4. The re-radiation of infrared heat from vegetation and soil surfaces (Walter Jehne)

Whereas the incident solar radiation that is reflected or absorbed is mostly of short wavelengths when it is absorbed it is re-radiated from that body or surface as infrared heat of long wavelengths. The amount of infrared heat re-radiated from any black body radiator is governed by physics and is related to the fourth power of the temperature of that body as defined by the Stefan Boltzman Law.

As such hot bodies or soils re-radiate exponentially more heat from them than cooler bodies or soils.

How much infrared heat is being re-radiated from the Earth’s surface is fundamental as it is the key determinant and driver of both the natural and our enhanced abnormal greenhouse effect.

As such hot exposed bare soils at up to 70oC will re-radiate vastly more heat and generate a far higher greenhouse effect than the identical adjacent protected, insulated moist soil at 20oC will.

Effectively we can turn down the greenhouse effect dramatically and rapidly by simply keeping soils protected, moist and cool irrespective of the level of greenhouse gas molecules in the air able to absorb that re-radiated infrared heat and then re-radiate back to earth in the greenhouse effect.

Given that we govern the level of bare soil exposure and desiccation and thus its temperature via our land management, our land management is a primary determinant of our abnormal greenhouse warming, its dangerous hydrological extremes, and impacts but also our means to limit such impacts.

Walter explains the Stefan-Boltzman law at about 1.08.22  into this video.

More on the science

This video further explains the Stefan-Boltzman law.

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