Planet Earth Climate Topics

Keywords: Climate changes, infrared, ocean acidification, AGW, Vostok ice-core, hurricanes Harvey Irma and Jose, Cyclone Pam, El Nino, tectonic plates

[04Mar2015. This website launched, but a continuing process. It works with IE 11, Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari. ]


Prologue 1:
That most divisive climate issue, “Climate Change”, depends on whether the change since about 1950 is caused by Man burning carbon-containing “fossil” fuels such as oil and coal, producing high levels of carbon dioxide, CO2 in the air. This proposition is known as AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming).

The issue should turn on the quantitative physico -chemical properties of CO2
1. as a gas in the atmosphere, to explain global warming (Chapter 1), and
2. on its solutions in seawater, to explain “Ocean Acidification” (Chapter 5).

Most published papers are indeed written by experts – but ignorant in this most fundamental, critical aspect of this topic.  Instead faith is placed with “someone else’s” opinion – and so on. This has become something of a domino effect.

This site seeks to correct that ignorance.
(My PhD is in physical chemistry, particularly in the properties of gases.)

Prologue 2:
The words “Greenhouse Gas”, particularly applying to carbon dioxide, have become prominent in this discussion. It has become assumed that because CO2, and many other trace atmospheric gases but not the main gases, can absorb Earth’s infrared (ie heat) radiation, this property has a determining warming effect on Earth’s temperature. However, ALL gases, like all substances, can absorb heat by conduction and convection – and are therefore ALL Greenhouse Gases. (See Chapter 1b.)

A more in-depth refutation of AGW follows in Chapter One


SITE STRUCTURE [Changed 07Sep16]

Firstly, the First Section publishes my research as a series of chapters, although the order is changeable. By way of warning, the Chapters are quantitative and scientific, but understandable by most – hopefully .

Secondly, by simply scrolling down further to the Second Section, one gets a synopsis of each chapter. It has opinion arising from the facts. Others’ sensible opinions are welcome.

                                   First Section.   Evidence

Chapter 1. The role that changes in concentration of the Greenhouse Gas, carbon dioxide, has on Earth’s climate changes.
Click  CCPt1U   to view 4 page (.pdf)

Chapter 1a. Addendum. Answers AGW contentions.
Click  Addendum_2 to view 4 page (.pdf)  

Chapter 1b. Greenhouse revisited.
(Because it uses simple but irrefutable high school science, this easy Chapter renders Chapter 1 and 1a largely redundant.)
Click  Greenhouse re-examined to view 3 page (.pdf)

Chapter 2. What is causing climate changes?
Click  Chap2Updated to view 11 page (.pdf) file

Chapter 2A: Venus, Earth and Mars   …. Game, Set and Match!
Click  RockyP to view 3-page (.pdf) file.

Chapter 4. The cause of some extreme weather events.
Click Cyclone Pam:.  to view 5 page (.pdf)

Chapter 4A. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Jose (2017)
Click Hurricanes: to view 7 page .pdf

Chapter 5. Ocean pH.
Click Seawater pH  . to view 5 page (.pdf)

Coming  – if I have time….

Chapter 3. El Nino’s cause follows from this.
Chapter 6. (Work in progress). Timing  of climate changes and some otherwise exceptional weather events – not simply explanation; that bit’s easy – if one is not constrained by AGW.

                             Second Section.  Commentary

Chapter 1. Climate Change: The Role of Carbon Dioxide

[04Mar15, 05Jun15]: The only point I investigate in this first Chapter is the quantitative properties of the “Greenhouse Gas” CO2   as that is the only issue by which AGW stands or falls.

The currently accepted AGW view has been a serious impediment to the scientific community to getting answers to climate topics. The answers follow naturally from knowing the correct cause, but AGW gives a severely blinkered view. Once the blinkers are removed, a goldmine of explanations of natural phenomena becomes available.

I have yet to see any scientific backing for AGW’s that show that CO2 is able to cause such temperature changes.
(One can deduce that there is no such evidence when one hears “We must err on the safe side.”)

[14Apr15]: Corrected error on page 3, 60% to 40%. (Thanks Richard Seymour). Added reference to Gebbie.

1. Chapter One. Click  CCPt1U   to view 4 page (.pdf)         

Hammerfest, 20Jun05
Hammerfest, 20Jun05

Conclusion: Carbon dioxide’s greenhouse contribution to global warming is far too small to measure.

Chapter 1A: [07Mar15]: The Addendum to Chapter One answers AGW queries that I’ve come across. (Please post if you have others – but only if you have given thought to them.)      

1. ALL satellite spectra will need to be adjusted with regard to their measured magnitudes .

2. AGW’s one attempt to quantify carbon dioxide’s greenhouse effect uses satellite rather than surface-based IR measurements.  It fails to do the final simple but exact calculation which brings the 2 types into agreement – thus proving that AGW cannot occur. 

[Admittedly, I think my calculation has not been done elsewhere.]

Chapter 1B: [02Apr16, 28Mar17, 28May17]:
Chapter 1B can be condensed even further as follows: One can check the validity or otherwise of the AGW proposition by simple step-by-step logic as follows.

  1. Greenhouse Effect (G): The original & correct definition is that incoming solar energy into a container, such as a greenhouse, is trapped inside causing its air temperature to rise.
  2. A planet’s greenhouse is its container, the atmosphere, which in turn, is held put by gravity.
  3. G is a temperature, that results from the heat held by the gases of the atmosphere. It is usually reckoned to be about 33K (but that is shown here to be seriously in error).
  4. CO2, whether natural or Man-made, is a greenhouse gas, but then so are ALL gases. Like all substances, all gases absorb heat in one way or another eg by radiation, conduction, convection and/or diffusion.
  5. Therefore, the greater an atmosphere’s quantity of gas ie, its total pressure, the greater the amount of heat able to be absorbed.
  6. …and the heat absorbed by each component of any gas mixture such as the atmosphere is roughly* proportional to its percentage in the mixture.
    * This close proportionality becomes exact if the specific heat of each separate gas is included.
    [Ironically, because CO2 has a 20% smaller specific heat than the average air molecule, it is actually a 20% lesser greenhouse gas than the average air molecule.]
  7. Therefore, as carbon dioxide represents about 0.04% of Earth’s atmosphere, that’s about its contribution to the greenhouse effect; immeasurably small. Methane et al have an even tinier effect, and so none can change climate.

cf AGW assertions:

Even though it is known to be incorrect, AGW re-defines the Greenhouse Effect as being due to heat absorption by certain gases only – the IR gases. Compare to #2.
[This re-definition implies that only the IR gases can be warmed or cooled, never stated openly unsurprisingly. Clearly that’s daft.]
And so, Man’s burning of carbon fuels is defined to be causing global warming!

This false redefinition is the source of all the AGW prognostications!


A planet’s greenhouse effect is determined largely by its atmosphere’s total pressure – ie it is constant – rather than by its composition.

[Illustration, from Chapter 2A:
The greenhouse effects of Venus, Earth and Mars decrease in accord with each planet’s total pressure – as opposed to its carbon dioxide pressure.]


AGW ANTIDOTES:    Opinions from evidence.
This section refutes various statements put forward to support AGW, in a manner that does not require the definitive scientific calculations already shown. This may be sufficient for those with shaky science knowledge. Unfortunately, they also seem to be the most fanatical about this topic – and from both sides!

The basic question at issue is
Q: “Can increasing levels of the greenhouse gas CO2 cause global temperatures to rise?”

From Chapter One,
A: “No.”

  1. Many people rely on such statements as:
    97% of scientists feel that Man is causing Global Warming because the carbon fuels Man burns produce increasing levels of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.
    (97%: sounds like a Russian election result!) One would think that with this great number of scientists, they’d be able to prove their proposition, yet they are still unable to prove their belief after decades of trying to do just that. For example, the IPCC was formed in 1988 to push such an effort … without success. If this search had been successful, there would not now be a debate.

After so many scientists failing for so many years to validate AGW, you’d think they’d give at least some consideration that their proposition might be wrong!

And note also,
“97% of scientists” believed in the Piltdown Man for decades; it proved to be a hoax.

 “97% of scientists” ridiculed Alfred Wegener’s Continental Drift theory for decades; it is now mainstream.

  1. Greenhouse Gas:
    Most people have now heard of Greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, and have an inkling of what that means, but as they say, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing!Real (Horticultural) greenhouses raise the temperature less than 10°C, and are well confined by solid walls, yet it is conjectured Earth’s Greenhouse Effect is 33°C! Greenhouses often have CO2 pumped into them – as a “fertiliser” – with no noticed temperature effect.
  1. The magical 2ºC limit.
    Whenever record hot spells strike anywhere in the world, the cry arises that Man must reduce carbon fuel use to prevent global warming above 2ºC. What they fail to mention is that Earth’s temperature is expected to rise from natural causes – by that magical, unexplained figure of 2ºC.

This is because it has done so four times cyclically – now approaching the fifth – over the past 420,000 years (Figure 1) – and with CO2 levels of only 290ppm maximum! Clearly, as CO2 levels are now 400ppm but the temperature is 2ºC less than previous temperature maxima, warming does not follow CO2 levels, so they must be irrelevant.

Do you reckon we are being hoodwinked?


Chapter 2: What is causing climate changes?

…..  Planet Earth.

Conclusions: 1. Global warming is distributed irregularly in both time and around the globe – matching tectonic activity qualitatively and quantitatively.

2. Continuing high levels of seismic activity will occur if global temperatures are to reach previous Vostok maxima.

Chapter 2A: Venus, Earth and Mars   …. Game, Set and Match!    [16Aug16]

Courtesy: NASA
Courtesy: NASA

1. The greenhouse effect, G is proportional to a planet’s atmosphere’s total pressure.
2. G for each planet is therefore constant.
3. Vostok shows a planet’s geologically released internal heat, IntT varies with time.
4. G is unrelated to an atmosphere’s carbon dioxide density. AGW is wrong.

Thus validating Chapters 1B and 2.

Conclusions from Chapters 1 & 2:
The faulty AGW theory results from the faulty definition of Greenhouse Effect.     Classic GIGO.

Further Observation: [30June17]

Planet Earth’s Climate Future.

Ice-core data provide a record of Earth’s past climates. A physical theory, eg as outlined in Chapter 2, is needed to reliably extrapolate these past data to predict future climates.

Figure 1 shows that natural carbon dioxide levels reached about 280ppm in the 1800s, similar to the maxima of the previous four Vostok maxima. (Burning carbonaceous fuels, such as coal, oil and gas, that have produced an extra 120ppm of carbon dioxide of the current 400ppm, have now masked natural changes.) Therefore, according to Chapter 2, one expects this present Interglacial Period to end soon – maybe within hundreds of years.

The climate over the past 12,000 years has been more in the nature of climate fluctuations rather than the drastic temperature drop with the coming climate change ending this current Interglacial period. Although earlier humans survived such glacial periods, they did not thrive. Man will need a great deal more energy than currently to maintain itself. Renewables provide too little energy, especially as wind and hydro energy will probably drop considerably in a glacial world. Renewables have a limited future, and other than hydro are not even really a present-day solution as they are not generally cost-competitive without subsidy support.

A more substantial energy source will be required; even now would be useful. The bogeyman, coal, is being spurned largely on ideological grounds. However, coal will come to an end within hundreds of years. Nuclear is the way of the future but probably not fission because of its unwanted radioactive waste. Fusion has far less problems with radioactivity and appears to be the likely option.

Of course, sustainable and useful energy production from nuclear fusion has not yet been achieved, despite decades of trying. Past efforts have been directed along a path that has so far proven too difficult, ie trying to reproduce the fusion reactions taking place in the Sun’s interior, ie extremely high temperatures and pressures to produce extremely large and difficult to contain energy. Possibly more modest targets may be achievable.



Chapter 4. Pam & severe storms. [26Mar15, 31Mar15]: Cyclones such as Pam develop from the same mechanism causing climate changes. Weather events do NOT occur randomly; they all have a physical basis – it’s just that sometimes we have not been able to identify them yet.

Chapter 4A: Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Jose (2017) [19Sep17]
Further evidence.

Chapters 4 & 4A have the bonus of being non-mathematical. They substantiate Chapter 2’s inference that geological heat is the substantive driver of climate changes.

Conclusion: At least some severe storms have identifiable geological beginnings.


Chapter 5: Ocean pH [15Sep15, 29Sep15]


Calculates the extent that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels change ocean pH (ie acidity/alkalinity).

Conclusion: Carbon dioxide’s effect on pH is calculated to be measurable, but like AGW, is too small to be significant.

Currently there is anxiety about coral bleaching, affecting particularly the northern Great Barrier Reef. Valerie Taylor had a short informal interview in The Weekend Australian’s Magazine, May 14. You may recall she made many documentaries with her husband Ron about sharks. She’s now 80, and still dives. [Current researchers would/should have been aware of their well known documentaries.]  She says of the GBR,

“In 1965 we went from one end of the reef to the other, over six months, and we found bleaching then. In the ‘70s we went back and you’d never know it happened. The coral had recovered; nature had taken care of it. I’ve seen reefs in PNG that were as white as snow and I’ve just come back from there and they’re terrific.”
She thus observes that bleaching is reversible. (Presumably spores from unaffected corals can flow in again to re-colonise affected areas once the cause has departed.) Coral bleaching and repair occur independently of atmospheric CO2 levels.

As it is mainly the relatively untouched northern areas of the GBR affected, it is unlikely that run-off is the cause. The current bleaching decreases towards the south, flowing on the north-to-south counter-clockwise current from Vanuatu, and becoming depleted in the process. Upstream undersea volcanic activity around Vanuatu produces toxic H2S (Chapter 4a, Cyclone Pam), in time oxidising to sulphuric acid, lowering pH, but less toxic at that level. Chapter 5 shows the small acidity produced by CO2 is not a concern.

Other coral bleaching areas around the globe, eg Seychelles, Caribbean, Maldives, etc are downstream from undersea volcanic areas. However, Persian Gulf corals are not influenced by undersea volcanic areas and are not bleached, despite being 36°C – much higher than the GBR’s 32°C encountered preceding bleaching events.

What is AGW’s agenda given that both Anthropogenic GW and “Ocean Acidity” can so easily be dismissed by real scientific investigation? Is it a hoax?

AGW is the Millennium Bug, Mark II

[01March 2016: This step of self-publishing has been necessary as journals seem to have an aversion to publishing articles contrary to the current AGW dogma.

For example, I sent what is now Chapter One and its Addendum to Nature Climate Change (email receipt of submission1023 PM, 11Dec2014). EIGHT minutes later (1031 PM) I received a written rejection by a sub-editor! That’s not even enough time to have read past the first page’s title. Nor enough time to solve the geometric problem inherent in #2a of the Addendum.)

Blogs such as The Conversation (Australia) funded by many universities, allows its excessively pro-AGW moderator, Cory Zanoni, to remove most non-AGW comments. This can be noticed by the absence of past non-AGW contributors – presumably blocked like me for putting such views. Even the publicly funded CSIRO declined my request for comment.

This site will allow airing of my work. Sensible comments welcome. Abuse is not. ]


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PhD, University of Adelaide (Physical Chemistry) . Otherwise unexceptional. Contact email:

90 thoughts on “Planet Earth Climate Topics”

  1. Peter, this is going to be a very useful web site which I have come to after seeing your advice on The Conversation. While there are some other useful sites, they are often too complicated for the average blogger to get to grips with. Keep going with it and I will certainly be keeping in touch. Another chemist I “know” via emails is Roger Taguchi. He has taught me a lot about Quantum Molecular characteristics relative to CO2 in physics we take the simple way out and stick with atoms.

    I have been playing around with the theory of the behaviour of CO2 in the atmosphere for a number of years, coming at it from a background in optical laser spectroscopy in Physics – line broadening, depolarisaton of molecules etc.


    1. Thanks John. I’ve tried to keep it simple, just showing a collection of respected data, which led me to the inference that AGW cannot be true. Makes a change from AGW resorting to models and “forcing” data to match the theory, such as it is!

      How did you get to submit your comment? It’s what I want, of course, but the original Comment text box has somehow disappeared. I’m trying to recover it; it may take acouple of hours.


  2. Chapter 1B, added 02Apr16, is an undemanding but definitive analysis showing “Greenhouse Gases” have never had an effect on temperature or climate.
    (Water vapour has a small effect.)


  3. Hi, it’s good do see a detailed analysis of the possible role of so called GGs in the atmosphere. Too much BS coming from both sides. I hope you will find the time to complete the work. It would be good if you break down the work and feed it piecemeal to PS. Work like this deserves to reach a wider audience. Keep up the good work.


    1. Thank you for your kind remarks.
      [Nice looking dog. They do become part of the family, don’t they?]

      PSI expect to publish it as you have suggested.
      The other chapters should keep everyone happy for a while.

      I hope to be able to crack the El Nino timing more exactly than at present but it’ll take a bit of work; I do see the way ahead, but that is yet to be determined. El Nino is important in that it is a subset of what is causing climate changes.


  4. First I should like to thank you for posting your ideas here. I found this sight via PSI’s excellent website. I have read them with great interest.
    I may be missing something here, so please put me right. Surely no scientist would be unaware that the atmospheric gases can transfer heat by means of conduction and convection. It’s just that only the IR active gases can absorb the radiation that is re-emitted by the earth’s surface, some of which is re-radiated back towards the surface. It is that small extra heat that is alleged to cause AGW.


  5. Thanks Derek.
    I’m sure that scientists know heat is also transferred by convection and conduction (and also diffusion, and by winds in the atmosphere), but don’t include it in their AGW-influenced thoughts – by choice or otherwise.

    You refer to “small extra heat” from IR but there is none. There is not a packet of heat from conduction, another from convection, another from IR, another from …., but a single energy determined by the temperature. All the molecules in a packet of gas come to thermal equilibrium, ie the same temperature, with each other regardless of how they receive/release their heat. You’ll see confirmation of this across the rocky planets, Venus, Earth and Mars in Chapter 2A. AGW cannot do so.

    One can also confirm this proposition with the thought or actual experiment. Consider a number of sealed flasks, each containing a different gas, say carbon dioxide, methane, argon, oxygen, etc. When transferred to a thermostat at a different temperature, they all reach the same new temperature, that of the thermostat. No “small extra heat” here.

    You can also see AGW contrary-to-physical-laws thinking in for example current El Nino theory, when such scientists talk about “upwelling” of cold (ie dense) ocean waters from the depths to the warmer less dense surface – with a straight face! A sure sign that the current El Nino theory is wanting.

    You’ll see other instances of AGW-influenced thoughts throughout their arguments. For example, you’ll notice their incorrect re-definition of “Greenhouse Effect” and “Climate Change” to suit their theory.


  6. Hi PJ,
    How nice to get a reply from a blogger. So often blogs are unmanned with no response as if they have been abandoned. As your ideas are so radical and were turned down for publication have you tried to get a scientist to give you a kind of “peer review”. It would be interesting to get the reaction of someone who is knowledgeable in the field. I assume from your rely that you do not believe in the idea of IR active gases. That is a very way out position.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello again Derek.
      If you read the other Chapters, in particular, 1 and 1A, you will see that I know that CO2 is an IR active gas. However, that’s irrelevant because molecules will reach the same temperature, in equilibrium with each other, if they have some means of transmitting energy, eg conduction, convection, IR, etc – which they do. Not a way out position, just basic thermodynamics.

      However, AGW does have such a way out position that they have to redefine “Greenhouse Effect” because the real definition doesn’t work for them!

      [I do have pertinent qualifications. Nevertheless, I have had some “peers” check through – a necessary condition before submitting papers – amongst them a Reader in Geology, 2x Professors in Chemistry. Funny how AGW proponents don’t get back to me!
      However, the most satisfying validation is that my workings match real-world data quantitatively. Have you seen any such AGW validation?]

      On a different note.
      I’m annoyed because AGW can be seen as a swindle – maybe a commercial ploy to advantage those countries not reducing carboniferous fuels. India is one such; note IPCC’s immediate past chairman, before his own AGW (Another Girl Worry). AGW appeals to the guilt-driven Christian tradition, eg “We must err on the safe side!” – which also points to the fact that AGW’s case is unproven. Most countries accepting AGW to change their industrial planning have such a Christian tradition. (I think it’s appropriate that faith enters an AGW discussion!)


  7. Hi and thanks for your reply. The problem as far as overturning the Greenhouse gas theory is that it appears to be accepted by the “leading scientists” (those with the highest profile) on both sides of the “debate” – the sceptics and the alarmists. People like John Christy, Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen all accept the idea of GHG theory though they argue about the degree of warming. This could be because they believe that it would simply be too difficult to overturn such an entrenched idea and that it is more important to win the argument about the degree of warming as this sidesteps the first hurdle. All of us agree that the alarmists have massively over-hyped the situation and that the politicians have got themselves into a disastrous mess as a result.

    I like your ideas and have wondered for a long time about the heat from the earth’s core and its effect. I think research into this is worth pursuing. Maybe President Trump will give some funding. (I’m guessing that you are in the USA.) Have you read Joseph Postma’s paper on PSI?

    Regarding my blog, it is a mystery to me that it has a .au version. It is normally accessed at


  8. Hi Derek,
    I’m Australian, living and writing in Australia.

    Which Postma article are you referring to? He’s got quite a lot on PSI’s site.

    “The problem as far as overturning the Greenhouse gas theory is that …”
    I just present the facts. I can’t help if the sheep in lab-coats don’t follow the science.

    “… the heat from the earth’s core and its effect …”
    Chapter 2 and 2A determines this heat.

    PSI ( has published a second instalment from my site.
    Unfortunately the heading is a little wrong
    “No Greenhouse Gas Effect on Venus, Earth and Mars”.
    That’s not quite correct, as I have written that ALL gases are greenhouse gases.
    The word “special” should have been added so that it reads
    “No Special Greenhouse Gas Effect on Venus, Earth and Mars”.


  9. Blogspot has echoing servers (or at least a “presence”) in many countries … so bloggers may “appear” (by URL) to be in your “nearest” access point instead of where they are in reality.




    1. “what would they be seeking to achieve…?”
      Speaking for myself, my chief motivation when I decided to major in physics in 1963 was to achieve vast wealth, fame, and cheerleaders. Even in the small town in South Dakota where I was born, the STEM people (as they’re now called) were the rich and famous ones. The town mathematician, the chemists and engineers, the math and science teachers at the high school — all lived in the big, fancy houses up on the hill and drove the big new cars. Nowadays, of course, the ultra-rich all have PhDs in the hard sciences from MIT and Stanford.It’s big news when the President nominates to his or her cabinet someone without at least one Nobel Prize. The U.S. Senate regularly holds MENSA meeting in the Senate chamber.


      1. Bobmunck
        Your comment has nothing to do with this site. It’s apparent you’ve had some disappointments and frustrations in your life but here is not the place to vent them.

        I’ll probably leave your comment for a while to serve as a warning that it represents very close to trolling – like your previous efforts I removed.


  11. Glad to answer, although I thought I already had, at least in passing.

    1. Your first question about why the consensus is as it is. I can only speculate as to the psychology of the masses; I’m out of my comfort zone of quantifiable facts.

    [From the Commentary … 97% etc, and from my 17Jan17 Comment.]
    That is, part herd instinct and part subtle manipulation of the market. I note that India and China have been buying up Australia’s fossil fuel resources.

    2. Your NOAA reference was presumably about why CO2 levels have been rising since the Industrial Age.
    [Prologue 1 & Chapter 1.] They have risen from the about 280 ppm level to 400 ppm largely by Man, with maybe 10 ppm contributed naturally.
    However, as I’ve attempted to show – perhaps unsuccessfully – in Chapter 1, A and B, there’s no influence of CO2 level on Global Temperature. In the Past, ie pre-Industrial Age, Temperature & CO2 levels changed together because they both arose from the same cause, ie changing geothermal activity (Chapter 2).

    It’s just coincidental that Temperature has risen with Man-made accelerated CO2 production since the Industrial Age. From Vostok, temperatures were expected to rise naturally anyway – by about 2K, that “magical” number! If instead the Industrial Age were to have happened a few thousand years hence, temperatures and CO2 levels would still have plunged – and will still do so.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks kymmi600. It seems you sent another comment
        “You might want to go see what they’re up to! Perhaps you will like their blog as much as they liked your comment! ”
        which didn’t show up here, but did in my email.
        [jeffoyler may not be the only one with a problem with this site’s Comments.]

        To which blog were you referring?


    1. I like all the stuff you write about conduction and convection being ignored in favor of radiation. Of course global warming is all about greenhouse gases increasing the amount of thermal energy captured in the Earth’s biosphere, and the only way heat can leave the Earth is via radiation — there’s nothing outside the atmosphere to conduct or convect through. Pretty much everything you say in the pivotal Chapter 1B is utterly wrong; it’s a real tour de force.


  12. bobmunck: (Nice to see you are attempting a scientific answer.)
    While only some gases absorb IR directly, ALL substances above absolute zero radiate energy. In the current case, most of this radiated energy happens to be in the IR band.


    1. So you agree that all your talk of “conduction and convection” has nothing to do with global warming, and that larger concentrations of CO2, because it is opaque to parts of the IR band, will trap a greater amount of thermal energy in the atmosphere (prevent it from radiating out into space), thereby causing global warming.

      That is, of course, what you are arguing against in Chapter 1B.


      1. bobmunck: You obviously read something which is not written. What is it about
        “CO2, whether natural or Man-made, is a greenhouse gas, but then so are ALL gases. Like all substances, all gases absorb heat in one way or another eg by radiation, conduction, convection and/or diffusion.”
        that you can possibly misconstrue as
        “larger concentrations of CO2, because it is opaque to parts of the IR band, will trap a greater amount of thermal energy in the atmosphere (prevent it from radiating out into space), thereby causing global warming.”??


      2. “CO2, whether natural or Man-made, is a greenhouse gas, but then so are ALL gases.”

        Not true. Greenhouse gases are those which are transparent to most or all of the wavelengths of visible light radiated by the Sun and opaque to some or all of the longer wavelengths of infrared radiation. Take a look at the absorption spectra of the major greenhouse gases: water vapor, methane, carbon dioxide. Note how CO2 fills in holes in the H2O spectrum.

        You’re trying to change the definition so that you can disagree with it. Take a look at the Hyperphysics definition: That site is pitched at a quite simple, layman level of science comprehension.


  13. bobmunck: Again, read what I’ve written, eg in The Commentary.
    “Even though it is known to be incorrect, AGW re-defines the Greenhouse Effect as being due to heat absorption by certain gases only – the IR gases. Compare to #2.”

    As a check, see Chapter 2A, which shows quantitatively that the AGW re-definition is wildly wrong but the correct, original greenhouse definition is accurate.

    If you continue mindlessly regurgitating AGW propaganda without considering the arguments I’ve forwarded, responding to you is pointless. I don’t have time.

    However, I’ll leave your current comments to show others the sort of nonsense that the AGW faithful regurgitate. In that sense, I have to thank you.


    1. “AGW re-defines the Greenhouse Effect as being due to heat absorption by certain gases only”

      No, it doesn’t; that’s entirely your own invention, as I said before. I notice you didn’t try to support your contention that it had been redefined.

      “the AGW re-definition is wildly wrong but the correct, original greenhouse definition is accurate.”

      That is correct; your attempt to redefine it is wildly wrong. Here’s another link: Note this text: “Earth’s atmosphere is composed primarily of nitrogen and oxygen. These gases are transparent to incoming solar radiation. They are also transparent to outgoing infrared radiation, which means that they do not absorb or emit solar or infrared radiation. ” Again, nitrogen and oxygen are NOT greenhouse gases.

      “mindlessly regurgitating AGW propaganda”

      I gave you a pointer to the definition; it obviously did not agree with your re-definition.

      ” I’ll leave your current comments to show others the sort of nonsense”

      Apparently the only argument for your re-definition that you can make is an implicit threat to censor my pointing out where you are wrong. That’s understandable; essentially I’m pointing out that your “masterwork” is junk. To quote Aaron Sorkin, “you can’t handle the truth.”


  14. “This re-definition implies that only the IR gases can be warmed or cooled”

    Greenhouse gases block IR, are opaque to it. That’s the basic fact of the real definition of the greenhouse effect. It implies that non-greenhouse gases, such as nitrogen and oxygen, do not block IR, and that’s true; they are transparent to it. There’s no implication in the real definition that non-greenhouse gases can or cannot be warmed or cooled, and no such implications about greenhouse gases.

    You’ve somehow confused in your mind “block IR” and “absorb thermal energy.” They aren’t at all the same thing. Thermal energy can be in the form of radiation, visible or not, but it can also be in the form of kinetic energy of the molecules of a gas. The latter form is transmitted by conduction and convection, and that’s the way that non-greenhouse gases acquire thermal energy.

    If you could just discipline yourself to stop pretending that “block IR” and “absorb thermal energy” are the same thing, most of your problems would go away. No one else thinks the two are equivalent, certainly not anyone who understands what causes AGW. I’ve now given you two links to two very different authorities who explain the greenhouse effect correctly. You need to stop trying to force your incorrect “re-definition” on the world; it’s entirely your own fantasy.


    1. bobmunck: 1. Firstly a warning: Courtesy is a requirement here!
      As I’ve written in the Chapters ….
      2. Google “greenhouse effect”. (No doubt you’ve already done so.) As sites universally admit the AGW definition is incorrect, I haven’t bothered to cite any in particular.
      3. Chapters 1 & 1A dispose of any IR concern; CO2 has already absorbed its maximum amount so that adding more can absorb no more IR.
      4. Chapter 1B shows the IR effect of such a small percent of molecules is too small to worry about anyway.
      5. The size of the greenhouse effect, ie the amount of heat stored in a planet’s atmosphere, depends not on how heat is absorbed but how much. More heat can be stored by a greater pressure atmosphere; confirmed in Chapter 2A. AGW is a long way from matching this (planetary) data – or any data!
      6. Can you show how AGW matches this or any other actual data?

      7. [Take this as a warning.]
      Your arguments have been dispensed with in Chapters 1 & 2. I welcome comments that point out errors – I fixed one such in Chapter 1 pointed out by a reader.
      Comments from those who have not bothered to read – or perhaps not absorbed – my analysis are unwelcome.

      Writing that my logic is not in accord with the herd does not cut it; that is, in fact, the reason for me writing the site. What is the point of a site that agrees with what has already been written? (Although, a large proportion of the “97%” do so – maybe funding is their driver.)


    1. Dick. Your reference says that CO2 is unsaturated. I agree, in fact is completely UNsaturated.

      To repeat: All Earth’s IR has already been absorbed at low altitudes by CO2 (Chapter 1). Adding more CO2 cannot absorb any more IR.

      Anyway, this is irrelevant. To repeat.
      All molecules absorb heat one way or another (Chapter 1B), and so, CO2’s (IR or otherwise) contribution is negligible.


  15. For some 10 years now I have been asking a simple question and have never been able to get any sensible response.
    “Does the IPCC definition of “Forcing Rate” comply with thermodynamic law?”
    In my view it does not and has hence created considerable doubt on the logical route to the AGW hypothesis. To me it is of fundamental importance as any error of definition in the scientific process casts doubt on the validity of any subsequent calculations.
    As a result I have found a number of anomalies/questions/ errors? in this IPCC logical route which appear never to be discussed. All very frustrating.

    The definition may be found in the Working Group 1 section of the various IPCC reports, in the relevant chapter.


  16. cogno2:
    For “forcing” read “fudge factor”, ie an arbitrary factor introduced to make the data match theory. AGW uses a number of these. I take any mention of “forcing” as a flashing signal that the theory involved is deficient. I usually stop reading at that point; it saves time!

    There are NO forcings on this site; traditional science matches ALL the data I’ve come across.

    Anyone: Tell me if you know any to the contrary.


    1. cogno2 (extra): I noticed yesterday that Chapter 2A was not responding to clicking, despite it doing so when I first added it. I’ve fixed it … for now at least! The joys of HTML or maybe WordPress!

      It may be of interest to you.


  17. Regarding Chap2updated’s 6.7×10^19 Joules per annum geothermal contribution to oceanic (hence global) heating…

    It appears to be too small in a variety of ways:
    (a) it’s only about a fifth of humanities’ annual thermal output (about 10TW/yr)

    (b) it’s far less than the (after conversion) 83 x10^19 J/a arrived at in 1981 by J.Sclater,B.Parsons and C.Jaupart’s “Oceans and Continents: Similarities and Differences in the Mechanisms of Heat Loss” (Journal of Geophysical Research, v86 nB12 pp 11535)

    (b) next, we have the recent L.Cheng et al EOS article: “Taking the Pulse of the Planet” which arrives at a total increase of ocean heat content since 1960 of 30×10^22 … divided by 57 years, that averages to about 5×10^21 per year … 100 times greater than your (admittedly rough) calculated estimated. My use of a simple average is for brevity.. the paper sees a rising trend. There is a more formal paper in Scientific Advances (see next paragraph).

    This blog format blocks web addresses, but the article can be seen by visiting / opinions / taking-the-pulse-of-the-planet as well as the open access paper in Science Advances “Improved estimates of ocean heat content from 1960 to 2015” at doi 10.1126 / sciadv.1601545 (10 Mar 2017, v3 n3, e16011545)

    Yes, the spreading ridges are a source of localized heating… but they’re truly relatively small beer compared to AGW’s accumulating impact.


    1. Dick:

      I am reluctant to challenge your figures Dick as I don’t have my calcs to hand; but from memory I gather the total geothermal heat is about 0.078 Watts/m^2 which puts it on par with the humanities output.
      However this is not really my point; for it is the local nature of volcanic activity that is important here and could well have influence on say the El Niño effect etc. or on arctic ice through activity in the Gakkel Ridge and others under the ice, with those Polynyas dotting the icescape.
      And then there was the recent odd melting on one of the Antarctic ice shelves (not sure which).
      Somehow I doubt that anyone really knows what influence the Mid Atlantic Ridge has on hurricanes. But these are merely conjectures on my part based perhaps on known unknowns which tend to get ignored or assigned constant values in computer models.
      So I find your “small beer” comment somewhat depressing.
      Is the Mexican Eruption a mere coincidence with the the recent hurricane activity? Who knows?


  18. Thanks Dick and cognog2
    I’ll get to answering Dick’s reply after I’ve finished with new chapter 4a on the Gulf of Mexico hurricanes; it’s been coming “within a few days” for days. (By way of a preview, some are indeed affected directly by the mid-Atlantic Ridge, the others which approach from a southerly direction, ie Katia and Karl 2010, don’t go near it.) Everything to do with real climate change; nothing to do with carbon dioxide.)


  19. cognog2? I’m trying to make an honest stab at answering your question:
    “Does the IPCC definition of “Forcing Rate” comply with thermodynamic law?”

    But i’m going to have to start off saying that i hit a question/road block:
    (a) what YOU mean by “forcing rate” … i just used Acrobat to scan the entire AR5 WG1 2013 final document, and that phrase does not appear therein. They don’t use it in the text, and they don’t “define” it.

    The IPCC *does* define the term “radiative forcing”

    Here is the IPCC’s 1994 definition of radiative forcing (RF):
    “A *change* in average net radiation at the top of the troposphere (known as the tropopause). because of a change in either solar or infrared radiation, is defined for the purpose of this report as a radiative forcing.”

    So you might call it an “accounting term”. As they continue:
    “A positive radiative forcing tends on average to warm the surface; a negative radiative forcing on average tends to cool the surface. As defined here, the incoming solar radiation is not considered a radiative forcing, but a change in the amount of incoming solar radiation would be a radiative forcing.”

    Thus the “solar constant” of about 1360 Wm-2 is not a forcing, but if it changed to 1362, they’d call that a +2 Wm-2 forcing.

    As for “forcing rate”, the Radiative Forcing (RF) *is* a rate measurement (Watts are joules per second).

    As for “thermodynamic law”, their definition of RF directly applies to the First Law:
    “First law of thermodynamics: When energy passes, as work, as heat, or with matter, into or out from a system, the system’s internal energy changes in accord with the law of conservation of energy.”
    (from Wikipedia’s Laws_of_Thermodynamics)

    So their RF serves as a measure of an increase or decrease of energy entering into the Earth’s system, as measured at the tropopause. If CO2’s effect is to diminish the long wave radiation escaping from the Earth to space, the First Law dictates that the Earth system’s internal energy (thus temperature) must be increasing to keep up with the sun’s input. If increasing cloud albedo means that more direct solar energy is reflected back out (through the tropopause) then the Earth system’s internal energy will decrease, lowering the temperature.

    Or footnote 14 on page 13 of the final AR5 WG1 report: (at / report/ar5/wg1/ )
    “The strength of drivers is quantified as Radiative Forcing (RF) in units watts per square metre (W m–2) as in previous IPCC assessments. RF is the change in energy flux caused by a driver, and is calculated at the tropopause or at the top of the atmosphere. In the traditional RF concept employed in previous IPCC reports all surface and tropospheric conditions are kept fixed.”

    At the risk of adding confusion, i feel duty-bound to say that in the newest (AR5) report, they’ve added another forcing measure, the Effective Radiative Forcing (ERF). The above footnote continues:

    “In calculations of RF for well-mixed greenhouse gases and aerosols in this report, physical variables, except for the ocean and sea ice, are allowed to respond to perturbations with rapid adjustments. The resulting forcing is called Effective Radiative Forcing (ERF) in the underlying report. This change reflects the scientific progress from previous assessments and results in a better indication of the eventual temperature response for these drivers. For all drivers other than well-mixed greenhouse gases and aerosols, rapid adjustments are less well characterized and assumed to be small, and thus the traditional RF is used. {8.1}”

    Does this answer the question you were trying to ask?



  20. I should also include the definition for Radiative Forcing from the AR5 WG1 Glossary (page 1460):
    (some odd line-breaks may appear from the copy/paste operation)
    —quote starts—
    Radiative forcing Radiative forcing is the change in the net, downward
    minus upward, radiative flux (expressed in W m–2) at the tropopause
    or top of atmosphere due to a change in an external driver of climate
    change, such as, for example, a change in the concentration of carbon dioxide or the output of the Sun. Sometimes internal drivers are still treated as forcings even though they result from the alteration in climate, for example aerosol or greenhouse gas changes in paleoclimates. The traditional radiative forcing is computed with all tropospheric properties held fixed at their unperturbed values, and after allowing for stratospheric temperatures, if perturbed, to readjust to radiative-dynamical equilibrium. Radiative forcing is called instantaneous if no change in stratospheric temperature is
    accounted for. The radiative forcing once rapid adjustments are accounted for is termed the effective radiative forcing. For the purposes of this report, radiative forcing is further defined as the change relative to the year 1750 and, unless otherwise noted, refers to a global and annual average value.
    Radiative forcing is not to be confused with cloud radiative forcing, which describes an unrelated measure of the impact of clouds on the radiative flux at the top of the atmosphere.
    —quote ends–


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dick:
      I am delighted with your response; being the first to deal with my query in a sensible manner over the 10 years I have been asking. My sincere thanks.

      First, my apologies as over the years I have equated RF (Radiative Forcing) with FR ( Forcing Rate), both being calculated by the IPCC as circa 1.6 Watts/m^2 escalated later to some 3.6Watts/m^2 due to purported feed back reaction. I admit this is sloppy thinking.

      The IPCC definition I refer to is :

      “The definition of RF from the TAR and earlier IPCC assessment reports is retained. Ramaswamy et al. (2001) define it as ‘the change in net (down minus up) irradiance (solar plus longwave; in W m–2) at the tropopause after allowing for stratospheric temperatures to readjust to radiative equilibrium, *but with surface and tropospheric temperatures and state held fixed at the unperturbed values’.* Radiative forcing is used to assess and compare the anthropogenic and natural drivers of climate change. The concept arose from early studies of the climate response to
      changes in solar insolation and CO2, simple radiative-convective models.”

      This being in line with your comments.
      My query relates to the statement between the stars above where the “State” is held fixed, leading to the question as to how an energy flux (circa 1.6Watts/m^2) can pass between two closed thermodynamic systems without an increase in “State” in the recipient system.
      It is a simple question.

      Now, fair enough the IPCC goes on thereafter to refer to changes which purport to generate the flux which in some respect negates the definition as you rightly point out and this aspect is very apparent in the changes made between AR4 and AR5. indicating that there is an element of backtracking here.

      In my view the definition, being false, generates a circular argument in that the calculation, being dependant on the definition, produces the definition itself and thus creates anomalies further down the logical process.
      One such anomaly being how you apply this RF to the Stephan-Boltzmann equation, whereby if you add this RF to the insolation an increase in say CO2 somehow makes the Sun glow brighter!
      However, this does tell us that properly the variables involved are Albedo and Emissivity not energy flux, so perhaps a rethink it required.
      Unfortunately both these variables are somewhat wild beasts in scientific terms being chaotic in nature and not amenable to the strictures of computer modelling.

      I could go on about other anomalies here but reckon I have said enough except that, to me, the use of this convenient metric of RF flux has created many problems.
      Hope this tickles your grey cells Dick.
      My best regards


  21. cognog2: “My sincere thanks.”
    You’re quite welcome.. i really do try to give reasonable answers to reasonable questions.

    It’s going to take me a day or so (“life” is interfering a bit) to answer your subsequent “simple question”. (i actually have a *guess* what they’re doing… and it’s a common scientific and engineering technique for simplifying analyses at the early stages (and sometimes that’s fully adequate for the job at hand (spoken as a retired electrical engineer)))

    But without digging into the AR5 with your question in mind, i can’t say if my guess is anywhere near their meaning.

    Aside from the “held fixed” issue, you assert: “whereby if you add this RF to the insolation an increase in say CO2 somehow makes the Sun glow brighter!”
    If you’re referring to the CO2-based RF, then yes, it does increase the down-welling radiation. Saying that the Sun is brighter is incorrect… if you measured the spectrum on the ground (looking up) you’d see an increase near the 15 micron wavelength (where the sun is relatively weak compared to its visible spectrum).
    Let’s try an analogy: step outside on a cloudy night when it was (say) 60F at sunset, and compare the temperature to a clear night when it was also 60F at sunset. (wind and rain “held fixed” at non-existent (altho a light wind probably won’t affect this demo much)).
    3 hours after sunset, it will be warmer on the cloudy night.
    Does that mean the stars are brighter (hidden above the clouds)?
    If you have a $30 infrared thermometer, take it outside too… and point it straight up. It will also read warmer (you might be surprised by the “clear” reading… i was).

    Now we move on to “both these variables are somewhat wild beasts in scientific terms being chaotic in nature and not amenable to the strictures of computer modelling” … chaotic-about-a-mean phenomena respond rather well to averaging and statistics. I can’t tell you if there’s a blue car passing in front of your house *right now* (or even any car), but if i knew your daily traffic flow and percentage of car color sales in your area i could make a fair prediction of the number of blue cars per day. Individually chaotic, but statistically simple. Weather versus climate. As tastes change, simply counting cars at your house could probably reveal the general trend of whether blue is “coming in” or “going out” fashion-wise.

    Now i’m off to explore “states held fixed”….
    have fun


    1. Dick: A good response. Being both retired engineers, it appears we have some synergy. I have been guessing what the IPCC has been doing for a long time now.

      Yes you are quite right RF is the net difference, not an increase in insolation. However I did say: “ IF you add this RF to insolation “ which is ridiculous; but still leaves open the question as to where you put this, as defined, RF energy flux in the Stephan- Boltzmann equation.
      I have tried some back engineering/calculations ( now lost) to see if I could get a handle on what happens to both Emissivity and Albedo to produce an equivalent result; but it was all rather messy as one doesn’t know which variable changes or both.

      As an aside here: I did come up with the concept of what I called the “Glow Factor” which is the ratio of Albedo to Emissivity (G). Approx 0.3/0.62 = 0.48387; but have no idea what a ratio of ratios means!! Any ideas?

      In some respects I think the IPCC is considering RF more as some form of potential; rather like two voltages in equilibrium joined by a wire, whereby should one voltage drop then a current flows. This, of course is where they have got it wrong as they have defined it as a current which depends upon the resistance of the wire which is what they are attempting to calculate in the first place and is thus a circular logic situation.
      However, like you, I am merely trying to guess what they are doing.

      May I come back to you on your Cloudy night analogy later? I need a bit of time on this as I think it is a bit more complex than we think; but it seems on the face of it you have a point. Analogies tend to have quirks I find; but can lead to some interesting lateral thinking.

      As for my wild beasts — Yes your comments on statistics are well put and agreed. However both these variables are subject to the chaos of many other variables; so knocking a bit of sense into it all by statistics is no easy task. Hence my wild beast comment. The butterfly wings concept comes to mind here!

      Anyhow, enough of this, take your time to reply Dick if you have the mind. I am not going anywhere. just fascinated by the subject.
      Best regards
      Alasdair—( In case this thread gets closed down.


      1. I accidentally made the “reply” to one of Peter’s posts, so if you’re only getting notified of direct replies via email, please visit Peter’s blog site and chug down to Sept 19th 1pm (in whoever’s time zone it uses)


  22. OK… after being put to sleep a couple of times plodding through the early matter of Chapter 8 of the AR5 WG1 report, i took the hint of *your* quoted definition and fetched Ramaswamy et al. (2001). (found as the 4th entry in Google Scholar after searching for “Ramaswamy et al. (2001)” … specifically (spaces added to avoid blogware disliking links) / csd / assessments/ozone/1991/chapters/chapter7.pdf)
    From that document: “This definition makes use of the fact that the model stratosphere adjusts or comes to equilibrium more rapidly (usually within 60 to 90 days) to the perturbation induced by a change in a specific trace gas concentration than do the troposphere and the surface (several years to possibly several decades).”

    So the first answer to your “simple question” is: “the RF changes take enough time to affect the troposphere and surface (T&S) that those effects can be mostly ignored on the short term”. (those are my words, not theirs).

    My own (previously mentioned) guess was simpler than that: i was assuming they were ignoring the effects in the same way electronics calculations (in the days of paper and slide rules, before computer tools like SPICE) ignored the “real components” like transistors and diodes, and treated them as “ideal devices” (no leakage currents through a diode, for example… unless you really *needed* to include them). As long as you realized (and documented, as IPCC does) the short-cut, and you could show (by later detailed analysis or breadboarding the circuit) that the assumption kept you within a “barn door” of reality, it was an acceptable procedure.

    The second answer to your “simple question” is that adding the effects upon the T&S significantly increased the computational load, with minimal effects upon the answers (in the short term). “Long term” is/was usually handled by having the “fixed” results only cover a short span of time, and then *apply* the changed T&S effects to the initial conditions of the next computer run. (think of simulating weather, factoring in a “week’s” result before starting the “next week’s” simulation).

    But time and computers have marched on… and the AR5 WG1 now provides a “third answer”:
    They are now *including* the effects upon the T&A into a new measure called the ERF: Effective Radiative Forcing.
    Box 8.1 on page 665 says:
    “ERF is the change in net TOA downward radiative flux after allowing for atmospheric temperatures, water vapour and clouds to adjust, but with surface temperature or a portion of surface conditions unchanged. Although there are multiple methods to calculate ERF, we take ERF to mean the method in which sea surface temperatures and sea ice cover are fixed at climatological values unless otherwise specified. Land surface properties (temperature, snow and ice cover and vegetation) are allowed to adjust in this method. Hence ERF includes both the effects of the forcing agent itself and the rapid adjustments to that agent (as does RF, though stratospheric temperature is the only adjustment for the latter). In the case of aerosols, the rapid adjustments of clouds encompass effects that have been referred to as indirect or semi-direct forcings (see Figure 7.3 and Section 7.5), with some of these same cloud responses also taking place for other forcing agents (see Section 7.2). Calculation of ERF requires longer simulations with more complex models than calculation of RF, but the inclusion of the additional rapid adjustments makes ERF a better indicator of the eventual global mean temperature response, especially for aerosols. When forcing is attributed to emissions or used for calculation of emission metrics, additional responses including atmospheric chemistry and the carbon cycle are also included in both RF and ERF (see Section 8.1.2). The general term forcing is used to refer to both RF and ERF.”

    So now they’re answering your “simple question” in the best way: they’re no longer holding T&S completely fixed (although some slower-responding surface attributes are still being held steady… tune in next report).

    The components of the Earth’s systems have inertia and momentum. The computational technique of holding T&S “fixed” for RF calculations is merely making use of those characteristics. They knew is was a simplification forced upon them by the resources of the time, but as resources (and understanding) have improved, those simplifications are being removed (complexified?). This may be what you called “backtracking”, i tend to call it “improving the precision (or confidence)”. To quote from the abstract of a recent paper: “The consensus on the ‘likely’ range for climate sensitivity of 1.5 °C to 4.5 °C today is the same as given by Jule Charney in 1979, but now it is based on quantitative evidence from across the climate system and throughout climate history.”
    ( /ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo3017.html )



    1. I just filled in the invitingly open “comment” box (instead of clicking Reply to the specific message).
      My apologies… i expect/hope he’ll see it



      1. Dick,
        Sorry for the delay- complicated. I think here I am replying to yours of the 17&19/9/17.
        First: I don’t think I am competent to explain your experience with your infrared thermometer. I have views; but they are mainly conjecture, so best keep quiet.

        Next: You have been busy and in some respects have competently followed the route I have taken in my attempts to get under the skin of the IPCC logical(?) route, which was triggered by my simple question over the validity of the RF definition. ( page 133, AR4, WG1 Technical Section, I think Chapter 6.2, under Radiative Forcing.)

        I have noted that the subsequent verbiage in AR5. in some respects backtracked on the “fixed State” element of AR4 and opened up the potential change in state due to some factors. In logical terms this in effect negates the definition leaving matters somewhat vague.
        The result, however is clear; as the Stephan-Boltzmann* (see below) equation gets removed from the subsequent calculations which then rely on empirical equations which ignore the two basic variables, namely Albedo and Emissivity.
        We are then left with the oddity that whereas the definition results in a value of zero for RF ( assumed as a flux), the calculations produce a value of some 1.6 Watts/ m^2. All in the name of ease and simplicity.

        *( The Stephan-Boltzmann equation may be written as:- T^4 = I*(1-A)/E*s. Where T is Temperature, I is the Insolation, A is Albedo, E is emissivity and s is the Boltzmann constant.)

        Following on on this one then needs to look at the equations used in the calculations and here there are questions which need to be answered.
        There are two equations used here:
        1): F = 5.35*in(C2/C1). Where F is the RF in Watts/m^2, and C1 & C2 are the CO2 concentrations in ppm. The value 5.35 is calculated elsewhere.
        2): DT = S*F. where D is delta dee:- “change in”. ( my keyboard doesn’t have this), T is temperature, S is the sensitivity coefficient and F is the Radiative Forcing derived from 1). above.

        The first equation is a bit of a mix, as it is empirical and based mainly on lab observations of chemical and diffusion processes with constraints on the temperature ranges involved. Similar to Fick’s Laws. Superimposed on this is the work of Arrhenius et al, relating to CO2.
        The 5.35 coefficient is the subject of some debate and various values have been suggested in a number of papers and the IPCC in its wisdom has chosen this figure right or wrong.
        Here, I am quite unable to comment except to ponder on whether any of these papers included Albedo or Emissivity in their calculations. However I have noted that Arrhenius himself had serious doubts about the influence of water (Umbrosity in his terms) both in his original paper and later in 1906.
        As I see it there appears to be a touch of argument from the particular to the general here.

        The second simple equation belies its simplicity as the value of “S” should properly be calculated by use of the Stephan-Boltzmann principles and I have no idea whether this has been the case; but do suspect that this figure is now as much dependant upon statistical analysis and modelling as it is on fundamental physics.
        But apart from this it is obvious to me that this equation does NOT apply to water due to the latent heat involved in its phase changes which are are occurring continually within the atmosphere often at very low temperatures and pressures. (refer to Dalton’s Law of partial pressures)
        Try boiling your kettle above 100C!

        Next we come to the question of feedback reaction where I do not have expertise. All I can say is that it appears to me that the IPCC treatment of this does not agree with what I have interpreted as the correct treatment in the engineering textbooks I have to hand.
        Graphing the results show that whereas the textbook calculations produce a stable situation the IPCC method results in a very unstable situation conducive to fears of catastrophic disaster.
        Obviously as an engineer I tend to put my faith in the textbooks!

        In summary I contend that the IPCC in the use of an invalid definition has been forced to ignore the prime variables which control global temperature and this has resulted in reliance upon inappropriate equations for purported convenience which has led to a great deal of confusion and expense.

        Albeit not part of this thread I also submit that Water is the prime thermostat which has successfully controlled our planet temperature with remarkable consistency for millions of years.

        Anyhow Dick I would be happy for you to pick out any inconsistencies, errors etc. in this or even perhaps expand or demolish the theme.
        Best regards,


  23. Tying up a loose (or severely frayed) end:

    Cognog2 wrote:
    “As an aside here: I did come up with the concept of what I called the “Glow Factor” which is the ratio of Albedo to Emissivity (G). Approx 0.3/0.62 = 0.48387; but have no idea what a ratio of ratios means!! Any ideas?”

    Well, albedo is the amount of energy reflected divided by the amount of energy impinged. (Er/Ei)
    Emissivity is the amount of energy emitted divided by the amount that an ideal black body would emit (for the given temperature, wavelength and viewing conditions). (Ee/Eb)

    So your “Glow Factor” is therefore (Er/Ei)/(Ee/Eb), which can be expressed as Er*Eb/Ee*Ei …
    Since Er and Ei have next to nothing directly related to Ee and Eb (other than Ei*A will eventually raise the temperature which will eventually affect the temperature of whatever’s emitting) i think your Glow Factor is a mild distraction at best.

    Of course, for an observer just watching, one might think that they’d be seeing the sum of the reflected energy (Er) plus the emitted energy (Ee). But whatever’s causing the albedo (if it’s an intervening cloud layer) might affect that.

    “Luckily” for GHG calculations, the bulk of those two components are in vastly different wavelength bands: reflected visual energy centered near 5000K versus emitted longwaves closer to 300K.



    1. Oops… instead of:
      “(other than Ei*A will eventually raise the temperature”
      that should be:
      (other than Ei*(1-A) will eventually raise the temperature

      –dick (wishing this forum allowed post-posting editing)


    2. Dick. As usual you are spot on. This “Glow Factor” is merely a math process:
      If x = y*a/b and G = a/b Then x = y*G, where G is denoted as the Glow Factor.

      But it is not very useful in pragmatic terms as it is difficult to measure. The problem being that if you observe a body at a specific temperature by means of its radiation, how do you determine which radiation is due to Albedo and which to Emissivity?
      You appear to be suggesting that this is possible due to the differences in wavelength involved. However I thought that radiation reflected by Albedo was of the same spectrum as that received; but may be wrong here; but as the Emissivity radiation spectrum would be in the lower temperature bands as you suggest, you could well be right.
      So If that is possible then perhaps by observing the same body at a different temperatures would enable a value of “G” to be determined with respect to temperature.

      In some respects I agree: This Glow Factor is a bit of a distraction. Except that when one considers the effect of say increases in CO2 in the atmosphere the CO2 molecules themselves have both Albedo and Emissivity and this Glow Factor takes that into account rather than merely considering Emissivity alone. Agreed- a pedantic point as I suspect the Albedo remains substantially constant.

      Overall the CO2 molecules only react to specific wavebands in the insolation which comprise ( I believe) about 8% of the whole in energy terms (Watts/m^2) i.e.: about 27Watts/m^2. Also there is the question of area. What area does the CO2 subtend to this radiation? We need to know this if the actual energy absorbed is to be found in Watts.
      By my reckoning this area is very small; but best not go into that here.

      An interesting chat. Far better than the reaction I got from the University of Melbourne when I raised the matter in the forum during an internet Climate Course I attended.
      Again- My regards.


      1. Connog2 wrote:
        “Overall the CO2 molecules only react to specific wavebands in the insolation which comprise ( I believe) about 8% of the whole in energy terms (Watts/m^2) i.e.: about 27Watts/m^2. Also there is the question of area. What area does the CO2 subtend to this radiation? We need to know this if the actual energy absorbed is to be found in Watts.
        By my reckoning this area is very small; but best not go into that here.”

        That’s pretty much precisely what MODTRAN calculates.
        Since you can change the CO2 concentration between runs (and get numeric results as well as graphical), you can extract the area under the CO2 contribution towards reducing the longwave transmission.
        Just compare the results of two (or more) concentration runs on the bottom-line “upward IR heat flux” result.
        (that’s part of why i enjoy that app)



  24. Dick: Re your comment, 24Sep17 regarding spreading ridges’ heat output.
    1. You should actually take in what you read before shooting off on a tangent! Look a little further down in p30 of chapter 2 to see the total Earth geothermal heat output, and discussion of this. Perhaps too brief … particularly as you are not acquainted with the KISS principle!

    2. As “to AGW’s accumulating impact. That’s zero, as shown in chapters 1, 1A and particularly 1B … unless you can show these to be wrong. Would save you and cocgnog2 from esoteric discussions at length … and length … and length … and . Enough!!

    3. Man’s heat contribution. I may add something about this. Man’s and geothermal heat are added in quite different ways.
    Man’s industrial heat – which is that which is causing concern – is discharged at hundreds of degrees – via smokestacks or exhausts – directly into the atmosphere. It is carried up into the high atmosphere never to return, in much the manner described in chapter 1A. Warming is only very local, as evidenced by the so-called big city “heat islands”.
    Geothermal is largely undersea so that it only hits the atmosphere at most a few degrees higher than surroundings – and after it has warmed the sea itself. Its warmth hangs around and is measured. One can read of the AGW faith pointing to the wonder of heat coming from the oceans – somehow related to CO2.
    Terrestrial volcanoes discharge heat in a manner similar to Man – directly into the air – and it too disappears upwards rapidly, as shown by the drops in Global Temperature recorded after large eruptions. (It is also partially due to ash reflection of the Sun’s radiation.)


  25. Cognog2: I suggested playing with Modtran… and couldn’t resist it myself..
    So i did a few runs to see if/how it would squeak.
    I tried zeroing out all of the gasses it offers, and then stepped CO2 up from zero to 600ppm.
    The results are here:
    Note the note on the 50 ppm graph highlighting where the shifts are most apparent.

    Of interest to me is the final table and comment beneath it…
    I would have expected each doubling of CO2 to create the same increased impediment to the upward welling energy flux.
    Thus 50, 100, 200, 400 ppm should have each removed (let’s say) 4.71 W/m2 from the flux.
    They didn’t (sort of) …
    I’m bending this implementation of MODTRAN in ways it wasn’t prepared for (such as its built-in 299.7 ground temperature), so that might explain the hiccup (and the slight deviation from the ideal black body curves around 7 microns, even at zero ppm).


    1. Dick,
      Sorry for delay. – Health problems.

      The problem for me with this Modtran simulation is that in essence it merely embodies the IPCC logic and stance; so however much you play with it the results appear to confirm the message.
      Whether this message is correct still remains the question.
      I take the view here that: as I suspect, that neither Albedo or Emissivity enter substantially into the calculations there must be something wrong.
      My playing reveals some very odd results; but this may be due to my lack of understanding of what is happening in the calculations. In some respects I am testing to destruction here :
      For instance if you put 900000 ppm for CO2 with nil for the rest and use: Tropical, cloudless, water rate = 1 at 5 km height you get : 427 W/m^2 downward flux. Putting a temperature offset of 300k doesn’t change the ground temperature ( why not?); but raises the downward flux to: 5219 W/m^2 which seems somewhat odd, as does the 5683 W/m^2 upward flux and the shift to a ground temperature of: 600K
      Also the water rate at 1 make a lot of difference although we have a cloudless sky. How so?
      Changes in the height appear to be connected in some way to the optical depth of the CO2 which seems reasonable.
      However I do not know what this downward flux means. Is it the so called RF, being the net flux, or what? Also do the calculations have constraints on the range of their validity?

      All in all I am totally confused with all these figures hopping around and apparently pulling energy out of some unknown source.

      Have you had any success in getting under the skin of this?


      1. This will be a quick reply:
        cognog2 wrote (in slightly re-arranged order):
        > Sorry for delay. – Health problems.
        My sincere condolences… replies can certainly await better times.

        > I take the view here that: as I suspect, that neither Albedo or Emissivity
        > enter substantially into the calculations there must be something wrong.

        I have uploaded a previous version of MODTRAN’s source code to:
        I’ve put all of the subroutines and mainline into a single text file you can browse with an editor (like Word or Wordpad). Search for “albedo” and “emiss” (to catch the various flavors: emissicity, emission, etc). You’ll see how they’re handled throughout the analysis.
        I’ve also included a paper describing MODTRAN 4.

        MODTRAN was originally developed by the US AirForce from the 1950s onward as they were developing infra-red guided missiles and space surveillance satellites. It predates the IPCC and the AGW kerfuffle by decades.
        Its goal was to characterize, understand and adjust the missile’s programming and sensor results to reach the designated targets.
        As with so many models used by the IPCC, the program was written for a totally different end-point purpose, and the IPCC mooched whatever was available at the time. This is one reason the “ensemble” approach produces occasionally widely-varying curve families… a number of the models were being wedged into service in ways the original authors never expected.

        > The problem for me with this Modtran simulation is that in essence
        > it merely embodies the IPCC logic and stance; so however much you
        > play with it the results appear to confirm the message.
        >Whether this message is correct still remains the question.

        MODTRAN follows the physics. If/since the IPCC also follows the physics, i’m not surprised that its results appear to “embody the IPCC logic” (i’d say it was the other ‘way ’round: MODTRAN first, IPCC decades later).

        A short note (i’ll say more later) on kick MODTRAN until it squeaks… in my own previous testing i did stuff like add a -255 K temperature offset so that the ground was “0 K”. Strange results appeared. A quick guess on your 300 K offset is that the high downward flux was due to the elevated absorbtion and emission of the atmosphere … over 550 K at the ground would certainly result in higher downward (and upward) emission from the atmosphere. Probably it’s a T to the 4th effect (sez Dick without doing any math).

        have fun, wishing you better health.


      2. Dick,
        Thanks for your concerns. The medics now have things under control; so – to return to the fun!
        Sadly I cannot get at the zip file you offer. Fails to print or unravel; but all most intriguing. Seems the IPCC has been merely cobbling things together, without concern for the overall logic in global terms. Physics maybe; but much depends on which bits of the physics that has been chosen. To me “ceteris paribus” can often be the joker in the pack where reality is concerned.
        Which brings me to the so called Water Rate, where I have little concept of what it is. It does however appear to have considerable impact. Any views on that?
        To me the earth’s atmosphere is part of the earth, albeit very thin. The temperature of the CO2 being a function of its molecular emissivity and the optical path travelled by the radiation. If the optical path is greater than the optical depth then the maximum temperature is achieved. ( hope I have the right terminology here!). However, if the mass of the CO2 is very small with respect to the total atmospheric mass then mean temperature will reflect this and incur little change.
        And then we have the problem of area. The radiation being denoted as Watts/ m^2 and leads to the question as to what area is subtended to the radiation by each of the constituents of say the atmosphere. They can’t all receive all the radiation and one would suppose that each receives a proportion calculated by a variation of Dalton’s Law of Partial Pressure.
        This not being a problem where solid surfaces are involved. I suspect this could be very important where energy fluxes are involved.
        We could get very bogged down here as I am.
        But back to Modtran: It is obviously a very powerful program; but I don’t think it proves much where global temperatures are concerned, albeit fascinating to play around with and ponder upon.


      3. Oh sure, i’ll take a stab at:
        > However I do not know what this downward flux means.
        > Is it the so called RF, being the net flux, or what?

        It’s the summed total of the area under the spectral curve.
        It’s what a totally broad-band radiometer would see/catch if it was “looking down” or “looking up” at the specified altitude at the specified latitude.

        > Also do the calculations have constraints on the range of their validity?

        I don’t know, since i haven’t tried to dig into totally wild inputs. That’s why i’m making it easy for you to see the source code, too…. additional hints can be gleaned by capturing the numeric output the program offers (save the resulting web page as a text file).
        I do dislike the fact that the “graphical front end” (not part of the MODTRAN source) fixes the ground temperature. I’d like to see it float a bit (other than doing a 2nd run with the previous result informing the temperature offset).

        kick it…

        Liked by 1 person

  26. Peter, you’re not being ignored… i’m taking my usual path of printing out your new/updated chapters for more careful study than a blinkin’ screen allows. 🙂


  27. Cognog2: a couple of days ago i sent a private email to the address you supplied offering to directly email the sources. It asked if you’d prefer them compressed or as the full 4mb clear text.
    The sources (plus a binary database) are also available here:
    (one of the buttons/links on the Modtran Help page)

    I’ll read and reply to your comments over the next 12 hours (and cups of coffee)



  28. Cognog2 wrote:
    > Not sure you have this right on the Modran presentation of the Downward Flux.
    > Surely this should include the basic Insolation of some 341Watts/m^2?
    > Initially I thought it was merely the difference between the up and down fluxes;

    Firstly, Modtran is only reporting on the infrared portion of the spectrum, not the visible.
    So the “341” misses the mark in two ways:
    (a) it should be about 1364 since we’re not averaging over the earth’s surface … it’s direct
    (but then skewed by latitude angle and time of year)
    (b) these runs are filtered to only the infrared portion (4.55 micron to 5000 micron)(wavenumbers 2 to 2200 cm-1)
    (shown in the raw numeric output) … so the full amount won’t show
    Next, the location (tropics, midLats, subArctic) affects the solar angle
    In the sources, Modtran loads in a solar spectrum that ranges from 0 to 57490 cm-1
    (i.e. covering 0.174 microns and longer … so it does span the visible range)
    Its effect upon what the “sensor” sees depends upon scattering, etc.
    The latitudes of the locations are: tropical: 15 deg N, midLat: 45 deg N, subArctic: 60 deg N.
    UNhelpfully, the way this model is run does not include that latitude as *degrees* in the output.
    It’s only obscurely signified by the first digit after the “T” in the CARD0 control line.
    (1=tropical, 2=midLat Summer, 3=midLat Winter, etc)

    That said, the “surface reflected” radiance shows up as zero in all permutations of the runs (up/down/latitudes)

    > but now I am not sure, as the ground temperature appears to be ignored where the down flux is concerned.

    I think the “ground temperature” is really the temperature of the radiating body “on the other side” of the atmosphere you’re looking through.
    Hence looking up is looking at space. (yeah, it should be 2.1K)
    If you look down from zero altitude (really 1 meter in the output), you’re seeing the assumed ground temperature for that latitude at solar noon.

    The more i dig into Modtran’s manuals and the papers announcing it, the more i get the feeling the “sensor” has a very very narrow field of view… perhaps a single incoming ray. No “from the side” contamination (at least given how these specific runs are directed). They’re not trying to model a physical detector, they’re trying to model the transmission and radiance “seen”.
    If you wanted a broader field of view, you’d run Modtran many times with varying “zenith” angles and sum(integrate) the results.

    Again, due to the limited control you’re given in this particular Modtran-backed system, you also don’t have much control over the atmosphere’s composition … since it’s using real-world mixings, percentages and layering. Your 900,000 ppm example still had about 21% oxygen (209000 ppm) present. (shown in the Atmopheric Profiles section of the raw output). If i set all of the input parameters to zero, that O2 is still there and is (probably) why the spectral curve doesn’t flatten to zero when looking up. But that non-zero is affected by latitude and season. (the temperature profile changes, too)
    Now i’ll go find a few envelopes to scribble on and try to work on your lateral thinking (does that mean i’m allowed to lie down on the job?)

    have fun


      1. Yes – Fun indeed; but it belies the serious nature of the problem, namely:
        What is the practical significance of the CO2 influence on the global climate?
        It is currently being claimed as the primary driver of climate change and in consequence is having a huge impact on the balance of resources assigned to deal with those changes which are inevitably occurring.
        This is serious. Mitigation by CO2 reduction or reactive preparation?

        More fun:
        Consider your sand castle as the tide rises. Do you build walls around it or do you place a windmill on top of it? The solution, of course is to move it above the high tide mark; but that is never on the agenda of a 6 year old. Survival ’till teatime is the objective.


  29. cognog2’s “What is the practical significance of the CO2 influence on the global climate?”

    Did you have difficulty in understanding Chapter 1b (or its Commentary) which proves that CO2 has NO influence? If so, please tell so that I can do some changes which might help.

    The big problem with the supposition that is AGW is that it diverts the world’s attention away from the solving real problems arising from Global Warming. People are fooled into thinking that reducing carbon “emissions” will solve the warming, but it actually does nothing, and so putting populations at risk.


    1. Dick: I have great synergy with your Chap 1b. May I add a bit to it?

      To Conduction and Convection add “Phase Change”. This is particularly important where water is concerned.
      As you know, water has very high Latent Heats. (688.4 & 93.02 Watt Hrs/ Kg. for liquid & ice). It is also buoyant, being lighter than dry air in the gaseous form with the phase change occurring at *Constant Temperature. Thus large energies are morphed/transferred in the process.

      In essence the Hydro Cycle is a Rankine Cycle, whereby water is boiled/evaporated at the surface (the boiler), does work against gravity as it rises and expands dissipating energy (the piston), rejects energy in the upper clouds by condensing back to liquid/ice (the condenser), returns to earth using its potential energy via gravity (the feed pump) and gains energy in the process (the feed heater). And thus returns to the boiler.
      All this, of course happens in an amorphous manner throughout the atmosphere.

      A quick look at the Steam Tables reveals that during this process some 688 Watt Hrs or more are dissipated at various levels, with some winding up in the Cirrus clouds nudging the Tropopause.
      It is not necessarily convection that drives this; for the buoyancy of water also plays its part.

      The energies involved here rather makes CO2 look a bit pesky.

      We obviously agree that the obsession with satanic CO2 is dangerously diverting resources away from sensible responses to inevitable Climate Change.

      *PS: As an aside here: The IPCC use of a simple sensitivity factor to relate energy flux to temperature just does not work for water. Try boiling the kettle above 100C at sea level!.


      1. CogNog2 wrote:
        “*PS: As an aside here: The IPCC use of a simple sensitivity factor to relate energy flux to temperature just does not work for water. Try boiling the kettle above 100C at sea level!.”

        All simplifications have their limits.

        Since the IPCC is primarily dealing with the earth’s surface and lower atmosphere, there’s no need for the “simple sensitivity factor” to approach or attempt to exceed 100 C (373K). In the range intended, it works.


      2. …come to think of it, Peter’s energy transfer from magma to ocean water is happening in the range 1200 C to 300 C … under quite a bit of pressure, hence boiling doesn’t happen at the low end of that range.


      3. Regarding latent heat, it even shows up on the maximally simplified cartoons of the energy balance, such as Fig 1.1 on page 126, or Fig 2.11 on page 181 in AR5’s WG1 final IPCC report, just to cite two examples. Fig 2.11 shows it as 84 W/m2, but with a possible range of 70 to 85). The text on the subsequent page discusses a debate then-current (2012) about the value.

        Using Acrobat’s Find feature for “latent” encounters it quite frequently throughout WG1. There are spots where other terms are used (heat of fusion, condensation, etc), reflecting the different styles of the various chapters author/editorship.


      4. Dick:
        It seems that our paths are diverging.
        I take your point that Latent Heat appears in a number of places in the IPCC ARs; but nonetheless the overall view that: “Change in temperature = K*RF” prevails and seems to have become the basis for the AGW Meme.
        (See: AR4, Chap. 2.2.2, Pg. 133). The devil, of course, lies in the value of K!
        Admittedly this is not considered sacrosanct by the IPCC, in that it is treated as a convenient parameter, however its influence has been remarkable in subsequent debates.

        My point is that this is just not true where there is the presence of water; as at dewpoint: K = Zero.
        This process occurs continuously throughout the atmosphere at temperatures and partial pressures (See Dalton) well well below STP and can be seen as clouds form and dissipate before our eyes.
        The kettle example being very specific to the STP situation.
        In fact this is what drives a great deal of our climate; as the monsoon cycles bear witness, where huge amounts of energy are transported across the globe both horizontally and vertically at the behest of the winds.

        I thus stick with my point that this oversimplification for convenience has much to answer for.

        I suspect that the responsibility for this rests with Ramaswamy et al at the University of Chicago.

        If you believe than ^ CO2 > ^ RF > ^ Temp. Then perhaps the Paris agreement has some sense.
        If, however, you believe that ^ H2O > – RF > -/= Temp. Then best support Trump.

        (not sure the ^,-, symbols are correct here. (the down arrow is not available.) They are supposed to represent ^: an increase, -: an absorption, = : No change.) Perhaps I should express this differently. Just hope you get my drift.)

        Can you get your head around this?


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