The Dirty Dozen Tests Of Global Warming Science

by:  Geoffrey H Sherrington

Assume for discussion that there has been a change of 1⁰C in the customary global near-surface air temperature, GAST, over the last century. There have been many assertions that this has produced changes. The strength of assertions is greater when a mathematical relation between temperature and the alleged change is established. Here are some relationships to ponder, for the last century or for a significant or available shorter time.

For a 1C change in global temperature –

  1. By how many millimeters does the sea level surface height change?
  2. By how many ppm does atmospheric CO change?
  3. By how many tonnes does the weight of terrestrial vegetation, like forests, change?
  4. By how much does the pH of the oceans change?
  5. By how many sq km does the average area of cloud cover change?
  6. What change is there to the accumulated cyclone index, ACE?
  7. What is the net change to the globalnumber of –
    1. Birds
    1. Land animals
    1. Marine algae
  8. By how many Watt per square metre does the Top of Atmosphere TOA radiation balance change?
  9. By how many tonnes does the weight of ice change –
    1. Over land
    1. Floating on sea
    1. Grounded over sea
  10. By how much does total precipitable rainfall TPW change?
  11. By what number does the number of large bush fires change?
  12. By how many tonnes do yields of major food crops change, expressed as tonnes available per person, for example
    1. Rice
    1. Wheat
    1. Beans
    1. Barley
    1. Maize

The number of properties claimed to be changed by global warming is now in the several hundreds range.

Many more cases could be added to this list of a dozen assertions. However, this list contains the main ones discussed by agencies such as NASA and other anti-warming agencies like NGOs.

NASA has a web page that mentions some effects of its view of climate change.

Some NASA text follows, to highlight the uncertainty and lack of quantification even for a small part of the Earth like the USA.

  • The length of the frost-free season (and the corresponding growing season) has been increasing nationally since the 1980s, with the largest increases occurring in the western United States, affecting ecosystems and agriculture. Across the United States, the growing season is projected to continue to lengthen.
  • Average U.S. precipitation has increased since 1900, but some areas have had increases greater than the national average, and some areas have had decreases. More winter and spring precipitation is projected for the northern United States, and less for the Southwest, over this century.
  • Droughts in the Southwest and heat waves (periods of abnormally hot weather lasting days to weeks) everywhere are projected to become more intense, and cold waves less intense everywhere.
  • The intensity, frequency and duration of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as the frequency of the strongest (Category 4 and 5) hurricanes, have all increased since the early 1980s. 

With the proper use of science that affects government policy measures as this does, qualitative assertions are steadily replaced by mathematical relationships that can be tested and verified. Assertions remain unverified assertions. Mathematical relations assist projections into the future.

Therefore, the ability of climate scientists to quantify these dozen relationships is a test of whether the current understanding of science is good enough to sway policy. They are among the most fundamental relationships to the hypotheses of global warming and climate change and have been for the past 30 years.

This is really a test of bluster versus hard scientific advancement. Fail this test and you should bid “climate change alarmism” goodbye.

Should I take a bet that NOT ONE of these dozen equations has been quantified mathematically?


Melbourne, Australia

10th September 2020

126 thoughts on “The Dirty Dozen Tests Of Global Warming Science

  1. “Should I take a bet that NOT ONE of these dozen equations has been quantified mathematically?”

    Oh, heck- and here I thought this was all settled! And with a 97% consensus!

    • 8) can be quantified mathematically and its yearly average is zero. In the summer it’s negative and in the winter it’s positive where each hemisphere has sinusoidal variability on the order of 100 W/m^2 peak to peak. The N hemisphere has a wider range, so globally, the TOA deficit is about 20 W/m^2 p-p in step with N hemi seasonal variability with an average value statistically indistinguishable from zero.

      The equation is simple,

      Pi = Po + dE/dt

      where Po are the emissions at TOA, Pi is the post albedo solar input and E is the energy stored by the thermal mass of the planet. The deficit is Po-Pi and the definition of the steady state is when the AVERAGE dE/dt is 0. Given that Po is dependent on E^4 (T is linear to E and P goes as T^4), this comprises a basic differential equation whose solutions are well known and are of the form e^x which can be either exponential decays or sinusoids.

      Despite what alarmists try to claim, the planet is ALWAYS in a steady state with the incident solar energy. Changing CO2 concentrations makes absolutely no difference. As soon as a CO2 molecule is in the atmosphere, it’s entire effect on the temperature is manifested within minutes, not centuries as is often claimed in order to incorrectly support a massive pent up effect that hasn’t manifested yet.

      The idea of temperature feedback with century scale time constants is based on a horribly flawed application of linear feedback analysis and couldn’t be more wrong and is at the root of the failed climate science presumed by the IPCC.

      • “Despite what alarmists try to claim, the planet is ALWAYS in a steady state with the incident solar energy.”

        That is a very rough short-term approximation that is clearly not supported by paleoclimatology data over long time periods.

        “ALWAYS” would have to include the following times in Earth’s history:
        — Ice Ages (aka “Snowball Earth” intervals)
        — “Hothouse Earth” intervals
        — glacial/interglacial cycles
        — the Medieval Warm Period
        — the period of the Little Ice Age.

        Water has a latent heat associated with solidliquid phase change and a much higher latent heat associated with liquidgas phase change. These properties, in combination with the specific heat capacity of Earth’s oceans, insure that Earth never really reaches “a steady state with the incident solar energy”.

        • Gordon,

          If the Earth was not in a steady state equilibrium, yearly averages would be all over the place. Current yearly averages are quite stable from year to year as is the fraction of the planet covered by clouds and any other metric you can think of.

          You’re conflating the requirements of a steady state equilibrium with those of a static equilibrium, where a steady state equilibrium is a time varying function around an average that in this case is continuously changing in a predictable manner. The response to this predictable variability is part of the steady state response. Surely the seasons change, the orbit varies and even the Sun isn’t constant, all of which affect the target average should all else remain constant.

          The time constants are also short, on the order of months, so while there’s definitely a lag before the temperature catches up with the Sun, the solar input has changed before it catches up, either because it’s changed from day to night or the seasons are changing. This changes what the short term average wants to be. Even during a single day, the deficit is large positive when the Sun is up and large negative at night as it passes through zero twice per day. The daily average is positive during summer months and negative during winter months and this also passes through zero twice per year, once in the fall and again in the spring. The two hemisphere’s don’t cancel, so the signature of the N hemisphere is present in all of the global averages. If the time constants were as long as they need to be to support the IPCC, we would not even see seasonal variability, much less any temperature differences between night and day.

          Here’s how the N hemisphere behaves on a monthly basis. Note the sinusoidal relationships between Pi, Po and dE/dt are consistent with the aforementioned differential equation. Anyone familiar with the LTI model of an RC network will recognize this behavior and how it’s modeled in a heartbeat.

          Notice the lag between Pi (post albedo input power) and both Psurf (surface emissions) and Po (emissions at TOA). What’s plotted as dE/dt is the monthly ‘deficit’ calculated as Pi – Po. Also notice the smaller p-p magnitude the the outputs (Ps and/or Po) relative to the input (Pi). From these relative attributes, a time constant can be readily calculated which is about 8 months. The S hemisphere has a smaller p-p Po, relative to Pi resulting in a somewhat longer time constant as the result of the S hemi having a larger fraction of ocean.

          This shows a N hemisphere yearly deficit of about -1.6 W/m^2 which is more emissions at TOA than are arriving from the Sun. The S hemisphere shows a small positive deficit, but in all cases, a zero deficit per hemisphere and globally is well within the margin of error in the data. For something that on a seasonal basis varies by 160 W/m^2, trying to support a small persistent difference arising from CO2 increases would require data with with better than 1% accuracy across the entire planet, and no such data exists.

          BTW, some years have a small positive deficit while others have a small negative deficit. That is, there’s no observed persistent trend in the data corresponding to changing CO2 concentrations.

          • It was you, not me, that used the phrase “the planet is ALWAYS in a steady state with the incident solar energy”.

            I did not realize that there was an implicit “except when . . .” in that statement.

            BTW, as regards your response statement “If the Earth was not in a steady state equilibrium, yearly averages would be all over the place”:
            if we use appropriate resolution, say 1%, of the total span of variation of Earth’s absolute average surface temperature over the last 140 years (about 1.4 C), we should be looking for annual temperature variations in the range .014 C. If we plotted Earth’s annual temperature averages at such resolution, we would indeed find they are “all over the place”, albeit perhaps following a trend based on 100 year intervals.

            And as regards your phrase “an average that in this case is continuously changing in a predictable manner”:
            if you examine global temperature shifts associated with entrances and exits from the periods 1940-1975 and 1988-2015, you will have a hard time asserting they were “predictable”.

          • Gordon,

            It’s not unusual to see several tenths of a degree difference in the yearly average from year to year, in either direction, so a .014C change would be buried very deep in the noise. Averaging over multiple years smooths this out, but doesn’t make the ‘noise’ go away. The system doesn’t seem to be critically damped and is always overshooting and undershooting it’s desired averages, none the less, that target average is quite computable.

            On thing that is absolutely predictable is the ratio between the average BB surface emissions and the average planet emissions above the surface. This ratio has remained remarkably constant from pole to pole throughout 1988 – 2015 as well as before and after. This being the case, any unpredictability is strictly a consequence of uncharacterized albedo effects since in the steady state, the average emissions by the planet are equal to the average incident energy. When you go back and measure the average albedo and apply it to the average solar input, then you can predict what the surface temperature corresponding to its average emissions will be, where those average emissions are about 1.62 times the average post albedo incident solar energy. When you adjust for N/S flux, this can be applied locally across the entire surface to establish average temperatures. It works quite well and without adjustments for individual hemispheres as there’s very little gross or net flux crossing the equator and the two hemispheres respond independently to seasonal variability.

          • “…between the average BB surface emissions…”
            Because of the non-radiative heat transfer processes of the atmospheric molecules BB emission from the surface is not possible.
            Energy moves, i.e. heat, from the surface up through the atmosphere by a complex interaction of the five major heat transfer processes: conduction, convection, advection (wind), latent (evap & cond) and radiation.
            The sum of these five equals 1.0 aka all of it.
            If some of the non-radiative processes increase, say wind and latent in powerful storm, that cools the system and radiation must decrease.
            Emissivity for the radiation leaving the surface is: Rad/(cond+conv+advec+lat+rad) or Rad/all
            In the case of the K-T diagram, 63/160=0.39.
            The theoretical “what if” case would be: 63/396=0.16.

        • Nick,

          The temperature effect is indeed negligible, but is not zero, nor is it the result of the IPCC’s pedantic reasoning. Since the ratio of surface emissions to planet missions is demonstrably constant (1.61803…) and independent of temperature, insolation or GHG concentrations, to the extent that CO2 changes the required clouds to meet this goal and it results in a change to the albedo, only that will have an effect on the surface temperature. In any event, it’s still far too small to be obsessing about.

          The effect I was referring to is the residence time in the atmosphere between when surface emissions are absorbed by a new CO2 molecule and when that energy ultimately either escapes TOA or returns to the surface. This is on the order of seconds to minutes. The fact that the finite delay in this path is ignored (i.e. it’s assumed to be 0 relative to the solar forcing that ultimately caused it) is what leads to many misunderstandings by conflating old energy being returned by the atmosphere with new energy arriving from the Sun.

          • What do you think happens to the surface emissions absorbed by GHG’s and the water in clouds? This energy has to go somewhere.

            This energy can only be re-emitted into space or sent back to the surface. There is no other possibility and geometry dictates about a 50/50 split between what leaves the planet and and what is returned to the surface.

          • “…or sent back to the surface. There is no other possibility and geometry dictates about a 50/50 split between what leaves the planet and and what is returned to the surface.”
            Sent back to the surface is not possible.
            The other possibility is that neither up nor down welling actually exist.
            The 50/50 split handwavium does not work either.

            All of this revolves around explaining a mechanism for the atmosphere to warm the earth.
            The atmosphere does not warm the earth like a greenhouse, it cools it like that reflective panel set up on the car’s dashboard.
            Without the atmosphere the earth becomes much like the moon, hot^3 on the lit side, cold^3 on the dark, with a 0.1 albedo gaining 20% more kJ/h and hotter not colder.
            Nikolov, Kramm and UCLA Diviner all tacitly admit this.

            Q = 1/R * A * (Tsurf – Ttoa) explains why the surface is warmer than ToA, same reason the insulated walls of house make the inside warmer than outside.

          • As I posted under another WUWT article (but very relevant to this thread):

            However, the actual situation is more complicated. It is not just a simple matter of looking at CO2 alone as it interacts with LWIR radiation. Being intimately distributed throughout the lower atmosphere, CO2 molecules continuously collide with other molecules (mostly with N2 and O2) in the lower troposphere . . . such collisions occur on 0.1 to 10 NANOSECOND timescale (they follow a Maxwell-Boltzmann speed distribution). The means that any CO2 molecule that becomes excited (stores energy in translation and vibration energy modes) by absorbing at LWIR photon will very rapidly transfer some or all of this energy to another molecule via physical collision. Relatively rarely, an excited CO2 molecule will emit a photon with the same energy as the one that it just absorbed.

            So, the CO2 molecule mostly transfers, rather quickly, the energy it receives from absorbing a LWIR photo to other gases in the atmosphere, mostly nitrogen and oxygen molecules. In turn, these gases are warmed more than they would otherwise be (neither absorbs LWIR) and some amount of this widely distributed heat energy is then radiated away isotropically, as well as being eventually convectively transported to the upper portions of the troposphere and into the stratosphere.

            Of course, the same processes are simultaneously occurring with other “greenhouse gases” (overwhelmingly with water vapor).

            Because thermal radiation FROM any molecule in the atmosphere is isotropic, a significant portion (just slightly less than 50%) is directed back to earth surface. This “downwelling” radiation is what is commonly referred to as the “greenhouse effect”. It involves all gases comprising the atmosphere, not just the “greenhouse gases” water vapor, CO2, methane, etc. (a common misconception). It certainly is not as simple as CO2 absorbing LWIR and then directly radiating it back to Earth.

          • Gordon,

            You’re assuming that net quenching is statistically relevant. It’s not at the energy levels found in the atmosphere. It it was, then there would be a nearly an equal and opposite amount of collisions exciting GHG molecules into a higher energy state and mostly
            offsetting the effect anyway. The kinetic energy must be much larger than the state energy for either to be significant, while a 10u photon has about the same energy as the translational energy of an N2 molecule in motion.

            E=hv = 2E-20 Joules for a 10u photon
            E=1/2mv^2 = 2E-20 Joules 1.87E-25 kg @ 470 m/sec

            Besides, if everything absorbed by GHG molecules was turned into translational energy, as your hypothesis suggests, this energy can only be returned to the surface by collisions, and there will not be enough radiant energy left in the atmosphere to satisfy the planet’s radiant balance. Those faster O2 and N2 molecules are not emitting any LWIR photons. Note that even cloud top emissions are subject to significant GHG absorption.

            The most likely thing to happen upon a collision is to upset the higher energy states resonant geometry by enough to cause the molecule to destabilize and spit out a photon. This photon can be absorbed by the colliding molecule (if it’s another of the same GHG), another nearby GHG molecule, the surface or it can escape into space. Ultimately, about half of this energy escapes into space and the remaining half is returned to the surface.

            The only significant transfer is to and from rotational states, but these are also symmetric and either add to or remove from its rotational energy. Note that the fine structure on either side of vibrational resonances illustrates that this occurs in both directions.

          • Nick,

            You didn’t answer the question. Ar you trying to claim that the atmosphere does not absorb any surface emissions, or are you trying to say that the surface doesn’t emit photons?

            An insulated wall is not semitransparent to LWIR radiation and does not follow the rules of radiant energy transmission. The atmosphere does not cool the surface but slows its cooling down by essentially reflecting some of its emissions back to the surface making that energy try again to leave.

            Again, I’ll suggest you re-learn what the second law is really about. Your interpretation of it is seriously flawed and is preventing you from comprehending the facts.

            Also the higher high Moon temperature has more to do with the length of its day than with the lack of an atmosphere. The lack of an atmosphere is only responsible for the lower low temperatures. If the Earth day was as long as the Moon day, the maximum surface temperatures would be even larger than those on the Moon, despite the higher albedo.

          • “Ar you trying to claim that the atmosphere does not absorb any surface emissions, or are you trying to say that the surface doesn’t emit photons?”

            The atmospheric molecules do not “absorb” or “trap” photons or energy. Energy moves through the atmospheric molecules per their specific heat capacity and thermal conductivity not by absorbing/re-emitting. Remember, this concept is to ‘splain how the molecules heat the atmosphere which heats the earth. The atmosphere does not do that.

            The surface emits photons, but not as a BB. The rate at which the surface emits photons is governed by how much heat remains after the non-radiative processes have cooled the system. The more non-radiative cooling the fewer radiative photons.

            By reflecting away 30% of the ISR the albedo reduces the input energy and atmosphere’s temperature compared to no atmosphere. Q = U * A * (Tsurf – Ttoa) When Q goes down dT goes down and since Ttoa is fixed Tsurf goes down. The earth is cooler with a 30% albedo than without or even with a 10% albedo like the moon.

            “I’ll suggest you re-learn what the second law is really about.” Got any hints for what I don’t understand? And I find people number and cite the laws differently. I spent 35 years in power generation. If I misunderstood something it would have shown.

            “Also the higher high Moon temperature has more to do with the length of its day than with the lack of an atmosphere. The lack of an atmosphere is only responsible for the lower low temperatures. If the Earth day was as long as the Moon day, the maximum surface temperatures would be even larger than those on the Moon, despite the higher albedo.”

            Remove the atmosphere and the surface gets the full 394 K, 250 F much like the moon.
            I don’t think Nikolov, Kramm or UCLA Diviner would agree about the different day lengths.
            A slice rotates out into the sunlight, heats rapidly until peaking about 2:00 pm, 120 degrees or so, and then begins to cool. This behavior is apparent in the Diviner lunar data and in USCRN data.

          • Nick,i

            In addition to your misunderstanding of the Second Law, you don’t seem to understand Quantum Mechanics and absorption/emission physics.

            Regarding the Second Law, it’s all about entropy. So, why don’t you explain why you think entropy is decreasing as the result of absorption line physics, specifically the emission of photons by GHG’s that are returned to the surface. Why do you think this is opposed to the basic thermodynamic goal of the Second Law which is seeking a maximum entropy steady state.

            From wiki (emphasis mine):

            Rather like Planck’s statement is that of Uhlenbeck and Ford for irreversible phenomena.

            … in an irreversible or spontaneous change from one equilibrium state to another (as for example the equalization of temperature of two bodies A and B, WHEN BROUGHT IN CONTACT) the entropy always increases.[45]

          • OK, here’s a recap.
            The zeroeth says if system A and system C have the same temperature/KE and system B and system C have the same temperature/KE then A and B have the same temperature/KE. It’s how temperature gets measured and it’s why temperature in the void of space does not mean anything.
            The first is conservation. 160 enters no more than 160 can leave. The 333 up/down net totally violates this.
            The second is entropy. Entropy is a measure of system’s INABILITY to do work. It’s about efficiency, the conversion of energy to work and NOT about order/disorder. That bogus definition was applied by pseudo-creation scientists.
            Water does not flow uphill without work.
            To move current through an electrical resistance require a voltage difference (work).
            To move fluid through a hydraulic resistance requires a pressure difference (work).
            To move energy through a thermal resistance requires a temperature difference (work).
            Physics is physics.
            Picture a boxy Carnot diagram. Enthalpy is the area between source and sink. Entropy is the area between sink and absolute zero.
            As the source energy decreases/increases the enthalpy area decreases/increases and the percentage of energy that can be converted to work decrease/increases. And the percentage of entropy, the inability to convert energy to work, increases/decreases.
            The working fluid leaving the boiler has high P,T,H and low S. As it flows through the turbine energy is converted to work and P,T,H decrease and S increases. The Enthalpy Carnot area shrinks. The exhaust steam has very low P,T,H and high S. About 90% of the steam energy between throttle and exhaust is converted to work. About 50% of the throttle energy is lost to condensing the exhaust back to condensate which is then hot well/condensate/boiler feed pumped back through heaters to the furnace where entropy is reduced by the fuel energy. Once again the source is raised to high P,T,H and low S and the cycle repeats.

            Entropy is much like a diode or check valve, energy flows one way only.
            Entropy absolutely, positively, emphatically PROHIBITS!!!!! energy “back” radiating from the clouds/troposphere to the surface.

          • co2isnotevile posted on September 11, 2020 at 3:40 pm : “You’re assuming that net quenching is statistically relevant. It’s not at the energy levels found in the atmosphere. It it was, then there would be a nearly an equal and opposite amount of collisions exciting GHG molecules into a higher energy state and mostly offsetting the effect anyway. The kinetic energy must be much larger than the state energy for either to be significant, while a 10u photon has about the same energy as the translational energy of an N2 molecule in motion.”

            Ahhh . . . where to begin, given so many misconceptions in those sentences.

            First off, all gases near equilibrium at any given temperature follow a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution of total kinetic (translational) energy, and by the equipartition theorem such applies also to the vibrational and rotational degrees of freedom that store energy in a given molecular gas. For example, N2 and O2 gases at 298 K have a distribution of translational speeds that vary by about three orders of magnitude (from near zero to slight above 1000 m/s). In comparison, gaseous H2 at 298 K has a translational speed variation that is larger (from near zero to about 4000 m/s). This translation speed variation as a function of molecular mass follows directly from kinetic-molecular gas theory that states that all gaseous molecules at the same temperature have the same AVERAGE kinetic energy.

            So, in the atmosphere there are always a great number of gas molecules that have statistically-higher translational velocities (hence higher kinetic energy, hence higher vibrational and rotational energies) as well as a great number having statistically-lower translational velocities (hence lower kinetic energy, hence lower vibrational and rotational energies). This is true for collisions between identical molecules (say, N2-N2 collisions) and between dissimilar molecules (say, CO2-N2 collisions). I already noted that throughout the lower atmosphere molecular collisions occur on statistically significant 0.1 to 10 NANOSECOND timescales (in accordance with mean-free path lengths and the Maxwell-Boltzmann speed distribution). Thus, in the sensible atmosphere there is always an ongoing extremely fast rate of collisions and essentially continuous energy exchange between the various molecules INDEPENDENT OF ANY LWIR RADIATION ABSORPTION OR RADIATION. Statistically-higher energy molecules exchange energy with statistically-lower energy molecules during collisions and thus themselves become lower energy molecules. This energy exchange is absolutely relevant in a statistical sense.

            Furthermore, during molecule-molecule collisions there is no requirement that discrete amounts of energy be transferred (unlike the requirement for photon absorption by a given molecule, such as CO2). A continuous range of energy can be transferred among translational, vibrational and rotational modes via collision, up to the limits of energy available for transfer.

            Add to this the fact that all atmospheric molecules having any energy in any of these three modes (= types of degrees of freedom) will be losing energy continuously by thermal radiation (for a large collections of molecules, we can say they are losing energy because their combined “temperature” is above absolute zero).

            There is no such thing as “energy levels” found in the atmosphere. Energy levels are found in photons based on quantum mechanics. And the statement that “a 10u photon has about the same energy as the translational energy of an N2 molecule in motion” is pretty meaningless since N2 translation energy varies statistically over a range of SIX ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE (kinetic energy varying by the square of velocity).

            Finally, co2isnotevil also stated: “Besides, if everything absorbed by GHG molecules was turned into translational energy, as your hypothesis suggests . . .” Well, I never stated or implied this. I am well aware of the various degrees of freedom available in molecules whereby energy is present and additional energy can be stored and subsequently transferred to other molecules (as noted above).

            What you appear to be missing is the fact, within the lower troposphere, an LWIR photo absorbed by a molecule having a permanent dipole moment (e.g., H2O, CO2) will have that excess energy distributed amongst the molecule’s available translational, vibrational and rotational degrees of freedom. Then, statistically within 10 nanoseconds or less, some or all of that excess energy will be transferred, via molecule-molecule collision to another molecule having no dipole moment (e.g., N2 or O2) thus not excited by LWIR and thus statistically at lower energy. Overall this process of “thermalizing” absorbed LWIR radiated by earth’s surface across all molecules comprising the atmosphere raises the statistical average temperature of the atmosphere and thus raises the average amount of its ISOTROPIC thermal radiation, slightly less than 50% of which is intercepted by earth’s surface. Voilà — greenhouse effect!

          • David,

            Figures 1 and 2 completely support what I’m saying. Notice that in the absorption bands, the spectral density is only about half of what it would be without absorption. If you run MODTRAN and calculate absorption, rather than transmission, many of those bands show 100% absorption, in which case the power at TOA should be 0. The strongest lines around 13u can approach 100% absorption within just a few meters away from the surface.

            Figures 1 and 2 are simulations, but they are similar to the results I get from my simulator that uses the HITRAN absorption/emission line data.

            Gordon is wrong about atmospheric O2 and N2 emitting any of the relevant LWIR radiation observed at TOA. If these gases have any emissivity at all, it’s so close to zero there’s no reason to consider anything else. The O2 and N2 in the atmosphere are just as transparent to the LWIR photons emitted by the surface as they are to the photons of incident solar energy. As far as any of these photons are concerned, the O2 and N2 molecules are not even there and visa versa. A simple thought experiment is to consider an Earth with no water, clouds or GHG’s, but the same 1 ATM N2/O2/Ar atmosphere. If the albedo was 0.1, what would the average surface temperature be with and without this atmosphere. HINT: It’s the same either way.

            The only possible source of the amount of power seen in GHG absorption bands at TOA are the emissions of GHG molecules higher up in the atmosphere which requires an absorption band photon flux throughout the atmosphere as they pass between GHG molecules which have a far higher probability of emiting an emission band photon upon a collision than it has for changing state by any other means.

        • Gordon,

          The energy of translational degrees of freedom in N2 or O2 can only be returned to the surface by conduction. O2 and N2 do not radiate LWIR that can leave the planet or return to the surface and some of that GHG absorption must be radiated into space to meet balance requirements.

          While the probability of spontaneous emissions of a GHG molecule that has absorbed only 1 photon is low, upon absorbing a second photon, that probability increases dramatically. Another thing that significantly increases the probability of emission is a collision. This is not a spontaneous emission, but is an induced emission.

          You’re trying to rationalize away these modes by considering that state energy is quickly converted into translational motion so energized CO2 molecules have a low probability of absorbing another photon. This would indicate that we should not see photons in GHG absorption bands beyond a few meters above the surface.

          This is not what we observe and at TOA, even under clear sky conditions, the energy in absorption bands with a 100% chance of a surface photon being absorbed by a GHG is actually about half of what it would be without any absorption at all (the other half was re-emitted by GHG’s back to the surface). Where are these absorption/EMISSION band photons coming from? What source, other than GHG molecules, can generate so many photons with those energies?

          The GHG effect is almost purely radiant from surface to space and back. Yes, there are other things that can happen, but they are of little statistical relevance to the bulk behavior. Worrying about them only gets in the way of understanding the actual radiant behavior of the planet.

          While collisions are not quantized (except perhaps at the Planck scale) if state energy is converted into translational energy, it is an all or nothing transaction. What you are saying is that within nanosconds, state energy is converted into translational energy by a collision, on average doubling the energy of the colliding particle, which is then redistributed. If this was the case, all GHG absorbed energy would increase the temperature of the atmosphere and it would be much hotter than it is.

          Lets work through some numbers.

          At least 65% of the radiant energy emitted by the surface is absorbed by GHG’s. At 390 W/m^2 of average surface emissions, this leaves about 140 W/m^2 leaving TOA which is 100 W/m^2 less than required. 250 W/m^2 are returned to the surface based on your position, so 250 + 240 from the Sun is 100 W/m^2 more than the surface is emitting. How do you propose getting that extra 100 W/m^2 radiated into space? The N2 and O2 carrying that energy do not emit LWIR photons.

          If we add clouds, it gets even more out of balance, as only about 90 W/m^2 reaches TOA without being absorbed by GHG’s or the water in clouds. Unlike GHG’s. which are narrow band absorbers and emitters of photons, the water in clouds is a broad band absorber and emitter. The only significant case of ‘thermalization’ is when an energized GHG molecule is absorbed by the water in clouds.

          You also seem to be over generalizing equipartition of energy. State energy arising from absorbing a photon is not evenly distributed among all its degrees of freedom, but only among the degrees of freedom in its electron shell and only in quantized amounts. For example, both a vibrational and rotational state can be excited, but the photon must have the combined energy of both states. It can not absorb an arbitrary energy photon and convert the rest of that photon into translational kinetic energy. If this was the case, there would be no such thing as an absorption spectrum and all GHG molecules would absorb all photons. This only happens in liquids and solids where the collection of shared electrons has far more degrees of freedom to absorb (and emit) photons of any wavelength. In fact, a Planck spectrum is the degenerate case of collisional broadening, which is also not significant in Earth’s atmosphere.

          • co2isnotevil stated: “The energy of translational degrees of freedom in N2 or O2 can only be returned to the surface by conduction.”

            This is fundamentally, scientifically, wrong.

            First, all gases with a temperature above absolute zero radiate thermal energy. Looking at thermal radiation from a single molecule, what is the source of that thermal energy? . . . it is the energy that the molecule contains, invariably equipartitioned amongst its allowed translational, vibrational and rotational degrees of freedom. Absent collisions with other molecules and absent absorption of photons from external sources, a given molecule’s total energy content will decay with time due to thermal radiation.

            Since thermal radiation quanta leave a given molecule in random directions relative to
            reference frame of the molecule, any large collection of molecules is said to radiate thermal energy isotropically. Slightly less that half of such thermal radiation from the lower atmosphere will reach Earth’s surface, although any given quantum of that radiation may have undergone multiple reflections off other atmospheric molecules and multiple absorption/re-emission processes involving other molecules. The ability of a given thermal radiation quantum to reach the ground directly will depend on the quantum’s optical penetration depth (it is more properly discussed as “EM radiation penetration depth”, see ), which will be EM frequency dependent as well as dependent on certain properties of the medium the radiation is passing through. A gaseous atmosphere is one of many media types subject to the physical laws determining optical penetration depth.

            And yes, I am referring to both the wave and particle nature of EM radiation here.

            Gas conduction at STP conditions is a relatively poor means of transferring heat energy. It is upset by, and overwhelmed by, gas convection taking place in the lower troposphere.

            I need not respond to the rest of your post.

          • co2isnotevil
            For detailed quantitative modeling of heat transfer through the atmosphere see
            Miskolczi FM. The greenhouse effect and the infrared radiative structure of the Earth’s Atmosphere. Development in Earth Science. 2014 Dec 1;2:31-52.
            Note especially equations 1&2, and Fig. 2, 3
            3490 IR Spectral Regions
            11 Absorbing gas species.
            150 atmospheric layers.
            5th order Gaussian quadrature.


      • indeed critical.
        You will be aware that Harries et al (2001) , Nature 410, 355-357, “Increases in greenhouse forcing inferred from the Longwave Radiation spectra of the Earth in 1970 and 1997” is alleged to be direct evidence of human induced warming in the lower troposphere.
        It was cited by Dr.Myles Allen in the Cal v. BP litigation before Judge Alsup as such evidence.
        At there is the NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of daily Outgoing Longwave Radiation, (OLR),version 1.2
        There is also a similar monthly record.
        Are these records showing a decrease in OLR for the period 1979 to date?
        If they are not (or are showing an increase), then the answer to 8.will be clear.
        I would appreciate your response.

        • If they are not (or are showing an increase), then the answer to 8.will be clear.

          No useful conclusion could be drawn from any change in OLR in the satellite record. During that period, the CO2 has been steadily rising and any response to that, if any, could just as easily be a constant differential. If the differential has been constant at say 1.4W/sq.m then there would be no evidence of the 1.4W/sq.m in the satellite record. You would need to go back to a period of no change in CO2 to detect an influence from CO2.

          On the other hand water vapour changes significantly over each year and the correlation between global atmospheric water vapour and OLR is very clear:

          They are strongly positively correlated with each mm of water column corresponding with OLR increasing by 1.6W/sq.m. This observations questions the whole “greenhouse gas” theory.

          • RickWill,
            Thanks very much.
            What is the source of the quote here? Is it from the NOAA site?
            I appreciate the graph you have forwarded.

      • CO2isnotevil,

        Thank you, but I asked for equations that have temperature T as in GAST as a main variable.
        Geoff S

        • Geoff,

          Temperature is the wrong metric to use. All analysis should be done in W/m^2 and then converted to a temperature with the SB law at the end. W/m^2 are always linear to W/m^2 while W/m^2 are not linear to T and approximate linearity around the mean is no substitute for actual linearity. You can add 2 more equations to show how T fits in to the previous DE.

          T = (Po/eo)^0.25
          T = kE

          T is the absolute surface temperature, o is the SB constant, e is the effective emissivity of about 0.62 and k is the specific heat capacity of the Earth. It’s best to model the 2 hemispheres independently as while e is the same, k is significantly different.

          Quantifying climate change directly in terms of a change to T without starting from absolute W/m^2 is one of the fundamental failures of climate science and why they can get away with so causally ignoring COE. Subverting feedback analysis is the other and is how they make the impossible seem plausible.

        • Because of the tilted earth and oblique incidence any given point ToA swings 700 W/m^2 from summer to winter.

          It’s sixth grade geometry.

        • Because of the tilted axis any given point ToA swings 700 W/m^2 from summer to winter.

          It’s sixth grade geometry.

    • JZ,
      Might I please use this first comment space for a comment?
      Having read 50 or so comments already, I see that most miss the point.
      The equations that I seek should have temperature T as in GAST as a main variable. I was not looking for time-based relationships. Thanks. Geoff S

    • But those calculations look like they could give inconvenient answers. Safer not to ask. Don’t want to know.

    • The dismal truth is that we don’t know how to measure global temps with any accuracy, and if we did we would know what conclusions to draw from this knowledge. The dismal and ugly truth is that “climate change” is merely the latest iteration of socialism, just another effort get we “the peasants” marching in lockstep into that Brave New World our “betters” have planned for us. “Oh, the peasants, umm, the people have lived too well, poisoning the Earth, using up finite resources, just running around and doing whatever they want – this must be stopped, and right now! Mother Earth’s very life depends on it! Death to those who would stand in our way! Where are Josef Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot when we really need them?”

    • Odd.
      Climate4you graph of 1979 to date shows about 7.5E6 through the 80’s and about 5 E6 mostly in the recent teens.
      That’s 66%.
      And ten years is hardly a long term trend. Could turn right back around.
      And who measures this amount? How? to what uncertainty/resolution?
      The 15E6 max is fairly constant.

      • Sorry, Nick. You need to get back to the basics of Thermodynamics. ALL substances with any mass that are above absolute zero radiate energy according to the BB law. The atmosphere has mass and radiates in all directions. Ice bergs radiate energy. You and I radiate energy. The fact that a body radiates energy to another body which may be at a higher temperature is just a fact. However, the warmer body is radiating MORE energy, including towards the colder body. The NET result is that the warm body gets colder and the cold body warmer (other things being equal). The ground and the atmosphere both radiate energy. And, yes, CO2, O2 and other molecules absorb energy from radiation that is of the same frequency as vibration modes of those molecules (“resonance”) and this higher kinetic energy of those molecules gets transmitted through collisions as well as through radiation to other material.

        • “The fact that a body radiates energy to another body which may be at a higher temperature is just a fact.”

          Violates 2nd LoT big time.

          If this were so there would be refrigerators without power cards.

          I haven’t seen any.


    • Griff you need to quantify, record and chart over time. not pick a point in time. You still have a full 12 questions left unanswered. You got some homework to do before you sound that alarm.

      • Bill, I’ve been asking Griff for years to tell me the length of the record he’s citing. He refuses to give an answer. Gee, I wonder why?

      • I think that Griff should explain why I had to start my furnace up on September 9th THIS YEAR, instead of waiting for the usual start date of 10/15 or slightly later.

        For the record, I have NEVER EVER had to turn my furnace on this early. EVER. Got that, Griffster?
        I keep track, you see, because it means that my bill for gas, which heats my home and allows me to cook food on the stove, will go up, starting this month. It does make a considerably difference, financially. And no, solar heating doesn’t enter into it, especially when we’ve had two solid weeks of daytime temps in the low 60s to upper 50s – DAYTIME, griffster – and night-time temps in the 40s to low 50s. This is unusual for this area, period.

        That’s called weather, griff. It ain’t climate. Weather is short term. Real climate change will take longer than your lifetime.

    • Griff,

      20K years ago there was a km thick glacier covering Manhattan. You should be happy that it’s melted away and to be absolutely clear, there’s no amount of CO2 emissions that will prevent this from happening in the future.

      Climate change is normal and if it wasn’t changing, it would be broken. Get over it. Stop being so gullible about the gloom and doom which has a political origin and not a scientific origin.

      The science is unambiguous, the climate effect of CO2 emissions are neglible and if anything incremental CO2 is beneficial to the biosphere. The IPCC will never accept this scientific truth as it precludes their reason to exist. Are you aware that when people talk of a ‘consensus’ they’re referring to science as summarized in IPCC reports? How can anyone buy into this utter nonsense driven by a horribly unethical conflict of interest? Why do you and your alarmist comrades deny this conflict of interest?

    • I’m sorry you didn’t take my bet, Griff, because you would have won my £100. Arctic ice is below 4 million square kilometres for the second time since 2007. I’m now taking a bet for September 2021

      • Per climate4you graph of NSIDC data:

        2000 to 2020, Arctic minimum fell below 4E6 km^2 in 2012 and in no other year before or since.

    • Ah poor Griff, there you were holding out for a record minimum, sadly disappointed and now grasping at straws as the temperature plummets with both volume and extent now increasing.

      There’s no significant difference between this year’s final figures and and the last few years, all withing the margin of error (although no doubt you will claim otherwise). That’ll be about 15 years with no statistically significant decline then.

      And let’s just remember, the forecast earlier in the year was for a record melt. So even the much exaggerated Siberian/Arctic heatwave/fires, which any 30+ year old real science reference will tell you is perfectly normal when an anticyclone settles in summer, failed to produce a record.

      And just to add to your ire, Antarctic sea ice is well above average and last year too.

    • Griff,

      Just for a minute let’s assume you are correct.

      Hypothetically, does that prove man made CO2 is the culprit or is it just possible that there may be another cause?

    • 1979 was a extreme HIGH anomaly, similar to the LIA

      Current levels have recovered a bit, but are still far ABOVE the Holocene norm.

      Do you have any point to your idiotic zero-knowledge climate change denial, griffool?

  2. I wouldn’t bet that they have been verified in any meaningful way and remain only prejudiced opinions.

  3. “Therefore, the ability of climate scientists to quantify these dozen relationships is a test of whether the current understanding of science is good enough to sway policy. ”

    No, it’s not a test.

    See how easy assertions are?

    • No, I see how easy your snark is. Do you have an actual argument to make as the the lack of suitability of one of these elements to be used as a measure of climate change effects?

    • Steven Mosher has a point. The failure to quantify the requested impacts would not imply that the climate science of fossil fuel driven warming is wrong.

      And the ability to quantify the requested impacts would not imply that the climate science of fossil fuel driven warming is therefore correct.

      Although it is rather an interesting list.

    • Hi Steven,
      Thank you for another assertion.
      You really do understand the meaning of this Dirty Dozen and it’s test of the understanding of what temperature does, I suspect.
      I am seeking equations rather than stances.
      Cheers, Geoff S

  4. During a warm period in Western Canada this August (short but sweet) Environment Canada repeatedly warned of extreme heat. That was for predicted temperatures near 30 degrees C. That is 86 degrees F.
    I can imagine people in Phoenix laughing their butts off.
    That is not even an uncomfortable heat unless you are working physically outside in the sun. Then you might sweat a bit
    It seems they will stop at nothing to make global warming seem real.

    • Environment Canada has lowered their target “extreme heat” temperature to 30 C. Their reports went on all summer about how 30+ required a “heat alert” and now that we are sissies, 86F is a clear and present danger to human health. Right…!

      It used to reach the high 90’s when I was young and forking hay onto the wagon. Those days are gone, and we have air conditioning now. I suppose in a few years they will have it that 27 C needs a heat warning so “the trend” will be “up”.

      I asked Roger Samson of REAP Canada what the trend is. He said that since 1960 the length of the growing season has been increasing at 2 days per decade. During the coming cooling I expect that to reverse much more rapidly that that, followed by a slow increase again. There is nothing new under the sun.

      • From Environment canada, the number of continuous days where the temp does not exceed 20C from fall to spring has been increasing every year over the last 5.

        I agree you have to be insane to consider that few weeks of summer temps we had in calgary this year to be a problem.

        Cold and wet.

        My rain barrels used to empty by midjune and not refill, and i used to eat juicy ripe tomatos in mid-august.
        Now my rain barrels are full all the time, and we just started eating tomatos last week.

        If “global warming” gets any worse i’m going to need to build a greenhouse

      • Environment Canada is a laughable example of a government agency. They’ve been decreasing the number of stations for years but reporting with greater ‘accuracy’ apparently. Right.

        Then the advent under Liberal leadership that the years prior to 1938 no longer “count” as real data any longer tells you all you need to know that they have left the good ship science far, far behind.

        And yes, anecdotally I was working as a groundskeeper in the early 80s at a golf/tennis club. We had full tennis courts on days when it was 38 C outside for several days in a row. Hardier stock back then it would appear. In the prairies this year we had heat warnings as well for above 30 C. C’mon, really?

    • You remind me of a trip to Scotland that my wife and I took in June 2002. They were suffering from a heatwave, and many folks – including our waiters – were quick to point out we Americans had not signed on to the Kyoto Protocol. Every day on the TV they talked about that heatwave. It was thus easy to spy out fellow Americans as (like us) they were wearing t-shirts and shorts.

      The high while we were there was 20 C (68 for us Americans). With the wind Scotland seems to perpetually have, along with the frequent overcast, that is quite uncomfortably… cold. But then our hosts were always bundled up. While they were giving us the stink-eye, we kept wondering why they didn’t take off their jackets.

      We won’t be going back without a jacket!

    • Yep, butt just fell off. Our low temps have been 86 and above for the last 2 months. We have finally had a reprieve. I remember in the 70’s if it was going to be 117 we just thought it was going to be hot, drink water and don’t spend too much time outside, or stay in the pool. Now they have extreme heat warns. “you live in the desert, it gets hot in the desert.” Thanks for letting me let off a little steam.

  5. 1. By how many millimeters does the sea level surface height change?

    For 1C?

    well that’s an ill posed question.

    answer why it is ill posed

    • “See how easy assertions are?”

      Perhaps you would care to explain to the unwashed why it is an ill-posed question? You know, to actually advance the discussion?

      • That is not part of Mosher’s elitist mantra. YOU have to figure out what gremlins are running around in his brain. He’s not required to ‘splain to you.

    • If you want to advance understanding on the subject, I’d suggest getting off your high horse and explaining why YOU think it is an ill-posed question. I get the impression that you hang out here to support your ego by presenting “ill posed” opinions that make it difficult for mere mortals to answer your questions.

      • Cmon now. He managed to type almost 25 actual English words without a misspelling. Granted, he is still “learning in progress” on punctuation and capitalization.

        We need to at least give him a participation trophy.

    • Steve is just trying to be cute it’s a Nick Stokes definition crap to try and look smart … you haven’t specified where the 1 degree warming is. The way the question is posed you sort of have to assume the 1 degree is worldwide and then right at the air/water interface anything other than that and you have to approximate via integration or model it. As an example you could have all the landmass go up by a lot and the water very little and the average is still 1 degree. You can easily derived an answer but you have to make assumptions which you need to specify remembering the water only gets warm by some fraction of whatever the global temp rise is.

      I don’t know why Steve fixated on the sea level one perhaps it’s the only one he knew, but it’s true of each and every question posed.

  6. The biggest issue to add to this list is what is the change in specific heat of air given that CO2 has increased by 100 ppm or about 30% since the last value.

    If I calculate the energy needed to raise 2 kg of CO2 1 C I get half the temperature change of 1 kg using the same Q. By doubling the amount of CO2 climate science says I should have gotten a higher temperature.

    • mkelly, specific heat is not relevant. A
      mass of CO2 is not simply being externally heated. That’s not how it works. It is the absorption by the CO2 molecule of long wave IR rising from earth’s surface that otherwise would exit to space, and its re-emission of it in all directions, including back to the surface of the earth.

      Any mechanism at all that delays the exit of LWIR to outer space, even a little bit, perforce heats the atmosphere. I.e, solar insolation arrives at the speed of light, but some of the LWIR from the heated surface is impeded by absorption and then re-emitted eventually to exit into space.

      Another slow process of return of radiation to space is rapid convection en masse of evaporated sea water upwards, this heat bypassing the CO2 near surface during thunderstorm development in the equatorial band. It rises in the “chimney” of the storm cell up to the stratosphere, where it can readily emit the sensible heat PLUS the latent (the water freezes) to outer space. The wet air mass moves quickly, but not at the speed of light!

      • “Any mechanism at all that delays the exit of LWIR to outer space, even a little bit, perforce heats the atmosphere. I.e, solar insolation arrives at the speed of light, but some of the LWIR from the heated surface is impeded by absorption (handwavium nonsense) and then re-emitted eventually to exit into space.”

        Even is this mechanism were real, which it is not, 0.04% would still have essentially zero effect.

        1) The albedo makes the earth cooler w atmos than w/o not warmer.
        2) the up/down GHG warming loop violates all three thermodynamic laws: “extra” energy out of nowhere, cold to hot w/o work, 100% efficient perpetual loop. It all goes up, it all comes down, no half and half split in all directions.
        3) Because of the non-radiative heat transfer processes BB, .95 emissivity, “extra” energy upwelling from the surface is not possible.

        Another equation: 1 + 2 + 3 = 0 RGHE + 0 GHG warming + 0 CAGW

      • Well Gary I profoundly disagree. Thermodynamics says the energy (Q) can be in “any form”. So if it can be in any form then IR has no effect and specific heat already accounts for it and climate science is wrong.

        The specific heat of air has changed by trading oxygen molecules for CO2 molecule. What is the new value?

        There is no mention of this ability to heat in the specific heat tables, the Shomate equation, or the NIST darts sheet.

        • Q = 1/R * A * (Tsurf – Ttoa) explains why the surface is warmer than ToA, the thermal resistance of the atmospheric molecules, specific heat capacity and thermal conductivity, – up to 32 km where they disappear.

          Same reason the insulated envelope of a house in Fairbanks makes it warmer inside than outside on a 20 F day.

          Or colder inside than out in 110 F Phoenix.

          And there is thermal gradient through those walls which in the atmosphere is called lapse rate.

          The thermal resistance is a combination of: conductivity, convection, advection, latent and radiation.

          Most any HVAC or heat exchanger design engineer works this complex heat transfer process daily.

    • Mosh,
      Tell me why the oceans should not act like a liquid thermometer (broadly) expanding when they get warmer. Maybe I have chosen the wrong T metric with GAST because I am not convinced that low air temperatures cool and contract the oceans.
      You must have found activists saying that global warming causes sea levels to rise.
      I am asking for an equation showing this, not for fine details to excuse a failure to produce an equation.
      Geoff S

  7. NASA: “…cold waves less intense everywhere.” As I sit here writing this technicians are installing a newer and larger capacity gas-fired heater for our radiator house-heating system, because the cold waves are getting stronger (both lasting longer and colder) in Mendoza, Argentina, where I live. I fear the center of wine production in my home Province may be moving equator-ward in the coming years and I may have to move. Sign me: waiting for that global warming deal to kick in.

  8. Equations:

    In order to perform as advertised the greenhouse effect relies on “extra” energy upwelling from the surface and “extra” energy downwelling/”back” radiating from the cold troposphere towards the warm surface.
    What follows is a classical style experiment demonstrating why that “extra” energy is not possible.

    The central apparatus is an electric plate heater rated at 125 W with a surface area of 0.00895 m^2 which at equilibrium must radiate at 13,960 W/m^2. (125/0.00895)
    According to S-B for the heater to radiate ALL of its energy as a BB requires a surface temperature of about 808 F. (13,960/5.67E-8)^.25
    Let us call that input energy “Hot Ray.”
    The measured heater surface temperature in open air was about 670 F.
    A large chunk of the input energy is gone missing.
    Let us call the energy radiating at 670 F “Net Ray.”

    Hot Ray – ??? = Net Ray

    There is a contingent that asserts Hot Rays from one direction and Cold Rays from an opposing direction meet somewhere in the middle and go “boink” to produce Net Ray.

    Hot Ray – Cold Ray = Net Ray

    However, this experiment shows that the ??? in question is obviously the non-radiative heat transfer processes of the contiguous gang of heat transfer participating kinetic molecules, aka Non-Ray. These non-radiative heat transfer processes lower the heater’s surface temperature and the net amount of exiting radiation.

    Hot Ray – Non-Ray = Net Ray

    In observable fact, when fans and water sprays are applied, Non-Ray increases and Net Ray decreases, as does emissivity which equals Net Ray / Hot Ray.
    When the heater is operated under vacuum where Non-Ray = 0, i.e. does not exist, the heater surface exhibits close to the predicted BB temperature.

    If Hot Ray – Cold Ray = Net Ray were correct the vacuum Hot Ray would have been diminished by the Cold Ray from the inner walls of the vacuum box and display less than the BB.
    Zero evidence of that.

    Hot Ray = Net Ray implies Cold Ray = 0


    LWIR from the cold troposphere cannot radiate “extra” energy back towards the warm surface.
    BB radiation upwelling “extra” energy from the surface is not possible.

    Recall Feynman’s observation on theories and experiments.

    • Nick Schroeder

      Shush now, or you will have the lukewarmers and RGHE gatekeepers here in convulsions poor luvs.

    • Nick, you posted, regarding your “classical style experiment”:
      “The central apparatus is an electric plate heater rated at 125 W with a surface area of 0.00895 m^2 which at equilibrium must radiate at 13,960 W/m^2. (125/0.00895)
      According to S-B for the heater to radiate ALL of its energy as a BB requires a surface temperature of about 808 F. (13,960/5.67E-8)^.25
      Let us call that input energy “Hot Ray.”
      The measured heater surface temperature in open air was about 670 F.
      A large chunk of the input energy is gone missing.”

      The “gone missing” input energy could easily be explained by:
      — the heater’s electrical power “rating” simply being incorrect
      — conductive heat transfer from the heating element to the supporting structure (i.e., rest of the heater unit)
      — failure to correct for actual heater surface emissivity instead of assuming BB (emissivity = 1.0) radiation from the heating surface . . . per your own calculations presented above
      — incorrect measurement of the heater surface temperature in air (e.g., thermal contact ΔT, problems with thermocouple measurement of an element in an electrically active circuit, requirement to input correct surface emissivity for accurate pyrometer measurement, etc.)

      There are many other factors in play other than just convective heat transfer to air, which I understand you to assign (somewhat mysteriously) first the name “Cold Ray”, then subsequently “Non-Ray”.

      As such, all the rest of your “Hot Ray”, “Cold Ray”, “Non-Ray” and “Net Ray” discussion is so much gibberish.

      As are the conclusions you drew from such.


      • Looks like you have much to consider when you replicate my experiment and publish results. BTW I have all of about $800 in the set up.

        Non-Ray = conduction, convection, advection (wind) and latent (evap & cond)

        Cold Ray = “back” or downwelling radiation.

        The heaters stamped rating is 125 W. The wattmeter measured 125 W.
        A more likely adjustment is in an accurate surface area for the heater.

        And this avoids the other points: The earth is cooler w atmos not warmer, nearby space is 394 K not 5 K. The GHG loop of “extra” energy violates thermo.

  9. Griff,
    Here’s a layout of all the graphs on the extent of sea ice from the five IPCC Assessment Reports:

    It doesn’t take a genius to see that the IPCC has changed the range and re-wrote the data used to generate those five graphs. One has to wonder why in 2007 the IPCC decided to drop the data prior to 1980. and why the 1980-1990 data obviously changed. Here’s what that looks like:

    I am reminded of the old To Tell the Truth TV show from the ’50s. Will the real Sea Ice Extent please stand up!

  10. Just as important, the proper error analysis for each calculation must be agreed upon. If you don’t know the error associated with your result, you don’t really know your result.

  11. 7- What is the net change to the global number of of marine animals specifically Ursus maritimus (polar bears)? Weren’t they supposed to have suffered severe reductions in population by now?

  12. Having studied physics in college, then ,taken courses in geology, meteorology, oceanography, more physics, plus read a bit of history, my observation is that S. Frederick Singer, Ph.D in physics and author of the book “Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years” ( plus or minus 500) has the real word on this subject. Ignore the ridiculous verbal garbage claims about him you find on the internet. I have yet to see any proof that what he says in the book is wrong.

    As far as these 97 percent claims are concerned, my response is to read about Alfred Wegener. Science is not determined by popular vote, never has been, never will be.

  13. “anti-warming agencies like NGOs.”

    Just a correction, Geoff. They are NOT anti-warming, they are anti-human. They want climate change to wipe out much of humanity, but they know it’s really not going to happen. So they are attempting to do the same by regressing all of human civilization back into hunter/gatherer societies.

  14. Geoffrey Sherrington,

    Very nice article, but I do believe you missed the biggest one of all: By what percent does the average concentration of water vapor in Earth’s troposphere change?

    This is somewhat related to, but separate from, your item #5.

    As you very likely know, water vapor is the overwhelming “greenhouse gas” in Earth’s atmosphere.

    Beyond that, sea- and land-surface evaporation of water and its condensation into clouds and associated precipitation (when it occurs) is a fundamental mechanism for transferring heat from Earth’s surface to the troposphere (accounting for about 16% of the total transferred, surface radiation accounting for 80% of the remainder). As such, when combined with Earth’s prevailing air circulation patterns, water’s evaporation/condensation characteristics (mainly the associated latent heats) are the major means for distribution of thermal energy across the totality of Earth’s surface, in process both day and night.

      • Errr, that would sum to 163%. Does that excess account for cooling or warming. Inquiring minds want to know.

        No wonder the world is in trouble.

        • That sums to 160 W/m^2.
          160 W/m^2 arrive at the surface.
          No more than 160 W/m^2 can leave the surface.
          396 upwelling per S-B BB – 63 = 333 net up & down appearing out of nowhere.

          • BTW, the 2009 update the Kiehl & Trenberth overall energy flow balance diagram for Earth (available at
   among many other sources) gives the numbers, in W/m^2, that I used in my calculations and that you repeated above.

            However, this same balance diagram clearly shows 396 w/m^2 leaving Earth’s surface (as LWIR) and 333 W/m^2 “back radiation” (as LWIR) to create the NET radiation loss of 63 W/m^2.

            Combine this NET radiation loss with the 17 W/m^2 leaving by “Thermals” per K-T terminology (17 W/m^2 by your term “sensible”) plus 80 W/m^2 leaving by “Evapo-transpiration” per K-T terminology (80 w/m^2 by your term “latent”) and you arrive at a sum of 160 W/m^2 that you assert balances the 160 W/m^2 arriving at the surface.

            The K-T figure of 396 W/m^2 is not based on S-B blackbody radiation because Earth is not a blackbody with emissivity = 1.0 for all of its surface nor does it have a uniform surface temperature. I believe that instead this value is derived from satellite measurements of Earth’s radiation integrated over the EM spectrum and total projected area of TOA.

            In any event, the K-T diagram of energy flows balances only under the stated condition of 333 W/m^2 of “Back Radiation” (K-T term) coming from the atmosphere with “Greenhouses Gases” (K-T term) onto Earth’s surface.

            So, by your appealing to the K-T energy flow balance, it certainly appears that you accept the principle of greenhouse gases capturing heat and then sending some of that heat (it amounts to 333/396 = 84%) back to Earth as LWIR.

            Your math and associated conclusion of “396 upwelling per S-B BB – 63 = 333 net up & down appearing out of nowhere” is NOT supported by the values given in the K-T energy flow balance diagram.

            I leave it to you to reconcile to your own content the above-referenced K-T diagram and its various W/m^2 values—in particular, the identification of 333 W/m^2 back radiation from the atmosphere (a relatively cooler body) to Earth’s surface (a relatively warmer body)—with your other statements made elsewhere, including the concepts of “Hot Rays”, “Cold Rays”, “Non-Rays” and “Net Rays”.

          • “However, this same balance diagram clearly shows 396 w/m^2 leaving Earth’s surface (as LWIR) and 333 W/m^2 “back radiation” (as LWIR) to create the NET radiation loss of 63 W/m^2.”
            There is no such thang as “back radiation.” It does not exist.
            Neither does the upwelling 396 W/m^2.
            The 396 appears out of a theoretical, “what if” calculation for a surface at 16 C, 289 K plus S-B with 1.0 emissivity.
            Surface emissivity can be: theoretical 63/396=0.16 or 63/160=0.39.
            It cannot be anything resembling BB.
            In TFK_bams09 Trenberth states that emissivity of the oceans is .95. Because of the significant non-radiative processes at the ocean’s surface this BB upwelling is simply not possible.
            This is only for the surface not ToA.
            SURFRAD assumes BB and measures almost twice as much upwelling energy as arrived from the sun, an obvious conservation of energy error.
            I’m not appealing to the K-T diagram, I am explaining why It is incorrect.

            “…it certainly appears that you accept the principle of greenhouse gases capturing heat and then sending some of that heat (it amounts to 333/396 = 84%) back to Earth as LWIR.”
            This appearance and principle are emphatically not possible.

          • Strange, an awful lot of climate scientists believe the K-T energy balance is a good approximation of reality, although many argue over the exact W/m^2 values provided therein for the various processes identified in that schematic representation.

            And why were you the first person in this posting trail (in your post of September 11, 2020 at 9:30 am) to mention the W/m^2 values by direct reference to “K-T diagram”, if you now assert “I’m not appealing to the K-T diagram, I am explaining why It is incorrect”?

            Methinks you need to take your assertion of the impossibility of those certain heat flows (actually, W/m^2 fluxes) and balances, as well as your countervailing “scientific” arguments, to Professors Jeffrey T. Kiehl and Kevin E. Trenberth who originated the balance diagram. After all, it is they—not me–that worked through the underlying physics and thermodynamics.

            Please let me know their response to your offered corrections 🙂

            Or alternatively, please provide the title and date of your article or journal paper that will be correcting the glaring mistakes in the K-T diagram and balances :-))

          • An awful lot have been completely wrong in the not so distant past: phlogiston, luminiferous ether, spontaneous generation……

            Trenberth refuses to talk to me. Not that I push it.

            I think we misunderstand “appeal.” It’s a reference. There are hundreds of clones and they all depend on “extra” energy appearing out of then air.

            One would think when several values exceeding 100% start showing up it would be a clue that some thing was amiss.

  15. The predictable responses from climate science “Centers of Excellence” to all these questions is –
    “well, we’re working on these undoubted effects of climate change, but more research is needed.”

    (ps – funding has never been more essential or urgent for our noble efforts on behalf of the planet. Please replace Mr. Trump with someone who will see things our way)

  16. As the assessment of the deplorable condition of U.S. temperature measuring sites by Anthony Watts has shown, I don’t think meteorogists of 50 years ago ever dreamed that the imprecise temperature data would be used to form POLICY just for political reasons. It would be like using your leg to measure the increase in sea level. It is absurd and unscientific in every way.

  17. “The intensity, frequency and duration of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as the frequency of the strongest (Category 4 and 5) hurricanes, have all increased since the early 1980s. ”

    Doesn’t NASA data contradict this point?

    • Steve45, your statement is contrary to the UAH global average lower tropospheric temperature data that is tracked and published regularly by Dr. Roy Spence (his most recent update at )

      His data shows overall WARMING trends since January 1979 of +0.14 C/decade (+0.12 C/decade over the global-averaged oceans, and +0.18 C/decade over the global-averaged land).

      I trust Dr. Spencer’s data and trending.

      • 0.18 C PER DECADE!!!!!

        Hardly a meaningful trend.

        UHI and uncertainty and updated instruments and procedures and natural variation………

        • Nick,
          Dr. Spencer’s work at UAH involves using microwave sounding instruments aboard satellites to derived temperatures of various atmospheric layers with 97-98% global coverage.
          (see )

          As such, it would not be subject to UHI effect. The UAH data is from some of the most modern instruments capable of determining atmospheric temperatures globally.

          You obviously have your own definition of the term “meaning trend”. Mine is different from yours and I assert that the temperature trend as presented by Dr. Spencer is meaningful over 30+ years to at least one significant digit (i.e., +0.1 C/decade warming).

          You, of course, are free to present you own data for consideration.

          • Temperature is the comparative, equilibrium kinetic energy between substances as directly measured by a mercury in glass thermometer, thermocouple, RTD etc. bearing an NBS certificate of calibration.
            Indirect IR or micro-wave methods infer temperatures and are essentially proxies little different from tree rings, fossilized leaf stomata, ice cores, lake sediments, Ouija board, etc. and subject to numerous issues.

            It took but a moment to locate this at not-so-skeptical science.
            Of faux SkepSci thinks the data is low.

            It is obvious from USCRN data that the IR instruments are “tweaked” to conform to the traditional RTD instruments and are as such not independent values.
            And SURFRAD upwelling W/m^2 measurements clearly assume the surface radiates BB which is just flat wrong.

            Not that it matters.

            1) By reflecting 30% of the ISR the earth’s albedo, existing only because of the atmosphere, makes the earth cooler than it would be without that atmosphere. Remove the atmosphere and the earth becomes much like the moon, a direct contradiction of RGHE.

            2) Entropy absolutely, positively, emphatically prohibits the up/down, “trapping”/”back” radiating GHG “extra” energy loop.

            3) The non-radiative heat transfer processes of the atmospheric molecules make upwelling “extra” energy from a BB surface impossible.

            There is no greenhouse effect – all the rest is moot.

          • Nick,
            Among other things, you stated: “By reflecting 30% of the ISR the earth’s albedo, existing only because of the atmosphere, makes the earth cooler . . .”

            If you had a good understanding of the physics of radiation, you would know that Earth’s albedo is largely determined by incoming solar energy reflected off the combination of clouds and atmosphere and EARTH’S SURFACE.

            And the term ‘albedo” is applied scientifically and correctly to objects without any atmosphere, such as the Moon.

            And albedo does not “make the Earth cooler” . . . it only limits how much of the total available solar energy is absorbed in Earth’s atmosphere and at its land and water surfaces at any given moment in time.

            And it does matter.

            In any event, good luck with continuing through life with your “There is no greenhouse effect” mantra.

            I am at the point of the old saying about trying to teach a pig to sing . . .

  18. Well, about 100 comments so far and nobody has produced an equation. A few got close, but most failed to move their minds from CO2 and time series.
    I am asking you to use a different frame. This request is simply put and is clear enough in the head post, but nobody did it.
    Just now, I am pondering what this means.
    Mainly, I suspect that a lot of thinkers have had their minds filled with conventions and approaches invented and pushed by people with a different view, one dominated by greenhouse gases.
    I do not care, in this essay, what causes hot or cold. It seems to get colder and hotter for some reasons. But what does this do for things like crop yields and sea level change?

    I seek to know the detail of how global warming leads to an alleged environmental catastrophe, and a crisis as well.

    Or is it all made up? Geoff S

    • Geoff,

      No, it is not all “made up”. The problem is that, in your article above, you asked for “these dozen equations” to be mathematically stated. Each and every one is a complex problem (involving many interactions and feedback loops . . . sort of mathematical recursion) and great uncertainty over many relevant constants and variables . . . impossible to express in closed form. There is simply no such thing as that which you requested for any of the twelve items you identified.

      I, as well as many WUWT readers I presume, believed your article’s request for mathematical treatments as being a rhetorical statement. Perhaps we were wrong.

      As to “what this means”:
      “It is the mark of an educated mind to rest satisfied with the degree of precision which the nature of the subject admits and not to seek exactness where only an approximation is possible.” — Aristotle

      • GAD,
        Not sure that I agree with you.
        I suspect, as I said, that people are too used to digesting time series data and have almost forgotten how to think in a mind set of temperature being a major variable.
        This despite the terms like “global warming” being so widely used and accepted.
        If warming is causingharm, surely it is desirable to plot that harms against a temperature change.
        While I accept that many of the dirty dozen items have complex dependencies, that similar amount of dependency has not hindered those researchers who plot harm with time and harm with CO2 in air. Temperature is just another variable.
        But, because past physics has said little about laws relating to CO2 in air – but a lot about T-dependent properties of materials and climate and chemical kinetics – this T-dependence is not developed so much because it is so much easier for inquiring minds to find errors when they happen, like violations of the laws of thermodynamics.
        One might expect second-rate researchers to steer clear of the classical, complicated, researched relationships of the past in favour of their home brew, like everything sad being CO2-dependent.
        I sus pect we are fairly much in agreement but both open to new views. Geoff S

  19. From NASA’s fourth bullet point, “The intensity, frequency and duration of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as the frequency of the strongest (Category 4 and 5) hurricanes, have all increased since the early 1980s.” This is true but all these metrics had been decreasing from the 1930s. I don’t think we have reached the peak of hurricane activity that was reached during that decade. This is a fine example of cherry-picking the data from a longer set to support your point when the longer set disproves your point.

  20. After reading all these responses, I now understand how my younger brother thinks – even though I rarely understand what he says! Lol. Glad there are super smart folks on this planet!

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