Sunday, July 1, 2012
A distant observer could look at Earth through a telescope and see a blue and white marble. I look at it and see one big ass swimming pool.
Since most people have problems looking at problems from different perspectives, I came up with the plumber's nightmare. The big yellow arrow is the sun. It has a number that would balance the swimming pool heater. The small yellow arrow doesn't have a number. The plumber is not paying the utility bills so he don't care. The only thing the plumber cares about is the middle blue box with 425 in it. When ever that number gets bigger than 425, the the little yellow arrow has some number that the plumber is not worried about. When the 425 gets small, either the yellow 345 can get bigger, the 83 into the ice box at 310 can reverse, the 24 from the ice box to the lower blue box can reverse, the 310 out of the top blue box can reduce, the 115 from the middle blue box to the ice box can reduce, all sorts of stuff can happen, all the plumber cares about is the middle blue box. Reversible Dissipative System.
Since the middle blue box has 345 out in three different directions with 345 coming in at the yellow arrow, that would be a balanced condition. How long it takes the pump to move the 115 into the ice box through any of the three pipes, the skimmer straight to the ice box, the drain to the ice box or the evaporative cooler out the top of the blue box, tells the plumber how the job is going.
Everyone with a pool knows that sometimes the water evaporates out a little too much so you have to add water. That water comes from the ice box for this pool. If the pool is too full, then some water can go into the ice box. If the pool heat thermostat sticks, too much water goes through the evaporative cooler into the outside part of the ice box. If enough water goes out of the pool into the outside ice box, then you don't need as much of that 345 from the yellow arrow to keep the pool at 425. With one big ass Olympic size swimming pool, the plumber might grow mighty old waiting for the pool to get to temperature. Ideally Ein=Eout or there is equilibrium. For a reversible dissipative system, the time required for Ein=Eout can be lengthy.
The distant observer looking at the blue and white marble probably doesn't see the plumber. That distant observer may see the swimming pool or parts of it from time to time, but he probably doesn't see the pool temperature. He sees the 311 Wm-2 evaporative cooler maybe and since he can see the whole marble, may see the 240 average and notice that it looks like the marble is taking in 240 and giving off 240.
Now if that distant observer saw the pool temperature, he might wonder how the heck it could be pushing out more than it was pulling in? The plumber knows exactly what is going on because he set the pool up. The plumber knows that as long as that pool gets 345 on average it will stay at 425 on average once it is up to temperature. It gets colder near the ice box and warmer near the yellow heater, but average is all that matters to the plumber.
The distant observer is into averages too. He can calculate lots of different averages, but only one matters to the plumber, that 425. If it runs below 425 for long, the ice box gets light. If it runs over 425 very long the ice box get heavy. As long as the long term average of the yellow is 345 or more, everything is working just fine. Since the pool is located across the equator, global averages mean squat to the pool, all it cares about is the pool average.
This describes the oceans first model concept. If you are the distant observer kinda person, a simple way of getting the same results is by removing the 83Wm-2 of latent heat from the pool. If the average energy flux from the surface was 396Wm-2 then less 83 leaves you with an "effective surface" of 396-83=313 Wm-2 which is the surface temperature a distant observer would most likely "see".
With 239Wm-2 absorbed and emitted, the radiant impact on the planet or GHE, would be 313-239=74Wm-2. Water in all phases, not just vapor, would be contributing more than half of the total warming effect and still would contribute a portion to the 74Wm-2 Green House Effect. E in would still equal E out over enough time, but a small difference is allowed for extended periods with the thermal capacity of the swimming pool and the ice boxes making up most of the difference.