Why Venus is Not a Greenhouse: Not Even Science Journalists Have Taken the Time to Investigate the Origin of the Idea / The Venus Pioneer Probes Directly Sampled the Venusian Atmosphere all the Way to the Surface, But this Data Ruled Out Carl Sagan's Super-Greenhouse / Scientists Were Subsequently Tasked with Hypothesizing How the Instruments Might Have Failed / When Possible Failures were Found, the Data Was then Corrected to Reflect the Greenhouse Theory, Under the Assumption that the Instruments Must Have Failed / None of this is Ever Mentioned Today When People Say that Venus is a Greenhouse

From Charles Ginenthal's Newton, Einstein & Velikovsky: Celestial Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Solar System Instability & Cosmology, excerpts from p225 - 235:

"Taken together, the top of Venus' atmosphere exhibits a thermal imbalance of 15 to 20%, the middle and lower atmosphere, a thermal imbalance of around 50%, while the surface, on average, the thermal imbalance was 40 times greater than sunlight could provide ... The tremendous rise in infrared radiation, as one nears the surface of Venus, is similar to the heat emitted, say, by a white-hot block of metal, in that as one puts one's hand closer and closer to it, the heat rises to greater and greater levels, but at a certain point close to it, the heat rises immensely." (p228)

"Taylor, et al., assumed what they had not proved was responsible for heating Venus's atmosphere at the cloud tops, and to escape their assumption, called this 'the most [probable] value.'  They made that choice not based on scientific evidence, but on an assumption set ... up as a kind of psychological reality and admitted it was their 'most [probable] value.'  This, then, became the mantra upon which all the other readings were to be hammered into place." (p226)

Appendix: A Commentary on Venus' Albedo Calculations by Lucy Skywalker 

http://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=45823&sid=b9180ef0854851540151487f6254408c

"Astronomers cite Tomasko's article on pages 611 - 612 of the definitive book on Venus, Venus, by Hunten, Colin, Donahue, Moroz, publ. Univ. of Arizona Press, 1983). This is a monstrous size and costs $80: difficult for ordinary people to gain access. Strangely, there are two articles about thermal equilibrium, the Tomasko article on pages 611-612, AND an article by F.W. Taylor on page 658. It turns out that only by adopting the most myopic view possible can you get thermal equilibrium from the evidence, and that is what Tomasko does.

For thermal equilibrium to pertain, two numbers must match up; the first is emissions which all parties involved agree reads correctly as 0.76. The second number is the planetary albedo. Tomasko claims (pp 611-612) "For the whole planet to be in equilibrium with absorbed sunlight, the bolometric albedo would have to be 0.76..." But the Pioneer Venus readings on albedo (Taylor's article, page 658) was 0.80 plus/minus 0.02, and the calculations from Venera data (also page 658) are 0.79, plus 0.02, minus 0.01. The closest you could get and stay within error bounds is 0.78.

Now you might ask, what's a lousy 0.02 amongst friends; doesn't sound like much ... This is one of those cases in which a little bit appears to go a long way. Consider what Taylor claims would have to be believed if the 0.80 figure for albedo were to hold good (also page 658): 'Clearly, the Pioneer measurements of emission and reflection are not consistent with each other if radiative balance applies. A source inside Venus equal in magnitude to 20% of the solar input (i.e. accounting for the difference between 0.76 and 0.80) is very unlikely since Venus is thought to have an Earth-like makeup which would imply heat sources several orders of magnitude less than this. Also, even if such sources were postulated, it is difficult to construct a model in which these fairly large amounts of heat can be transported from the core to the atmosphere via a rocky crust without the later becoming sufficiently plastic to collapse the observed surface relief. This could only be avoided if the transport were very localized, i.e., via a relatively small number of giant volcanoes. Although large, fresh-looking volcanoes do appear to exist on Venus (see chapter 6), and the content of the atmosphere is consistent with vigorous output from these, a simple comparison with terrestrial volcanism shows that the volcanic activity on Venus would have to be on an awesome scale to account for the missing 10^15 W or so of power.'

... Taylor does not particularly want to believe what the data is telling him: that there is no way that Venus is within error bounds of thermal equilibrium, but he does not deny the data. How then does Tomasko make a claim of equilibrium? Tomasko cites one 1968 calculation of albedo of 0.77 +- 0.07 without bothering to tell you that that estimate was later revised upwards to 0.80 +- 0.07 in 1975 (Taylor tells us that on page 657), and notes that Taylor's indication of 0.02 error bounds for the Pioneer reading (the most recent, and done with the best instruments from the best distance) may be 'too small'."

Taylor notes (page 758): 'A more acceptable alternative is that the preliminary estimate of 0.80 +- .02 for the albedo from the PV measurements is too high, since the uncertainty limit is now known from further work to be too conservative (J. V. Martinchik, personal communication). A fuller analysis of PV albedo data - still the best in terms of wave length, spatial and phase coverage, and radiometric precision, which is likely to be obtained for the forseeable future, is likely to resolve this puzzle. In conclusion then, the best thermal measurements of Venus, with the assumption of global energy balance, yield a value of the albedo of 0.76 +- .01; this is the most probable value.'

Tomasko is basing his entire case on one outdated calculation, and upon a 'personal communication from Martinchik'. Taylor is saying that the best measurements available tell us that thermal balance is not to be had on Venus, and that Sagan and his super greenhouse theory are FUBAR, but that that can't really be, that he and others are probably, hopefully looking at something the wrong way, but he doesn't know what that something is.

That's a long way from claiming that Venus is 'within error bounds' of equilibrium.

* Charles Ginenthal's texts include crucial arguments to many ongoing debates today which have largely been forgotten by modern scientists.  Unfortunately, his texts are sometimes littered with spelling mistakes -- even the quotes he provides.  This is why it's particularly important to provide snapshots of the original quotes which he is pointing to, because many of his rare arguments retain their validity in spite of these spelling mistakes.

** Also note that I have intentionally removed all references to Immanuel Velikovsky in this piece.  This is not because I am rejecting his ideas, but rather because many people will refuse to read anything about him -- even when those people are already climate change skeptics.  This is a common practice in my work.  We can as desired return to the subject of Velikovsky at any moment, but we should permit people to engage the basic claims and observations without upfront imposing a worldview.  The catastrophists of course raised many crucial questions in the sciences which are still alive to this day.

REFERENCES:

The graphic is a combination of the works of Charles Ginenthal and Ted Holden.  Many of the papers come from the massive text, Venus by D.M. Hunten, et al, eds. (Tucson, AZ 1983).  Some papers were retrieved via email request.  Sourcing these claims takes quite a bit of effort.

[1] Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity at http://www.amazon.com/Storms-My-Grandchildren-Catastrophe-Humanity/dp/1608195023/

[2] http://www.universetoday.com/117425/why-is-venus-so-horrible/

[3] "The mystery of Venus' internal heat", Nov. 13 1980 issue of New Scientist

[4] Pioneering Venus - A Planet Unveiled at http://www.amazon.com/Pioneering-Venus-unveiled-Richard-Fimmel/dp/B009RXS7S8/

[5] Quote comes from Newton, Einstein & Velikovsky: Celestial Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Solar System Instability & Cosmology, Charles Ginenthal, p225

[6] "Thermal Structure of the Atmosphere of Venus", Venus, p226

[7][8] Richard A. Kerr, "Venus: Not Simple of Familiar, But Interesting," Science, Vol. 207 (1980), p. 289

[9] W.F. Taylor, et al, "The Thermal Balance of the Middle and Upper Atmosphere of Venus," Venus, p657-658

[10] Pioneering Venus - A Planet Unveiled at http://www.amazon.com/Pioneering-Venus-unveiled-Richard-Fimmel/dp/B009RXS7S8/

[11] W.F. Taylor, et al, "The Thermal Balance of the Middle and Upper Atmosphere of Venus," Venus, p657-658

[12] Martin G. Tomasko, "The Thermal Balance of the Lower Atmosphere of Venus," got this copy online, but also available in Venus, p606

[13][14] H. E. Revercomb, L. A. Sromovsky, and V. E. Suomi, "Net Thermal Radiation in the Atmosphere of Venus," Icarus 61, p521-538 (1985)

[15] Richard A. Kerr, "Venus: Not Simple of Familiar, But Interesting," Science, Vol. 207 (1980), p. 289

[16] H. E. Revercomb, L. A. Sromovsky, and V. E. Suomi, "Net Thermal Radiation in the Atmosphere of Venus," Icarus 61, p521-538 (1985)

[17] G. M. Tomasko, "The Thermal Balance of the Lower Atmosphere of Venus," Venus, p. 606.

[18][19] John Ackerman, "An Alternative View of Venus"

[20] L.G. Young, "Infrared Spectra of Venus," Exploration of the Planetary System (Boston 1974), p.139

[21] Richard A. Kerr, "Venus: Not Simple of Familiar, But Interesting," Science, Vol. 207 (1980), p. 289

[22] Michael Shermer's book is available at http://www.amazon.com/Skeptic-Encyclopedia-Pseudoscience-Set/dp/1576076539/

[23] http://ajae.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/02/24/ajae.aau001.abstract

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