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In contrast, the extra IR energy “input” (actually, reduced IR “loss”) is twelve times as large (100 W/m2) as the reduction in the convective loss (8 W/m2).
Of course, changing any of the assumed numbers will change the result.
For example, the emissivity of glass is less than 1, but what that means is that it “traps” even more IR energy inside because it partly reflects the higher levels of IR the warmer vegetation is emitting upward. I’m sure this problem has been analyzed before, probably in great detail, by multiple aggie graduates in their theses.
Unfortunately, a Google search on “greenhouses” and “energy budget” is hopelessly cluttered with pages related to the Earth’s greenhouse effect (wow! ) If anyone is aware of studies done on the energy budget of greenhouses (of the agricultural kind), I would appreciate a reference or two.
So, the question is: Does a greenhouse work more from infrared heating (the “greenhouse effect”), or more from the inhibition of convective heat loss?
BACKGROUND It’s been quite a while since I’ve discussed why the diagnosis of feedbacks in the climate system (and thus climate sensitivity) from observations is biased toward high climate sensitivity.Note that the energy fluxes have to sum to zero for temperature equilibrium, and we will ignore the photosynthetic storage of energy in plants which is very inefficient.Now, with a greenhouse in place, we assume the average temperature of the interior rises, and that the glass roof reaches a temperature intermediate between the inside and outside air temperatures: What really changes a lot is the downwelling IR, increasing from the sky value of 350 W/m2 to 450 W/m2, an increase of 100 W/m2.Our most complete analysis of the effect was described here.In general, both directions of causation are operating in the climate system.
It’s a controversial topic, one which we have a few published papers on, yet one I am more firmly convinced about than any other climate research I have ever published.