Inventions and Deceptions – Only Solar Electromagnetic Radiation

One of the deceptions deployed by post-normal science is that solar electromagnetic radiation is the only input into the Earth’s “energy budget”.

Sunlight is evidently a very significant energy input:

Sunlight, in the broad sense, is the total frequency spectrum of electromagnetic radiation given off by the Sun, particularly infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light.

The “electromagnetic spectrum” is defined by Wikipedia as:

The electromagnetic spectrum extends from below the low frequencies used for modern radio communication to gamma radiation at the short-wavelength (high-frequency) end, thereby covering wavelengths from thousands of kilometers down to a fraction of the size of an atom.

More specifically, “electromagnetic radiation” is defined by Wikipedia as being the energy emitted and absorbed by charged particles:

Electromagnetic radiation (EM radiation or EMR) is a form of energy emitted and absorbed by charged particles, which exhibits wave-like behavior as it travels through space.

Solar electromagnetic radiation is meant to be measured above the Earth’s atmosphere so it can be reported as TSI – Total Solar Irradiance:

Solar irradiance of Earth and its surface
There are two common meanings:
the radiation reaching the upper atmosphere
the radiation reaching some point within the atmosphere, including the surface.

Various gases within the atmosphere absorb some solar radiation at different wavelengths, and clouds and dust also affect it. Measurements above the atmosphere are needed to determine variations in solar output, to avoid the confounding effects of changes within the atmosphere.

Satellite observations of Total Solar Irradiance from 1979–2006.

Unfortunately, the current SORCE satellite that measures incoming solar radiation only orbits at 645 kilometres above the Earth’s surface.

Therefore, SOURCE TSI is not a measure of solar irradiation as it enters the Geosphere at the “top of atmosphere” because SORCE orbits about 90,000 km below the outer edge of the geocorona.

Thus, SORCE TSI includes [for example]:
i) X-Rays emitted when the Solar Wind collides with geocorona hydrogen.
ii) Infrared emitted by Hydrogen in the geocorona.
iii) Ultraviolet emitted by Helium in the geocorona.

Overall, it is not clear exactly what SOURCE TSI is precisely measuring.

Transformed Solar Irradiation

The post-normal “energy budget” also projects a remarkably stable level of solar radiation that only varies by “approximately 0.1%” or “about 1.3 W/m2”.

However, the reality is slightly different because solar radiation is known to vary randomly on a daily basis [because of solar rotation, sunspots, coronal mass emissions and solar flares] and over longer cyclical periods which are not fully quantified or understood.

Additionally, the focus on Total Solar Irradiance masks changes in the spectrum distribution. For example: Ultraviolet radiation between 130 and 175 nm can vary by over 10 percent during the solar cycle.

Photon Energy in Electronvolts

Despite these flaws “total solar irradiance” is deeply embedded into the “settled science” deployed by Global Warming alarmists and is reflected in their kindergarten diagrams of the Earth’s “energy budget”:

The effect of changes in solar forcing in recent decades is uncertain, but small, with some studies showing a slight cooling effect, while others studies suggest a slight warming effect.

Unfortunately, this is basic misdirection because incoming solar radiation intensity varies throughout the year as the Earth orbits the Sun:

The actual direct solar irradiance at the top of the atmosphere fluctuates by about 6.9% during a year (from 1.412 kW/m² in early January to 1.321 kW/m² in early July) due to the Earth’s varying distance from the Sun, and typically by much less than 0.1% from day to day.

Energy Meteorology – Detlev Heinemann

Click to access enmet.pdf

However, to understand the full level of misdirection employed in the “settled science energy budget” [with regard to incoming energy] we simply need to search for any other energy inputs received by planet Earth’s atmosphere.

1. The Earth receives an influx of charged particles in the Solar Wind:

The solar wind is a stream of charged particles released from the upper atmosphere of the Sun. It mostly consists of electrons and protons with energies usually between 1.5 and 10 keV.

Earth itself is largely protected from the solar wind by its magnetic field, which deflects most of the charged particles; however some of the charged particles are trapped in the Van Allen radiation belt. A smaller number of particles from the solar wind manage to travel, as though on an electromagnetic energy transmission line, to the Earth’s upper atmosphere and ionosphere in the auroral zones.

2. The Earth receives 2.725 K from Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation:

The CMBR has a thermal black body spectrum at a temperature of 2.725 K, which peaks at the microwave range frequency of 160.2 GHz, corresponding to a 1.873 mm wavelength.

Image credit: Wikipedia

3. The Earth receives Zodiacal Light which is sunlight that has been scattered by interplanetary dust and contributes up to half the brightness of the night sky:

The spectrum of zodiacial light is very similar to that of the sun over the UV – IR range (Weinberg & Sparrow 1978), and its fractional contribution to the brightness of the night sky peaks at a wavelength of 4500 A (O’Connell 1987)

4. The Earth receives Starlight [and some Extragalactic Light] which contributes to the brightness of the night sky:

Starlight scattered by interstellar dust produces a diffuse glow concentrated along the galactic plane, analagous to the zodiacal light along the ecliptic

The extragalactic contribution to the brightness of the night sky is very small.

5. The Earth receives electromagnetic radiation from the Moon as Moonlight:

Moonlight brightens the sky by about 1 mag (quarter moon, phase 0.5) to 4 mag (full moon) in U, B and V. The brightening is less dramatic in the red, ~ 2 mag in I at full moon. The moonlit sky brightness depends strongly on a number of parameters. A model of sky brightness as a function of lunar phase, lunar zenith distance, distance from the moon etc. was presented by Krisciunas & Schaefer (1991).

The intensity of moonlight varies greatly depending on the lunar cycle but even the full moon typically provides only about 0.2 lux illumination.

When the moon is viewed at high altitude at tropical latitudes, the illuminance can reach 1 lux.

6. The interior of the Earth is cooling:

Heat flows constantly from its sources within the Earth to the surface.
Total heat loss from the Earth is estimated at 44.2 TW (4.42 × 1013 watts).

Mean heat flow is 65 mW/m2 over continental crust and 101 mW/m2 over oceanic crust.

This is approximately 1/10 watt/square meter on average, (about 1/10,000 of solar irradiation,) but is much more concentrated in areas where thermal energy is transported toward the crust by convection such as along mid-ocean ridges and mantle plumes

Unfortunately, Wikipedia misquotes the heat flow from their reference source.
The 65 mW/m2 and 101 mW/m2 figures quoted by Wikipedia are originally quoted in “milliwatts per square decimetre” in the source: 65 mW/m-2 and 101 mW/m-2.

Pollack-Hurter-Johnson Estimateof Global Heat Loss

Henry N. Pollack – Suzanne J. Hurter – Jeffrey R. Johnson
Department of Geological Sciences – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Click to access Pollack_Hurter_Johnson_RG1993.pdf

Therefore, Wikipedia’s “1/10 watt/square meter on average” should read: 10.1 W/m2 whilst the overall “mean global heat flow” is estimated to be: 8.7 W/m2.

7. The Earth releases an unquantifiable amount of heat via volcanic eruptions:

Submarine volcanoes are underwater fissures in the Earth’s surface from which magma can erupt. They are estimated to account for 75% of annual magma output. The vast majority are located near areas of tectonic plate movement, known as ocean ridges. Although most are located in the depths of seas and oceans, some also exist in shallow water, which can spew material into the air during an eruption. Hydrothermal vents, sites of abundant biological activity, are commonly found near submarine volcanoes.

A volcano is an opening, or rupture, in a planet’s surface or crust, which allows hot magma, volcanic ash and gases to escape from below the surface.

8. The Earth’s atmosphere is energised by meteor disintegration:

Around 15,000 tonnes of meteoroids, space dust, and debris of different types enters Earth’s atmosphere each year.

Meteors become visible between about 75 to 120 kilometers (34 – 70 miles) above the Earth. They disintegrate at altitudes of 50 to 95 kilometers (31-51 miles).

For bodies with a size scale larger than the atmospheric mean free path (10 cm to several metres) the visibility is due to the atmospheric ram pressure (not friction) that heats the meteoroid so that it glows and creates a shining trail of gases and melted meteoroid particles. The gases include vaporized meteoroid material and atmospheric gases that heat up when the meteoroid passes through the atmosphere.

9. The Airglow phenomena in the Earth’s atmosphere is a clearly detectable energy input in the night sky. However, quantifying the Airglow effect during daylight hours is far more difficult because [at ground level] it is indistinguishable from solar irradiation. However, it would be detectable [by satellite] by comparing incoming solar irradiation with outgoing irradiation from Earth.

Airglow is caused by various processes in the upper atmosphere, such as the recombination of ions which were photoionized by the sun during the day, luminescence caused by cosmic rays striking the upper atmosphere, and chemiluminescence caused mainly by oxygen and nitrogen reacting with hydroxyl ions at heights of a few hundred kilometers.

Earths Airglow

Overall, there is more to the “energy budget” inputs than just solar irradiation.

The 1997 reference of diffuse night sky brightness

Quantifying these “other inputs” to the “energy budget” is not straightforward.

However, if we use the CMB input of 2.726 K [in the above illustration] as a rough estimating guide then the total diffuse [night time] energy input [excluding Moonlight] may be equivalent to 15 or 20 degrees Kelvin.

The day time inputs are harder to estimate because the day time Airglow contribution cannot be directly measured. Unfortunately, we also don’t know if Airglow makes any contribution to the “satellite age” measurement of Total Solar Irradiation at an altitude of 645 kilometres.

The actual direct solar irradiance at the top of the atmosphere fluctuates by about 6.9% during a year (from 1.412 kW/m² in early January to 1.321 kW/m² in early July) due to the Earth’s varying distance from the Sun, and typically by much less than 0.1% from day to day.

However, if we search back through the literature there are references to the terrestrial measurement of TSI [before the “satellite age”] ranging from 1,322 to 1,465 W m2.

Measurement of the absolute value of total solar irradiance (TSI) is difficult from the Earth’s surface because of the need to correct for the influence of the atmosphere. Langley (1884) attempted to minimise the atmospheric effects by taking measurements from high on Mt. Whitney in California, and to estimate the correction for atmospheric effects by taking measurements at several times of day, for example, with the solar radiation having passed through different atmospheric pathlengths. Between 1902 and 1957, Charles Abbot and a number of other scientists around the globe made thousands of measurements of TSI from mountain sites. Values ranged from 1,322 to 1,465 W m–2, which encompasses the current estimate of 1,365 W m–2. Foukal et al. (1977) deduced from Abbot’s daily observations that higher values of TSI were associated with more solar faculae (e.g., Abbot, 1910).

Comparing the maximum “terrestrial” measurement of 1,465 W/m2 with the maximum “satellite age” measurement of 1,412 W/m2 indicates that these “other inputs” may contribute around 50 W/m2 to the overall “energy budget”.

Unfortunately, we don’t really know because the science isn’t settled.

Perhaps, if SORCE measured Total Solar Irradiation and Total Terrestrial Irradiation [at an altitude of 645 km] then we could start to understand the electromagnetic radiation “budget” for the atmosphere at 645 kilometres.

Comparing Apples with Pears

Gallery | This entry was posted in Astrophysics, Atmospheric Science, Cosmic Rays, Earth, Inventions & Deceptions, Moon, Science, Solar System, TSI. Bookmark the permalink.

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