It's The ATMOsphere, Stupid

[UPDATE: a warm welcome to Reddit users and especially to “it_rained_all_night” – as long as there’s climate integralists such as him/her, there’s hope – exactly because their hate is of course incapable of doing much in the real world]

A great post by Science of Doom confirms what I discovered by myself some time ago, is repeated by textbooks such as raypierre’s (pp 299-300) and is generally (I hope, but I wouldn’t bet on it!) known by climate experts, even if it’s completely misunderstood by 99.999% of warmists, especially of the obnoxious journalactivist/Romm/Gore/McKibben/BBC variety.

  1. CO2 warming does not directly happen in the troposphere. There is no such a thing as a CO2 blanket around us, and no increase in temperature underneath a CO2 cloud. And no, you can’t build a CO2 oven.
  2. CO2 molecules don’t go around inundating us with IR radiation. Actually, they do, but in the troposphere where we only can live, the bottom 12km or so of the atmosphere, their actions are totally negligible in the face of convection.
  3. The surface warming action of CO2 is strictly limited to the height of the troposphere, that is, it’s variations on that height that can (at least in theory) warm the surface.
  4. Discussions about the “greenhouse effect” therefore have only meaning if related to the ATMOSPHERE as a whole, not just the troposphere.

Or in a less colloquial way…

Since by removing GHGs (H2O excluded) the adiabatic lapse rate doesn’t change, we can definitely assume that GHGs have little to do with the adiabatic lapse rate.

Since the only meaningful way to compute a planetary surface temperature when there is an atmosphere, is by starting at the tropopause and then go down to the surface using the adiabatic lapse rate (as going the other way around could lead to physical impossibilities such as negative temperatures in K), we can definitely assume that the only possible contribution of GHGs to a planet-with-atmosphere’s surface temperature is in modifying the height of the tropopause.

The consequence of the above is that the one clear, smoking-gun proof of GH-led global warming/climate change would be found in a general change in the height of the tropopause.

Last time I tried discussing this quasi-trivial points, some bright mind has come back discussing radiative effects in the troposphere.