The Watery Planet Effect

By Geraint Hughes

How Waters multi-layered sub-surface absorbance coupled with its skin surface emissivity & evaporation acts to raise average equilibrium temperatures above standard black body calculations.”

The “Watery Planet Effect” is the true effect which is occurring on planet Earth, which explains why the experienced average temperature differs from the standard black body calculated average temperature of 255K, with an emissivity of 1 and a solar absorptivity of 0.7 (0.3 Albedo). (A / E Ratio of 0.7) rather than some “fictitious” greenhouse effect.

The “Watery Planet” effect is the one whereby the standard method of calculating A / E ratio’s is incorrectly applied, because of the variable depth absorption of solar radiation by water.

The standard blackbody method works for normal surfaces, because all of the radiation is absorbed and simultaneously emitted at the surface, which is what would happen with a rock or other solid material such as brick or concrete.

With water however, the light penetrates deeply into the water, which means not all of it is absorbed at the surface, which therefore means the amount of energy emitted at the surface will be less, because the energy isn’t present at the skin surface to be emitted, it is elsewhere, deep below the surface “trapped” in the seas and oceans.

It is trapped, because any infra-red radiation emitted by molecules beneath the ocean “skin” is immediately absorbed within a mm by adjacent molecules around it.  It doesn’t get to the surface and as such it doesn’t get out to be emitted into space, it will therefore only act to raise the temperature of the ocean and thusly the planet as a whole.

This effect can be seen in this picture below.

Watery Planet Diagram 1 – Optical Energy Depth Solar Absorption Levels

As can be seen from this diagram oceans, seas and lakes are all absorbing more solar radiation than they will be emitting.  This is because the water has a high transmissivity to radiation, just like a gas, incoming radiation can travel as much as 1000 metres deep before it is fully absorbed.  Below this depth, when you look up, it will be dark, this is also known as the “Midnight Zone.”

Surface water and that deep in the oceans and seas isn’t hot enough to emit across the entire range of its absorption spectra, so can only emit in the infra-red spectra.  Solar Infra-red radiation is fully absorbed after the first metre at the 1 micron wavelength and at the 10 micron wavelength it can’t penetrate more than 1mm. Meaning any infra-red being emitted by water 10,000, 1,000, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 or even 2 metres down, will not make it to the surface to be emitted out into space or the atmosphere.

Energy which is warming the water beneath the surface isn’t being lost to space, as it would be lost to space if it was a solid like a rock.  This means that energy is being absorbed but not being emitted out.  This is similar to how multi-layered absorbers work for textured surfaces for improving the efficiency of high temperature solar absorbers.  These types of solar surfaces can increase their solar absorbance without affecting their thermal emissivity and can create temperatures as high as 600 Cº using just solar energy.

Man made industrial Solar surfaces with this property are generally called multi-layer interference stacks.  We know how to artificially replicate this effect, yet Climate Scientist choose  to ignore this and choose not to teach it to their students.  They act to deceive.

With water, what happens is the thermal emissivity value remains near 1, but only near the surface of the water, which is only where 40 to 60% of the incoming solar energy is absorbed.  As is highlighted by this description given by the US Geological Survey website.  “it is not the ocean’s surface that stores the majority of the solar energy. The visible spectrum contains about one-half of the total energy available from the Sun at the Earth’s surface (Loiv, 1980), and those wavelengths can penetrate well below the ocean’s surface. Lewis et al. (1990) showed that solar radiation in visible frequencies, usually assumed to be absorbed at the sea surface, penetrates to a significant depth below the upper mixed layer of the ocean that interacts directly with the atmosphere. Figure 1 shows the depth of extinction of the solar spectrum in water.”

Watery Planet Diagram 2 – Ocean Absorption of Energy Compared to Land

As can be seen from Diagram 2, the level of Infrared radiation emitted by the sea is low and a big proportion of the amount of energy that gets absorbed by the oceans is released into the atmosphere by means of evaporation.  The atmosphere has a low emissivity and so when it rains, this latent energy is released into the atmosphere whereby it warms it and retains it, instead of losing it to space by radiation.

So, we need to know what the layers of the Oceans actually are, these being:-

The mixed layer, the thermocline and deep water zones.  Sometimes 5 layers are used to describe the zones, that is more applicable for biology rather than for looking at temperature variances and solar absorption profiles.

Watery Planet Diagram 3 – Sea and Ocean Layers

The temperature profile of these three layers tends to follow a pattern of being relatively stable in the mixed layer, which is generally considered to be 10 metres deep with the majority of diurnal mixing occurring in the first 2.5 metres of depth, varying on a daily basis as it interacts with the atmosphere.  Below the mixed layers is the thermocline which declines in temperature as depth increase, until the deep water zone is reached at 1000metre depth.

Watery Planet Diagram 4 – Typical Temperature Variance with Depth

The diagram above, fits with my reasoning that a portion of the heat is absorbed at the surface and then the remainder of solar energy below that, with near full absorption by 1000metre mark, as it can seen that the temperature rise from incoming solar energy stops at that point.

Energy is clearly being absorbed, but not emitted.  This cannot be ignored, which is what global warmist’s with their “twaddle talking frizzle frazzle fake fad science” do.   All of them ignore this, not one of them even recognises the truth, that this is what is occurring, it is undeniable.  A factor needs to be applied to the calculated emissivity of the Earth.

Everyone assumes that sea water has a high emissivity because it emits in the infra-red spectrum and measurements taken show that its emissivity in the IR spectrum is high around 0.90 to 0.96 area.  As can be seen in this table below.

The Watery Planet Effect – Table 1 Emissivity of Water

This means that it will emit well in the IR spectrum on a molecule per molecule basis in line with its temperature.  However, the surface water isn’t absorbing the radiation, the sub-surface water is absorbing the radiation but the sub-surface isn’t able to radiate this heat away.  This means, using the 0.90 to 0.96 emissivity is far too simplistic an approach to take for the ocean as a whole because heat is being absorbed and stored within the ocean but it is not being emitted, therefore a factor needs to be applied.

If it was a solid surface and emitting the absorbed energy out, the surface temperature would be higher and the IR rate of radiation out would be much higher too.  This along with deep underwater ocean currents and the fact that 70% of planet is covered in water, means that emissivity of the “planetary system” is less than is being assumed, because energy is being added to the system without it being emitted at the same rate at which it is being absorbed.

There is a discrepancy between absorption rate and emission rate, in favour of higher A / E ratio.  A factor needs to be applied.

The Oceans have several million layers of molecules which will be absorbing the incoming solar radiation, through and past each other, but they will not all be able to emit IR radiation past the first metre out to the surface, therefore the radiation doesn’t reach the atmosphere or space and is “trapped” in the water.

This in effect, causes the planetary systems emissivity to drop even though the surface emissivity of the water remains at near 1 for the temperature that it is at.  If, it absorbed the energy at the surface, its temperature would be higher and its rate of IR emissions would therefore be higher and therefore the amount of energy lost to space would be higher.

But because it is cooler, the amount of IR emitted out to space is less at the surface, and something else other than outward emissions must be happening with the remaining energy.  It drives under ocean currents, warms sub-sea rock and increases evaporation rates.

As an example, if we assumed that there was no atmosphere, the surface of the Earth at the equator would be in receipt of the full 1367 watts per square meter.  With an absorptivity of 1 and an emissivity of 1 this would result in a surface temperature of 394K, so that an amount emitted of 1367 matches the amount absorbed.

However, if only 50% of the energy is absorbed at the surface the maximum temperature which could be achieved would be that of 683 watts per square meter which would result in a surface temperature of 331K, or 58 Cº which means that the surface will not be emitting out the energy it is absorbing out into space.

Water can convert into water vapour and this is what this energy is most likely to eventually be converted into.  Water vapour has a much lower rate of emissivity than does a watery surface and when it rains it releases its energy into the atmosphere, which has an even lower rate of emissivity.  These factors need to be allowed for, a reduction in Earths Emissivity is to be applied to account for it.  These factors are being ignored by the standard Earth is at 255K calculation.

The ocean will not ever reach the normal black body thermal equilibrium temperature during the daytime.  If it was left for an eternity, it still wouldn’t happen.  The remaining energy which is absorbed by the ocean will act as not only a store of heat during the day, but during the night too, reducing temperature drop which would be experienced by a land mass.

It also transfers its energy into the atmosphere via evaporation via water vapour which has poor emissive qualities, compared to land and sea surfaces.  When the water vapour, converts back to water by raining, the latent energy stored is released which further acts to raise air temperatures.

It will also increase the temperature of the land, which is contacting below the sea level, which over time will have an upward effect on temperatures.

So let’s perform some basic calculations to see what we think is happening.

The solar irradiance at the TOA is 1367 watts per square meter & is made up of 6.5% UV, 47.9% Visible energy and 45.6% IR.   So what affect will the atmosphere have on reducing this at ground level?

For a typical cloudless atmosphere in summer and for zero zenith angle, the 1367 W m2reaching the outer atmosphere is reduced to ca. 1050 W m-2 direct beam radiation, and ca. 1120 W m-2 global radiation on a horizontal surface at ground level.”

So how much of this 1120 watts is IR and is absorbed at the surface and how much penetrates deeper?

 “While IR radiation can represent 40-60% (1994; Mobley, 1994) of the total down welling surface ocean irradiance, it is almost completely (>99.9%) absorbed in the upper 2 m of the water column. ( Atmospheric and Ocean Science Program, 2007)

This gives me a total of 60% of the energy absorbed at the surface and the remaining 40% going below.

Focusing my attention on the surface layer and assuming 6% is reflected and then the 60% of this remaining energy is absorbed I arrive at a figure of 645 watts / m2, using a standard blackbody equation a temperature for daytime condition only of 326.6K or 53.6 Cº.  Clearly this is much too hot even at the equator.  As you can see from this this graph, the observed summer temperatures at the equator which seem to be averaging at 30 Cº.

Watery Planet Diagram 5 – Ocean Surface Temperatures August 2018

Therefore a portion of this energy at the surface must be going into heating the atmosphere, via the processes of convection and evaporation.

To get to a temperature of 30 Cº an emission rate of 478 w / mis required for an emissivity of 1, meaning the difference of 167 w/m2 is going into heating the atmosphere and evaporation at the equator. If the sea wasn’t there, if it was just land, the temperatures at the equator would be much hotter during the day, but also much colder during the night. What effect does the night have?

Daytime and night-time surface water temperatures can vary by as much as 5 Degrees, which equates to a 50 to 60 w/m2, depending upon the starting temperatures.  (Journal of Oceanography, 2007)

This means that during the day it will be absorbing energy to rise by up-to 5-K and then cooling at night by approximately the same amount, once it has reached thermal equilibrium.  Some days it may be less than this and other days more, depending upon weather and wind conditions at the surface.  The energy is being stored in this surface layer as a result of the specific heat capacity or “Thermal Mass” of the water.  Is energy coming up from below, to compensate for surface cooling? A study “Diurnal Sea Surface Temperature Variation and Its Impact on the Atmosphere and Ocean: A Review” indicates that this isn’t the case as can be shown in this diagram.

Watery Planet Diagram 6 – Daily Surface Temperature Variance

(Journal of Oceanography, 2007)

Here we see that the temperature at 5 to 10 metres depth is remaining unchanged on a daily basis.

The temperature beneath the mixed layer isn’t changing on a daily basis so an energy transfer of stored energy from below isn’t occurring, this energy for daily fluctuations is coming from the stored energy in surface water itself.  The mixed layer of the ocean is at its own equilibrium temperature, without relying on the energy stored below.

The specific heat capacity of 4.2 KJ/kg/Cº and can therefore store over 4 times as much energy as does the air.  During the day, the sun is warming this layer of the ocean directly and then during the night this layer is releasing its stored energy.  This is why the air warms and cools by a much larger amount compared to the sea which seems to change very little day by day.

“The top 2.5 m of the ocean holds as much heat as the entire atmosphere above it. Thus the heat required to change a mixed layer of 25 m by 1 °C would be sufficient to raise the temperature of the atmosphere by 10 °C.”

So from an energy perspective the IR heat output of the sea during the day is 478 w/m2 at 30 Cº and during the night it could be 25 Cº which would be an IR output of 447 w/m2.

What does this tell us?  We have an average temperature of 27.5 Cº, with a heat input of only 645 watts/m2, for a part of the daytime.  If we did a black body temperature equation of half 645 of 322 w/m2 (allowing for averaging to simulate night) we get a blackbody temperature of 274 K or 1 Cº and let’s not forget that the sea isn’t receiving full insolation for the entire period of the day.  The “watery planet effect” at the equator is causing the water surface to be 26 Cº higher than calculations show it should be, on Average.

The temperature is lower than it should be during the day and higher than it should be at night.  IR can only emit from the ocean on the first few mm and if the wind picks up only the first few meters as the wind causes waves increasing the exposed area which can emit.  Sunlight is absorbed by water, so any water molecules beneath the surface are absorbing energy but aren’t able to emit out, as would a standard solid surface.

This “multi-layered sub-surface absorbance” is causing the temperature of the water to be higher, on average as energy is absorbed, but not emitted.  This is what this data shows us, this is what is going on over 70% of the surface of the globe.  This is the reason why earth is not at the calculated 255K but is in fact at the 288K average temperatures world-wide.

The Earth does not have an emissivity of 1, because a factor needs to be applied to allow for its “multi-layered absorbing properties”.  An object in space with an albedo of 0.3 would achieve a steady state temperature of 288 K if it had an emissivity of 0.61, which very closely matches the 61% absorption rate of the mixed layer of the surface.

Therefore I think the corrective factor to be applied to the emissivity of the Earth simply reflects it mixed layer absorptivity rate.  So instead of using an emissivity of 1, an emissivity of 0.61 should be used.  This then corrects this error in the standard “cold earth fallacy” calculation without any need for “fake GHE”.  More importantly, there is no longer any need for Carbon Taxes and their associated, fakery control mechanisms and regulations.

It has been pointed out before, the equation used to determines Earth equilibrium temperature, is being wrongly determined, by Dr Martin Hertzberg, in his paper “EARTH’S RADIATIVE EQUILIBRIUM IN THE SOLAR IRRADIANCE”


Watery Planet Diagram 7 – Cold Earth Fallacy Diagram

Performing a few rough checks on other latitudes of the planet, I find the following.

At latitude 30 degrees the sea surface diagram indicated temperatures of around 20 degrees and at latitude 60 degrees the temperatures were around 10 degrees.

Using the solar insolation equation, with an air mass of 1.15 I arrive at a figure of 972 w/m2 and at 60 degrees with an air mass of 2.0 it would be 710 w/m2.

60% of 972 is 583 standard black body maximum would be 315K, so some of this heat again is being converted into latent and convective energy, previously the rate was assumed to be 25% of this amount which leaves 437 w/m2which would give a temperature of 293K, close to the 20 degree level, but actually a little less.

This makes me think that light is being absorbed in the atmosphere at higher latitudes and isn’t available in the same ratio at the higher latitudes as to get a temperature of 296K the amount converted to latent heat would need to be less or the amount absorbed would need to be higher.

At 60 degrees this would be 710 * 0.6 * 0.75  = 319.5 watts / m2 which at thermal equilibrium equates to 273K, which is 0 Cº, which indicates to me that again, a higher proportion than 60% is being absorbed at the surface to make it 10 degrees or there is less latent heat loss due to evaporation, to be able  to arrive at observed temperatures higher than this rough calculation.  I imagine evaporation rates are much lower here and the air much dryer.

To resolve this further if I had the power to do, I would commission research the rate of IR / Light / UV available at the surface at higher latitudes and the effect this has on surface skin layer absorption as well as differences in rates of latent heat of evaporation at higher latitudes and how they differ compared to lower latitudes.  From elementary reasoning, using my rough calculations as a basis, I would presume to find higher proportion of absorption at the surface layer and lower rates of evaporation.

Some research to this effect has already been performed and they did indeed find that this is what is occurring. This study I found to be most illuminating “Evaporation from the Surface of the Globe.”  It found that “Maximum evaporation from the ocean is observed in both hemispheres in the zone of trade winds in the latitudinal zones 10 to 20ºN and 10 to 20ºS.”   I also found this re-assuring as it matched my rough calculations.  “Evaporation of water

takes much heat (1.26 x 1024 joules), or about 25% of all the energy received at the

Earth’s surface.”

Watery Planet Diagram 8 – Water Planet

This is a brief diagram which shows at the equator the incoming solar irradiance of around 1120 w/mat sea level, with a bigger proportion absorbed at the 2.5m skin surface and then the smaller proportion being absorbed underneath that.

Some of this energy absorbed at the surface is being converted into Evaporation and the rate of evaporation is lower the further away from the equator.  There is also more energy lost to the atmosphere, due to thicker Air Mass and so less to be absorbed in the deeper layers.  The energy which goes past the surface, into the deeper layers, isn’t able to be emitted, it is therefore “trapped” and cant get out.

Its effects are felt, by creating a warmer AVERAGE temperature because the surface is cooler than it would be if it was a rock during the day and warmer than it would be if it was a rock at night.  A higher rate of energy conversion into latent energy via evaporation means a lower rate of loss of energy as it is converted in the atmosphere when it rains.

These effects are real, they are happening and they can’t be ignored.  Therefore a factor needs to be applied, showing this effect, a factor which in essence serves to reduce the emissivity from the currently used 1, to something more along the lines of 0.60.  The Earth System has an A / E Ratio of somewhere in the region of 1.17 not 0.70.

Everyone who uses 0.70, is doing the maths wrong, they have no idea.  Why are they ignoring the Oceans?  Why do they pretend that IR emission rates are higher and Evaporation rates lower?  Why?  They want your tax money, that’s why and they don’t want you squealing when they take it.  They want you to give it with a smile on your face.


Waters multi-layered sub-surface absorbance coupled with its skin surface only emissive & evaporation losses acts to raise average equilibrium temperatures above standard black body calculations.  Applying a factor to reduce the assumed emissivity of the Earth, to reduce it 0.60, takes us away from the “Cold Earth Fallacy” fake and incorrect calculation used by “pretend climate scientists.”

Using a 0.60 emissive factor, gives us a calculated temperature of 288K, which accords with experienced conditions on Earth, without utilising any “magical, make believe, fantasy fad fairy tale fakery Greenhouse Effect.”

It is time for the adults of this world to wake up and understand, that they are being lied to, only a daily basis by those whom have a vested interest in keeping them poor, mis-educated, over taxed and disempowered via the fake climate front, of Global Warming and Climate Change.

“The Watery Planet Effect” of multi-layered sub-surface absorbance, is the true effect.  Nothing make believe, magical and mystical about that, that’s just the way it is.