The Water Planet Earth And Its Climate

Guest post by Boris Winterhalter

English version March 14th 2021

A seminar talk I gave on August 15th 2020 in Helsinki organized by Ilmastofoorumi, a registered Society with the mission to disseminate correct climate knowledge as compared to the erroneous dogma provided by the IPCC.


Many years ago I happened to read a paper by Willis Eschenbach introducing his Water Thermostat. I have forgotten the essence of his paper, but the name stuck with me for years. Now years later and having retired from my normal marine geological activity at the Geological Survey of Finland in 2002, I have been able to dig deeper into the IPCC storyline of manmade global warming. The fact is that my view of the story does not meet ends with the official IPCC storyline where carbon dioxide, instead of being the source of life, is assumed to be the master culprit behind the slight warming of our planet for example since the end of the Little Ice Age 150 years ago. It is said that the warming is caused by the fast developing industrial revolution, luckily learning to exploit fossil fuels, and thus improving human living standards.

Yes! Carbon dioxide has been coined as an evil gas, a pollutant by the US Environ-mental Protection Agency (EPA), warming the atmosphere to catastrophic levels, inducing floods, droughts, super hurricanes and even the “end of humanity”? The ghastly thing is that the IPCC climate narratives have been successfully targeted to scare people in all parts of our wonderful planet with imminent danger due to increasing levels of emissions of CO2 which, as I mentioned above, is in reality, together with water, simply the “must food” for plants, thus also for all life on Earth.

I should point out that from the first IPCC climate assessment report published in 1990, the scare tactics in all four IPCC follow-up reports up to the fifth AR5 WGI science basis report, the scare propaganda has every time intensified. Probably the 6th report, soon to be published, will be close to doomsday propaganda.

In my talk I will try to paint a picture of our planet and how come it has been able to sustain vivid life forms for over half a billion years and this I will do without those complex climate models assumed to be able to mimic nature. But before that, there was recently this interesting link by Professor Toby Tyrrell: Tyrell a specialist in Earth system science highlighting results of a recent study, published in the Nature Journal Communications Earth and Environment, suggested that “chance” is a major factor in determining whether planets, such as Earth, can continue to nurture life over billions of years. Tyrrell comments: “A continuously stable and habitable climate on Earth is quite puzzling. Our neighbors, Mars and Venus, do not have habitable temperatures, even though Mars probably once did also have water.” Tyrrell concludes: “Pure chance is the reason that Planet Earth has stayed habitable for billions of years.”

I personally do not think that good luck has anything to do with habitability. The fact remains that the conditions for life to evolve have just been plain suitable, i.e. just a few prerequisites are needed:

So what makes Earth so special? Five major reasons!

1. The distance between Earth and our energy source, the SUN, is just about right; we don’t freeze nor boil.

2. About 70% of Earth’s surface is covered by oceans of salty water, the rest being land. (Note! Salt water is heavier than fresh water.)

3. Energy from the Sun drives evaporation; water vapor is the most “powerful” greenhouse gas, acknowledged by the IPCC. Increasing water vapor (air humidity) in the atmosphere makes the air not heavier but more buoyant, forms clouds (adiabatic cooling) and vapor can condense and precipitate as freshwater rain; it keeps our planet suitable for life but also prevents excessive warming by radiating heat out to space. 

4. The thermodynamics (energy transfer) between the three phases of water (gas, liquid and solid) function in unison with a suitable energy supply from our Sun. Together, they form what can be called a very reliable and effective thermostat that regulates global climate within astonishingly narrow bounds (see fig. 4).

5. Despite occasional extreme geographical, geological and climatic perturbations, this climate regulating thermostat has been conducive to an evolution of a myriad of life forms ranging from smallest single celled biota to gigantic “saurians”; virtually all based on carbon and naturally fluid water.

Marcel Leroux on average global temperature

The IPCC has decided that the current global average temperature should not be allowed to increase more than 2 degrees Celsius above the preindustrial average temperature; whatever that might be? In a speech some two decades ago French  climatologist Marcel Leroux wondered what is the point of discussing average global temperature when there is no average global climate.

Please enjoy one of my favorites:

Fig. 1. During a cold winter spell with freezing tempera-tures, the main Finnish newspaper showed on 27th Feb 2005 a cartoon with the text: don’t people know that Earth’s climate is getting warmer?

This same cartoon could be just as well applied today in February 2021 while I am finalizing this text on my views pertaining to climate variability and why globally speaking Earth’s climate has been throughout the Phanerozoic Eon strangely stable with only very occasional catastrophic events e.g. due to impacts of extraterrestrial bodies or large scale volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. We can say that drastic changes in past climates have been really rare and have always returned to a “normal” climate that we humans today inhabit; WHY? 

Primaeval Earth

Before looking for an answer to WHY? we have to go back in time. It is widely assumed that billions of years ago our Earth was very hot and grew in size by accreting space debris and gases possibly from the asteroid belt. Eventually the hot planet began to cool down with a probable atmosphere of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, methane and also obviously a lot of overheated (supercharged) water vapor, etc. However, at this stage the atmosphere was still probably void of oxygen.

Eventually the overheated atmosphere cooled sufficiently to allow the very hot water vapor to condense and precipitate (rain) to form the initial oceans. The water in the oceans is thought to come from several sources; one source being the so-called “juvenile” water freed from mineral matter, mainly of volcanic origin or as some scientists assume that asteroids and other celestial bodies could also be the source. 

Anyhow, let’s accept that a young Earth had an ocean of salty “brine” water dissolved from various minerals. Solar energy was beaming down on the ocean surfaces and depending on the transparency of the water a warm top layer (water layer above the thermocline) of varying thickness developed. Windy conditions led to waves and spray and a warm sea surface, being together conducive to water being easily evaporated and forming a variably humid atmospheric environment for our planet.

Compared e.g. to nitrogen (N2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) water vapor H2O is a lightweight gas. The more water vapor in the atmosphere the more buoyant the ambient air becomes causing an uplift of this moist air. Eventually the humid air reaches an altitude where adiabatic cooling (decrease in ambient pressure) leads to cloud formation and finally precipitation. This process naturally guarantees that depressions on dry land will fill with fresh rain water which will later be one of the main requirements for complex life forms to evolve.

The first life forms

Some 3.5 billion years (Ga) ago possibly in volcanically active springs solar radiation or like some researchers suggest through lightning activity, simple carbon based compounds were formed. These could have formed chemoautotrophs capable of breaking down CO2 for carbon and oxygen for energy. The next important biological change occurred with the evolution of photosynthesis by “blue-green algae” i.e. cyanobacteria capable of using solar energy to break down CO2 and H2O. Both of these simple molecules are still the main building blocs of all life on Earth.

The introduction of oxygen into Earth’s atmosphere changes dramatically conditions for future evolution of plant and animal life. Nature was quick at using the new environment for the evolution of multitudes of life forms to populate our Earth with flora coming first and followed by fauna making use of the abundant new plant life.

Fig. 2 Active accretion of cyano-bacteria and carbonate off the southern shore of Australia known as stromatolites are close relatives to similar stromatolites found in Archaean bedrock of Finland.[1]  These ancient cyano-bacteria have modern relatives (blue green algae) that during strong summer blooms tend to spoil the day for beach enthusiasts at least in the Baltic Sea region.

Fig. 3. shows how the  oxygen content in the atmosphere is slowly increasing from stage 2 (2.45-1.85 Ga) onwards. Stage 4 (0.85–0.54?Ga) saw a rapid rise in atmospheric oxygen to a partial pressure of 0.2 atm. Similar to present air pressure found at ocean level today. Oxygen levels  during stage 5 (0.54 Ga-present) probably rose to a maximum value of abt. 0.3 atm (30%) during the Carboniferous before return-ing to current value of 0.2 atm. 

The rapid addition of oxygen to the atmosphere triggered an expansion of biota and in fact opened the doors to countless, you might say, mind-boggling evolutionary life forms exposed to us by paleontologists.

Fig. 4.  The above graph spans the entire Phanerozoic eon (540 million years to the present) and shows a decreasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration from 7000 ppm down to the present 400 ppm (the red line). The black line marks the average global surface temperature anomaly (the temperature difference compared to the present average global temperature). To put the temperature range into context it seems obvious that the average conditions on our planet have not changed that much during the past eon, even compared to this day.

Looking at the above graph it is tempting to link the centrally located very large dip in both carbon dioxide and temperature values to what is being done with ice core studies and the tendency to prove that CO2 drives temperature. Nothing doing, because the old extremely high atmospheric CO2 is a remnant from the past awaiting the realm of cyanobacteria and photosynthesis.

A special feature during the Carboniferous, 360-300 million years ago, saw vast forests flourishing and increasing photosynthesis raising the atmospheric oxygen content to about 30% (0.3 atm). It seems to be common knowledge that high levels of oxygen in dry forests are prone to cause forest fires. The fires naturally consumed oxygen and lowered the concentration to the earlier level of 20%, and at the same time fires causing an increase in atmospheric CO2. Fires become again significant in the late Jurassic and also during the Cretaceous. Forest fires are generally assumed to be destructive to flora and fauna, but the fact remains that for many species fires provide a chance to rejuvenate.

Plate tectonics and volcanism

Old and new research in paleontology has shown that throughout Earth history condi-tions for life have varied from tranquil to tumultuous. Radical changes have included new life forms while others went extinct. Some of the changes were due to changes in the environment and others due to competition between species. But some of the most dramatic events could be related to geology and geography in the form of earth-quakes, volcanic eruptions and even extraterrestrial impacts, like the asteroid hitting the Yucatan peninsula 66 million years ago. The asteroid impact caused a almost total extinction of the large dinosaurs and many other species. Wikipedia: “a widely accepted theory is that worldwide climate disruption from the event was the cause of the Cretaceous–Paleocene extinction event, a mass extinction in which 75% of plant and animal species on Earth became extinct, including all non-avian dinosaurs. New species evolved filling the spaces vacated by extinction of others”.

A more subtle force causing changes in geography is plate tectonics originally known as continental drift “invented” in 1912 by Alfred Wegener. He compared maps of South America and Africa and was astonished how well the two continents align as though torn from each other by some magical force. He also noted many similarities in animals and plants on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.There are countless examples of species adapting to changing environments. A very good example often mentioned by environmentalists is the assumed demise of polar bears due to man-made global warming. In fact the polar bear originated from the brown bear probably a million years ago to be better adapted to living in a cold arctic ice-environment being a precursor to a series of Arctic glaciations.

The Wandering of Continents

Those readers that want a better understanding of regional climate variability due to geographic changes thru time, please go to Christopher Scotese’s internet site on paleomaps of our Earth and watch e.g. the youtube video:

which shows the “drift” of land masses starting with the Cambrian 540 million years) ago and up to the present. The video shows the location of land masses moving across our globe; a closer scrutiny will also show contour lines of the present land areas for orientation. For the benefit of readers, I copied two frames, from the video animation as an example how plate tectonics changes global and “local”geography. Fig. 5a shows the present location of a land mass in northern most part of Europe, and Fig. 5b. the location of the same landmass from the time when carbonate sediments and corals were deposited during the Ordovician 480 million years ago in a subtropical environment on the bottom of what is now the Baltic Sea.

Fig. 5a. Shows the present location of my home country Finland and also Scandinavia in a sub-arctic environment (cyan ring) partly engulfing the Arctic Circle.

Fig 5b. The light green ring encircles the “same” shallows and land masses located half way between the Equator and the South Pole during the Ordovician 480 million years ago. The area would later be known as the Baltic Sea with Ordovician warm water carbonate deposits exposed on the island of Gotland in the middle of the Baltic Sea.

The fact that continents or parts of them have wandered across many climatic zones must be kept in mind when discussing regional climates because especially their seasonal climates (average temperatures) can vary a lot. During the hundreds of millions of years that have passed, the global average temperatures have, however, remained astonishingly stable (cf. Fig. 4). Thus discussing global average tempera-tures makes little sense unless regional temperature variations are accounted for.

Although the wandering of continents happens mostly in slow motion some collisions have been revolutionary causing havoc and destruction. An excellent example was the detachment of India from Antarctica in the Early Cretaceous and colliding with the Asian massif less than 100 million years later. The speed of the collision was by some researcher calculated to have been 45 to 75 cm/yr. Must have been a terrific calamity when the Himalayan mountain range reached its newborn height.

Earth Recuperates from the Calamities.

“Strangely enough” the plentitude of water has guaranteed a global climate that has been to this day conducive to life unabated in the form we have learned to know from paleontology. The funny thing is that atmospheric carbon dioxide, although crucial to the prosperity of life forms, has had only a very minor if any role in regulating the average global temperatures despite the contrary views propagated by IPCC.

I should add that Antarctic ice core data show that atmospheric CO2 concentration has followed temperature with a delay of hundreds of years, not driving temperature. Although we humans have thru increasing use of fossil fuels added some CO2 gas into the atmosphere, this minor gas (0.04%) like other gases soluble in water, are absorbed in cold water and are likewise emitted (de-gassed) from warming water. A good example of gas exchange in water bodies can be observed in small lakes and ponds that are during warm summer days being depleted in dissolved oxygen causing fish to suffocate; “dead fish” floating to the surface.

The IPCC’s Climate Role and Reporting

Before proceeding to more modern times and the POLITICALLY MOTIVATED man-made global warming hype, a few words on the IPCC. The organization was originally formed in 1988 with a defined mandate to study to what extent human activities might be changing Earth’s climate. The first Assessment Science Report (FAR) was published in 1990. I recall having been enthusiastic awaiting new information on the state of Earth’s climate. I read the many pages and learned a lot. However, getting my hands on the first Summary for Policy Makers was an anticlimax with a message drastically different from the actual Science Report.

During the following years the science reports still contained a lot of interesting information on Earth’s climate and the various factors affecting both weather and climate. However , the consecutive Summaries for Policy Makers seemed to escalate “climate scare-mongering” on which media was quick to develop horror stories of extreme natural catastrophes in a very near future unless CO2 emissions are curbed “immediately”. This message was further distorted by narratives from IPCC chairman Pachauri and ex-vice-president Al Gore. I could not believe that the climate science was settled!

The IPCC tries feverishly to prove that human emissions of CO2 has a detrimental impact on global temperatures. This requires a blind belief in computer modeling.

Fig 6. Shows computer model runs (gray band) using natural forcing (a) and observed temperature data (red line). Model run (b) same red line but using anthropogenic forcing only.  (c) Model run using both natural and anthropogenic forcings seem to give wanted “correct” result. But, how about the reliability of climate modeling? 

Fig. 7. Similar uses of models to prove something, was used in the fourth assessment report IPCC 2007 WG1.AR4. One of the goals was to “calculate” the so-called carbon dioxide climate sensitivity typically defined as the global temperature rise following a doubling of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere compared to pre-industrial levels. Here again comparing Anthropogenic + Natural Forcings and only Natural Forcings. Various versions of the same idea (model fiddling) can be found in the AR4 report, etc. Reliable data? NO!

The critical me was born! I became a writing and talking climate skeptic.

Reliability of Climate Models

The IPCC seems to rely more and more on climate models developed by various research institutes. I probably am not aware of the newest developments in climate modeling, but the fact remains that global climate is regulated by a multitude of processes part of which are poorly known or simply too complex to model. Such problems are solved by reverting to so-called intelligent guesswork or simplifying the algorithms. This dilemma was well demonstrated by Roy Spencer and John Christy working on NASA’s climate satellite data. To check the reliability of modeling Roy ran 90 different climate models and came up with the following graph.

Fig. 8. The graph shows climate model runs using 1983 as a starting point and ending in 2030. The observed data covers the time from 1983 to 2013 and obviously aimed to “compete” with the new fifth IPCC AR5WGI assessment report. The black-sphere-line denotes the average of the model runs, while the green line shows the actual global surface temperature from the British Hadley Centre and the blue line global UAH lower tropospheric average temperature. The text in RED is Roy’s sense of humor:“since 95% of climate models seem to agree, the observations must be wrong”. 

More IPCC Wonders

Last fall (2020) I decided to once again read the “latest” IPCC AR5/WGI/science basis report from 2013.  I couldn’t find the report from the original IPCC site https//, but I did find an updated version: which made me wonder why has the 2013 publication of WGIAR5 been updated in February 2018. My interest was really aroused when reaching page 666 and FAQ 8.1

Not having a copy of the original WGIAR5 from 2013, I was not sure whether this FAQ 8.1 existed in the 2013 version. Anyhow, I was rather astonished by the question and answer in the FAQ 8.1: How Important is Water Vapour to Climate Change?

The answer was rather cryptic: Water vapour is the primary greenhouse gas in the Earth’s atmosphere. The contribution of water vapour to the natural greenhouse effect  relative  to  that  of  carbon  dioxide  (CO2) depends on accounting  method (bold by BW),  but  can  be considered to be approximately two to three times greater. Really?

The text goes on explaining how different H2O is compared to CO2, etc. and finally noting that H2O  behaves differently from CO2 in one fundamental way: it can condense and precipitate and has a typical residence time of ten days in the atmosphere. My point: so what? We all know that evaporation from water surfaces and to a lesser extent from biota and naturally also volcanism, is more or less a continuos atmospheric process controlled mainly by our energy source, the SUN.

Then FAQ 8.1 continues by mentioning the obvious, that water vapor from anthropogenic sources is considerably less than from ‘natural’ evaporation and therefore has a negligible greenhouse effect. Ok!

FAQ 8.1 continues: Currently, water vapour has the largest greenhouse effect in the Earth’s atmosphere. However, other greenhouse gases, primarily CO2, are necessary to sustain the presence of water vapour in the atmosphere. This I find questionable, because surely solar energy is the main driver of evaporation?

FAQ 8.1 continues as a matter of fact:  Indeed, if these other gases e.g. CH4 (methane)  were removed from the atmosphere, its temperature would drop sufficiently to induce a decrease of water vapour, leading to a runaway drop of the greenhouse effect that would plunge the Earth into a frozen state. Is that a fact? So greenhouse gases other than water vapour provide the temperature structure that sustains current levels of atmospheric water vapour. Therefore, although CO2 is the main anthropogenic control knob (bold by BW) on climate, water vapour is a strong and fast feedback that amplifies any initial forcing by a typical factor between two and three. Water vapour is not a significant initial forcing, but is nevertheless a fundamental agent of climate change. The meaning of the sentence eludes me? Here again I am confused by the way that IPCC seems to belittle the role of our SUN in providing the main source of energy not only for evaporation, but also for growth of flora and fauna.

The IPCC faces a credibility problem.

To sustain credibility it is obvious that IPCC has to provide CO2 with a special role because on its own it is only a minor greenhouse gas. Thus IPCC grabs the idea of giving CO2 the role of a climate control knob, as originally introduced in 2010 by Lacis Atmospheric CO2: Principal Control Knob Governing Earth’s Temperature. Science 15 Oct 2010: Vol. 330, Issue 6002, pp. 356-359.

The IPCC presents the anthropogenic control knob idea as a new dogma and flags CO2 as the main radiative forcing driving the man-made global warming hype. From this follows, according to IPCC, that carbon emissions have to be quenched globally (Note e.g. the Paris agreement). To retain the “proper” narrative IPCC insists that the increase in atmospheric CO2 acts as a forcing but the same is not true of solar energy nor water vapor which is considered only as a strong feedback, i.e. something that needs a forcing, in this case even by a small increase in CO2.

We know that IPCC has a “morbid” demand for CO2 to be the input (forcing), not water vapor nor the Sun. A tricky dilemma, but never mind there is a solution: We all know that the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is controlled mostly by air temperature, i.e. the warmer the air the more water vapor can be retained in the atmosphere, which results in an increase in greenhouse effect. However, the IPCC neglects the role of solar energy and instead relies on man-made carbon emissions. It is here that radiative forcing steps in and CO2 gets the job to warm the air.

The IPCC remedy: We are told that even a small increase in CO2 that has absorbed infra red energy will spontaneously emit a forcing, which will warm the water surface and cause water molecules to evaporate, and as previously acknowledged by the IPCC this will increase the greenhouse effect (higher air humidity) by a factor of 2 to 3 compared to carbon dioxide.

Ain’t that a cute trick?

The IPCC concludes: According to IPCC dogma “Water vapour has the largest greenhouse effect in the Earth’s atmosphere. However, other greenhouse gases, primarily CO2, are necessary to sustain the presence of water vapour in the atmosphere. Indeed, if these other gases were removed from the atmosphere, its temperature would drop sufficiently to induce a decrease of water vapour, leading to a runaway drop of the greenhouse effect that would plunge the Earth into a frozen state. Therefore, although CO2 is the main anthropogenic control knob on climate, water vapour is a strong and fast feedback that amplifies any initial forcing by a typical factor between two and three. Water vapour is not a significant initial forcing, but is nevertheless a fundamental agent of climate change.

Final Conclusions: In my view the main mistake made by the IPCC is the insistence that CO2 is the main climate driver, possibly with some assistance from other minor greenhouse gases. It is now the official climate control knob.

I wonder how the IPCC explains the actual processes involved in a CO2 molecule absorbing IR energy of solar origin and then emitting (forcing) energy quanta capable of detaching a water molecule from a water surface despite a strong molecular bond called surface tension.

The IPCC also states erroneously that even a slight increase in atmospheric CO2 will increase several fold the greenhouse role of evaporated water which in reality is the doings of the Sun. Does this misinformation not prove that CO2 should be down-graded from the climate control knob duty and instead given back the original role as the ultimate nutrient for life on Earth

As far as I can see, my usage of the term water thermostat is the balance of water in the atmosphere being regulated between three phases: vapor (latent energy), droplets (clouds) and ice (clouds) and IR radiation to space and all of this in very close dependence with our Sun, the source of life! We should also remember that water vapor has a crucial convective role in meteorology i.e. adding buoyancy to an air mass as compared to dry air.

Reverting back to professor Toby Tyrrell and him being astonished over the stability and habitability of Earth’s climate; I don’t really agree with him. I have in this story tried to my best ability to show some basic assumptions why our planet is a suitable candidate to support what we know as life. In fact any celestial body with a similar setup could manage the same???

My guess is that many climate researchers have been misled by the flood of research projects developing extremely complicated climate models based on assumptions that global climate responds to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide. This error has caused tremendous loss of money and manpower without actually being able to solve the question how Earth has succeeded in keeping global climate conducive to the various life forms that have inhabited our wonderful planet. My answer is WATER!


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March 16, 2021 2:38 am

Water vapour provides strong negative feedback keeping the planet temperature within a narrow range as determined by external astronomic factors (solar radiation and orbital parameters)

March 16, 2021 3:04 am

Water is the miracle molecule in so many ways: high latent heat for state transitions, high specific heat capacity, present in solid, liquid and gaseous form on earth. Strong GHG. Maximum density at about 4 degC, so solid state floats on liquid state. This also means that the deepest ocean temperatures won’t fall below circa 4 degC and freeze (in the absence of salinity).

Last edited 1 year ago by ThinkingScientist
Reply to  ThinkingScientist
March 16, 2021 5:18 am

Water is also diamagnetic (repealed by magnetic field of both polarities) but effect is very weak. Does this have any effect on polar oceans currents circulation I doubt it. But IF it does (and it is a big capital IF) during periods of a weakening global magnetic field (at the present fall is accelerating) warm Atlantic currents would flow ever so slightly faster into the Arctic Ocean than in the past, and so contributing (on a very minuscule scale) to the Arctic ice melting. Effect in the Southern ocean due to the circumpolar current might be on different scale. As far as I’m aware there is no research done in the subject.

Reply to  Vuk
March 16, 2021 8:10 am

There is a very high correlation, but it must be some other much stronger forcing, else …
(data file

Reply to  Vuk
March 21, 2021 11:20 am

What is the scatter plot? X = ? Y = ? I think I’m guessing it correctly but I want to see you write it. And why did you pick 9 years?

Reply to  ThinkingScientist
March 16, 2021 5:10 pm

Water’s most important properties, in terms of regulating energy input, is the reflective nature of atmospheric ice particles and its buoyancy in air.

These properties give rise to convective instability and reflective cloud that forms the basis of ocean maximum temperature regulation to 30C; persistent reflective cloud that reduces heat input to zero at 32C and convergence of cooler moist air from adjacent zones does more cooling to 30C control limit. More than half of all the heat in the tropical oceans is taken in between 27.5C and 28.5C because there is not a lot of ocean surface warmer than 30C and any ocean above 29C has very little heat input due to cloud cover.

David A
Reply to  RickWill
March 17, 2021 4:34 am

More than half of all the heat in the tropical oceans is taken in between 27.5C and 28.5C ”

Based on what insolation level?
You use the words” taken in”

Would not cooler 77 f water take in as much insolation as 85 degree water?

I need help understanding the posted graphic. I don’t get the negative numbers. How do you get negative net energy?

March 16, 2021 3:14 am

The real answer is convection.
Water in all its forms just helps the process along so that convective overturning of the atmosphere does not have to operate as fast as it otherwise would.
For a comparison see the dry planet Mars.
Despite a thin atmosphere its convective overturning becomes powerful enough to generate planet wide dust storms.
According to the Dynamic Atmosphere Energy Transport model created by me and Philip Mulholland the rate of convective overturning will always settle at a speed that returns kinetic energy back to the surface fast enough to match energy out to space with energy in from space.

Reply to  Stephen Wilde
March 16, 2021 12:59 pm

“Despite a thin atmosphere its convective overturning becomes powerful enough to generate planet wide dust storms.”

BECAUSE OF a thin atmosphere its convective overturning becomes powerful enough to generate planet wide dust storms.

Thicker atmosphere requires more energy for motion.

Thinner atmosphere less energy.

Also Mars has less gravity to dissipate the dust to the surface

Reply to  fred250
March 17, 2021 6:30 am

Perhaps I should have said fast enough rather than powerful enough.
However, I think your point is a bit pedantic because a fast process can also be regarded as a powerful one.

David A
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
March 17, 2021 4:41 am

How does this operate?
Dry air consists mostly of nitrogen and oxygen molecules, which weigh more than water molecules. … Therefore, moist air is lighter than dry air if both are at the same temperature and pressure.

Would this not enhance convection?

Reply to  David A
March 17, 2021 6:27 am

Only up to the point of condensation whereupon the condensate dumps energy to space and the enhancement is neutralised.
The loss of that energy to space replaces the need to send it all out from the surface so convection overall declines. Remember that convection involves a downward leg as well which involves planetary scale cells such as the Ferrell, Hadley and Polar cells on Earth.

March 16, 2021 3:29 am

Sooooo… the climastrologists admit to corrupting reality (water) to promote dogma (CO2) to “prove” that hell (AGW) exists…. on page six hundred sixty-six?
It matters not that the devil and hell and heaven are just fiction, what matters is, these people actually believe in it all, and they are hell-bent on blood sacrifice. Now only if we can ascertain exactly who “these people” are, maybe we can stop them.

Reply to  paranoid goy
March 16, 2021 3:52 am

China is a good start

Abolition Man
Reply to  Derg
March 16, 2021 5:02 am

The High Church of Progressivism, Climastrology began with Russia during the Cold War! They financed and encouraged much of the early environmental movement. With the fall of Russia due to the Three Amigos; Reagan, Thatcher and the Pope; the Chinese were forced to take up the torch for the global communist movement! Even though they only pay lip service to communism, the ChiComs are happy to use any tool available to weaken the West and gain more power. GangGreen, like critical race theory and transgenderism, is just another arrow in their quiver to be used to gain power; NOTHING else matters to them!
Fortunately, Communist scholars that lost their jobs with the fall of the Soviet Union were able to step into US academia almost seamlessly!

Reply to  paranoid goy
March 16, 2021 5:19 am

“…these people (global warming / climate alarmists) actually believe in it all, and they are hell-bent on blood sacrifice.” – pg
I agree that the global warming alarmists are highly destructive, have caused great harm to humanity, and are intent on doing much greater harm in the near future.
However, I submit that the leadership of the global warming / climate alarmist gang have never believed in their own propaganda – that they have knowingly lied from the very beginning of CAGW hysteria, in the 1970’s-1980’s.
The global warming alarmists have employed Leninist / Goebbels / Alinsky thug tactics from the start, refusing to debate, shouting down opposing views and viciously harming those who oppose their voodoo, cargo-cult science.

The ability to correctly predict is the most objective measure of scientific competence. The CAGW gang have made ~70 very-scary climate predictions since ~1970, and not one of them has happened – they have a perfectly negative predictive track record and thus perfectly negative credibility – nobody should believe these fraudsters, about anything.

We published in 2002 that there is no real global warming crisis. It has always been a deliberate fraud, promoted by scoundrels and believed in by imbeciles – wolves stampeding the sheep.

Last edited 1 year ago by Allan MacRae
March 16, 2021 3:35 am

What a wonderful piece of climate science, many thanks !

Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 16, 2021 5:15 am

I wish he had done more to refute the GHE lie, otherwise I totally agree.

March 16, 2021 3:45 am

I remember as teen to have read a book about reasons for the existance of life on earth long before “climate science” in public discussion. Just these here metioned reasons including the added details about water and the speciality of it’s density were discussed and presented in more or less details. I don’t remember the titel and the author, but it was a fascinating reading.

Ron Long
March 16, 2021 3:48 am

Great presentation, Boris! It took me two cups of coffee to get through it, but very interesting. As a geologist who has walked through the fossilized record of the Mesozoic (think Jurassic Park) I am amazed about the great conditions for robust life that existed then.

March 16, 2021 3:50 am

Many climate researchers have been misled by the flood of research grants and money that has emanated from government in support of Global Warming CO2.ects

March 16, 2021 4:12 am

Great read, highly suitable for students of all ages – thank you Boris.

Regarding your important statement:
I should add that Antarctic ice core data show that atmospheric CO2 concentration has followed temperature with a delay of hundreds of years, not driving temperature. 

In January 2008 I published the following observations, which constitute a strong disproof of the failed global warming hypothesis:

a. The velocity of changes of atmospheric CO2 [dCO2/dt] varies ~contemporaneously with changes in global temperature. The very close relationship of dCO2/dt vs global temperature is clearly apparent. Major volcanoes disrupt the relationship.

b. Therefore the integral of dCO2/dt, changes in atmospheric CO2, lag changes in global atmospheric temperature by ~9 months (Fig.1b).
Point “b” is a strong disproof of the catastrophic humanmade global warming (CAGW) hypothesis, which ASSUMES that atmospheric CO2 change causes and thus leads atmospheric temperature change, when in fact it lags in time. The CAGW hypothesis is disproved by precedence – “The future cannot cause the past.”

By Allan M.R. MacRae, January 2008

Later I was advised by Richard S Courtney that Kuo et al (1990) made a similar observation to point ‘b’, as did Keeling (1995), in papers published in Nature. Neither Kuo nor Keeling noted point ‘a’ above. Kuo’s and Keeling’s findings have been carefully ignored for decades by the global warming propagandists

March 16, 2021 4:14 am


Ole Humlum et al reached similar conclusions to my 2008 paper in 2013.

I added some details to my 2008 paper in 2015:
By Allan MacRae, June 12, 2015

I later described WHY the lag of CO2 changes after temperature changes was ~9 months and formalized that conclusion in 2019.
by Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., June 15, 2019
Included is an Excel workbook of all calculations and raw data.

Last edited 1 year ago by Allan MacRae
March 16, 2021 4:39 am


Now we get into really interesting territory – the controversial leading edge of climate science, where there is real disagreement among competent scientists (I exclude the global-warming alarmist fraudsters of the IPCC).

Author Dr. Edwin Berry demolishes the IPCC’s very-scary catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis. Ed proves from basic principles that the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere is primarily natural, not man-made. Berry’s analysis is consistent with my 2008 publication that atmospheric CO2 cannot significantly drive temperature, because changes in CO2 lag temperature changes in the modern data record, as they do in the longer-term ice core record. Kuo et al (1990) and Keeling (1995) made similar observations in the journal Nature, but have been studiously ignored by global warming propagandists. “The future cannot cause the past.”

I recommend Ed Berry’s new book
“Climate Miracle: There is no climate crisis Nature controls climate”
My review: 5 Stars.
An excellent, readable book that destroys the scary global warming / climate hypothesis.
Reviewed in Canada on November 11, 2020 Verified Purchase

I know some very intelligent people who disagree with Berry’s hypo – but the smartest people I know, the smartest people on the planet, believe Berry is correct. Follow Berry’s math – your head will probably hurt afterwards, but it’s worth it.

Berry’s work also vindicates my friend Murry Salby and also Hermann Harde, whose work predates Berry.

March 16, 2021 5:17 am

If they really were that smart they would know that there is no GHE due to first principles and the fact that air cannot trap heat.

Aleksandr Zhitomirskiy
March 16, 2021 8:16 am

Air can actually trap heat according to its heat capacity. It is important that CO2 and other “greenhouse gases” also cannot absorb more heat than their heat capacities allows. This fact is the argument against the greenhouse effect hypothesis.

March 16, 2021 5:54 pm

Irrelevant comment Peter – off topic.

And they really are THAT smart.

March 16, 2021 5:58 pm

BTW Peter, there are over 25 different credible disproofs of the very-scary CAGW hypothesis – and as Einstein said:
“One would be enough”. [Smiley-face]

Paul of Alexandria
March 19, 2021 11:24 am

I bring this up, and get the reply “yes, but we’re putting CO2 into the air faster than ever before and that makes the difference”. Any suggestions on how to respond?

March 16, 2021 4:22 am

This is an excellent post/essay and a superb presentation.

AND Roy Spencer’s spaghetti graph (fig. 8) is published/included for all the lurking modelers to see yet again! Prozac sales to spike!

Reply to  eyesonu
March 16, 2021 9:12 am

My “greenmunist” beer drinking buddies just refer to that graph as a cherry pick at 2015. Updating to 2020 is in order. I lost beers over that graph in 2018, am starting to win again….

Peta of Newark
March 16, 2021 4:42 am

I find it that FAQ8.1 to be perfect madness – how could anyone come up with that

To put it simply -there is a Green House Gas Effect
Water vapour absorbs pretty well all the IR radiations coming off the surface dirt, water, plants, rocks whatever

That absorption is basically a Carnot Engine – pure (heat) energy is converted to mechanical energy = the motion/excitement of the water molecules

In any Carnot Engine without an exhaust at Zero Kelvin, its efficiency is less than unity.

This the first of many steps the original energy takes on its one-way trip down the Thermal Gradient.
Thus and because of that Carnot inefficiency, that heat energy CAN NOT return to where it came from. Can not.

The water vapour molecule could radiate but that radiation won’t get far, because other cooler water molecules will absorb it – and they only exist ABOVE it.

For every one water molecule there may be 100 other molecules of Oxygen (O2) & Nitrogen (N2) and the water molecule will share its energy with them.
=Another Carnot Engine – more loss, more cooling

But then, the O2 and N2 have vanishingly low emissivity. They almost don’t radiate at all and, if you insist of having Trapped Heat, THAT is where it is trapped.
By the O2 and N2.
They don’t radiate and they have very low thermal conductivity.
Thus the only significant way energy cam move through the atmosphere is via Convection.
Water stops the radiation and O2 N2 stop the conduction

OK, maybe there is a little bit of (upward) radiation and we see that through how Lapse rate varies with water content.
Damp air blocks the radiation after its only travelled short distance, dry air allows it a bit more freedom.

Enter CO2 = asserted to be an energy absorber like water.
But if you’ve understood so far, you will see that the way to measure Climate Change caused by CO2 would be to measure changes in the Lapse Rate

More CO2 will behave like more water vapour and the Lapse Rate will decrease,

So, has it?

Apart from that, all very lovely apart from, and you all know me..
There Is Something Missing

Hopefully you also know your Ancient Greeks

So thus where My Mileage Varies is with these particular 2 statements, reference otherwise is notable by its absence..

strangely stable with only very occasional catastrophic events
Must have been a terrific calamity when the Himalayan mountain range reached its newborn height.””

There is The Fourth Element – dirt.

We see repeated gooey doughy glorious ravings about how wonderful Life on Earth is and how fresh water, the sun and oxygen are so essential.
There are 3 of the Greek elements,…..
Rock is the fourth and is equally as important.

Especially and as per Fresh Water continued life needs a supply of Fresh Rock
The Greeks knew that how many years ago, good grief

Yes certainly as far as me and you go, meteors, volcanoes and earthquakes are tremendously catastrophic but for the continuation of Life on Earth once it started, Fresh Rock was/is essential

That is where Mars came undone – it had water and all the ‘stuff’ needed for life which surely must have started in some fashion BUT, Mars doesn’t have Plate tectonics to produce the Fresh Rock needed to sustain that life

Again I ask, why does a rainforest have such a stable climate (23 Celsius plus minus 3) every day and all year round, whereas a desert at the same latitude can swing from plus 35 to minus 5 on a daily cycle?

The bottom line answer being, deserts are devoid of fresh rock – that is why deserts have crap climates.

Not because of some unseen and magical hand that creates ‘Natural Variation’

My head explodes every time I see that phrase, every time.
It is THE most pathetic buck-pass there ever could be. In this Climate Game anyway.

now go figure about rock

Human health and fresh rock:
And, seriously while going the figuring, do get your hands dirty.
There’s a thing called Vitamin B12. We can actually store sufficient inside ourselves to keep us going for years.

BUT, if we run out, our protein synthesis functions start falling apart, proteins and their workings having ‘just a little’ to do with Immune Systems as it happens.

The B vitamins look after our nerves and brains (all the same sort of cells actually) and if we run out of B12, older people naturally need more anyway, we present with symptoms identical to Alzheimer’s Dementia

So what’s that got to do with dirt you ask

We ourselves have bacteria in our stomachs that make our own B12.

So why do we run out B vitamins and subsequently fall foul of Covid and Alzheimer’s?

Because those stomach bugs need ‘refreshing’ or ‘updating’ every now and a while and we get, or should be getting, the updates from the original set of B12 bugs,
bugs that Live In The Dirt

Do desert soils have B12 bugs in them. Why not?
Shirley not because those bugs depend on fresh rock for their (continued) existence

See where I’m going?
Maybe we depend on fresh Rock also

lots to figure

Last edited 1 year ago by Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
March 16, 2021 6:49 am


John Tillman
Reply to  Anti-griff
March 16, 2021 8:10 am

Both Tropics, but especially Tropic of Cancer, which runs through the Sahara, the Arabian Peninsula and the jungles of east India and SE Asia. Tropic of Capricorn runs through the Atacama Desert, the Puna, temperate eastern South America Pampa, with a bit of rainforest in Brazil, the Namib Desert but some rainforest in SE Africa. Some other latitudes in the tropics, ditto.

Also, the cool rainforests of the Pacific NW lie in the same latitudes as the Gobi. Northern Japan is also natively rain forest, and the Amur-Assuri region next to the Gobi. Central Asia deserts are in some of the same liatitudes.

Which side of a continent you’re on matters, and interior vs. coastal, plus elevation, of course.

Aleksandr Zhitomirskiy
Reply to  Anti-griff
March 16, 2021 8:47 am

It’s not necessary to compare desert and rainforest. Compare, for example, Charleston (North Caroline) and Scottsdale (Arizona) in USA. Both cities are approximately at the same latitude (32.8 o N and 33.5 o N). Annual precipitation in Charleston is much greater than in Scottsdale (23.73 vs. 0.63 inch), and the average temperature is less (66.5 vs. 73.5 o F). (Values of precipitation and temperature in 1985 – 2015 are taken from the website How about the greenhouse effect of water vapor?

John Tillman
Reply to  Aleksandr Zhitomirskiy
March 16, 2021 9:21 am

South Carolina.

Scottsdale also lies at 1300 feet, with a peak elevation of about 4900 ft. Charleston, of course is near sea level.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Tillman
Aleksandr Zhitomirskiy
Reply to  John Tillman
March 16, 2021 10:48 am

Quite right. Temperatures decrease with altitude. Therefore, if Scottsdale were at the same altitude as Charleston, the temperature difference would be even greater.

John Tillman
Reply to  Aleksandr Zhitomirskiy
March 16, 2021 2:10 pm


Reply to  Anti-griff
March 16, 2021 11:39 am

WHERE ARE TROPICAL RAIN-FOREST AND DESERTS AT THE SAME LATITUDE? The Australian desert is south of the rain-forest….the African desert is north of the rain-forest…the S. American desert is south of the rain-forest….the Gobi is north of the rain-forest. It is the bulk of the areas that are desert that are beyond the air circulation patterns…the atmosphere movement is all rained out when it reaches the desert areas.

John Tillman
Reply to  Anti-griff
March 16, 2021 2:04 pm

Quite true. However because the east and west coasts of continents are subject to different circulations, and interiors of course to weather regimes, both deserts and rain forests do indeed occur on the same line of latitude.

Reply to  John Tillman
March 16, 2021 2:30 pm

Tropical rain-forest is the Amazon….Congo….Borneo and environs…where is the desert at these equatorial tropical rain-forest latitudes?

John Tillman
Reply to  Anti-griff
March 16, 2021 2:41 pm

Latitudes that run through the Sahel and Sahara also hit Central America and SE Asia, which are rain forests. As I already pointed out.

The Peruvian portion of the Atacama Desert, driest on Earth, also lies in the same latitude as Amazonian jungle.

I’m from the Pacific NW, where west of the Cascades we enjoy lush temperate rain forest, while on the east side is high desert. Also low desert in the Columbia Basin.

Also as noted, in the same latitude lie the Gobi and the temperate rain forests of the Amur-Assuri region, northern Japan and my native PNW, not to mention historically forested parts of eastern N. America and Europe.

It’s easy to find latitudes with both desert and rain forest.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
March 16, 2021 3:24 pm

Uh, it is not easy to find tropical equatorial rain-forest….which does not exist in the Pacific Northwest BTW…and deserts at the same latitude….there is some snow to be found in the tropics but it is not much snow just as there is not much desert to be found. If you are looking for desert…there is the Sahara north of the tropical rain-forest in Africa…there is the Gobi north of the tropical rain-forest in Asia and there is the Atacama in S. America south of the Amazon and there is the Australian outback south of the Asian rain-forest.

John Tillman
Reply to  Anti-griff
March 16, 2021 3:42 pm

You didn’t specify tropical. You asked where desert and rain forest occur in the same latitude. The answer is, at many latitudes.

I applaud your anti-Griffism, but the fact is that very dry and very wet environments exist at the same latitude. Ditto hot and cold. And at about the same elevations.

David A
Reply to  Peta of Newark
March 17, 2021 5:04 am

ONE and N2 may not stop the conduction because they don’t radiate. So their conduction is slow, but the residence time of said energy is long. ( Input + residence time = total energy within the system)

So how much conducted surface energy is in the atmosphere?

Would there be more if their were less GHG in the atmosphere to radiate said energy away?

Joseph Zorzin
March 16, 2021 5:05 am

sort of off topic but interesting

“Scientists stunned to discover plants beneath mile-deep Greenland iceLong-lost ice core provides direct evidence that giant ice sheet melted off within the last million years and is highly vulnerable to a warming climate”

“Scientists found frozen plant fossils, preserved under a mile of ice on Greenland. The discovery helps confirm a new and troubling understanding that the Greenland Ice Sheet has melted entirely during recent warm periods in Earth’s history — like the one we are now creating with human-caused climate change. The new study provides strong evidence that Greenland is more sensitive to climate change than previously understood — and at risk of irreversibly melting.”

So, it melted entirely- long before the industrial revolution. But they’re certain that the current warming is due to “human-caused climate change”.


David A
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
March 17, 2021 5:11 am

And the CO2 content one million years ago when the heat melted Greenland’s ice sheets was what, 280 ppm.

Just think how much faster it will melt at 440 ppm!!!

Last edited 1 year ago by David A
March 16, 2021 5:11 am

CO2 cannot have the slightest effect on global temperatures because air cannot trap heat. All heat is radiated away by surrounding CO2 molecules in a virtual instant. Climate scientists know this but it doesn’t pay to say so.

Last edited 1 year ago by PETER D ANDERSON
March 16, 2021 8:16 am

Umm, mostly (over 99.9%) the CO2 just absorbs the IR photons and dissipates the energy by bouncing a little harder off its neighboring N2 and O2 molecules. Kinetic energy…temperature…high school….

March 16, 2021 8:20 am

If air cannot trap heat, then shouldn’t all air be at absolute zero in temperature?

Abolition Man
March 16, 2021 5:40 am

A most excellent post! Looking back over the broad sweep of geologic history at the great stability of Earth’s climate is fascinating and the ability to express it so succinctly shows great skill! I also really enjoyed the Continental Drift video; that Saint-Sean’s piece always brings the movie ‘Tombstone’ to mind which is another plus!
More evidence that the actual science deniers are the alarmists of GangGreen; and to think it was inspired by a post from one of WUWT’s great Bards; Willis E! Priceless!!

Reply to  Abolition Man
March 16, 2021 1:06 pm

“great stability of Earth’s climate”? It was only 10 to 15 thousand years ago that the temp rose about 10C from an Ice Age and then plummeted back 10C only to again rise 10C to the approximate level of today….the Younger Dreyfus event happened during this time…the climate has only been conducive to man developing civilization over the last 10k years. A relatively fast 10C move in temp is not very stable and the roughly 100k Ice Age cycle means in a few thousand years, there will be a return to the ice if history repeats…..and a relatively fast return.

Last edited 1 year ago by antigtiff
Abolition Man
Reply to  Anti-griff
March 16, 2021 2:01 pm

I understand your point, yet virtually every life form alive on Earth before the interglacial is still living today! Many of the creatures that went extinct received a huge helping hand from the introduction of humans to the Americas; why did horses disappear from North America yet survive in Asia? Just compare the temp changes you cite with the annual changes from the advance of the seasons! There is almost an order of magnitude difference between the two; so I would argue that that is relative stability!
Why do the temperature changes we see at present, as well as those from the past, seem to have little effect on the fecundity of the biosphere? Even in the depths of the periods of glaciation are there not still tropical land regions and oceans in existence? I agree that another glacial period is approaching. Whether we continue to thrive or suffer a destruction of advanced civilization will depend on our ability to work together and continue the struggle for knowledge and wisdom, so I won’t belabor the point. I think we are probably much more in agreement than not and our dispute is more semantics than anything else! Cheers!

Reply to  Abolition Man
March 16, 2021 2:48 pm

An average temp drop of 10C would mean back to an Ice Age…ice completely over Canada and the northern portion of the US. So, man came over from Asia (not Clovis man from Europe) and helped wipe out the mega fauna but for some reason did not wipe the mega fauna out back in Asia before he left Asia?

March 16, 2021 5:47 am

To your five reasons that make the earth special you should add a sixth, radioactivity. Without it our mantle would solidify and earth would have no magnetic field. Our magnetic field shields us from solar storms and prevents the slow dissipation of our atmosphere and water to space as seems to have happened to Mars some billions of years ago.

Reply to  DHR
March 16, 2021 8:22 am

The current theory that a Mars sized planet crashed into the earth shortly after the Earth formed, also is used to explain why the Earth has such a large core. Much of the crust of this colliding planet flew off and formed the Moon, while the planet’s core merged with the Earth’s core.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  DHR
March 16, 2021 11:37 am

“To your five reasons that make the earth special you should add a sixth, radioactivity.”

And we have to add the large Moon of Earth.

Richard M
March 16, 2021 6:13 am

GHGs warm the atmosphere by absorbing and distributing energy to the other gases via kinetic transfers. They also cool the atmosphere by radiating energy to space. The warming is a function of the delay of this outward energy flow as it passes through the atmosphere. There is no “trapped” heat. While not accurately called a greenhouse effect, the GHGs are part of the equation.

Once all the energy available in the various frequency bands is absorbed no more warming is possible. Every new GHG molecule both absorbs and radiates the same energy which cancel each other out.

All the energy CO2 can absorb already occurs within 10 meters of the surface. Adding more CO2 has no effect. For the atmosphere to warm something would indeed need to reduce the outward flow of energy and that would show up in the CERES data. No such reduction in energy flow has been found. We have solid experimental evidence that additional CO2 is not warming our planet.

Richard M
Reply to  Richard M
March 16, 2021 6:55 am

Some will argue that additional CO2 will lead to more available energy at the wings of the frequency range. This is true but is extremely small and actually has another use. I now call them the wings of life. In this universe nothing is free. The energy from those wings is used to drive additional life. That NASA discovered greening of the planet is only the tip of this iceberg.

More CO2 means more life and for that life to prosper requires more energy. Once again we see nature has designed in a way to balance this out. As a result that energy is not available to warm the planet and with no warming there are no feedbacks.

Reply to  Richard M
March 16, 2021 10:12 am

If CO2 absorbs IR, which is easily proveable, it must cause CO2 to become warmer. The amount of warming, the +ve feedback of water vapor, the -ve feedback of evaporation, thermals, aerosols and clouds are what is under constant review to determine whether it is any kind of significant issue for food production for mankind. Any other issue, sea level or whatever, is just a normal problem that mankind has coped with before.

Richard M
Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 16, 2021 10:40 am

CO2 also emits IR which causes CO2 to become cooler. That’s why you need to understand the trade-off between how these events balance out. Once all the energy within the frequency bands where CO2 is active is absorbed, you can’t gain anymore energy. That is what I explained above.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 16, 2021 4:34 pm

Beware interchanging energy and warmth. CO2 absorbed IR energy is emitted at -80C. Hardly warm at surface temperatures…

Reply to  Richard M
March 16, 2021 11:28 am

Richard, the specific heat of dry air is 1.005 kJ/kg K. Thermodynamics says that the energy to increase a mass of that air 1 K can be in “any form”. What you say is in direct contradiction of thermodynamics.

Richard M
Reply to  mkelly
March 16, 2021 12:09 pm

Not sure what you read but I said nothing that contradicts thermodynamics.

Mark BLR
March 16, 2021 7:12 am

More and more “experts” these days try to push the line that the climate models don’t “just follow the atmospheric CO2 concentrations (/ radiative forcing) inputs”.

The IPCC itself had a “10.7.3 Long-Term Integrations: Idealised Overshoot Experiments” section in AR4 (2007) using the CMIP3 model ensemble, but for some obscure reason failed to provide an updated set of “Overshoot Experiments” for AR5 (2013) and the CMIP5 models.

Figure 10.36 from AR4 is added below …

Kevin kilty
March 16, 2021 7:14 am

Two thoughts:

  1. I have noticed over the past thirty years that whenever climate science bothers to look at the past, it is only to help clarify what may happen as our climate changes. It is never to learn how climate changes on its own without aid of “man made CO2”. Thus, CO2 being fully in control is an axiom, not a hypothesis being the focus of research.
  2. Reading this essay has made me recognize that these IPCC people are treating the atmosphere as a servo. A small change in CO2 produces the big change in H2O. The linkage in this servo is assumed changes in CO2 at constant relative humidity.

It must be another tricky task to figure out how to use the Clausius-Clapeyron equation which is an equilibrium relationship to run a system that is never at equilibrium and accomplish just what they intend.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kevin Kilty
John Tillman
March 16, 2021 7:47 am

If by “flora” you mean cyanobacteria and algae, then yes, flora preceded fauna. But animals, ie multicellular, motile, heterotrophic eukaryotes, preceded green plants by hundreds of millions of years.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
March 16, 2021 8:45 am

“Looking at the above graph it is tempting to link the centrally located very large dip in both carbon dioxide and temperature values to what is being done with ice core studies and the tendency to prove that CO2 drives temperature. Nothing doing, because the old extremely high atmospheric CO2 is a remnant from the past awaiting the realm of cyanobacteria and photosynthesis.”

Cyanobacteria and photosynthesis evolved about three billion years before the Cambrian, first period of the Phanerozoic Eon, in which CO2 level has been estimated at 7000 ppm.

However, the evolution of land plants during the Ordovician and Silurian Periods, and their spread into forests in the Devonian, did lead to a dramatic drawdown of CO2, especially in the Carboniferous (hence the name!), before the evolution of fungi to break down wood.

The graph also underestimates the true range of temperature during the Phanerozoic. It’s more than the ~10 degrees C shown, due to occaisional spikes, such as during the Permian to perhaps 27 degrees C, but things then settled back down. Ice ages also get colder than the -2.0 anomaly shown.

But that’s just a a bit chilly and bracing compared to the estimated average global temperature of -50 C during Snowball Earth episodes. So the temperature range over the past 3.0 billion years approaches 80 degrees C.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Tillman
Boris Winterhalter
Reply to  John Tillman
March 17, 2021 1:09 pm

I fully agree that the global temperature graph has very little to do with actual temperatures, in fact as I mentioned the view presented by Marcel Leroux that the global average temperature is only a cute metric, but it tells virtually nothing about the actual temperatures experienced by life along global climate zones. What is however important is the range of temperatures required by various lifeforms varies a lot; just compare the span of temperatures we find today between polar regfions and equatorial regions, but as I metioned Global average T is a nice metric although of virtualy no practical use.

What is, however, important is that life on earth has beenadapted to specific living environments and above all these have been virtually unchanged thru out the Phanerozoic. I should add that climatic areas/regions have naturally varied depending on latitude and distribution of oceans. What remains are suitable conditions for various life forms, i.e. global climate no matter how variable in detail global climate has still remained virtually conducive to life as we have known from paleontology. This retained stability has been controlled by the three phases of water and a rather stable energy source, our Sun.

william duncan
March 16, 2021 7:53 am

It would be interesting to look at Ned Nikolov’s papers on the temperature of planets – James Clerk Maxwell, the father of electromagnetic theory, seems to had a similar idea quite some time ago…
you can look up him on Twitter and find links to his papers. He also looks, in recent work, at albedo changes caused by clouds and uses his previous work to determine the sign and strength of the changes to temperature. He has a coauthor on all his work.

March 16, 2021 8:10 am

Figure 4 is a graph I generated for this 2018 WUWT post:

It was also in this 2019 WUWT post…

The CO2 only matches up well with temperature because it’s the Royer pH-adjusted temperatures. The unadjusted temperatures don’t match up so well.

comment image

The drawdown in CO2 was largely due to the flourishing of land plants, particularly trees, during the Early Carboniferous (Mississippian). The relatively cold climate of the Late Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian) and early Permian was due to the fact that Earth was in an ice age (Karoo Glaciation), similar to today and the most recent 2.5 million years. Could some of the CO2 drawdown have been related to colder temperatures? Yep. Could some of the cooling have been related to the CO2 drawdown? Yep. However, it is highly unlikely that the the CO2 drawdown caused the Karoo Glaciation. Just like the Neogene-Quaternary it appears to have been driven by plate tectonics and changes in oceanic circulation.

Last edited 1 year ago by David Middleton
John Tillman
Reply to  David Middleton
March 16, 2021 9:52 am

I’m of the tectonic-oceanic persuasion myself, but Shaviv and Veizer’s galactic plane passage hypothesis to explain apparent ice age periodicity is still out there:

Is the Solar System’s Galactic Motion Imprinted in the Phanerozoic Climate?

Reply to  John Tillman
March 16, 2021 10:11 am

It’s an interesting hypothesis… I’ve also wondered if episodic accelerations in oceanic crust formation could also be related to the galactic plane passage.

Reply to  David Middleton
March 16, 2021 10:34 am

The real joke is, that without reading the paper, only based on the press release, Rahmstorf got panic and asked his friends how to react, because it could harm the “cause”. Always based on the press release they published a refuting paper about bad collected data, dubious sorces what ever.
[Rahmstorf et al. [2004], in their “critique” of Shaviv and Veizer [2003], assert that the proposed correlation between cosmic ray flux (CRF) and paleoclimate during the Phanerozoic does not “hold up under scrutiny” because its astrophysical background is based on “questionable assumptions” and circular reasoning, and because the meteoritic and terrestrial databases and statistics are manipulated.] (Source)

Further reading

Last edited 1 year ago by Krishna Gans
Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 16, 2021 11:15 am

I should add, that Rahmstorf followed his usual way to publish the refuting paper in an other journal withot infos to the respective authors, so that Shaviv and Vizer didn’t get the information about as by hazard.

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 16, 2021 2:13 pm

Did some Rahmstorfs work for Goebbels?

John Tillman
Reply to  David Middleton
March 16, 2021 2:12 pm

Intriguing speculation. Possible connection hadn’t occurred to me.

But then you’re a real geologist, and I can’t even play one on a blog very convincingly.

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 16, 2021 3:25 pm

Know it. Unfortunately, since at least 2007, Shaviv has been shouted down by the Team.

His tenure in Israel may keep his flag waving until he retires. But the Team isn’t interested in any possibly real science which might deviate from the CO2 Control Knob Consensus.

No cosmoclimatological hypotheses need apply.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
March 16, 2021 3:43 pm

Wich team, “The Team” ?

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 16, 2021 5:27 pm

The Team consists of Mikey Mann and His Merry Munchkins.

Reply to  John Tillman
March 16, 2021 3:36 pm
John Tillman
Reply to  David Middleton
March 16, 2021 3:44 pm

Thanks. I’m a bid fan of graphical representations.

Reply to  John Tillman
March 16, 2021 3:41 pm
Last edited 1 year ago by Krishna Gans
John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 16, 2021 5:32 pm

That’s their heretical 2003 paper, which they’ve been defending ever since, having been savaged by the Climatomarxists ever since. Their heterodoxy is even more to be burned at the stake than the Svensmark heresy.

Genuflect to the Great God CACA or die! So warped has become the scientific method in the post modern 21st century.

March 16, 2021 8:19 am

An excellent article, thank-you Dr Winterhalter!
Figures 3 and 4 are important, do you have sources with higher resolution versions of these figures?
I always love watching the tectonic videos of the Phanerozoic.
India’s break-neck dash across (what is now) the Indian ocean always amazes me while the nearby Madagascar just stays put.
Interesting that the predominance of land surface shifted from the HS to the NH over the last 400 million years.

March 16, 2021 8:33 am

The IPCC models are even more erroneous if measured , un-adjusted temperature data are used in the analysis.

The observed temperature data used in this paper is not a representation of the actual climate.

Altered data does not even support the IPCC inaccurate and flaws models.

Bill Rocks
March 16, 2021 8:40 am

Thank you for sharing your lecture with us. As you state, it is the result of an earth science career and we welcome your honest thoughts and significant work to communicate.

March 16, 2021 8:45 am

Anything that increases the surface temperature, causes more water vapor to be put into the atmosphere, 7% more per degree over the ocean, less over dry land masses. This extra water vapor absorbs more of the IR emitted by the surface…almost no difference at low altitudes but above 7km CO2 exceeds water vapor, so the 30% more CO2 since 1850 absorbs more heat at that elevation, also rejects more to outer space. Net result is a few watts increased back radiation to us at the surface. The real story is when enough water vapor builds up to produce a cloud. Suddenly hundreds of watts per square meter of incoming SW are reflected into outer space. Clouds control the planet’s temperature. Anything that perturbs the heat balance just causes slightly more or less cloud generation over the next 4 hours to 2 weeks depending on whether the clouds form by convection(thunderstorms) or advection (weather fronts). The relatively constant planet average cloud cover, and near equality of OLW from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres despite large differences in land/ocean ratio are clues. CO2 doesn’t matter except for minorly changing the elevation at which clouds form.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
March 16, 2021 9:00 am

Sorry, its reflected SW that balance within .2% NH to SH

March 16, 2021 8:52 am

Good post.

‘how Earth has succeeded in keeping global climate conducive to the various life forms that have inhabited our wonderful planet. My answer is WATER!’

When I first got interested in the subject, in 2009, I quickly came to the same answer, and since have posted many comments on this site pointing out the physics that supports this answer.

My first conclusion was that most of the variance in global atmospheric temperatures is related to the variance in sea-surface temperatures, which is in turn driven by ENSO. My second conclusion was that there has been no systematic change in sea-surface temperatures, such as characterized by tropical Pacific (i.e. ENSO) or north Atlantic (i.e. AMO) data sets, over the past century and a half, other than normal cyclical variations related to well known ocean (ENSO, AMO) and solar cycles.

My third conclusion was that the entire purpose of this global warming hoax is political. The objective is to slow down human development (i.e. sustainable development), in order to ensure that the ruling elites of today will remain the ruling elites of tomorrow.

Tim Gorman
March 16, 2021 9:09 am

For “back” radiation from CO2 to heat the earth (15nm) what on earth absorbs that radiation, esp on land?

Farquahar Knell
Reply to  Tim Gorman
March 17, 2021 2:13 am

Nothing does, Tim. This whole issue of “backradiation” is simply a nasty bit of propaganda from the bed-wetters, that takes their ignorant perversions of radiation physics and jams them down the throats of people who have no idea at all what radiation physics means.
This is at the heart of much of the misunderstanding of the earth/atmosphere system. Yes, CO2 absorbs a bit of IR energy, and immediately passes it on to other molecules by collision, which raises the low-level temperature (10-30 metres) a bit. But what can the air do with that extra heat? Not much. Most of the time (temperature inversions excepted), the surface of the earth is warmer than the air above it. 70% of it, the oceans, are on average 2C warmer. And which way does heat travel? Every meteorologist knows that the seas determine the temperature of the air, and not vice-versa. So do I, which is why I live on the coast. But climate science thinks it knows better.
On top of that, the thermal capacity of air is minuscule compared to rocks and water – so even in the rarer circumstances of higher air temperatures, the quantity of heat transferable is negligible, especially since air is very poor conductor.
But what about the powerful backradiation, they say?. And I say b**ls**t. The stupid sods make the stupidest error of using the Stefan-Boltzmann equation to compute heat transfer for atmospheric gases, when the most basic knowledge of radiative physics would tell them it’s only valid for surfaces – for condensed matter (solids and liquids), not for airy-fairy unicorn magic gases. The radiative capacity of gases at low temperature differentials is negligible – engineers don’t even bother to account for it. The only place radiation from atmospheric gases is of significance is high in the sky, where they can radiate to the void of space at 3K. Satellite spectrometer measures looking down show that for CO2 emission frequencies to space, most of it is coming from near the tropopause, at about 220K. So it can get rid of a few watts/m2 there. But how much heat can a cold sky pump into the seas or poles? It’s so close to zero that it’s not worth mentioning. Only the sun has the power to penetrate the waters and the ice.

Much of the blame has to fall on Kiehl and Trenberth, for their misleading planetary heat budget diagram, which appears to suggest the atmosphere is constantly radiating an average of 330W/m2 at us (compared to the measly sun at 170w/m2). This is more b**ls**t, because it is based on a radiance temperature of 15C, but that theoretical heat transfer is to a sink at 0K, and in any case would only apply if the atmosphere were a surface.
All climate scientists (and their hapless adherents) who believe the atmosphere is a surface should form a queue here, and I will present each of them with a dunce’s cap and a seat in the corner.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Farquahar Knell
March 17, 2021 6:54 am



It doesn’t matter what the atmosphere radiates toward the earth in W/m^2 if nothing on earth can absorb it. And I really can’t find much that will absorb at 15nm other than water and even water isn’t very absorbent at 15nm.

I guess that also leads to the question of what on earth radiates at 15nm toward the atmosphere to begin with?

Granum Salis
Reply to  Tim Gorman
March 17, 2021 10:01 am

A couple of things puzzle me;
When you write 15nm, do you mean 15 nanometers?
I assume not, since that would be x-rays.
If you mean 15 microns, then why do you think that no matter on Earth can absorb or emit at that wavelength?
Are there a lot of other wavelengths invisible to matter?
If 15micron photons exist, what becomes of them when nothing will absorb them?

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Granum Salis
March 17, 2021 1:03 pm


Yep, I plead a senior moment! Of course microns.

I can’t find many natural materials that absorb or emit at 15microns. Quartz doesn’t and neither does feldspar, the two most common materials in the soil of earth. I haven’t checked asphalt and concrete but they don’t actually make up that large of a percentage of land area on the earth.

Plants tend to reflect IR. If quartz and feldspar can’t aborb 15micron IR then they probably reflect it as well.

The whole point is that the so-called “back radiation” from the atmosphere can’t heat the earth unless the earth absorbs it.

So what do the AGW scientists think is absorbing 15 micron IR from CO2?

March 16, 2021 9:59 am

The meridional jet stream during periods of very low geomagnetic activity (low solar wind activity) does not favor La Niña. This protects the Earth from rapid cooling because global water vapor decreases slowly. In fact, the Pacific Ocean during La Niña stores heat that it gives back during El Niño.
 However, the decline in TSI over several decades inevitably leads to a decline in the heat content of the oceans.
Observing the strong decrease in UV radiation and weak sunspot activity, I predict a marked decrease in TSI throughout the 25th solar cycle.comment imagecomment image

Last edited 1 year ago by Ireneusz Palmowski
Reply to  ren
March 16, 2021 3:08 pm

comment image

Actual TCI per today


Last edited 1 year ago by Krishna Gans
March 16, 2021 10:06 am

To some, solar activity doesn’t seem to change much. However, a simple observation shows that this is not the case.
SILSO images and data can be freely downloaded as public data. However, any public use, web based or paper publication of those data must include an explicit credit to the source: (SILSO data/image, Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels)

John Chism
March 16, 2021 10:31 am

I support this greatly before it was even written. I can’t give it a 100% because of the use of the Continental Drift Theory that 1800s scientists chose over the Expanding Earth Theory because they had no way to map the ocean floor. Well the ocean floor has been over 60% mapped and proves the Expanding Earth Theory. But hardcore academics of old theories can’t let go of the Continental Drift Theories. There is no logical theory to support that Earth grew in size by extraterrestrial accumulation of space rocks. When our largest meteor impact evidence is far under 1% of the Earth’s Surface, including going back to the Cambrian Era Meteor Creators. It was the expansion of Ocean Trenches that filled with Magma that separated the land masses and caused the “Catastrophic Collision” the author gives in the article. The Earth Day became longer due to this Expansion from around 7 Hours to the current 24 Hours. As the Earth Expanded the Oceans became wider and the Water Level Decreased as it caused the Water to run off of the land, that has left High Water Marks on the land globally. Those High Water Marks to the tops of high mountains cannot be explained by the Continental Drift Theory. Fossils on high mountains of Aquatic flora and fauna cannot be explained by the Continental Drift Theory either, but can by the Expanding Earth Theory of Water Receding to the oceans. The Expanding Earth Theory explains how the Carbon Dioxide Level was higher some 550 mya as the atmosphere was covering a smaller Earth and more concentrated, while an Expanding Earth would cause the Atmosphere to Expand. Earth would have been similar when the Earth Day was 7 Hours because the Sunlight would react with a Smaller Surface that causes heat, but at a more rapid speed across the whole surface covered mostly by Water and very little land, that evaporation and precipitation would be constantly occuring on a Smaller Earth, while more spreading out as the Earth Expanded and more land was exposed to Sunlight that causes heating of the Atmosphere. Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen levels would fluctuate depending upon the flora and fauna present at the time and how warm or cold it was that caused Carbon Dioxide to be retained by the Surface Water and Quantity of Ice. Polar Ice would cover more of a Smaller Earth closer to the Equator than it would with a Larger Earth as we had during the Last Glacial Maximum that only reached the middle of the USA, Europe to Asia, while the Antarctic Ice Cap reached into the tips of Africa and South America and Southern Australia mountains

March 16, 2021 10:35 am

In areas with stratospheric intrusion, the height of convection ( tropopause height) decreases.comment imagecomment image
The height of convection during the winter-spring season determines the surface temperature.
With such a low troposphere during the winter at mid to high latitudes, temperatures must be highly variable.

Robert of Texas
March 16, 2021 10:43 am

“This error has caused tremendous loss of money and manpower without actually being able to solve the question how Earth has succeeded in keeping global climate conducive to the various life forms that have inhabited our wonderful planet.”

Their goal is not to explain nature, or the climate. Their goal is to scare people into change – change determined by an elite activist group as necessary. The “scientists” participating in this process are merely concerned about their own welfare in the form of money and status.

This is basic human behavior at it’s worst. It is nothing different from the dark ages of Europe when the Catholic Church ruled over the land with an iron fist trying to control what people believed, how they behaved, and killing those that fell out of line. The same as radical Muslim movements of today. Climitology is a religion, nothing more.

March 16, 2021 11:52 am

No tropical cyclones .comment imagecomment image

March 16, 2021 2:06 pm

Starting tomorrow, winter returns to Europe. The first day of spring will be winter.,79.55,372

Reply to  ren
March 16, 2021 3:05 pm

For Germany it’s predicted starting 19th

Reply to  Krishna Gans
March 17, 2021 12:26 am

It’s snowing in Germany today and will catch frost at night.comment image

March 16, 2021 4:57 pm

Earth’s energy balance is thermostatically controlled between temperature limits of -2C at the poles and 30C at the tropical warm pools in all three oceans. Hence the global surface average temperature is simple to determine:
Average Surface Temperature = {30 + (-2)}/2 = 14C or 57F

The -2C is simple to appreciate because it is the temperature of sea ice formation and the insulation properties of ice to limit heat loss.

The 30C is a bit more complex but readily observable. It is a function of the atmospheric window closing due to persistent convective cloud formation when SST reaches 32C to take net radiative energy to zero. The warm pools regulate at 30C because convergence from adjacent zones brings in moisture that cools the surface despite the net radiative energy input being positive. Attached shows data from a tropical moored buoy when it was located in a tropical Pacific warm pool clearly demonstrating the temperature regulating process – it is precise around the 30C set point.

Last edited 1 year ago by RickWill
Reply to  RickWill
March 17, 2021 12:41 am

Dr. Ryan Maue ()

Temperature analysis (T319) from Japanese Met Agency (JRA-55 Reanalysis) on a 2-day Delay. Current climatology for data is 1981-2010 but maps were shifted to 1991-2020.

Gordon A. Dressler
March 16, 2021 7:12 pm

The above article is pretty good and reasonable overall, but contains this rather glaring incorrect statement: “We can say that drastic changes in past climates have been really rare and have always returned to a “normal” climate that we humans today inhabit . . .”

The climate that we humans inhabit today is not close to a “normal” as scientifically established, say, over the last one billion years.

First, today we are currently about 12,000 years into an interglacial (warm) period of the current Ice Age that is known as the “Quaternary”. Our current warm period is known as the Holocene, but note that we still have year-round ice at both of Earth’s poles, which is one characteristic of Earth being in an Ice Age.

Paleoclimatology has clearly established that Ice Ages are relatively rare, temporal-wise, in Earth’s history. In the last one billion years, Ice Ages have occurred over only about 233 million years, equivalent to 23% of the timespan. (ref: )

Delving further into the details of the last three glacial-interglacial cycles (with periods averaging about 100,000 years) and using the mid-point between warmest temperature and coldest temperature of each cycle as a point of demarcation between “warm” and “cold”, one finds there is a consistent average of only about 22% of each cycle period being on the warm side of the midpoint of max/min temperatures for those cycles. We are at the early stage of the Holocene and on the warm side, so the odds are only about 1 in 5 that we would have our current climate just considering the interval of a single glacial-interglacial cycle.

So, based on the above considerations of past climatic conditions on Earth (well, just considering the last one billion years of such) we can fairly say that drastic changes in past climates have NOT been infrequent and that we presently ARE far away from “normal”.

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
March 17, 2021 2:39 am

In the northern hemisphere, the tipping point has been passed because in winter the northern hemisphere is closer to the sun (therefore there is an increase in snowfall) and the angle of the Earth’s axis to the plane of the orbit decreases.

Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
March 17, 2021 2:49 am

As a result, you may notice a shift of the cooler period into March and April.

Charles Fairbairn
March 17, 2021 9:39 am

I write this just having skimmed through this very comprehensive post; for which many thanks.

The now accepted consensus that water is a prime greenhouse gas is totally FALSE IMO.

It is true that it is but only when in a stable condition in one of its phases. (ice, liquid or gas) and the energy involved is very small being merely around 1.6 Watts/sq.m. It is NOT acting as a greenhouse gas when undergoing phase change which occurs at constant temperature with a Planck coefficient of sensitivity of zero. This phase change takes place continuously and involves large energy at some 694 Watthrs/kilogram of water evaporated which gets driven up through the atmosphere for dissipation to space (but not all of it). Overall this means that water provides a large net NEGATIVE feedback to any increase in energy input whether by the GHE or not and provides a basic stability to the system.

The evidence for this stares us in the face as we observe that the oceans never get above about 30C in spite of millions of years of relentless Solar radiation. Delving into the basic science behind this well explains the reason for this. However this delving just has NOT been done, or has been ignored ; thus resulting in this false view that water is a GHG by omission of the above.

Some day this error will be brought to light but will have to contend with a great deal of global Cognitive Dissonance in the process so will take a long time with hopefully up and coming scientists breaking through the ceiling. A huge task and in the meantime much damage will be done and the reputation of the scientific community will take a tumble.

Ulric Lyons
March 18, 2021 5:47 am

Re Fig. 7. The natural forcings neglect the solar wind, which when faster drives colder ENSO and AMO conditions, like in the 1970’s, and when weaker drives warmer ENSO and AMO conditions, like from 1995.

Paul of Alexandria
March 19, 2021 11:15 am

Some other interesting videos:
Waterworld, 3 Gyrs ago:

The Great Oxidization event (and subsequent ice-world)
(A good series)

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