In a previous post "A new attempt" I sketched a model which could possibly explain the atmospheric lapse rate as the solution of a relatively simple heat equation, which of course in the end must also take into account convection. However, the solution had an arbitrary constant which in normal cases is taken care of through boundary conditions. I am now speculating whether this constant should instead be fixed using a somewhat different reasoning. Let Fa be the total amount of heat absorbed by the atmosphere.

The temperature could then be fixed using an energy argument in combination with the gas law:

Total energy = Fa = 3/2Nk_bTa,

where Ta is some suitably averaged temperature of the atmosphere. A note of caution however! It could be that we should instead put:

Total energy = Fa = 5/2Nk_bTa,

since according to statistical physics the heat capacity of the gas increases in a gravitational field. But this requires further thinking.

The atmosphere is directly warmed by the Sun, not from the surface, as my Venus/Earth comparison proves. See also "On the Fundamental Warming of the Atmosphere", and "The True Energy Balance of the Earth+Atmosphere"; the latter verifies my analysis of the fundamental warming of the atmosphere, and also verifies that the radiating temperature of the Earth-plus-atmosphere system is 279K, not the 255K claimed by consensus climate science. So no convection (and none from the surface) is needed to sustain the lapse rate, and it IS by itself the fundamental governor of the system, as of course my Venus/Earth comparison already proved by confirming the Standard Atmosphere model (defined with the lapse rate) as the equilibrium state of our atmosphere. It is the false belief that the atmosphere is fundamentally warmed by the surface that keeps scientists worrying over such questions as yours over the lapse rate.

SvaraRaderaHi Harry,

SvaraRaderaThank you for posting. I see that you have done much work on the overall energy balance, which I will have a closer look at. The problems I want to tackle here is first of all to explain why the temperature declines in the troposhere but not in the stratosphere. As you say, convection is not needed to sustain the lapse rate since the very function of convection is to reduce it. Your claim that the atmosphere is heated from "the sun" does that mean it is heated from "above"? In any case, do you have a somwhat complete model for it?