New Video : Greta Makes Earth As Hot As Venus

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57 Responses to New Video : Greta Makes Earth As Hot As Venus

  1. Norilsk says:

    Thank you Tony for this lesson on Venus. Truly the truth will set you free.

    James Hansen claimed that the CO2 rich Venus is what led him to believe that CO2 would make the Earth hot, too. He needs to go back to school.

  2. Archie says:

    It’s nice when the “obvious”is pointed out. I never would have thought of this and would have gone on thinking Venus’ heat was due to a runaway greenhouse effect. Brilliant!

  3. Jack Hilgen says:

    Wrong again. It’s the CO2. Not hole-digging.

    “This ability to absorb and re-emit infrared energy is what makes CO2 an effective heat-trapping greenhouse gas. Not all gas molecules are able to absorb IR radiation. For example, nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2), which make up more than 90% of Earth’s atmosphere, do not absorb infrared photons. CO2 molecules can vibrate in ways that simpler nitrogen and oxygen molecules cannot, which allows CO2 molecules to capture the IR photons.”

    • tonyheller says:

      “Never mind the simple lesson I just heard. I’m going to stick with my religion”

      • rah says:

        One of the great old Twilight zone episodes titled ‘Midnight Sun’ predicted the delusional alarmist psychosis we see today. A woman is burning up from the heat and then we find at the end it is in fact the opposite in the real world with those that can afford it heading towards the equator to escape the extreme cold and snow. The woman is just having a fevered delusional nightmare about succumbing to the heat in a world being baked.

    • Aussie says:

      Quite apart from ignoring what Tony has just said, you are parroting what you have been told on CO2 and much of what you hear is wrong. Look at the attached link. CO2 only absorbs in certain narrow ranges. And once you go over a very low level (much lower than we have now) then adding more does not increase the absorption.

      Think of it like a blind on a window. After the first blind has soaked up the light adding more blinds behind the first does not result in more light being blocked, as the first has done its job.

      We have practical proof of this as we have had Ice Ages with very high CO2 levels. We had one 450 million years ago with CO2 over 8 times what it is now.

      Physically more CO2 will not produce more of a green house effect. The whole basis of the “CO2 is the control knob driving up temperature” is completely false physically.

    • neal s says:

      Find out what percent of Mars atmosphere is CO2. (Hint, it is large) Now why is Mars so cold when it has such a high percentage of CO2 in its atmosphere?

      • Norilsk says:

        Bang on, Neal.

      • Mark Frank says:


        Mars is cold because:

        1) It is further away from the Sun
        2) Although the concentration of CO2 is about the same as Venus, Venus has about 10,000 times more CO2 because it has about 10,000 times more atmosphere. It is not the concentration that matters – it is the absolute amount.

    • Gator says:

      The religious often recite their creeds when they find their faith is being tested. Try this next time Jack…

      The Anthropocene Creed

      I believe in CO2, the Gas Almighty,
      Creator of Warming on Earth.
      I believe in Climate Models, the only guides, our Lords.
      Which are conceived by the Navier-Stokes,
      Born to make climate scary
      Suffered under climate skeptics
      Were crucified by emails, dead and buried;
      They descended into Hell;
      On the Third Assessment Report they rose again from the dead;
      They ascended into policy heaven
      And sitteth on the right hand of the Administrator Almighty;
      From thence they shall come to judge the emitters and the dead.
      I believe in the Hot Spot;
      The Holy Scientific Consensus;
      The Communion of Experts;
      The forgiveness of emissions;
      The resurrection of Gaia;
      And the Gas Everlasting.

    • Norilsk says:

      Jack, When you compress air in an air compressor it generates a lot of heat, and when you decompress it becomes cold. That’s how AC works, only you are using a different optimum medium to do it. To get to an Earth equivalent pressure on Venus, you need to be at least 50 km above the surface. That is a lot of pressure. At 10 C/km that would give a 500 C degree difference. Pressure trumps CO2.

    • arn says:

      Well Jack,
      please explain why Mars with 95%+ co2 is supercold.
      That”s a 2100* higher ratio then the 0.04% in our atmosphere.
      This planet should be hotter than your mind is ignorant.

      The reason is :CO2 ain’t do shit.
      It did not cause a runaway effect in millions and millions of years when co2 was up to 20* higher in our atmosphere
      and it won”t start now all of a sudden.

      That”s the reason why sea level rise is not increasing.
      And i would be the first to sign a 0.5-1.0 increase in temperature
      as the benefits for us would be bigger than the losses.

    • GeologyJim says:

      If CO2 is the great control knob on atmospheric temperature, then please explain simply why Mars’ atmosphere is so cold even though it (like Venus) consists of >90% CO2

    • Steve Keohane says:

      Sure, but at any given time there is 225-320X more heat captured by the water vapor. This would be from the 75-100 water molecules per 1 CO2 molecule, and each water vapor molecule has 3.2X the heat capacity of CO2. (CO2=BFD)

    • Ed Bo says:


      The key point you (and virtually all alarmists) are missing is that no matter how much radiation CO2 absorbs, preventing it from escaping directly to space, it cannot set up a lapse rate greater than adiabatic.

      It is a very basic concept of physics that if the magnitude of the lapse rate exceeds adiabatic, upward convection immediately starts and drives the rate back to adiabatic. So the adiabatic lapse is MAXIMUM possible.

      So the thickness of the atmosphere matters critically. Earth’s “emission altitude” (where most radiation can escape to space) is so much lower than that of Venus that its possible “greenhouse enhncement” is a tiny fraction of that of Venus.

      While increased CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere can in principle marginally increase the emission altitude, it is absolutely physically impossible to raise the emission altitude to any height remotely approaching that of Venus. That is Tony’s key point.

    • spike55 says:

      Jackass is Wrong again. It’s NOT the CO2

      Poor Jackass doesn’t understand basic physics.

      Yes its a radiative absorption gas, that makes it a really good CONDUCTOR of energy.

      Back to primary school , Jackass.

  4. Mikael says:

    Thanks Tony. That explains how Mars is so cold at -6oC with the same % CO2 as Venus.

  5. Bob Hoye says:

    Yup–the old adiabatic compression thing.
    For decades I’ve tried to explain it to liberals, but their eyes glaze over and then they get angry.
    Mainly because it confounds them.
    Some 6 million years ago the Mediterranean Basin was empty. As in no sea, no ocean. There could have been some V. salty ponds.
    Some 5,100 feet deep, so with a lapse rate of some 5.5 F per 1,000 feet, temps would have been 28 F hotter than at today’s sea level.
    So, if it was a very hot day at 110 F at Alexandria, it would have been 138 F “down there”.
    In the shade.
    And that is just due to adiabatic compression.
    And then there would be radiant energy being reflected off sand and rocks, that would make Death Valley seem like London on a foggy day.
    And the depth of the Grand Canyon is some 5,000 to 6,000 feet.

    • Steven Fraser says:

      Based on the evidence provided by under-Mediterranean Salt mines, the precipitation of salt occurred over multiple, long periods of time, particularly when the Strait of Gibraltar was tectonically closed. With the linkage to the Atlantic shut, the river effluent into the basin was not sufficient to offset evaporation, which progressively increased as the surface levels dropped, and temps rose.

  6. Don Vickers says:

    I always thought the difference between moist air and dry air was 1 degree C in the adiabatic lapse rate ?? did I misread or miss understand or am I missing the point.?

    • rah says:

      The point was that the primary reason Venus is so hot at the surface is because it has an atmospheric pressure over 90x greater than we have here on earth and NOT because of a high concentration of the second rate “green house gas” CO2.

    • tonyheller says:

      The terminology is confusing. “Dry air” means 1-99% humidity. “Wet air” is 100% humidity, meaning water is condensing.

  7. Archie says:

    But wouldn’t the heat of compression dissipate over time via radiation to space? The equilibrium temperature would seem independent of pressure and be much lower. Help me understand the principle behind this. I can have a closed container of air at the pressure of the surface of Venus but it won’t be at 800 degrees F.

    • spike55 says:

      “heat of compression dissipate”

      Because its always being compressed.

      Gravity does that, y’know !!

      • Archie says:

        So, does it constantly generate heat? I guess it’s have to.

      • Ed Bo says:

        So spike, when you compress air into your tire, it gets hot. Does it stay hot indefinitely? Inside the tire “its always being compressed”!

        • rah says:

          Apparently neither of you have looked at Venus through a telescope. Nor walked from the rim down to the Phantom
          Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Or questioned why the official highest air temperature ever recorded is at Evergreen Ranch/Furnace Creek in Death Valley at 190′ below sea level.

        • Archie says:

          That’s the crux of my confusion. If the tire cools why does the high atmospheric pressure induced temperature remain?

          • Ed Bo says:


            It’s not you who is confused. It’s spike. He cannot grasp the difference between dynamic compression and static pressure, no matter how many times it is explained to him. (And this is a matter of simple high school physics.)

            Earth’s atmosphere generally has a negative lapse rate — temperatures decreasing with increasing altitude — because it primarily gains energy (“is heated”) at low altitudes (and mainly from the surface), and loses energy (“cools”) from high altitudes, radiating energy to space.

            There are instances on earth where and when the atmosphere primarily loses energy from low altitudes and has a positive lapse rate, often called a temperature inversion. The most major case of this is the inversion that occurs over Antarctica for months every winter. There is no sunlight heating the surface, and the surface gets colder than the atmosphere by radiating directly to space through the very transparent atmosphere. This means that the lowest levels of the atmosphere are the coldest in those conditions.

            The “static pressure continually heats the lower atmosphere” folks cannot explain this.

            To emphasize, Tony’s point is that the negative lapse rate cannot exceed the adiabatic — meteorologists call this “unstable lapse rates”. The lapse rate times the altitude of typical emission to space sets the maximum surface warming value. With earth’s emission height a tiny fraction of that of Venus, it is not physically possible for us to get a runaway warming to Venus-like conditions.

          • Mark Frank says:


            I just saw your comment which correctly describes how lapse rates arise because the lower altitudes gain energy from the earth’s surface. But I am confused by some of your later paragraphs.

            “The “static pressure continually heats the lower atmosphere” folks cannot explain this.”

            Are you saying it is a mystery or is an ironical comment to the effect that static pressure does not continually heat the lower atmosphere. If the latter, I agree.

            “Tony’s point is that the negative lapse rate cannot exceed the adiabatic” – I don’t understand what that means. The adiabatic lapse rate is a function of pressure and density but density is itself a function of temperature – so it places no essential limit. In any case I don’t see Tony making any point about this.

            “The lapse rate times the altitude of typical emission to space sets the maximum surface warming value”

            Surely it’s the other way round. The surface temperature and the top of atmosphere temperature – which are both functions of energy budgets – determine the lapse rate/ altitude.

          • Ed Bo says:


            I am saying that static pressure cannot continually heat the lower atmosphere, and that people who think it does don’t have a grasp on very basic physics. (Energy transferred due to pressure is force times distance, and the distance in a static situation is zero.)

            The (dry) adiabatic lapse rate is simply -g/cp, where g is the acceleration due to gravity, and cp is the specific heat of the atmosphere. It is NOT a function of pressure and density. In earth’s atmosphere it comes out to ~-10C per kilometer of elevation, whatever that elevation is.

            If the magnitude of the negative lapse rate anywhere is greater than adiabatic, this is known as an “unstable lapse rate”. In this case, the warmer air below will immediately push up into the cooler air above, a phenomenon known as “natural convection”. You can see this locally over any fire.

            Because this air rises much faster than it can conduct to the surrounding air, it for all intents and purposes expands adiabatically, creating the adiabatic lapse rate in its column, which over the longer term spreads to the air around it. So a lapse rate larger than -g/cp cannot be maintained.

            It is very common in the earth’s atmosphere to have an actual (“environmental”) lapse rate equal to adiabatic, because surface “heating” and “cooling” from high heights tends to create unstable lapse rates that induce convection. It is a decent approximation to use the adiabatic lapse rate, and even better to use it as an upper limit.

            So it is correct to say that the lapse rate times the emission altitude sets the maximum surface warming. The emissions to space must very closely match the incoming solar insolation (and even the worst alarmist doesn’t think we are out of balance by more than a small fraction of a percent) and will stabilize at a temperature level where this balance holds closely.

            Since the lapse rate rate cannot exceed adiabatic, the temperature at the surface cannot be greater than that of this emission height by more than the lapse rate times the height. The emission height on earth is approximately 1/10 that of Venus, so there is no way we can get surface temperature enhancement anywhere near that of Venus.

          • Mark Frank says:

            Ed – but surely the altitude is not a fixed quantity.

            If the earth were to heat up for some season other than increased insolation (e.g. some geothermal activity or, if you accept it, GHGs) then surface temperature would rise and the temperature at the tropopause must be the same to maintain the balance of energy. So either the lapse rate changes or the altitude changes. That is simple maths.

            Or are you saying it is impossible for the surface temperature to rise for any reason other increased insolation?

          • neal s says:

            The tire cools because it can. If everything around the tire were just as warm as the tire, then the tire would not cool.

          • Disillusioned says:

            This is a very interesting discussion. I thought that it was friction caused by the inflation of the tire that is what causes the heat. I also thought that as the tire cools – after inflation – the pressure doesn’t [fully] remain – the loss of heat as the tire cools, would cause the tire’s pressure to be a little bit less.
            But, what do I know, I’m no physicist.

          • Ed Bo says:

            Mark — You say: ” So either the lapse rate changes or the altitude changes.”

            If you look at “establishment” explanations of the “enhanced” greenhouse effect, you will see that the claim is that an increased concentration of absorbing gases raises the emission altitude, and with the adiabatic lapse rate generally maintained, the surface temperature increases as a result.

            Of course, this is an “all other things remaining equal” scenario, so it is a gross oversimplification. The “other things” make it interesting!

          • Ed Bo says:


            In dynamic compression, the increased temperature of the gas is from the mechanical work done to do the compression. This work can be quantified as the compression force multiplied by the distance covered during compression.

            (And as I keep pointing out, for static pressure, the distance is zero, so the work is zero.)

            For example, consider a hand tire pump. You push down with a force of 200 Newtons (equivalent to the weight force of about 20 kilograms mass) over a distance of 30 cm (0.3m). The work transferred to the gas is 200 * 0.3 = 60 Joules.

            This is typically done so fast that all of this energy goes to increasing the temperature of the gas. The amount of the increase is dependent on the mass of the gas and its specific heat.

        • neal s says:

          The only reason the tire cools, is because everything around it is not hot. If everything around the tire were just as hot as the tire, then the tire would not cool.

          Where is the ‘cold sink’ (a place where the heat can go) at the bottom of Venus atmosphere? Without a ‘cold sink’ the heated gas stays heated.

          • Disillusioned says:

            The question that comes to mind, “does the heat not dissipate into space on Venus?” If not, what keeps it from doing so?

            I ask this question because one of the disillusioning facts that stopped me from being a warmist any more was when I realized that [on earth] heat is dissipating into space as it always has [NO hot spot as predicted over the equator] – so there is no actual, measurable greenhouse effect trapping heat from going out into space. On earth, it certainly is not CO2. What keeps heat from escaping from Venus? (If it is not escaping.)

          • neal s says:

            Only the outermost layers of the atmosphere can radiate directly to space. The deeper in the atmosphere you go, the more that any radiation that gets emitted, will be absorbed by some other portion of the atmosphere.

            When there are very thin atmospheres, then the portion of the atmosphere that can radiate to space is a much more significant fraction of the total.

            When there are very thick atmospheres, only a small fraction of that atmosphere can radiate to space.

          • Ed Bo says:

            Neal — You ask: “Where is the ‘cold sink’ (a place where the heat can go) at the bottom of Venus atmosphere?”

            Everything above the bottom of the atmosphere is the ‘cold sink’! With a negative lapse rate, the atmosphere above the bottom is colder, which means the bottom can radiate, and sometimes convect, thermal energy upward.

            Ultimately, the ‘cold sink’ for all planetary atmospheres is deep space at -270C (3K).

          • neal s says:

            Any radiation from atmosphere near the surface of Venus will never make it to space. Only once you are above a substantially large fraction of the atmosphere will any radiation have a chance of making it to space.

            You could think of the atmosphere as numerous concentric hollow spheres adjoining each other.

            Each layer has contact with adjoining layers and may conduct and convect and radiate in both directions. But depending on the gasses and pressure involved, there is a maximum depth of a layer through which radiation from a lower layer may pass. Any larger distance and the emitted radiation will just be re-absorbed before it can pass any further.

          • Ed Bo says:


            Each of your layers is colder than the layer below it, so there is a net radiative heat transfer from the lower layer to the higher layer (even if no radiation makes it past the next layer).

            And if the difference in temperatures creates a lapse rate greater than adiabatic, there will also be upward convective heat transfer. (Conductive transfer is tiny compared to these two modes.)

            So there is continuous upward heat transfer even though there is (virtually) no transfer directly from the surface to space. Your assertion that there is no transfer from the surface is just plain wrong.

          • neal s says:

            Ed writes “Your assertion that there is no transfer from the surface is just plain wrong.” Yet I never made such an assertion. Please read more carefully.

            I actually wrote “Any radiation from atmosphere near the surface of Venus will never make it to space. ” Radiation is different from convection or conduction.

          • Ed Bo says:


            It’s a distinction without a difference for your argument. Even if the radiation from the surface does not itself make it to space, it starts a cascade of upward radiative transfers that ultimate transfer heat to the “cold sink” of space.

            You do remember that you originally argued that there was no “cold sink” for surface heat, don’t you???

          • Mark Frank says:


            It is great (and unusual) to come across someone who actually knows what they are talking about.

            I want to challenge this paragraph.

            “If you look at “establishment” explanations of the “enhanced” greenhouse effect, you will see that the claim is that an increased concentration of absorbing gases raises the emission altitude, and with the adiabatic lapse rate generally maintained, the surface temperature increases as a result.”

            I agree that the enhanced greenhouse effect will raise the emission altitude. This would happen as the result of anything that heated the planet’s surface without changing the temperature at the top of atmosphere (i.e. any energy source other than insolation). This would allow the adiabatic lapse rate to be maintained. But I dispute that the surface temperature increases as a result of the increased height and adiabatic lapse rate. It is the other way round. The surface temperature is set by the energy balance at the surface – it increases until the energy being radiated away equals the energy being received. This follows from elementary physics. This causes the emission height to change to maintain the adiabatic lapse rate.

  8. Mark Frank says:

    I already tried to tackle this on You-tube but it is easier here. Apologies if someone else has already done this and I haven’t noticed.

    The proposal that the high temperature on Venus surface is due to pressure, not a runaway greenhouse effect, is based on a faulty understanding of the relationship between pressure and temperature in an atmosphere. This has been tackled many times over the last 10 years – here is a refutation from 2010:

    Note that even leading sceptics do not accept the argument that Venus surface temperature is due to pressure e.g. and
    It is quite a confusing issue. Spencer explains it very well but I might as well make my own attempt.

    First it is important to understand why the atmosphere is warmer lower down than it is higher up. The faulty model appears to be something on the lines that the pressure lower down heats up the atmosphere in much the way that increasing the pressure in a tyre causes it to get warm. But this is a temporary effect. The increase in temperature in the tyre soon goes away although the pressure remains high. The correct model is described here: What is actually happening is that the lower atmosphere is heated by energy from the earth’s surface. It then rises and expands because of lower pressure and cools. This accounts for the temperature gradient – the **difference** in temperature with altitude – but it does not account for temperature at the surface – the starting point of the gradient. The starting point is a matter of the energy budget. The temperature at the surface rises until the energy leaving matches the energy arriving. And that is determined by many things including the greenhouse effect.

    A common response is to summon the ideal gas laws which describe the relationship between temperature, pressure and either volume or density. The argument goes that the atmosphere must obey the ideal gas laws and therefore the pressure determines the temperature. But while the ideal gas law describes a relationship between temperature, pressure and volume or density which is (roughly) true of the atmosphere, it does not specify which is cause and which is effect. If the atmosphere is heated through the energy budget then as pressure decreases the density will change. i.e. in this case the temperature is the cause not the effect.

    • Archie says:

      Conclusion then? Is Tony’s presentation wrong?

    • neal s says:

      In your everyday example of the hot tire, everything around the hot tire is not so hot, so heat radiates away from the tire. If everything around the tire were just as hot as the tire, then what temperature would the tire eventually come to?

      At the bottom of the deep atmosphere, everything around there is just as hot as the gravitationally compressed atmosphere, so it is not going to cool off any.

      Your hot tire example is quite different from atmosphere at venus.

      Just because you cannot understand something, does not mean that it is not so.

      • Disillusioned says:

        This makes sense.

      • Ed Bo says:

        Neal — You claim: “At the bottom of the deep atmosphere, everything around there is just as hot as the gravitationally compressed atmosphere, so it is not going to cool off any.”

        As I explained above, everything around there is NOT as hot as the gravitationally compressed atmosphere. EVERYTHING above the bottom is colder than the bottom.

        Have you ever taken an actual heat transfer course? Have you ever formally defined a control volume or control mass and carefully accounted for all of its inputs and outputs?

        • neal s says:

          The layers above a given layer may well be slightly cooler, but guess what …. the layers below are slightly warmer. Everything below a given layer is warmer. For any heat that escapes upward from a given layer, there is heat coming up from the layer below coming into that given layer.

          I think that the heat coming up from below counters the heat escaping to above making the net result no change in temperature in a given layer.

          I also think that only the very uppermost layers have any chance of radiating into space.

          • Ed Bo says:

            Okay, it’s now completely obvious that you have never formally worked through any problems like this before, because you cannot think fully through the problem.

            The steady-state case you invoke, where the upward layer-to-layer transfer is constant, and the temperature of each layer is maintained.


            The whole process is dependent on the bottom layer providing a steady source of this power without cooling down. Static pressure CANNOT be the source of this ongoing power.

          • neal s says:

            I never made any claim that static pressure is the source of ongoing power. Maybe you are confusing what I wrote, with what others have written.

            Be that as it may, the planet beneath it all may still be cooling down from its formation. The planet beneath it all may have some radioactive process generating heat. If there are moons, there can be tidal effects that will generate heat.

          • Ed Bo says:


            The earth’s geothermal flux (<0.1 W/m2) is more than three orders of magnitude too low to explain the earth's (slightly) elevated surface temperatures, when the earth must emit 240 W/m2 to space to stay in rough balance with the solar input.

            Nobody thinks that Venus' geothermal flux would be significantly higher than earth's, especially since its lack of a significant magnetic field argues against a molten core, and there is no moon to create tidal heating. And Venus must also emit comparable flux density to space to stay roughly in balance.

            So the bottom of the Venusian atmosphere is continually transferring hundreds of W/m2 upward — through multiple layers of the atmosphere — to space. For the steady-state case you cite, where each layer maintains its temperature as it absorbs from below and transmits to above, there must be a continual source of power of this magnitude.

            You started by claiming that the high surface temperature could be maintained after initial compression without any more power input. Do you still believe that?

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