Getting the year off to a good start

It always helps to review the topics discussed here, as doing so always provides an educational opportunity for everyone.

Given we are starting a whole new year of bringing the science to people who have doubts about the veracity of some claims in climate science, this seemed like a good opportunity to run this excellent global warming primer video from Warren Meyer who runs climate-skeptic.com.

It is well worth your time to watch, and it is edited for the layman with some real-world examples to help explain concepts.

NOTE: If you can’t see the video, it may be due to your Windows Internet security zone being set too high. Try Control Panel> System and Security> Internet Options> Change security Settings and set to Medium or Low.

This video is a critique of catastrophic man-made global warming theory, based on presentation slides used in a series of public presentations and debates in late 2009 and early 2010. The author is Warren Meyer, author of the web site climate-skeptic.com.

While the world has almost certainly warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age in the early 19th century, and while it is fairly clear that CO2 and other greenhouse gasses may be responsible for some of this warming, climate alarmists are grossly overestimating the sensitivity of climate to CO2, and thus overestimating future man-made warming.

While the theory of greenhouse gas warming is fairly well understood, most of the warming, and all of the catastrophe, in future forecasts actually comes from a second theory that the Earth’s climate system is dominated by strong positive feedbacks. This second theory is not at all settled and is at the heart of why climate models are greatly over-estimating future warming.

Note: Charts last updated Jan 2010. The earlier live version of this video has 8000 views on Vimeo.

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78 thoughts on “Getting the year off to a good start

  1. When I grew up in North Norway I learnt that when people didn’t have anything else to talk about, they talked about the weather. I couldn’t understand how adults could produce so much talk about so little. My parents and every other adult I knew of, listened to every weather forecast on the radio and when TV arrived in the late 60s, they had to watch the whole weather forecast there too, both in the evening and in the late night. And then you had to stay silent because they might miss any small detail. The weather forecast was the most serious part of daily listening.

    Then I found that people willingly talked about the weather simply in order to have something neutral to talk about, so that they didn’t have to talk about anything else. You could show emotion when you talked about the weather, you could agree and disagree and get into all kinds of arguments including anecdotes about how the weather had been then and then and then and then. How was it possible to bring up so much about something which you couldn’t do anything with, I thought?

    Then I read that story about the two different types of people in my English textbook, which stated that if you talked about the weather, you were found to be a social and caring person listening to others, but if you talked about anything else your mind was set upon, you were seen as boring and selfish and – just talking about the weather!

    Then I began to hitch-hike as a teenager, and I quickly learnt that the one thing to talk about with the drivers was the weather. I learnt how to fuel conversations that could last for up to two hours with weather-related anecdotes and details of every conceivable – and absurd – kind.

    Then I went to university and all the weather-related conversation fodder became redundant.

    And this is probably the reason that the whole stupidity about global warming and the Kyoto protocol and the UN IPCC reports went by without me even noticing. I think we all viewed this CO2-stuff as something completely redundant, something that some politicians took a little too seriously while we, the populace, were laughing secretly at them, just as we were of our parents when they had to listen to the weather forecast 6 or 8 times a day.

    Anthony with his WUWT blog and his happy and informed helpers has brought weather to me and countless others all over the globe in a new fashion, as something relevant, something interesting, something that I can speak with others about. Something that counts in our lives.

    Only that it seems that I too easily get into details of the kind that makes my conversation a little too high-brow for people. So I have become that fellow of the English textbook story and when I bring up a new topic from WUWT at work, my colleagues snarl : Ah, he only talks about the weather!

    Happy 2012 to you Anthony and all your brilliant contributors!

  2. Trouble is, for some reason, the video does not come up, just a 4″ white hole in the post. (Hehe, not in that kind of post!)

  3. Found the problem, and those running higher security it seems must lower all security settings, just trusting vimeo does also not work either, at least it doesn’t for my environment.

  4. “…while it is fairly clear that CO2 and other greenhouse gasses may be responsible for some of this warming”
    Exactly what is the evidence for this ?
    Such unsupported statements are what we expect from alarmists !

  5. Its all about the sun and that wet stuff between the plates, volcanicity, corriolis, solar cycles, milankovitch cycles and basic physics of atmospheric pressure, the rest is myth, unscrupulously fabricated to suit an overtly political agenda. Lets face it, we have even incorrectly named the planet, it should be called Ocean.

  6. It is not ‘clear’ that warming since the LIA was in part due to GHG’s. That claim is an act of faith not science. The LIA was due to planetary cycles not an atmospheric makeup of gasses that were certainly present during the LIA period. Why did these GHG’s not stop the LIA? Because the theory of GHG’s is flawed and violates the laws of thermodynamics.

    See:- Unified Theory of Climate by Nikolov and Zeller 2011.

  7. This is a really excellent exposition by Warren Meyer, which I have seen before. In it he identifies the real weakness of the catastrophic theory of global warming.
    So many sceptics try to attack this theory by claiming that the world has not warmed, the greenhouse effect does not exist, back radiation is impossible, glaciers are not retreating etc. As Warren Meyer says, this is exactly what the warmists want you to do. Because you then attack where the enemy is strongest, indeed unassailable in the eyes of mainstream scientists.
    But catastrophic global warming has an Achilles heel – and that is what all sceptics should focus on.

  8. For those having problems running this video, I was unable to run it from Firefox, probably because of Flash and Ad blockers. I just got a big white space in the middle of the text where the video was when I switched to Microsoft Explorer.
    The big Start button is confusing. It seems to imply that you should start the video by clicking on that – but that doesn’t work with any browser. Following the link to Warren Meyer’s site gives you another option to play the video, it is a shame to miss it.

    Meanwhile – happy new year to everyone.

  9. Bomber sez~ ‘So many sceptics try to attack this theory by claiming that the world has not warmed’

    In light of the fact that it has clearly gotten .6 degrees warmer since the LIA, Could you name names?

    ‘ glaciers are not retreating etc’.

    I haven’t EVER seen a single skeptic making that claim, can you give links?

  10. If your using a Firefox browser and the video won’t load (I think it’s a Vemo ad issue) Right Click over the blank frame where the video should be/ select from the menu “This Frame” then select “Open Frame In New Tab”. that should bypass any cookie issues etc…

  11. Anthony Watts says the theory of greenhouse gas warming is fairly well understood.

    However there is a lively debate on this site that the there is no greenhouse gas warming. Many believe the temperature of the lower part of the atmosphere is increased by a well known gravity effect, the lapse rate.
    This effect is also seen on other similar planets

  12. Belief in the greenhouse effect is based upon
    a radiative transfer theory that cannot distinguish between directed rays from the Sun and omnidirectional heat energy (yet naively assumes no scattering of IR — which IS heat energy — within the atmosphere), and assumes the surface of the planet a blackbody merely by “correcting” the directed solar irradiation for obvious reflection (even though a blackbody can only absorb, not reflect, all incident radiation) but omitting any consideration of the omnidirectional heat energy (including, but not limited to, IR in the atmosphere) as a function not only of radiation but of convection and conduction as well
    . That radiation transfer theory is really just a one-dimensional “light extinction” model (how much of an incident light beam is removed in traversing a nearly-transparent medium), based upon an assumption (the Beer-Lambert formula) that is not valid in the presence of multiscattering of individual incident photons by the traversed medium (the atmosphere). In short, the theory only knows an incident beam, and reflection of the incident beam, not the real thermodynamics of the traversed medium. If that is too hard for you to understand (and it is for everybody these days), then simply observe the fact, from my detailed Venus/Earth temperature comparison, that there is no greenhouse effect, of increased atmospheric temperature with increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, at all.

  13. Decent video with some useful graphs. However, advocating for a carbon tax at the end is shocking. What’s the purpose of a carbon tax if there is no CAGW? If warmists and Dems could get the populace to agree to that they would go for it in a heartbeat. The Dems would “temporarily” drop the income tax a few % for a few years to get a trillion dollar a year, economy and middle class destroying carbon tax on the books. I can’t believe Warren actually thinks that is a good idea in terms of the Precautionary Principle. Much better idea is to rein in the EPA and the overly strict environmental laws being put into place – CO2 is not a pollutant and we already have stringent enough particulate and mercury laws. Make energy from coal inexpensive again to power our economy and raise the standard of living for all. Invest in fusion and advanced fission energy research so that when the coal is gone we have the next inexpensive and reliable energy source for the future.

  14. Dr Burns says:

    January 1, 2012 at 1:47 am

    “…while it is fairly clear that CO2 and other greenhouse gasses may be responsible for some of this warming”
    Exactly what is the evidence for this ?
    Such unsupported statements are what we expect from alarmists !

    I am looking at a plot of the solar spectrum seen from the Earths surface. Strange thing is there dosen’t appear to be any back radiation showing on it?????????????????????

  15. The usual story line by supporters of the IPCC AGW position a few years ago was that the top 1500 (or 2500) climate scientists in the world all agreed that….
    The current story line seems to be that all extreme weather is caused by global warming. The culmination of that spin was the NY Times front page, Sunday edition, Christmas day article last week, prompting Pielke Jr. to write about “The Worst NYT Story on Climate Ever?”

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2011/12/worst-nyt-story-on-climate-ever.html

    As the weather effects of the recent strong La Nina fade, perhaps there will be less of the attribution nonsense in 2012.

  16. Anthony and others:

    This should be the year in which we come to accept, not that the effect of carbon dioxide has been over-estimated, but rather that it has no effect what-so-ever.

    Back radiation from a cooler atmosphere simply cannot warm the surface. It does not have enough energy to get over the threshhold needed for warming. So this fact switches off the power of any assumed “greenhouse effect” and the GHE hypothesis crumbles. No one has ever proved that such back radiation does in fact cause warming and the onus is very much upon the IPCC so to do, because it has always been their false assumption – nothing from the pages of physics. Maybe some oil companies should post a reward for anyone who can prove such – the publicity would be great.

    I leave you with Prof. Claes Johnson’s words http://climate-change-theory.com/Johnson_quote.jpg

  17. Happy New Year.

    Interesting video, and actually much to agree with, even for a “warmist”. However, 1C of temperture rise by the end if this century as we see a doubling of CO2 from pre- industrial levels is simply way too low. Compounded on top of that is the warming we’ll see from N2O and methane increases. 3C is far more realistic, and an entirely different issue is whether or not that will be “catastrophic” for humanity.

  18. First, happy new year to all of you.

    Then, “While the world has almost certainly warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age in the early 19th century, and while it is fairly clear that CO2 and other greenhouse gasses may be responsible …” is surprising language for me.
    1. “clear that may be …”? Whether something is ‘clear’ or something ‘may be’.
    2. We rightfully claim that CO2 in icecores follows increase in temperature. Now here’s said hat GHG have brought the climate ot of LIA, part of it? Really?

    Sometimes my impression is that we sceptics don’t dare to touch AGW pillars like greenhouse theory, fearing we may appear ‘unscientific’.
    Let us be a bit more sceptic in 2012. Nothing is ‘clear’ in climatology.

  19. Roger Clague,
    The lapse rate does not set a temperature, it sets a temperature gradient. You still need something else to anchor the absolute level of the gradient to particular values of temperature. With no greenhouse effect, the ground is where the outgoing long wave radiation energy level matches the absorbed solar radiation, so that determines the temperature that locks the lapse rate gradient. You would also need convective mixing to get the lapse rate for that case. Otherwise, the atmosphere would tend toward constant temperature, or even possibly an inversion of temperature. With greenhouse effects, the average effective location where outgoing radiation matches absorbed solar is at some altitude above the ground, and that average location determines the lapse rate curve temperature at that altitude. The lapse rate increase below that level is now what determines the higher ground temperature. More greenhouse gases slightly raise that level, so that raises the ground temperature. If the atmosphere is much taller (as on Venus) the lapse rate times the greater altitude gives a much higher increase in ground temperature. That is all there is to the process. Notice you need both a lapse rate and a greenhouse effect to have a temperature at the ground greater than without a greenhouse effect.

  20. Anthony, I do so enjoy your “What’s Up With That” Posts and it’s so informative I know! Keep up your great work! Also, please remember, as the William Shakesphere Troop put it: “All the world’s a stage and ALL the men and women are merelyplayers and EACH MUST PLAY A PART in their time! WATCH!

  21. M.A.Vukcevic says:
    January 1, 2012 at 4:55 am

    IT is OFFICIAL
    The CET 2011 was second warmest year on the record at 10.7 degrees C.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET2011.htm

    The warmest year was 2006 with a mean temperature of 10.82°C that’s a difference of 1.01°C cooler than 2006. In the video the Warren Meyer says the IPPC predicted a warming of 1°C and R. Gates above has the warming down to 3°C, so how can it be that for a doubling of CO2 has there has been a cooling of 1.01°C.

    What am I missing?

  22. M.A.Vukcevic says:
    January 1, 2012 at 4:55 am

    IT is OFFICIAL
    The CET 2011 was second warmest year on the record at 10.7 degrees C.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET2011.htm

    The warmest year was 2006 with a mean temperature of 10.82°C that’s a difference of 1.01°C cooler than 2006. In the video Warren Meyer says the IPPC predicted a warming of 1°C and R. Gates above has the warming down to 3°C, so how can it be that for a doubling of CO2 has there been a cooling of 1.01°C.

    What am I missing?

  23. I enjoyed Warren Meyer’s presentation. It’s a very good summary of reasons to be skeptical of AGW / Climate Change.

  24. Leonard Weinstein says:
    January 1, 2012 at 6:48 am

    “Otherwise, the atmosphere would tend toward constant temperature, or even possibly an inversion of temperature.”

    Yep! Temperature inversions are a fact of life.

    “The lapse rate increase below that level is now what determines the higher ground temperature. More greenhouse gases slightly raise that level, so that raises the ground temperature.”

    The lapse rate determines *NOTHING*! The lapse rate is an EXPLANATION of a phenomena. It is NOT the phenomena! Sheesh!

    Happy New Year, Y’all!

  25. Thank you for linking to this video. It us useful for those of us laypeople to have general overviews of the issues from time to time. It is quite easy to get bogged down in individual issues. I was also quite impressed with Warren Meyer’s use of logic. He spent a long time organizing his thoughts for this presentation.

  26. Great work, and will post on my site.

    But it is a bit incoherent to claim there as been 0.6°C warming since the late 1800’s and then note the UHI studies show a 3rd of the warming measured could be UHI (dropping the warming from 1800 to 0.2°C).

    We cannot rely on the 0.6°C number for reasons of accuracy and coverage of readings before 1940, and UHI effect since 1900. It is LOGICAL that the world has been warming since the LIA – even expected.

    But sadly, given the data it is not clear we have warmed at all since the 1930-1940 period. We all assume we are coming out of the LIA. An assumption not proven.

  27. Ahh, good! I knew if I waited long enough, someone more knowledgeable than myself would take down bombers’ bit about GHGs and back radiation. Which leaves bombers’ argument against skeptics with…. Nothing.

  28. Sparks says January 1, 2012 at 3:20 am

    If your [sic] using a …

    EeeK! It’s “you are” or the contraction “you’re” .

    Please!

    (Run of the mill typos I can over look … but this, is not a typo, not when it involves the absence of *two* characters … okay, technically one punctuation and one character!)

    And – Happy New Year, Anthony and ‘staff’!

    .

  29. _Jim says:
    January 1, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Error noted Jim, there really is no excuse for sloppy grammatical mistakes, ha ha!

    @Fred from Canuckistan says:
    10.82
    -10.70
    =00.12

    What I meant, the difference between two sets of averages (mean temperatures) not the difference between the two numerical values.

  30. Hi Sparks,
    You were nearly there.
    2011 was about 2 C degrees up on the 2010; if the doubling of CO2 temps go 1C up, there must have been quadrupling of the CO2 in 2011?!
    Strange theory that.
    I hope it gets even warmer, no ice, no car defrosting, most of the garden geraniums are still there, not to mention the savings on the house heating.

  31. I watched Warren Meyer’s presentation soon after it was available on his site and then again today. It remains “mostly good”. I too, take exception to any notion of a carbon tax (i.e. one of the thinnest components of thin air). There’s no reason for it. If anyone ever gives government the right to tax ANYTHING you can count on that right being abused.

    Warren Meyer is quite an amazing fellow. If I recall correctly there were several state parks in Arizona that were to be shut down for lack of funding. Warren stepped in and effectively privatized them and kept them open. Once again he proved that the private sector can do nearly anything better and more efficiently than government.

  32. Nice video. There’s just one thing he gets wrong. The alarmists didn’t originally rebrand to “climate change”. It was skeptics. The original view was a relatively constant, non changing climate, and then a sudden unprecedented catastrophic warming. So climate change could not have been planned by the alarmists. In fact, it was George W. Bush who brought it into the mainstream vernacular in one of his speeches because his advisors told him that climate does change over time and he asked why is it called “global warming” and not “climate change”. So that’s what he decided to call it and the alarmists went NUTS. I still remember the backlash at this.

    After a while, the alarmists had no choice but to adopt the term because it was such a powerful argument against those that claimed that climate was relatively unchanging in the past. So much so that they forgot where it came from. So did many of the skeptics.

    But whenever an alarmist asks me why I don’t believe in climate change, I tell them I do believe in it and fought to change the term “global warming” to “climate change”. When they’re all stunned, I tell them that if climate has been changing over time and we’ve had warm temperatures in the past, it can’t be unprecedented. And if it’s not unprecedented, then it’s not catastrophic. This tends to leave a great many alarmists dumbfounded.

  33. Sparks says on January 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    You do realize, a) some of that material, esp the *atmos-pheric [sic] material was another’s product (which is quoted; note the indent), and b) some of that was written pre-modern Opera (circa Opera 6, 7) which was sans spell check feature! (I am nothing without my spell check which is why I don’t harp on typos! For those you are forgiven.)

    Happy New Year!

    .

    PS *Atmosphere – New Latin atmosphaera, created in the 17th century from Greek ἀτμός [atmos] “vapor” and σφαῖρα [sphaira] “sphere”

  34. I keep on wondering about the whole CAGW-theory and greenhouse gases, especially CO2.
    How on earth can we fear a LITTLE trapping of heat by CO2, while burning the hydrocarbons in the first place produces a LOT of heat anyway?

    Is there any of you who can do the math on the amount of energy that is released by
    1. burning a litre or a gallon of gasoline, and
    2. the trapping of heat by the CO2 that would be released?

    In my opinion, the heat produced by the burning will be so much more than what ever may be trapped, that the whole CAGW-theory is as lame as one could possibly think.

    I hope any of you could make this calculations! I would be very gratefull!

  35. Geir in Norway says:
    January 1, 2012 at 1:05 am

    Well said! Of course, you do speak common sense and observations of basic human behaviour, not mathematical algorithms. Since you have neither computer code in your discussion, a Ph’d before your name, or the backing of Green funds, I have to conclude, however, that nothing you say is material. As they say on the current TV sitcom, Big Bang Theory, my dismissal of your views is a “non-optional social convention.” Sorry.

    By-the-bye, in Norway where alpine glaciers are common, have you heard of any increase in the outflow of rivers sourced in glaciers? If Alpine glaciers are contributing an increasing amount to sea level rises, you should be seeing it.

    Not that the observation would mean anything. Satellite measurements and computer models say alpine glaciers are increasingly responsible for the rise. It’s settled and certain. If you see, feel, hear something different, you are confused at best and a shill for Bad People at worst.

    Sorry. New Year, same problems.

    • Great comment! Halleluyah! You’ll be proven right quicker than even you may believe. Watch!

  36. it may be a great video but advocating for a carbon tax at the end means I cant link to it or show others particularly here in Aus. There is nothing more posionous than a tax based on a lie.

  37. Thank you for that and here’s wishing you a cool 2012 in every way. A very good resume into which Warren Meyer has devoted a lot of time and effort.

    This video is also serialised on Youtube but not with many hits:

    It would be good to see it re-edited with slower diction and perhaps less words and re-done for mass consumption on Youtube.

    I agree with just about all of the content except the author’s favoured solution. I believe we have enough taxes and as Lord Monckton’s solution of “do nothing” may not be favourable to the global population at large, perhaps we can have an incentive based precautionary solution that will be beneficial to the environment without buying a “$6000 insurance policy for a $3000 car”.

    This can be done with soil sequestration, tree planting, programmed land use, town planning, use of public transport etc in other words incentives rather than penalties. I also believe that each country should do this in their own way dependent on their geography and economy.

    I do however agree with Warren Meyer on his two other conclusions that a cap and trade type ETS can never work certainly internationally and the IPCC is in fantasy land if they think that the world will ever instigate such a scheme let alone that it would be effective.

    Secondly the global warming debate has certainly sucked energy away from the some of the real environmental issues such as clean air and the abuse of land use to produce ethanol. Any solution humans can make to maintain an acceptable balance in the atmosphere should at least ensure that land usage and the quality of the air we breath are part of the equation.

  38. Leonard says “With no greenhouse effect, the ground is where the outgoing long wave radiation energy level matches the absorbed solar radiation.”

    Not so. The Earth plus atmosphere is the complete system because …

    (a) The surface/atmosphere interface is merely an internal interface. If you apply SBL without adjusting for surrounding temperature then it must be applied to the whole system because it assumes 0 deg.K in the surrounds – ie space. If you apply SBL to the surface only, you must deduct theoretical radiation in the opposite direction which just about cancels out because diffusion (molecular collision) ensures close thermal equilibrium. Applying SBL only gives you a kind-of weighted mean somewhere perhaps at least 5km up in the atmosphere. The net radiation from the surface is negligible and most energy transfers to the atmosphere by evaporation and by diffusion followed by convection.

    (b) In 2011 it was proven that backradiation cannot add thermal energy (ie warm) an already warmer surface because its frequency is always below the cut off determined by Wien’s Displacement Law. See; http://climate-change-theory.com/RadiationAbsorption.html and read Prof Claes Johnson’s “Computational Blackbody Radiation” if you can understand the calculations. If not, just read Prof Nahle’s experiment also proving the point. Hence, the greenhouse effect is a physical impossibility. The IPCC has never proved its most unphysical assumption that radiation from a cooler atmosphere can warm a warmer surface. It cannot.

    Prove me wrong and I’ll scrap my book plans, close my websites and shut up!

  39. Folks who don’t have the time to watch the entire video should at least check out the couple of minutes starting at about 43 minutes in. Michael Mann’s supporters need to explain how he didn’t engage in scientific misconduct and outright fraud.

    For those with the time, the whole video is well worth watching.

  40. Babsy says:
    January 1, 2012 at 8:31 am
    Leonard Weinstein says:
    January 1, 2012 at 6:48 am


    The lapse rate determines *NOTHING*! The lapse rate is an EXPLANATION of a phenomena. It is NOT the phenomena! Sheesh!

    I just realized during the past couple of days that we’re using lapse rate in two different ways here, and it is causing confusion.

    Lapse rate use #1: A term for the temperature profile in the atmosphere which is approximately a linear decrease with height. In this manner the term lapse rate fits your “The lapse rate is an EXPLANATION of a phenomena.”

    Lapse rate use #2: The temperature change with elevation that accompanies work done in moving air vertically. The very specific term “adiabatic lapse rate” fits this use of the phrase. In this case the lapse rate describes a process and fits what Leonard is saying. One cannot explain much about weather or climate unless one considers work processes and how they affect air temperature.

  41. Two further quick thoughts on Warren Meyer’s video:

    If he believes that big socialist governments will compensate salary based taxes once they get their hands on a new carbon tax he believes that Dracula could run the Red Cross.

    Add to environmental concerns that come way above global warming – the earth’s sustainable human population.

    My tip for the biggest global warming issue in 2012:

    http://www.china.org.cn/opinion/2011-12/29/content_24282887.htm

  42. M.A.Vukcevic
    CET rising
    UHI rising as well (probally – more cement on the earth, more wide screen TV’s etc etc)
    What about natural cycles (solar – water vapor etc)?
    Deduct those and we’ll know the residual contribution by CO2 – perhaps very little or nothing.
    I’m sure you understand all that, but showing the chart by itself can mislead some.
    Very pretty though, well presented and all that, but potentially misleading.

  43. R. Gates – happy new year to you as well.
    I’ll leave you with a good thought for 2012.
    Warm is good – cold is bad.
    Sit back and enjoy any increased warmth that come your way.
    Ask yourself why do so many plants, animals and people live in the tropics and so few live at the poles?

  44. @Climate Change Theory

    “(b) In 2011 it was proven that backradiation cannot add thermal energy (ie warm) an already warmer surface because its frequency is always below the cut off determined by Wien’s Displacement Law. See; http://climate-change-theory.com/RadiationAbsorption.html and read Prof Claes Johnson’s “Computational Blackbody Radiation” if you can understand the calculations. If not, just read Prof Nahle’s experiment also proving the point. Hence, the greenhouse effect is a physical impossibility. The IPCC has never proved its most unphysical assumption that radiation from a cooler atmosphere can warm a warmer surface. It cannot.

    Prove me wrong and I’ll scrap my book plans, close my websites and shut up!”

    +++++++++

    OK

    Back radiation is no different from the effect of insulating air pockets in pink fibreglass insulation. The pink insulation is not so important to the insulation, the air pockets are because they conduct heat poorly. The fibres conduct a bit but mostly radiate IR. For any stable system of a heat source (say, inside a box) and a given amount of pink insulation around it, there is a temperature gradient from hottest (inside the box) to ambient (well outside the insulation). I think you will agree that the heat gets into the ‘box’ by multi-wavelength radiation and mostly is converted to IR. The details of that are not important. Concentrate on the temperature gradient.

    In a stable condition (there being no change in the power applied inside the box) the temperature can be observed to be droping continuously until the outside air is reached. It is not hotter anywhere between the inside of the box and the outside air. Why? because the heat is ‘working its way out.” It scatters back and forth in all directions as it does so, never travelling far at all, but it is certainly re-radiated in all directions at all times. If it is heading back to the source, is temporarily prevents a nearby molecule closer to the box from picking up a photon from the box. If it is to a molecule away from the box, it has a greater change of being absorbed and passed outward. No one sensible person claims the photons ‘sent back’ warm the surface of the box. They delay cooling.

    Add some insulation to the box (akin to adding a GHG) and leave the power input the same. The temperature of the box will rise because the air pockets next to the inside will have more difficulty getting rid of their heat in an outwards direction. Obviously. That is why two blankets keep you warmer than one. At some point ( a higher box temperature) the system will stabilise.

    You suggest that others claim that ‘back radiation’ heats up the box. Not so. By disproving that lower energy photons cannot increase the temperature of a warmer surface, you declare victory. This is in error. Back radiation is not never the box, it slows cooling. The more back radiation, the slower the cooling, but cool it does. Back radiation impedes the flow of heat out of the box by maintaining a ‘more difficult path’ through the entire layer of (now thicker) insulation.

    The heat can’t get out as easily (as quickly) so the system will become hotter in the box until the heat transfer rate is once again in equlibrium. This is routinely calculated in thermodynamics classes. No one talks about ‘back radiation heating the box’. You are disproving something that does not happen by claiming that adding insulation (CO2) cannot increase the temperature of the box. But the temperature does increase, but not by the means you are discrediting.

    They confuse photon level heat transfer with wollen blankets.

    Note of course that the Earth is not a box with a heater inside it, the CO2 in the atmosphere absorbs incoming and outgoing IR which is very different from a pink fibreglass blanket but the physical principles remain. You may recall that early on there was a notion of a ‘hot spot’ at 8-16 km altitude where heat would be seen accumulating in the (additional) CO2. Monckton showed eloquently that this hotspot does not exist. It is not going to exist either so the claim evolved into ‘it will be hotter on the surface’ which is a pretty basic climb-down. I understand that all GCM’s still show the expected hotspot even though any oven or toaster or house or furnace can show them there is no such thing as a higher temperature part way between a heat source and a heat sink if insulation is added.

    High in the atmosphere there are much higher tempeatures on individual molecules than at the surface, but this is caused by incoming radiation being selectively absorbed, not by those molecules preventing heat escaping from below. Ozone gets very hot if it can get near the incoming beam and is dispersed enough to prevent it transferring its vibrational energy to other molecules nearby. Get lower in the atmosphere and see that is happening. Any GHG can increase the temperature at ground level by decreasing the ability of that ground heat to escape upwards. By how much? Apparently, precious little because as soon as there is additional heat in the system, thermal columns effectively disperse it upwards until gravity overwhelms the phenomenon and the atmosphere again settles into quietude. Further, clouds caus significant cooling so ‘in the absence of an atmosphere’ it is not yet clear what the temperature of the Earth’s surface would be. It would be heated more and insulated less. The diurnal variation would be greater but the average temperature? The answer is elusive because adding water vapour creates reflection and shading and insulation. The horrible truth is, we don’t know.

    We do however know that adding GHG’s warms the surface by reducing heat loss, not by back radiation warming it. Were this not so, wearing a winter coat would serve no (thermodynamic) purpose.

  45. Excellent – I wonder if there is a 2011 update to this. I am sharing it out on my Facebook link – I think it is the best look at this issue that I have seen presented in one place.

  46. Scarface says:

    January 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I keep on wondering about the whole CAGW-theory and greenhouse gases, especially CO2.
    How on earth can we fear a LITTLE trapping of heat by CO2, while burning the hydrocarbons in the first place produces a LOT of heat anyway?

    CO2 dosen’t trap heat. If you look at the solar spectrum you will see the energy reaching the Earths surface is greatly reduced where so called greenhouse gasses block it. Therefor the surface of the earth is colder than it would hacve been! The energy is missing! It is not a surplus.

    If there were back radiation it would be filling in the holes in the spectrum! Seeing is believing!

  47. Hi AusieDan
    2C down 2006-2010, then 2C up in 2011, nothing to do with few molecules of CO2., the CET is all about events in sub-polar area of the North Atlantic.
    Just take a look at the two bottom lines of the MetOffice data:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/cetml1659on.dat

    It is the winter months that were much warmer, and that is welcome by the most of population in the mid and higher latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, burning of fossil fuels for heating was greatly reduced. Only disappointing fact about whole process was that Jun & July were cold and miserable, if they were on the par with 2010, the CET would have broken all records, average annual temperature would be highest ever at ~ 11C.

  48. Watched the whole thing. Good job! Little that is important is left out. I don’t see how any rational human could see this and not come out of it extremely skeptical about the entire CAGW scenario, even if they entered it with substantial biases.

    rgb

  49. AJStrata says:
    January 1, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Great work, and will post on my site.

    But it is a bit incoherent to claim there as been 0.6°C warming since the late 1800′s and then note the UHI studies show a 3rd of the warming measured could be UHI (dropping the warming from 1800 to 0.2°C).

    Report to your 4th grade class. Your promotion has been revoked.

    Arithmetic: 0.6 x 2/3 = 0.4. The 1/3 (0.2) is the UHI postulated, the remainder is 0.4.

  50. I almost didn’t watch this because I feared it would be a case of preaching to the converted (i.e. I know the arguments already). However, there were a couple of points I was glad to be reminded of: sea level rate of rise and glacier rate of loss are not on the increase. Add that to the other well-known facts including a lack of upward trends in hurricanes, droughts or floods and the case for catastrophic man-made global warming is lost, Mr. Gates. Sorry – you’ll have to find another way of being a world-saving hero.

  51. @Kelvin Vaughan: Thanks! That’s another, new way to look at it. You could be right with that. That would mean that adding more CO2 would lead to a lower surface temperature!

    Meanwhile I’ve been doing some searching to find an answer to my own question (stated before):
    1 litre of petrol is the equivalent of 9.7 kWh.
    1 kWh = 3600 kJ of energy
    1 watt= 1 joule/seconde

    When driving a car for 1 hour at 100 kmh that consumes 1 liter on every 15km,
    I would be using 100/15= 6,7 liter.
    6,7*9,7 Kwh = 65kWh

    But then I have no further answer, because I dont know how to calculate the forcing of CO2.

    Gasoline burning 1 liter: 2.3 kg CO2
    6,7*2,3 kg CO2 = 15,4 kg of CO2

    How much forcing does that provide?

    I really hope that someone can solve my problem.
    Because I think the energy released by burning 1 liter of gasoline is SO MUCH MORE than what ever the produced CO2 could ‘produce’ as warming, but I cannot be sure since I cannot make the final calculation.

    Therefore a final call for help: Could someone make the calcultations and share them here???
    Thanks in advance!!!

  52. Further calculations: I hope this is correct. Please react!

    Change in Radiative Forcing Due to Anthropogenic Emissions
    since 1750 (W/m2): +1.66

    CO2 1750: 280 ppm
    CO2 now: 390 ppm
    7.8 Gt CO2 correspond to 1 ppmv CO2
    so that would mean 110*7,8= +858 Gt CO2
    That has led to +1,66 W/m2
    So 858 Gt is equivalent to 1,66W/m2

    But burning 1 liter gasoline produces 65Kwh, with an endresult of 15,4 kg CO2

    1 gigatonne (Gt) =1 000 000 000 000 000 g
    858 000 000 000 000 000 g leads to 1,66 W/m2
    15 400 g leads to (1,66 * 15400 / 858 000 000 000 000 000)=3*10^-14 W/m2
    But the original burning of the gasoline produces 65kWh
    Earth: r = 6365 km
    Surface = 4*π*r^2 = 4*π*6365000^2=5*10^14
    65000*3600/5*10^14 = 4,6*10^-7 W/m2

    So: energy produced: 4,6*10^-7 W/m2
    And: CO2-forcing afterwards: 3*10^-14 W/m2

    So, what’s to worry…. Or am I completely wrong?

  53. Crispin: You cannot understand this issue without reading Professor Claes Johnson’s “Computational Blackbody Radiation” and understanding quantum mechanics, vibrational states in molecules, resonance and near resonance. Any back radiation does not slow down the cooling of the surface at night, nor increase the rate of warming in the morning sunshine. What does that is the rate at which thermal energy rises by convection after being diffused from the surface. Please don’t write about things that have already been covered in my sites and the work of Professors Johnson and Nahle as I don’t have time to reiterate it all here in detail. Fair enough?.

    The surface handles radiation with frequencies above the cut off in a totally different way from that with frequencies below cut off. The cut off frequency is documented on my site.

  54. Crispin and others – Kelvin raises an interesting point regarding the fact that incoming solar radiation actually does include infra-red as well as UV and visible wavelengths. Note the “notches” in the IR part of the yellow shaded area which demonstrate absorption by carbon dioxide and water vapour. http://earth-climate.com/spectral-content.gif

    It can be shown that the amount of radiation emitted by the surface which is absorbed by carbon dioxide has energy only about 13% that of the energy absorbed by carbon dioxide on its way to Earth, half of which is re-emitted back to space and thus has no more effect than radiation reflected by clouds.

    So, if you still believe low energy infra-red radiation warms the surface, then you should believe carbon dioxide’s cooling effect is 7 times that of any warming effect you believe in. I believe in neither, so I don’t make a big point of this issue. But you can’t sit on the fence and only believe in a warming effect.

  55. Scarface says:
    January 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    “But burning 1 liter gasoline produces 65Kwh, with an endresult of 15,4 kg CO2

    Correction, should be:
    Driving 1 hour at 100 kmh at 1l/15km produces 65 Kwh, with an endresult of 15,4 kg CO2.
    ____
    I have calculated that the energy produced is 4,6*10^-7 W/m2 (see earlier comments)
    And that the forcing of the CO2 that’s produced is 3*10^-14 W/m2
    Based on that the AGW scare-theory looks like a complete marginal effect of CO2.

    I would really like to hear if someone could do the calculations.
    Will someone give it a try? Thanks in advance!

  56. I found this video a year ago and liked it so much I imported the powerpoint presentation (pics with words) it comes from and made my own improvements. Asked Warren Meyer if he was ok with my work – but got no reply so I just put it up on my website.

    Click my name then click the top right hand corner ofr the page.

    PS if anyone can video my version (I can’t do videos) that would be nice. Plus there’s room to edit my pictures further, and my text so it’s not as gabbled as Warren’s.

    PPS Anthony I hope you add this to your resources list for newcomers.

  57. http://climate-change-theory.com says:
    January 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm
    “You cannot understand this issue without reading Professor Claes Johnson’s “Computational Blackbody Radiation” and understanding quantum mechanics”

    If you can follow the meanderings of Claes Johnson then congratulations. However, you would then be aware that Claes Johnson does not believe that quantum mechanics has any relevance to this topic. He says he doesn’t understand statistical physics either, so that’s a bit of a problem for thermodynamics. In fact he doesn’t seem to believe in most things except that ‘rationality in physics was abandoned in the beginning of the 20th century’ – just before we made all those rapid scientific advances.

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