate sensitivity.
Five years has passed since Monckton forgot to include feedbacks in his original calculation and he continues that mistake today.
1. There’s a wealth of peer-reviewed science in far greater depth regarding Venus and its climate – why bother with “some blogger guy on the internet”?
2. Nova’s contribution to climate science – a black car gets hotter in the sun than a white car.