“Smoke & Fumes,” Part Deux: Exxon Knew "The entire theory of climatic changes by CO2 variations is questionable."

Guest post by David Middleton

Featured image borrowed from ExxonKnew

In my previous post on this subject, we examined some of the documents which supposedly proved that ExxonMobil and the oil industry in general “had the underlying knowledge of climate change even 60 years ago.”  This is funny for at least two reasons:

  1. Oil companies employ a lot of sedimentary geologists and two of the primary components of sedimentary geology are 1) paleogeography and 2) paleoclimatology.  So the oil industry has “had the underlying knowledge of climate change” for a very long time.
  2. ExxonMobil’s (Humble Oil back then) underlying knowledge of climate change was that “the theory that climatic variations are effected by variations in the CO2 content [was becoming] very questionable.”

One of the most damning documents was the 1968 Robinson Report for the American Petroleum Institute (API).


In 1968, scientists with the Stanford Research Institute reported to the American Petroleum Institute about their research on atmospheric pollutants of interest to the industry. Summarizing the available science, the scientists saved their starkest warnings for carbon dioxide (CO2). They cautioned that rising levels of CO2 would likely result in rising global temperatures and warned that, if temperatures increased significantly, the result could be melting ice caps, rising sea levels, warming oceans, and serious environmental damage on a global scale.

One of the reproduced pages from this damning report referenced Möller (1963) as the source of a 1-7 °F rise in temperature due to a 25% rise in atmospheric CO2…

Moller c

Well, being a scientist, a sedimentary geologist to be more specific, I was curious.  So I looked up Möller (1963) and found the abstract to this seminal publication…

On the influence of changes in the CO2 concentration in air on the radiation balance of the Earth’s surface and on the climate

F. Möller


The numerical value of a temperature change under the influence of a CO2 change as calculated by Plass is valid only for a dry atmosphere. Overlapping of the absorption bands of CO2 and H2O in the range around 15 μ essentially diminishes the temperature changes. New calculations give ΔT = + 1.5° when the CO2 content increases from 300 to 600 ppm. Cloudiness diminishes the radiation effects but not the temperature changes because under cloudy skies larger temperature changes are needed in order to compensate for an equal change in the downward long-wave radiation. The increase in the water vapor content of the atmosphere with rising temperature causes a self-amplification effect which results in almost arbitrary temperature changes, e.g. for constant relative humidity ΔT = +10° in the above mentioned case. It is shown, however, that the changed radiation conditions are not necessarily compensated for by a temperature change. The effect of an increase in CO2 from 300 to 330 ppm can be compensated for completely by a change in the water vapor content of 3 per cent or by a change in the cloudiness of 1 per cent of its value without the occurrence of temperature changes at all. Thus the theory that climatic variations are effected by variations in the CO2 content becomes very questionable.

Journal of Geophysical Research

Thus the theory that climatic variations are effected by variations in the CO2 content becomes very questionable.

This was priceless!!! So I spent $6 to rent the paper for 48 hours.  Here are some highlights:

In this case, we must distinguish between the assumptions that the water vapor content (in cm l.e.) remains unchanged in spite of heating (cooling) of the atmosphere and that it increases (decreases).  Constant absolute humidity means that the relative humidity (f) decreases from 75 to 70.34 per cent with a 1° or lowered by 4.66 per cent per deg.  According to the above-mentioned calculations, an increase in CO2 from 300 to 600 ppm gives us a temperature change ΔT = +1.5° for Δ= -4.66 per cent per deg, and a temperature change ΔT = +9.6° for Δ= 0.


We recognize that for Δ= 0.8 per cent per deg the temperature change becomes infinite.  Very small variations effect a reversal of sign or huge amplifications.

It is not too difficult to infer from these numbers that the variation in the radiation budget from a changed CO2 concentration can be compensated for completely without any variation in the surface temperature when the cloudiness is increased by +0.006 or the water vapor content is decreased by -0.07 cm l.e.


These are variations in the cloudiness by 1 per cent of its value or in the water vapor content by 3 per cent of its value.  No meteorologist or climatologist would dare to determine the mean cloudiness or mean water content of the atmosphere with such accuracy; much less can a change of this order of magnitude be proved or its existence denied.  Because of these values the entire theory of climatic changes by CO2 variations is becoming questionable.

So, way back in 1963, the entire oil industry knew exactly what we know today:

The entire theory of climatic changes by CO2 variations is questionable.

Oddly enough, both water vapor content and relative humidity have declined over recent decades.  If I cross plot relative humidity (RH) at 600 mb against HadCRUT4 I get a Δ= -4.72 percent per degree C.  This yields a climate sensitivity of about 1.4 °C per doubling of CO2 concentration.



Möller, F. (1963), On the influence of changes in the CO2 concentration in air on the radiation balance of the Earth’s surface and on the climate, J. Geophys. Res., 68(13), 3877–3886, doi:10.1029/JZ068i013p03877.



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Bloke down the pub
April 18, 2016 12:48 pm

Moller sounds like a smart sort of person.

Reply to  Bloke down the pub
April 18, 2016 6:15 pm

Stopped clock, right twice a day even?

Mike M the original
Reply to  _Jim
April 19, 2016 6:45 am

No, correct 24/7 …
“The effect of an increase in CO2 from 300 to 330 ppm can be compensated for completely by a change in the water vapor content of 3 per cent or by a change in the cloudiness of 1 per cent of its value without the occurrence of temperature changes at all.”

Reply to  _Jim
April 19, 2016 10:42 am

False analogy, Jim.

Reply to  _Jim
April 19, 2016 10:51 am

Yes, a false analogy. And as usual, every alarming prediction has failed to come true.
In any other branch of the hard sciences, even one failed prediction would be sufficient to falsify the conjecture (CO2=cAGW).
But in Climate Science™, even after every scary prediction fails, the eco-lemmings continue to Believe.

April 18, 2016 12:52 pm

The CO2 Climate Control Knob is a one trick pony, tethered to a rock as sacrifice while the gods of nature rampage around in furious hunger.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  kim
April 18, 2016 1:46 pm

Maybe they should just have a snickers bar.

Luther Bl't
Reply to  kim
April 18, 2016 2:16 pm

I like it: Andromeda as Pegasus. Ergo, Perseus will be flying in for the rescue on Andromeda’s back? or Andromeda on Perseus’ back? Perhaps they take turns…? Or would that be illegal (in some states)? Enquiring minds would like to know how it will all end.

Reply to  Luther Bl't
April 18, 2016 7:08 pm

The Mobile ‘horse’ (originally on a building in downtown Dallas as shown in the videp below) was reworked a few years back –
“Three years ago, the original Pegasus was found tucked in a shed near White Rock Lake. After a massive restoration project, the flying red horse has a new home in front of the Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas. ”

Mike M the original
Reply to  Luther Bl't
April 19, 2016 7:08 am

Sinclair’s dinosaur always made more sense to me. http://thumbs4.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mG1a6XxxQvmc13nAAxkKzxw.jpg

Reply to  Luther Bl't
April 19, 2016 4:34 pm

I bought a Sinclair’s dinosaur hot molded for me at the New York World’s Fair back in the sixties.

April 18, 2016 12:54 pm

Funny how the “Climate Scientists” studiously ignore information that has been available for years. Moreover, they attempt to bend the papers to meet their theory. Disgusting in the extreme, I’m getting to where it is almost impossible to watch any “news” organization on either TV or the Internet.
I’m delighted to have Anthony’s blog to keep me relatively sane!

Reply to  David Middleton
April 18, 2016 5:08 pm

David, I always get a charge out of all of those who ignore the perennial evidence presented by the sedimentary record. Every crossbed, climbing ripple, coal seam, ichnofossil, on and on, is a record of the climate’s fluctuations. Every bounding surface, is a record of stability. The layers are episodes……of change. The hack list above are the biggest offenders…choosing to rail on about minute statistical changes, while things like the cyclical changes from aeolian to ephemeral fluvial to perennial fluvial beds in the Jurassic Kayenta Formation scream to be heard. And that’s just the example I know a lot about!
Saints preserve us from this bizarre witchhunt which mangles the scientific method, employing modern-day jargon to “expose” big oil back in a time when none of that jargon existed. Facepalm.

David A
Reply to  David Middleton
April 19, 2016 5:05 am

David, yes, the climate-gate emails give more basis for RICO then anything the alarmists construe.

Reply to  wsbriggs
April 18, 2016 5:09 pm

What do Scientology and the doomsday cult of Global Warming have in common? Both are crackpot religions based on science fiction.
L. Ron Hubbard infamously said “If you want to control people, lie to them.”

Reply to  AndyJ
April 18, 2016 6:45 pm

…and most likely why scores of politicians have embraced the Climate Change cult ideology. Lying and deception is second nature.

George Tetley
Reply to  AndyJ
April 18, 2016 11:46 pm

In 75 years I have observed that humans gather in “type” ever notice how policemen all over the world are of a “type” ? politicians ? athletics? ambulance chasers ? lairs ? seems like the climate lobby has found a “type” crossbreeding with the lairs, ops, excuse me politicians.

Michael J. Dunn
Reply to  AndyJ
April 19, 2016 12:32 pm

Lying to others is mendacity. Lying to oneself is insanity.

John Young
Reply to  AndyJ
April 19, 2016 7:35 pm

ElRon famously told some writing “peers” at an SF convention in the’50’s that he could create his own religion..a few beers later, he took some bets …and won! Hence “Scientology”

Mary Catherine
Reply to  wsbriggs
April 19, 2016 10:14 am


Tom Halla
April 18, 2016 1:02 pm

It is nice to see that Lindzen is nowhere near alone in estimating the feedback loop between warming and water vapor, and that the principle was apparent to Moller in the early 1960’s.

April 18, 2016 1:13 pm

Funny how the “Climate Scientists” studiously ignore information that has been available for years.
With this old is new evidence surely it is a case of nothing to see here. Of course to the warmist this is totally manufactured and of no consequence. merely a blip in their endless search for a new Orwellian world order.

April 18, 2016 1:14 pm

I’ve always thought that It is a kind of backhanded complement, that the Green Blob assume that Exxon’s scientists were so good back in the day that they could do with mere pen and paper, what it has taken massive funding,whole armies of scientists and super computers galore to achieve today !

Reply to  Sparky
April 18, 2016 3:08 pm

Plus many. The Oreskes of the warmunist world are apparently incapable of grokking the ironies and contradictions they create.

Reply to  Sparky
April 18, 2016 3:18 pm


Reply to  Sparky
April 18, 2016 3:48 pm

Excellent point!

Reply to  Sparky
April 18, 2016 6:47 pm

Computers do many things much faster and not necessarily any better.

Reply to  PiperPaul
April 18, 2016 10:19 pm

Human designed and built computers produce data that must be translated by humans into “meaningful” reports, only after being “loaded” with software written by humans and fed human interpreted/translated data gathered by various equipment (in some cases other computers) designed and built by humans. I do not understand why any human would question such results. I mean, what could go wrong?

phil cartier
Reply to  PiperPaul
April 19, 2016 7:45 am

People mess up all the time, but if you want a really monumental mess have them program a computer.

Reply to  Sparky
April 19, 2016 5:51 am

I agree with Sparky. I was greatly amused when Bill McKibben claimed that Exxon knew all about climate change 30 years before the climate scientists caught up. I wondered then if he realised the full import of what he was saying.

Reply to  graphicconception
April 19, 2016 11:08 am

Hmmm … A ‘jump the shark’ moment for ol Bill McKibben …

Reply to  Roy
April 18, 2016 4:54 pm

Great essay. Thanks for the link.

Reply to  Paul
April 18, 2016 8:07 pm

The link should be a very worthwhile read for anyone who views WUWT. Here’s a sample from the conclusion:

If science was unprepared for the influx of careerists, it was even less prepared for the blossoming of the Cult of Science. The Cult is related to the phenomenon described as “scientism”; both have a tendency to treat the body of scientific knowledge as a holy book or an a-religious revelation that offers simple and decisive resolutions to deep questions. … Some of the Cult’s leaders like to play dress-up as scientists—Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson are two particularly prominent examples—but hardly any of them have contributed any research results of note. Rather, Cult leadership trends heavily in the direction of educators, popularizers, and journalists.

Perhaps Anthony might be able to work out a way to get the whole article posted here?

Reply to  Paul
April 19, 2016 1:14 am

Seems familiar.

What they do not mention is that once an entire field has been created—with careers, funding, appointments, and prestige all premised upon an experimental result which was utterly false due either to fraud or to plain bad luck—pointing this fact out is not likely to be very popular. Peer review switches from merely useless to actively harmful. It may be ineffective at keeping papers with analytic or methodological flaws from being published, but it can be deadly effective at suppressing criticism of a dominant research paradigm. Even if a critic is able to get his work published, pointing out that the house you’ve built together is situated over a chasm will not endear him to his colleagues or, more importantly, to his mentors and patrons.

April 18, 2016 1:18 pm

I assume the priest in the picture is referring to the AG conspiracy and is defending Mobile. /sarc

Steve Fraser
Reply to  GTL
April 18, 2016 4:36 pm

Not a priest. United church of Christ (Protestant).

Eugene WR Gallun
April 18, 2016 1:18 pm

Just some grubby lawyers who think they can get paid off.
Eugene WR Gallun

April 18, 2016 1:19 pm

In 1906 Arrhenius “KNEW” the same thing (he changed his earliest calculations after years of research) and stated- “In a similar way, I calculate that a reduction in the amount of CO2 by half, or a gain to
twice the amount, would cause a temperature change of –1.5 degrees C, or + 1.6 degrees C, respectively.”
And Moller in 1963, and subsequently “Exxon”, knew that the sensitivity of the atmosphere to a DOUBLING of CO2 (from 300-400) = 1.5C.
It only took 57 years for Moller to “catch up with Arrhenius”, and then it only took another 53 YEARS of arguing, denial, and obfuscation for the “climate science experts” to reach a CONSENSUS that agrees with Moller themselves!!! Bravo! (57 and 53….is it possible there is a “stubborn trend/cycle”???)

michael hart
Reply to  Aphan
April 18, 2016 4:08 pm

Remember, in Paris the ‘negotiators’ waved their arbitrary-decision wand and decided that 1.5C, and not 2.0C, was the new, altered, line in the sand.
To quote a famous Dark Lord of the Sith, they might also have added “Pray that I do not alter it again.”

The Original Mike M
Reply to  Aphan
April 20, 2016 12:47 pm

Correction: “then it only took another 53 YEARS of arguing, denial, and obfuscation – PLUS TENS OF BILLIONS OF WASTED TAX DOLLARS – for the “climate science experts” to reach a CONSENSUS that agrees with Moller themselves!”

April 18, 2016 1:19 pm

David, a lovely find, and well written. Many thanks for highlighting it.

Joe Zeise
April 18, 2016 1:22 pm

So it looks like back in 1963 they knew what the IPCC claims to know about clouds in AR4, absolutely nothing Conclusion on cloud feedbacks
Despite some advances in the understanding of the physical processes that control the cloud response to climate change and in the evaluation of some components of cloud feedbacks in current models, it is not yet possible to assess which of the model estimates of cloud feedback is the most reliable. However, progress has been made in the identification of the cloud types, the dynamical regimes and the regions of the globe responsible for the large spread of cloud feedback estimates among current models. This is likely to foster more specific observational analyses and model evaluations that will improve future assessments of climate change cloud feedbacks.

April 18, 2016 1:22 pm

Unless they are allowed to cherry pick only the quotes they want from Exxon research, how will they make the case that Exxon knew anything for sure about climate change, let alone conspired to suppress such knowledge? My guess is they don’t really want to go to trial but are hoping to guilt Exxon into a big settlement, followed by similar settlements from other fossil-fuel producers. Liberals may claim to want a fair distribution of wealth, but what they consider to be fair is for wealth to be redistributed from your pocket into theirs.

Eugene WR Gallun
April 18, 2016 1:28 pm

The picture with the guy holding up the sign with the biblical quote — “What you have said in the dark will be heard in the light”. So they are referring to “climategate”?
Eugene WR Gallun

Reply to  Eugene WR Gallun
April 18, 2016 1:46 pm

Or the AG’s “secret” meeting with activists???

April 18, 2016 1:29 pm

Your crossplot of water vapor is interesting for several reasons. It is close to Garth Paltridge’s 2009 estimate. It matches what NOAA15 found (john, JGR, 2011). It is explainable by convective cell processes (tropical Tstorms, explained by Eschenbach here and also by Lindzen’s Adaptive infrared iris paper in BAMS 2000). And your sensitivity calculation at 1.4C is close to what Lewis got — 1.5C– by reworking Lewis and Curry 2014 (ECS 1.7-1.8 using IPCC AR5) for the newer lower Stevens aerosol estimates. A lot of directional confirmation. Nice post.

Reply to  David Middleton
April 18, 2016 2:00 pm

Enjoyed rereading your consilience post. Good then, even better now.

Gunga Din
April 18, 2016 1:33 pm

(Mods, if you think this comment will sends things off topic, feel free to delete.)
It is funny in a sad way but what stirs up some anger in me is the picture. Someone who is supposed to be speaking for God and Christ is speaking for Mother Earth instead….and he’s even got what he says “for her” wrong!

Charles Taylor
April 18, 2016 1:37 pm

The unknown then was cloudiness and still, 50 years on, and the unknown is cloudiness. What a waste of money on this tripe. As a scientist, I’m embarrassed by this global warming crowd.

Reply to  Charles Taylor
April 18, 2016 2:19 pm

CT, clouds are one of two big uncertainties. Very complicated because depends on cloud type (cirrus warms), cloud altitude, optical thickness, entrained precipitation. The other, highlighted here, is water vapor feedback. Essays Humidity is still Wet and Cloudly Clouds cover both from AR4/AR5 perspectives. Solid observational data and simple Bode net feedback models suggest that clouds are zero to slight negative feedback, not positive feedback as warmunists presume and GCMs compute. And water vapor feedback is probably net positive, but maybe half of what GCMs say. Put both together into the simple Bode model Lindzen preferred (or equivalently Monktons ‘irreducibly simple model’ when further reduced and simplified–a technical post over at Judith’s at the time) and out pops an ECS from 1.5 to 1.8, just as the observational energy budget studies estimate.

Reply to  ristvan
April 18, 2016 2:42 pm

On one hand, the models assume that more CO2 means more water vapor and that more water vapor will result in more precipitation.
On the other hand the models also assume that this increase in precipitation does not result in an increase in cloudiness nor that the increased evaporation needed to support the increased precipitation will not result in an increase in energy flow as warm humid air is carried high into the atmosphere to condense and release it’s heat rather close to space.

Reply to  ristvan
April 18, 2016 3:14 pm

MW, exactly. The models fail to replicate all the feedbacks. Warming means more evaporation and convection, but that also releases more heat at altitude, which cools. And more precipitation (consequence of the heat release upon condensation) lowers upper tropsphere humidity, where it matters most. Strong homeostasis.

Reply to  ristvan
April 18, 2016 3:51 pm

So when a cooling trend follows a warm trend, then there would be increased rainfall/weather patterns as the heat is shunted upward to be released. The ocean surface would then steadily give up its plus anomaly, and move towards negative temperatures. Surface winds moving inland from the oceans would then be cooler, and that is what we would feel especially as winter approaches. The oceans are certainly shifting towards a cool phase. The North and South Atlantic are both showing a lot of blue anomalies, along with the changes in the ENSO regions.

Michael J. Dunn
Reply to  ristvan
April 19, 2016 12:49 pm

*sigh* After some simple math, it turns out that the equilibrium radiant temperature of the Earth’s surface is directly proportional to the fourth root of the ratio of absorption coefficient to emission coefficient (taking spectral dependency into account). I have read that we know Earth’s albedo (at any given time) to at best a 10% error. For a mean environmental temperature of about 300 K, this implies a variation of about 7 K (13 F). In other words, natural effects create variational “noise” that completely swamps the concern raised about “global warming.”
The same sensitivity applies to the solar “constant,” though we know it to better precision.

April 18, 2016 1:41 pm

The nuclear industry also has an interest in demonising CO2. Margaret Thatcher did so on behalf of GE in 1989. She also wanted to crush the National Union of Mineworkers (the enemy within) such that to this day those coal mining communities are destitute without work. But the General Electric nuclear power stations were too expensive for Britain so they continued to import coal and, this of course, has a larger pollution footprint than if they’d continued to use higher quality coal from Yorkshire.

Reply to  dblackal
April 18, 2016 2:43 pm

It was the miner’s unions that decimated the coal industry.

john harmsworth
Reply to  MarkW
April 18, 2016 3:37 pm

They were happy to see Britain freeze in the dark to preserve their power. To hell with arthur scargill and three cheers for Maggie!

Patrick MJD
Reply to  MarkW
April 18, 2016 5:23 pm

I remember the rolling power blackouts in the 70’s in the UK which had nothing to do with supply of coal. And then the 3 day week which was partly due to the, reduced, supply of coal for power generation. Strikes galore. Teachers, nurses, police, firemen (I remember the Army and their Green Goddesses), miners, car makers, refuse collectors etc etc…and then the winter of discontent. All largely due to “industrial action”.

April 18, 2016 1:45 pm

“ΔT = + 1.5° when the CO2 content increases from 300 to 600 ppm. ”
Since 1880, CO2 has increased approximately 120ppm (from 280-400)
Since 1880, the global mean temperature has increased approximately 0.8C
Pretty much right on the money there Moller….even 50 years before it happened!! And didn’t the Robinson Report call his model “simple” and state that he likely “overestimated” the effect of CO2 on temps? So…who qualifies as the “expert” in that case?
And we know the effect of CO2 on temps is roughly logarithmic. And we know that such calculations are made by “scientists” using “dry air”, rather than including that pesky and variable water vapor that totally wrecks nice, neat, calculations with regards to increases in CO2 and increases in temps.
So…a “doubling” from 300-600= 1.5C increase. That means that it will take another doubling…from 600-1200 to cause ANOTHER 1.5C increase in temps. (Well, unless of course we include the perfectly natural and uncontrollable water vapor or cloud cover changes, in which case SMALL changes in those can “compensate” for any expected rise in temps…say like over the past “pause” period???)

Reply to  David Middleton
April 18, 2016 2:45 pm

It also assumes that all of the warming since 1880 is actually warming, and not a figment of incomplete to inadequate record keeping.

Reply to  David Middleton
April 18, 2016 11:17 pm

And this assumes that CO2 has driven all of the warming since 1880.
YES, David… exactly.

Reply to  Aphan
April 18, 2016 5:13 pm

That’s a very tempting calculation, but it isn’t very meaningful in an inherently nonlinear and chaotic system (see AR4 Annex 1, “Predictability”, eg.).

Tom in Texas
Reply to  Aphan
April 19, 2016 8:02 am

For those who need to know.

April 18, 2016 2:04 pm

CO2 warming of the atmosphere is STILL an unproven hypothesis.
There was nothing for EXXON to know, just an unfounded assumption/idea.

Reply to  AndyG55
April 18, 2016 2:26 pm

There is a slightly more complicated way to express your thought that is more nearly unassailable by warmunists. And since the debate is political, unassailable has valuable virtues. Sound bite:
“Yes, CO2 is a GHG. But whether or by how much it might warm the atmosphere is uncertain for two reasons: 1 feedbacks and 2 natural variation.”

Reply to  ristvan
April 18, 2016 4:04 pm

The last two paragraphs are key pieces to the story. I would think that Moller clearly thinks that there are other stronger drivers in nature that can readily moderate the CO2 warming effect.

Reply to  ristvan
April 18, 2016 5:59 pm

What CO2 warming effect ?

Reply to  David Middleton
April 18, 2016 6:00 pm

Ok, Its unproven that its anything other than ZERO.

Reply to  AndyG55
April 18, 2016 6:30 pm

“CO2 warming of the atmosphere is STILL an unproven hypothesis.”
Oops; do you know how a dipole works? Now, how about the various elements in a Yagi-Uda antenna, or a mirror even?
Study up on EM theory and get back with us …

Reply to  _Jim
April 18, 2016 8:17 pm

““CO2 warming of the atmosphere is STILL an unproven hypothesis.”
That is a totally correct statement.
I do in fact know how a dipole (antenna I presume you meant), a Yagi-Uda antenna and a mirror works.
I have graduate level degrees in both electromagnetic field theory (Georgia Tech) and optical theory (Univ of Roch). And almost 4 decades of practical experience with both.
Nothing about the “Radiative Greenhouse Effect” HYPOTHESIS has any thing in common with any antenna design or any mirror design.
Do you know what the transient response of an optical integrating sphere is ? It is formulated in a specific equation.
It does indeed have very much in common with the “Radiative Greenhouse Effect” HYPOTHESIS, it is almost an exactly equivalent system.
It predicts that “back radiation” towards a passive source of thermal energy (like a rock heated by sunlight from an active source of thermal energy like the Sun) merely delays for a few tens of milliseconds the flow of energy through the Sun/Atmosphere/Earth/Universe System.
The “Radiative Greenhouse Effect” HYPOTHESIS does not have any effect on the “average” temperature anywhere on Earth.
Get back to us when you find the appropriate equation, thanks.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  _Jim
April 18, 2016 8:38 pm

-Jim had just about driven a lady friend to go all log periodic and lower the boom (fold his dipole for him,) but your response brought out her passive element.

Reply to  _Jim
April 18, 2016 9:47 pm

Alan Robertson says: April 18, 2016 at 8:38 pm

Groan … reminds me of a salacious lecture given by one of my profs about knee voltages and breakover potentials as an analog for the behaviour of young ladies. After almost fifty years it’s kind of a dim memory, which is probably just as well. 😉

Reply to  _Jim
April 19, 2016 5:18 am

You obviously know about this stuff, so perhaps you can clarify something for me. I have read loads and loads of places that the Earth would be much colder without the Greenhouse Effect. This is apparenltly a fairly straightforward calculation based on incoming radiation and black (or grey) body radiation out. You are saying, as I understand it, that this is wrong and the temperature of the Earth has nothing to do with the greenhouse effect. Is this your position and can you explain why this is so widely claimed if it is wrong? What mistake are they making? Or have I misunderstood your position?

Reply to  _Jim
April 19, 2016 11:28 am

“Nothing about the “Radiative Greenhouse Effect” HYPOTHESIS has any thing in common with any antenna design or any mirror design.”
KevinK. put your thinking cap and on and think about the ‘energy in transit’ in these devices; any parasitic action, any reflection and you have delayed ‘energy transit’ (radiation) out of the system and into ‘space’. THIS is the very essence of the so-called Greenhouse Effect.
You have, by your reply, completely missed this aspect. Nor have you studied molecular EM action I’ll bet, which works VERY much (if not identically in a first order approximation) like a dipole antenna (which acts, after all, by the ‘oscillatory’ movement of charges).
Get back with us when you’ve reviewed the various modes the dipole atomic structures of CO2 and H2O van assume under vibratory (excited) conditions. You’ll get a better idea why these molecules exhibit various spectral ‘windows’ of absorption and radiation as well.
While you’ve been perhaps ‘trained’, you’ve not exactly exhibited ‘an education’.

Reply to  _Jim
April 19, 2016 11:41 am

seaice1 – KevenK, I think, may have been speaking beyond his understanding and/or education on this subject. He might also be a proponent of those alternate theories embraced by the skydragon slayers.
The action of GHGs in the atmosphere acts to reduce the ‘transit time’ of energy in said atmosphere, thereby raising the energy level of same. Some refer to this raised level of energy by an easy to measure parameter called ‘temperature’.
Temperature is, if you recall, a measure of the magnitude of molecule vibration or motion in a gas, liquid or solid.

Michael J. Dunn
Reply to  _Jim
April 19, 2016 1:12 pm

If back radiation is bunk, then we have the problem of disparity between the surface temperatures of the Earth and the Moon.
But it isn’t bunk, though it may be misunderstood. Think of the atmosphere as being of essentially no thickness (which, on a geophysical level, it is) and having no thermal mass of significance. Its temperature is determined by Earth’s surface temperature and isentropic relationships. It functions in part as a reflective scatterer of incoming radiation (clouds, albedo) and a beamsplitter of outgoing infrared radiation.
Given constant insolation, the radiative physics solution of Earth’s effective surface temperature is that it is proportional to the fourth root of the ratio of the effective absorption coefficient to the effective emission coefficient. If the former is sufficiently small, we would have a lower temperature. If the latter is sufficiently small (“greenhouse effect”), we would have a higher temperature. “Greenhouse gases” have the effect of being “optically thick,” which means they scatter photons in all directions, half going “up” and half going “down.” It works.
Now, I read an interesting analysis of this recently by Dr. Howard Hayden (www.energyadvocate.com) in which he explained that the CO2 peak actually leads to a kind of absorptive saturation, which makes it less effective as a radiation blocker…but that the scattered radiation moves into the “sides” of the emission peak, which facilitates the outflow. I apologize if this is a muddled account; please refer to his exposition. The point being: this is a real physical effect, but there are implications that must be accounted for.
Don’t doubt the existence of backscatter. Ever notice the night sky over a city when there is dense, low cloud cover? It is brighter than a cloudless sky. This effect is driving astronomical observatories farther from urban centers. Same thing is true in the infrared part of the spectrum, which goes on all the time (we just don’t see it).

Reply to  _Jim
April 20, 2016 7:28 am

_Jim and Michael J Dunn. Thank you for your responses. Several people seem to claim that greenhouse effect is not possible (for various reasons), but none seem to back up the assertion.

April 18, 2016 2:14 pm

..O.T. ….
Fox News is the only Main Street Media that is reporting the truth about the Climate Change Lies and Deceptions !

April 18, 2016 2:18 pm

So, way back in 1963, the entire oil industry knew exactly what we know today:
The entire theory of climatic changes by CO2 variations is questionable.
Oddly enough, both water vapor content and relative humidity have declined over recent decades. If I cross plot relative humidity (RH) at 600 mb against HadCRUT4 I get a Δf = -4.72 percent per degree C. This yields a climate sensitivity of about 1.4 °C per doubling of CO2 concentration.
Möller, F. (1963), On the influence of changes in the CO2 concentration in air on the radiation balance of the Earth’s surface and on the climate, J. Geophys. Res., 68(13), 3877–3886, doi:10.1029/JZ068i013p03877.

The presumption of the alarmists (including those malfeasant in government office) is that the various companies comprising “the entire oil industry” had a longstanding history of perpetrating suppressio veri, suggestio falsi in their public statements minimizing anthropogenic CO2 as a significant driver of global climate change when in fact those corporate entities were simply testing catastrophist claims by sound scientific method half a century ago and finding those claims without substance or support.
This, of course, the alarmists have never done, and they’re so far down the throat of their fraud that this they cannot do today.

April 18, 2016 2:28 pm

Good find!

April 18, 2016 2:55 pm

Thanks, David. I wonder whether that was one of the consensus papers????

old construction worker
April 18, 2016 3:48 pm

I’m in the process of composing a letter to Michael J Bosikin C/O ExxonMobil’s board of directors Showing my support in their fight against the coalition of state AGs and the various NGOs like the Rockefeller Foundation. One letter may not do much but a hundred letters would a make a statement, a thousand letters would signal a movement against being silenced.
Michael J Boskin, Director C/O of Board of Directors 5759 Las Colinas Blvd Irving Texas 75039-2298.
I challenge you to send ExxonMobil letter of support. ,

Steve Fraser
Reply to  David Middleton
April 18, 2016 4:51 pm

Then write a note to YOUR guy.

April 18, 2016 3:55 pm

As a reviewer, if you are critically evaluating a paper, it is important to fact check references if you are unfamiliar with them. It is surprising how often people misquote references, at times completely reversing a conclusion or observation made by the referenced author. I suspect that sometimes this is just an honest mistake, but I have discovered instances where it was clearly fraud through checking other papers by the subject author which revealed similar ‘discrepancies’. Yes, there is dishonesty in science, but if a reviewer doesn’t catch it prior to publication, the damage often goes undetected.

Steamboat McGoo
April 18, 2016 3:59 pm

David Middleton – I love slam-dunks! I would be delighted to refund that $6 ‘pub’ rental fee you had to spend – several times over, actually. Do you have a tip jar somewhere?

Reply to  David Middleton
April 18, 2016 8:33 pm

here’s a tip. how to get past the paywall:

April 18, 2016 4:19 pm

The numerical value of a temperature change under the influence of a CO2 change as calculated by Plass is valid only for a dry atmosphere. Overlapping of the absorption bands of CO2 and H2O in the range around 15 μ essentially diminishes the temperature changes.

Have I not said that nth^1,000 times? CO2’s impact on the lower atmosphere is immeasurable. The dry deserts and Antarctica offer the best control for CO2 driven warming.comment image?w=700

April 18, 2016 4:22 pm

Thus the theory that climatic variations are effected by variations in the CO2 content becomes very questionable.
Journal of Geophysical Research

Clearly the Journal of Geophysical Research and Moller are “deniers,” and should face the wrath of the Climate McCarthyites.

David L. Hagen
April 18, 2016 4:24 pm

James Hansen Knew – and Predicted Global Cooling
In 1971, Hansen was part of the global cooling consensus

Jul 9, 1971
The world could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disasterous new ice age a leading atmospheric scientist predicts. . . .
They also had available a computer program developed by Dr.James Hansen there to study the optical properties of the clouds of Venus. They applied the same program to make what Rasool called the first sophisticated calculations of fuel dust’s sunlight-scattering properties.
They found no need to worry about the carbon dioxide fuel-burning puts in the atmosphere. The fuel particles they do worry about are sulphates, nitrates and hydrocarbns, with the largest single source sulfur dioxide converted to sulfates.

Bill Illis
April 18, 2016 4:33 pm

I’ve re-written the feedback calculation according to what can be determined now and I have moved the warming rate scenario to the “surface” rather than the “tropopause.”
I’m using the data-to-date which indicates that water vapor increases by about 4.5% per 1.0C (rather than the global warming theory which estimates it at 7.0% per 1,0C – the data just does not show this type of increase so far) and I’ve got cloud feedback at Zero (rather than the global warming theory which has it at +0.7 W/m2 per 1.0C increase – there is just no evidence that cloud albedo is falling – the best estimate right now is that it is Zero – if it were the big positive feedback used by the theory, there is no way the cold ice ages could have happened because the Earth would have clouded up so much that it would have been far, far colder that it was).
And I’ve moved the calculations to the “surface” (which does away from the lapse rate feedback because the troposphere is not warming as fast as the surface apparently – the lapse rate feedback is a very big negative one – nothing like the small negative one used in the global warming theory – it is so big in fact, that we have to move all the calculations to the surface instead of the troposphere as is used as the initial warming spot to be concerned about in the theory – the troposphere “hotspot” is NOT there – the hotspot is at the mid-latitudes and northern high latitudes (and not the southern high high latitudes)).
So for the surface, if we have forcing from CO2 of 5.35 ln(400ppm/280ppm) and another 0.3 W/m2 from the other greenhouse gases like methane, N20 and CFCs, we should have seen an increase in temperature from these GHGs alone of 0.41C.
Feedbacks from water vapor should have increased that by another 0.16C (including the feedback on feedback effect).
All together, what we have seen so far in terms of the calculated GHG forcing and the water vapor feedback at 4.5% per 1.0C should have produced a temperature increase of 0.57C so far. (taking into account how they have mucked around with the actual surface temperature record, the 0.57C seems to be a very good approximation).
With doubled CO2 (and 0,5 W/m2 from the other GHGs), we should see a temperature rise of only 1.1C at the surface according to this calculation model.
[global warming theory is really based on taking every assumption to the maximum impact. They are all carefully tuned to produce 3.0C per doubling. The scientists know they would be out of a job if they came back now and said “using the accurate feedbacks rather than the max ones which we used to do, there is only 1.1C of warming from doubled CO2 – and yes we mucked around the temperature record to keep us on track.]

Reply to  Bill Illis
April 18, 2016 4:49 pm

BE, my own ‘road to Rome’ was different, and landed in a slightly different place. But classed by the great divide ‘worry, mitigate’ vs. ‘no worry, adapt when/if’ looks like we landed in the same result..

Reply to  David Middleton
April 18, 2016 5:29 pm

DM, yup. And reality is closer to RCP4.5 than 6.0. RCP 8.5 is beyond impossible.

April 18, 2016 5:23 pm

In the present atmosphere water is about 15 times stronger GH gas than CO2. The figure below illustrates this. Water is the key element in the GH phenomenon – not CO2.comment image

April 18, 2016 5:36 pm

Another illustration about the effects of clouds in the GH phenomenon.comment image
So almost everything is depending on water:
1) The portion of water in the GH phenomenon is 82 %, CO2 11%,
2) The global temperature depends 70 % on the oceans.
3) The cloudeness changes could compensate the small changes of CO2 warming.

Patrick MJD
April 18, 2016 5:38 pm

So, the guy in the image quotes from a book of fiction about what Exxon did or did not know about climate in the 60’s?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Patrick MJD
April 18, 2016 6:11 pm

The gospel as written in the book of Cyril.

April 18, 2016 6:22 pm

Hmmm … in the category of Anachronistic Fallacy; They did not ‘know’/could not have known (with an degree of certitude) it at the time they are accused or ‘supposed’ to have known “it”.

April 18, 2016 6:34 pm

Wow, this accusation is like a disease. Suncor is inoculating themselves:

April 18, 2016 8:24 pm

Well… in the engineering world phrases like;
“The entire theory of ……..is questionable”
Equate to; “don’t plan on using that to accomplish anything useful anytime soon”
Oh, and also: “don’t bet your retirement money on that crazy scheme”
So the smart folks at Exxon made the smart play, surely they must be punished for wisdom among fools…
They must be made to suffer for their wisdom so they don’t repeat it and continue providing any useful products for the world…
Cheers, KevinK

April 18, 2016 8:35 pm

I hope the author or WUWT has contacted EXXON/MOBILE with this information. The level of dishonesty from the political left is astounding. The truth and justice mean nothing to them. They have a misguided agenda and nothing will stop them from forcing it upon society. The left wing doesn’t produce any goods and services, they rely on looting/suing/rent seeking other industries to survive.

Frederick Colbourne
Reply to  co2islife
April 18, 2016 9:57 pm

I tried to send the following message using Exxon’s online ĉontact form, but when I cliĉked “send” nothing happened.
I have been following the attempts by a group of AGs to harass Exxon with RICO investigations and find this a disturbing indication of ignorance of American economic history and the contribution of the petroleum industry to modern civilization. That and political opportunism.
Let us hope that the courts quash the extant subpoenas and that Exxon does not have to defend itself from RICO charges.
I trust Exxon is planning for the worst scenario.
I am therefore following up a suggestion to make available to Exxon’s legal team two documents cited at this URL.
The more important peer-reviewed paper is available on Wiley’s web site.
MÖLLER, Fritz. On the influence of changes in the CO2 concentration in air on the radiation balance of the earth’s surface and on the climate. Journal of Geophysical Research, 1963, 68.13: 3877-3886.

Reply to  Frederick Colbourne
April 18, 2016 11:45 pm

I sent the following email to Exxon:
“I just wanted to say that I fully support your current legal challenge in the courts against the government investigation, of which I have read
You are probably aware already but there is a very fine article on the website Whats Up With That (“Exxon Strikes Back Against the Climate Witch Hunt”) which is showing much support in the comments for your action.”

I had a reply from “End Consumer & Customer Care Assistant
Customer Service, Fuels & Lubricants, EAME” saying they appreciated my comment.

old construction worker
Reply to  Frederick Colbourne
April 19, 2016 2:22 am

I used Snail Mail. Sent them a letter of support last night.

April 18, 2016 9:54 pm

Warmists are claiming that it took academia several human generations and hundreds of billions in funding to catch up to what energy companies like ESSO (not Exxon) had discovered by the mid-1950s?
Even more astounding is that the “fact” that the geniuses at ESSO supposedly discovered Climate Change without the benefit of digital computers, let alone climate models.
Also, if the scientists at ESSO were that much more advanced than the rest of the world back then, what else must they have discovered in the mean time? They probably have the secrets of immortality and time machines by now!!

Reply to  LarryFine
April 18, 2016 10:06 pm

They probably have the secrets of immortality and time machines by now!!
No. But they still have the 100 mpg carburetor off of a 1976 Cadillac that they accidentally put on a production unit and had to steal back from my friend’s Dad’s friend’s uncle..

April 18, 2016 10:20 pm

From the Robinson Report:

… if the relative humidity were to remain constant …

That is highly unlikely. Here’s a link to a graph showing the relationship between water content, relative humidity, and temperature. Here’s a link showing the relationship between the heat of evaporation and temperature for water.
Note that if we go from 15 deg. to 25 deg. C (288 – 298 K) the mass of water in the air doubles. For that temperature difference, the heat of evaporation is roughly constant. That means that the energy required to keep a constant 100% relative humidity doubles when we go from 15 to 25 deg. C.
As far as I can tell, given that I am not a meteorologist, Robinson didn’t adequately question the constant relative humidity assumption. Am I missing anything?

Reply to  commieBob
April 19, 2016 1:13 am

Here is the graphs of relative humidity measurements since 1948:comment image
It is very obvious that the RH has not been stable and thus the IPCC’s assumption of the constant RH is not correct. Why IPCC do not accept this fact? There must be a very good reason. The obvious reason is that the assumption of the constant RH duplicates the temperature effects of GH gases. A funny thing is that indirectly IPCC admits that water is about 15 times stronger than CO2. IPCC reported that the global temperature increased 0.76 C from 1750 to 2005 and 50 % of this was caused by water. I have calculated by the means of the spectral analysis that the increase of water content from 2.6 prcm (precipitated water in centimeters) to 2.66 prcm causes the temperature increase of 0.38 C. So the water content increase by 2.3 % has the same warming effects as the CO2 increase of 35 % (from 280 ppm to 379 ppm).

April 18, 2016 11:53 pm
Nigel S
Reply to  Wagen
April 19, 2016 9:25 am

There’s a long, long tail a-winding …

April 18, 2016 11:58 pm

It’s pretty obvious the fossil fuel industry is still 60 years ahead of the AGW zealots. If they are that smart, maybe we should listen to them.

April 19, 2016 7:14 am

I’m pleased to see someone addressing the effects of temperature change on absolute and relative humidity, and the implied influence on cloud cover. AFAIK, exactly NONE of the ‘global circulation models’ so much vaunted by the warmists can accommodate vertical flow – as in convection.
Warmed air becomes less dense. This makes it buoyant. Gravity pulls more on the denser, cooler air aloft, and the vertical flows begin – both upward and downward – resulting in convection cells. The size of the convection cells (<10 km, often about 1 km) is typically far smaller than the geographic resolution of the computer models (typically between 250 and 600 km), so the convection cells CAN'T be modelled.
Of course, convection is incompatible with the physics of greenhouses (the roof of a greenhouse prevents convection as a means of heat loss), so greenhouse warming cannot occur.
In addition, when an ascending column of moist air rises, it cools with altitude. When it reaches an altitude where it has cooled to its dew point, it makes cumulus clouds, which block further heating. A negative feedback mechanism…

The Original Mike M
Reply to  tadchem
April 20, 2016 1:13 pm

“When it reaches an altitude where it has cooled to its dew point, it makes cumulus clouds, which block further heating. A negative feedback mechanism…”
Not only that, when it condenses at altitude it also releases the latent heat that evaporated it on the ground, a further increase to the negative feedback. The more rain that falls – the more latent heat released high up above the majority of the GHG’s.
It seems to me that precipitation puts the brakes on warmingcomment image

Paul Johnson
April 19, 2016 7:27 am

Note the unhighlighted segment of the 1968 Robinson Report:
“For atmospheric calculations, Moller’s model is still a relatively simple one and has not included all of the possible major interactions occurring in the atmosphere. For this reason it is likely that Moller’s calculations overestimate the effects on temperature of an increase in CO2. More comprehensive models are in development and should be available shortly.”
Still waiting…

April 23, 2016 5:16 am

“Oddly enough, both water vapor content and relative humidity have declined over recent decades. If I cross plot relative humidity (RH) at 600 mb against HadCRUT4 I get a Δf = -4.72 percent per degree C. This yields a climate sensitivity of about 1.4 °C per doubling of CO2 concentration.”
That might be right, in theory, given the numbers are right. Key word, in theory!
That will require everything else is constant, which it never is.
More warming leads to more convection and more water vapor which leads to more convection etc. etc. etc. = Net 0 °C

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