Curing Radiation Myopia Regarding Climate

E.M. Smith provides an helpful critique of a recent incomplete theory of earth’s climate functioning in his Chiefio blog post So Close–Missing Convection and Homeostasis. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

It is Soooo easy to get things just a little bit off and miss reality. Especially in complex systems and even more so when folks raking in $Millions are interested in misleading for profit. Sigh.

Sabine Hosenfelder does a wonderful series of videos ‘explaining’ all sorts of interesting things in and about actual science and how the universe works. She is quite smart and generally “knows her stuff”. But… It looks like she has gotten trapped into the Radiative Model of Globull Warming.

The whole mythology of Global Warming depends on having you NOT think about anything but radiative processes and physics. To trap you into the Radiative Model. But the Earth is more complex than that. Much more complex. Then there’s the fact that you DO have some essential Radiative Physics to deal with, so the bait is there.   However…

It is absolutely essential to pay attention to convection in the lower atmosphere
and to the “feedback loops” or homeostasis in the system.

The system acts to restore its original state. There is NO “runaway greenhouse” or we would have never evolved into being since the early earth had astoundingly high levels of CO2 and we would have baked to death before getting out of our slime beds as microbes.

Figure 16. The geological history of CO2 level and temperature proxy for the past 400 million years. CO2 levels now are ~ 400ppm. Source: Davis, W. J. (2017).

OK, I’ll show you her video. It is quite good even with the “swing and a miss” at the end. She does 3 levels of The Greenhouse Gas Mythology so you can see the process evolving from grammar school to high school to college level of mythology. But then she doesn’t quite make it to Post-Doc Reality.

Where’s she wrong? (Well, not really wrong, but lacking…)

I see 2 major issues. First off, she talks about the “lower atmosphere warming”. Well, yes and no. It doesn’t “warm” in the sense of getting hotter, but it does speed up convection to move the added heat flow.

In English “heating” has 2 different meanings. Increasing temperature.
Increasing heat flow at a temperature.

We see this in “warm up the TV dinner in the microwave” meaning to heat it up from frozen to edible; and in the part where the frozen dinner is defrosting at a constant temperature as it absorbs heat but turns it into the heat of fusion of water. So you can “warm it up” by melting at a constant temperature of frozen water (but adding a LOT of thermal energy – “heat”) then later as increasing temperature once the ice is melted. It is very important to keep in mind that there are 2 kinds of “heating”. NOT just “increasing temperature”.

In the lower atmosphere, the CO2 window / Infrared Window is already firmly slammed shut. Sabine “gets that”. Yay! One BIG point for her! No amount of “greenhouse gas” is going to shut that IR window any more. As she points out, you get about 20 meters of transmission and then it is back to molecular vibrations (aka “heat”).

So what’s an atmosphere to do? It has heat to move! Well, it convects. It evaporates water.

Those 2 things dominate by orders of magnitude any sort of Radiative Model Physics. Yes, you have radiation of light bringing energy in, but then it goes into the ocean and into the dirt and the plants and even warms your skin on a sunny day. And it sits there. It does NOT re-radiate to any significant degree. Once “warmed” by absorption, heat trying to leave as IR hits a slammed shut window.

The hydrological cycle. Estimates of the observed main water reservoirs (black numbers in 10^3 km3 ) and the flow of moisture through the system (red numbers, in 10^3 km3 yr À1 ). Adjusted from Trenberth et al. [2007a] for the period 2002-2008 as in Trenberth et al. [2011].

So what does happen? Look around, what do you see? Clouds. Rain. Snow. (sleet hail fog etc. etc.)

Our planet is a Water Planet. It moves that energy (vibrations of atoms, NOT radiation) by having water evaporate into the atmosphere. (Yes, there are a few very dry deserts where you get some radiative effects and can get quite cold at night via radiation through very dry air, but our planet is 70% or so oceans, so those areas are minor side bars on the dominant processes). This water vapor makes the IR window even more closed (less distance to absorption). It isn’t CO2 that matters, it is the global water vapor.

What happens next?

Well, water holds a LOT of heat (vibration of atoms and NOT “temperature”) as the heat of vaporization. About 540 calories per gram (compared to 80 for melting “heat of fusion” and 1 for specific heat of a gram of water). Compare those numbers again. 1 for a gram of water. 80 for melting a gram of ice. 540 for evaporating a gram of water. It’s dramatically the case that evaporation of water matters a lot more than melting ice, and both of them make “warming water” look like an irrelevant thing.

Warming water is 1/80 as important as melting ice, and it is 1/540 th as important as evaporation of the surface of the water. Warming air is another order of magnitude less important to heat content.

So to have clue, one MUST look at the evaporation of water from the oceans as everything else is in the small change.

Look at any photo of the Earth from space. The Blue Marble covered in clouds. Water and clouds. The product of evaporation, convection, and condensation. Physical flows carrying all that heat (“vibration of atoms” and NOT temperature, remember). IF you add more heat energy, you can speed up the flows, but it will not cause a huge increase in temperature (and mostly none at all). It is mass flow that changes. The number of vibrating molecules at a temperature, not the temperature of each.

In the end, a lot of mass flow happens, lofting all that water vapor with all that heat of vaporization way up toward the Stratosphere. This is why we have a troposphere, a tropopause (where it runs out of steam… literally…) and a stratosphere.

What happens when it gets to the stratosphere boundary? Well, along the way that water vapor turns into water liquid very tiny drops (clouds) and eventually condenses to big drops of water (rain) and some of it even freezes (hail, snow, etc.). Now think about that for a minute. That’s 540 calories per gram of heat (molecular vibration NOT temperature, remember) being “dumped” way up high in the top of the troposphere as it condenses, and another 80 / gram if if freezes. 620 total. That’s just huge.

This is WHY we have a globe covered with rain, snow, hail, etc. etc. THAT is all that heat moving. NOT any IR Radiation from the surface. Let that sink in a minute. Fix it in your mind. WATER and ICE and Water Vapor are what moves the heat, not radiation. We ski on it, swim in it, have it water our crops and flood the land. That’s huge and it is ALL evidence of heat flows via heat of vaporization and fusion of water.

It is all those giga-tons of water cycling to snow, ice and rain, then falling back to be lofted again as evaporation in the next cycle. That’s what moves the heat to the stratosphere where CO2 then radiates it to space (after all, radiation toward the surface hits that closed IR window and stops.) At most, more CO2 can let the Stratosphere radiate (and “cool”) better. It can not make the Troposphere any less convective and non-radiative.

Then any more energy “trapped” at the surface would just run the mass transport water cycle faster. It would not increase the temperature.

More molecules would move, but at a limit on temperature. Homeostasis wins. We can see this already in the Sub-Tropics. As the seasons move to fall and winter, water flows slow dramatically. I have to water my Florida lawn and garden. As the seasons move to spring and summer, the mass flow picks up dramatically. Eventually reaching hurricane size. Dumping up to FEET of condensed water (that all started as warm water vapor evaporating from the ocean). It is presently headed for about 72 F today (and no rain). At the peak of hurricane season, we get to about 84 or 85 F ocean surface temperature as the water vapor cycle is running full blast and we get “frog strangler” levels of rain. That’s the difference. Slow water cycle or fast.

IF (and it is only an “if”, not a when) you could manage to increase the heat at the surface of the planet in, say, Alaska: At most you would get a bit more rain in summer, a bit more snow in winter, and MAYBE only a slight possible, of one or two days that are rain which could have been snow or sleet.

Then there’s the fact that natural cycles swamp all of that CO2 fantasy anyway. The Sun, as just one example, had a large change of IR / UV levels with both the Great Pacific Climate Shift (about 1975) and then back again in about 2000. Planetary tilt, wobble, eccentricity of the orbit and more put us in ice ages (as we ARE right now, but in an “interglacial” in this ice age… a nice period of warmth that WILL end) and pulls us out of them. Glacials and interglacials come and go on various cycles (100,000 years, 40,000 years, and 12,000 year interglacials – ours ending now, but slowly). The simple fact is that Nature Dominates, and we are just not relevant. To think we are is hubris of the highest order.

See Also  Bill Gray: H20 is Climate Control Knob, not CO2

Figure 9: Two contrasting views of the effects of how the continuous intensification of deep cumulus convection would act to alter radiation flux to space. The top (bottom) diagram represents a net increase (decrease) in radiation to space


There are two main reasons why investigators are skeptical of AGW (anthropogenic global warming) alarm. This post intends to be an antidote to myopic and lop-sided understandings of our climate system.

  1. CO2 Alarm is Myopic: Claiming CO2 causes dangerous global warming is too simplistic. CO2 is but one factor among many other forces and processes interacting to make weather and climate.

Myopia is a failure of perception by focusing on one near thing to the exclusion of the other realities present, thus missing the big picture. For example: “Not seeing the forest for the trees.”  AKA “tunnel vision.”

2. CO2 Alarm is Lopsided: CO2 forcing is too small to have the overblown effect claimed for it. Other factors are orders of magnitude larger than the potential of CO2 to influence the climate system.


Lop-sided refers to a failure in judging values, whereby someone lacking in sense of proportion, places great weight on a factor which actually has a minor influence compared to other forces. For example: “Making a mountain out of a mole hill.”



Intellect Applied to Climate Change

Rex Murphy writes at  National Post  If CBC cared about diversity, it would host Jordan Peterson global warming talk Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

There is no other issue over the past 20 and probably 30 years that has more obtained the attention of the world’s press than global warming.

I know there have been others. But none has had such a continuous and insistent presence.

No other issue has had the sweet, soft, giddy support of the big networks, the great corporations, the trendy school boards, every mad virtue-signalling politician (the chieftain of which is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau), and the whole wide and multitudinous, amoeba-replicative (and dreadful) NGOS — think of the various foundations, of which I nominate the Suzuki Foundation as the Canadian prince of these dull harrying grouplets — as global warming.

I am aware I am using the old and opportunistically discarded
brand-name here: global warming.

Global warming was the term du jour when the thesis was we were heading into thermal crisis, the snow caps were to disappear, glaciers would go all water in the next 30 years or so, skiers would stare down snow-clean slopes, the seas would swamp New York and Tokyo, and children would weep at bared un-snowed hill-slides.

Alas. Snow kept falling. Seas refused to swell to city-destroying levels. Some winters remained … cold. Ski slopes had snow. And children still in all their sweet joy sledded down the still snow-blanketed hills.

Imagine — the planet’s weather refused to follow Greenpeace’s furious warnings.

Elizabeth May’s hothouse weepings, the latest bulletins from various second-tier folk singers, and people who slept on multimillion-dollar yachts on the French Riviera who deplored those who drove pickup trucks in Northern Alberta.

It was for naught. The Earth has its own ideas. And may probably continue to have them. Presuming the cosmos itself doesn’t go woke.

So it was obvious that “global warming,” the doomster’s environmental tagline required what the communication shops call a “re-branding.” And there being no set more adjusted to the miracles of communications management than the herd of apocalyptic global warming warriors, they — perhaps with much polling, and certainly with much cuteness — changed the brand to “climate change.”

Climate change. There’s a conceptual “get out of jail” brand.

A useful digression: I come from dear, sweet Newfoundland. And I know this will not mean much for you who are not from my province — but I grew up in Placentia Bay.

In Placentia Bay the climate changes every six minutes. And on rough days, every four. Climate change is a beautiful redundancy. It always changes. And if it didn’t … well, it wouldn’t be climate.

So the new brand of “climate change” had this going for it — it gave a blanket rationale for every twitch and tingle or every “weather event” of any kind, wet or cold, hot or dry, a justification under its pure and infinitely elastic designation.

And every TV station, every “weather specialist” was on board with pointing
to “climate change” as the universal cause.

CBC and TV Ontario kept up the silly surmise, having aired Al Gore’s ridiculous, abysmally ignorant An Inconvenient Truth as if it was a script from Sinai, not on stone tablets of course, but “verified” by the “scientists” at the Academy Awards.

Climate change as a brand and a switch-name has gone unchallenged by the main media. Most of them have endorsed a silence on respectable, authoritative, independent and resolute minds who offer more than a different view, but a neutral, rational, and science-based contesting opinion on what has become more of a doxology than matter for exchange, debate, and informed challenge.

Consider Dr. Richard Lindzen. His qualifications on atmospheric science are superb. He is not a “culture warrior.” He is not “political.” He is a great thinking mind — that last term is a very high compliment.

He recently gave a long — nearly two hours — interview with Jordan Peterson, on “climate change,” all conducted with great calm and a backand-forth that followed no script. It was, to my view, one of the cleanest discussions of this issue I have seen.

Dr. Lindzen has the authority of real knowledge on this topic, and therefore his reasonings are worth full and wide attention.

The interview is a model of intellectual exchange, something long lost on our big networks with their fixed views and hollow coverage.

Dr. Lindzen is a font of clear thought, non-agenda-driven deliberation, and direct statement.

It would be a wild wish to see Peterson’s interview with Dr. Lindzen on CBC or TVO. It would break the hearts of their morning agenda meeting attendees. And would threaten their “diversity” and climate change mandates, which are, apparently, whatever the Suzuki foundation and Steven Guilbeault think are correct must be correct.

Watch this interview, even if you are committed to “global warming” theorizations.

And, to Ms. Catherine Tait, CBC president currently wandering the great Canadian landscape arguing CBC’S relevance and point. Here’s a thought: diversity is a quality of mind and intellect. It is not a submission to current faddishness.

Try airing the interview with Dr. Lindzen as an experiment with diversity of thought.

It may be a strange thing to say, but a broadcaster, subsidized and leaning on past glories, should earn its present-day respect by looking around and giving a glimpse at opinions and perspectives outside the glass case of its own treasured ever-so-correct eidolons of virtue-speak.

Climate Critical Intelligence Q & A


H/T David Wojick and CFACT

Doctors for Disaster Preparedness are concerned to be ready for real disasters and not be distracted by irrational fears like global warming/climate change. They have provided a useful resource for people to test and deepen their knowledge of an issue distorted for many people by loads of misinformation and exaggerations.

From David Wojick:

A new lesson set called the Climate Change IQ (CCIQ) provides a good skeptical critique of ten top alarmist claims. The format is succinct and non-technical. Each alarmist claim is posed as a question, followed by a short skeptical answer, which is highlighted with a single telling graphic.

Then there is a link to a somewhat longer answer, which in turn includes links to a few online sources of more information. Each lesson is also available in a printable PDF version, suitable for classroom use. This compact format is potentially very useful.

CCIQ comes from a long-standing skeptical group called the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP). Despite the name, DDP gives attention to pointing out scares that are not disasters waiting to happen. Not surprisingly climate alarmism gets a lot of this attention.

The ten topic questions are wide ranging, including the following. Each speaks to a popular pro-alarmist news hook.

Is climate change the most urgent global health threat?

Are government-sponsored climate scientists the only credible sources of information relating to climate-change policy?

Is the increase in atmospheric CO2 making wildfires worse?

Why can’t all States emulate California’s proposed “clean” energy standards?

What would happen if atmospheric CO2 concentration dropped by half, say to less than 200 ppm?

Are human CO2 emissions acidifying the oceans and endangering shell-making animals?

Will Manhattan and Florida soon be under water if humans do not curtail use of “fossil fuels”?

Do 97% of climate scientists agree that catastrophic climate change will result if humans do not curtail use of “fossil fuels”? (This one includes the dynamite John Christy graph showing the rapidly growing divergence of climate model global temperature forecasts with real world observations.)

Is Arctic ice disappearing?

And the number 1 CCIQ question: Would lowering atmospheric CO2 prevent or mitigate hurricanes?

Note:  Each question title links to a pdf with a longer answer and references. Question 1 link is in red above as an example.  See the CCIQ questionnaire for links to all 10 pdfs

Check it out. Inquiring minds want to know.


“The reason some of us are skeptical about man-made global warming, or climate change, isn’t that we’re in “denial” or the pay of Big Oil. It’s the alarmists’ long run of lurid failed predictions. The models “run hot.” Arctic ice hasn’t vanished. The coral hasn’t died. We haven’t been overrun by rats and super-itchy poison ivy.”  John Robson National Post Canada

In Honor of Fred Singer

S. Fred Singer (1924 – 2020) passed away on April 6, 2020 at the age of 95.

Dr. Singer is the author, coauthor, and editor of many books, including Climate Change Reconsidered (several volumes), a comprehensive critique of the assessment reports of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was a senior fellow of The Heartland Institute and research fellow with the Independent Institute.

Dr. Singer published more than 200 technical papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals,  His editorial essays and articles have appeared in Cosmos, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New Republic, Newsweek, Journal of Commerce, Washington Times, Washington Post, and many other publications. His accomplishments have been featured in front-cover stories appearing in Time, Life, and U.S. News & World Report

Dr. Singer was an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Geophysical Union, American Physical Society, and American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics.  Dr. Singer gave hundreds of lectures and seminars on global warming, including to the science faculties at leading universities around the world.

This post commemorates his steadfast labors to expose the truth of climate change as a natural variability and to neutralize the poison of claiming humans are causing a climate crisis or emergency.  To this end below is a synopsis of his analysis originally published Sept. 10, 2001 in the Wall Street Journal.  The source is Water Vapor Rules the Greenhouse System at ClimateCite.

Just how much of the “Greenhouse Effect” is caused by human activity?

It is about 0.28%, if water vapor is taken into account– about 5.53%, if not.

This point is so crucial to the debate over global warming that how water vapor is or isn’t factored into an analysis of Earth’s greenhouse gases makes the difference between describing a significant human contribution to the greenhouse effect, or a negligible one.

Water vapor constitutes Earth’s most significant greenhouse gas, accounting for about 95% of Earth’s greenhouse effect (4). Interestingly, many “facts and figures’ regarding global warming completely ignore the powerful effects of water vapor in the greenhouse system, carelessly (perhaps, deliberately) overstating human impacts as much as 20-fold.

Water vapor is 99.999% of natural origin. Other atmospheric greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and miscellaneous other gases (CFC’s, etc.), are also mostly of natural origin (except for the latter, which is mostly anthropogenic).

For those interested in more details a series of data sets and charts have been assembled below in a 5-step statistical synopsis.

Note that the first two steps ignore water vapor.

♦ 1. Greenhouse gas concentrations

♦ 2. Converting concentrations to contribution

♦ 3. Factoring in water vapor

♦ 4. Distinguishing natural vs man-made greenhouse gases

5. Putting it all together

Note: Calculations are expressed to 3 significant digits to reduce rounding errors, not necessarily to indicate statistical precision of the data. All charts were plotted using Lotus 1-2-3.

Caveat: This analysis is intended to provide a simplified comparison of the various man-made and natural greenhouse gases on an equal basis with each other. It does not take into account all of the complicated interactions between atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial systems, a feat which can only be accomplished by better computer models than are currently in use.

1. The following table was constructed from data published by the U.S. Department of Energy (1) and other sources, summarizing concentrations of the various atmospheric greenhouse gases. Because some of the concentrations are very small the numbers are stated in parts per billionDOE chose to NOT show water vapor as a greenhouse gas!

TABLE 1.The Important Greenhouse Gases (except water vapor)
U.S. Department of Energy, (October, 2000) (1)

Table 1 is not a very meaningful view because 1) the data has not been corrected for the actual Global Warming Potential (GWP) of each gas, and 2) water vapor is ignored.  But these are the numbers one would use if the goal is to exaggerate human greenhouse contributions:

The various greenhouse gases are not equal in their heat-retention properties though, so to remain statistically relevant % concentrations must be changed to % contribution relative to CO2. This is done in Table 2, below, through the use of GWP multipliers for each gas, derived by various researchers.

2. Using appropriate corrections for the Global Warming Potential of the respective gases provides the following more meaningful comparison of greenhouse gases, based on the conversion:

concentration ) X ( the appropriate GWP multiplier (2) (3) of each gas relative to CO2 ) = greenhouse >contribution.:

TABLE 2.Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases (except water vapor)
adjusted for heat retention characteristics, relative to CO2

NOTE: GWP (Global Warming Potential) is used to contrast different greenhouse gases relative to CO2.

Compared to the concentration statistics in Table 1, the GWP comparison in Table 2 illustrates, among other things:

♦  Total carbon dioxide (CO2) contributions are reduced to 72.37% of all greenhouse gases (368,400 / 509,056)– (ignoring water vapor).

Also, from Table 2 (but not shown on graph):

♦  Anthropogenic (man-made) CO2 contributions drop to (11,880 / 509,056) or 2.33% of total of all greenhouse gases, (ignoring water vapor).

♦  Total combined anthropogenic greenhouse gases becomes (28,162 / 509,056) or 5.53% of all greenhouse gas contributions, (ignoring water vapor).

To properly represent the total relative impacts of Earth’s greenhouse gases Table 3 (below) factors in the effect of water vapor on the system.

3. Table 3, shows what happens when the effect of water vapor is factored in, and together with all other greenhouse gases expressed as a relative % of the total greenhouse effect.

TABLE 3.Role of Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases
(man-made and natural) as a % of Relative
Contribution to the “Greenhouse Effect”

Total atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) — both man-made and natural– is only about 3.62% of the overall greenhouse effect— a big difference from the 72.37% figure in Table 2, which ignored water!

Water vapor, the most significant greenhouse gas, comes from natural sources and is responsible for roughly 95% of the greenhouse effect (4). Among climatologists this is common knowledge but among special interests, certain governmental groups, and news reporters this fact is under-emphasized or just ignored altogether.

Conceding that it might be “a little misleading” to leave water vapor out, they nonetheless defend the practice by stating that it is “customary” to do so!

4. Of course, even among the remaining 5% of non-water vapor greenhouse gases, humans contribute only a very small part (and human contributions to water vapor are negligible).

Constructed from data in Table 1, the charts (below) illustrate graphically how much of each greenhouse gas is natural vs how much is man-made. These allocations are used for the next and final step in this analysis– total man-made contributions to the greenhouse effect. Units are expressed to 3 significant digits in order to reduce rounding errors for those who wish to walk through the calculations, not to imply numerical precision as there is some variation among various researchers.

5. To finish with the math, by calculating the product of the adjusted CO2 contribution to greenhouse gases (3.618%) and % of CO2 concentration from anthropogenic (man-made) sources (3.225%), we see that only (0.03618 X 0.03225) or 0.117% of the greenhouse effect is due to atmospheric CO2 from human activity. The other greenhouse gases are similarly calculated and are summarized below.

TABLE 4a.Anthropogenic (man-made) Contribution to the “Greenhouse
Effect,” expressed as % of Total (water vapor INCLUDED)This is the statistically correct way to represent relative human contributions to the greenhouse effect.

From Table 4a, both natural and man-made greenhouse contributions are illustrated in this chart, in gray and green, respectively. For clarity only the man-made (anthropogenic) contributions are labeled on the chart.

♦  Water vapor, responsible for 95% of Earth’s greenhouse effect, is 99.999% natural (some argue, 100%). Even if we wanted to we can do nothing to change this.

♦  Anthropogenic (man-made) CO2 contributions cause only about 0.117% of Earth’s greenhouse effect, (factoring in water vapor). This is insignificant!

♦  Adding up all anthropogenic greenhouse sources, the total human contribution to the greenhouse effect is around 0.28% (factoring in water vapor).

The Kyoto Protocol calls for mandatory carbon dioxide reductions of 30% from developed countries like the U.S. Reducing man-made CO2 emissions this much would have an undetectable effect on climate while having a devastating effect on the U.S. economy. Can you drive your car 30% less, reduce your winter heating 30%? Pay 20-50% more for everything from automobiles to zippers? And that is just a down payment, with more sacrifices to come later.

Such drastic measures, even if imposed equally on all countries around the world, would reduce total human greenhouse contributions from CO2 by about 0.035%.

My Comment

Readers may have wondered, as I have, how the typical Earth Energy Balance diagrams can show surface solar radiation amounting to ~161 W/m2 and downwelling IR atmospheric radiation ~333 W/m2, more than twice as much.  This despite the fact that shorter wavelengths are more energetic and longer wavelengths have less energy.

Part of the problem lies in calculating the conversion from radiation amounts to energy.  The formula is Energy level E = pV, where p is the Planck constant and V is the frequency.  Too often the shortcut is to assume the average frequency of visible light as the conversion factor.  That is a reasonable assumption for sunlight, but greatly exaggerates the energy of LWIR, which is 10 to 20 times longer than sunlight wavelengths.

In the tables above Dr. Singer did all the calculations considering each GHG’s volume and adjusted it by its ability to absorb IR radiation and the energy carried by each IR frequency.


A comment below dismisses Fred Singer’s expertise, likely based on a popular climate paradigm that is logical, simple and wrong.  To understand the flaws in thinking about earth’s climate, see this post:

2021 Update: Climate Reductionism

For a better understanding of the role of H2O, see William Gray’s paper, synopsis here:

Bill Gray: H20 is Climate Control Knob, not CO2

Fatal Flaw in Earth Energy Balance Diagrams

Prof. Warren Stannard of Western Australia University provides the math analysis to correct the above mistaken energy balance cartoon published in 1997.  His paper in Natural Science (2018) is The Greenhouse Effect: An Evaluation of Arrhenius’ Thesis and a New Energy Equilibrium Model.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and exhibits.


In 1896, Svante Arrhenius proposed a model predicting that increased concentration of carbon dioxide and water vapour in the atmosphere would result in a warming of the planet. In his model, the warming effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide and water vapour in preventing heat flow from the Earth’ s surface (now known as the “Greenhouse Effect”) are counteracted by a cooling effect where the same gasses are responsible for the radiation of heat to space from the atmosphere. His analysis found that there was a net warming effect and his model has remained the foundation of the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect—Global Warming hypothesis.

This paper attempts to quantify the parameters in his equations but on evaluation his model cannot produce thermodynamic equilibrium. A modified model is proposed which reveals that increased atmospheric emissivity enhances the ability of the atmosphere to radiate heat to space overcoming the cooling effect resulting in a net cooling of the planet. In consideration of this result, there is a need for greenhouse effect—global warming models to be revised.

1. Introduction

In 1896 Arrhenius proposed that changes in the levels of “carbonic acid” (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere could substantially alter the surface temperature of the Earth. This has come to be known as the greenhouse effect. Arrhenius’ paper, “On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground”, was published in Philosophical Magazine.  Arrhenius concludes:

“If the quantity of carbonic acid in the air should sink to one-half its present percentage, the temperature would fall by about 4˚; a diminution to one-quarter would reduce the temperature by 8˚. On the other hand, any doubling of the percentage of carbon dioxide in the air would raise the temperature of the earth’s surface by 4˚; and if the carbon dioxide were increased fourfold, the temperature would rise by 8˚ ” [ 2 ].

It is interesting to note that Arrhenius considered this greenhouse effect a positive thing if we were to avoid the ice ages of the past. Nevertheless, Arrhenius’ theory has become the foundation of the enhanced greenhouse effect―global warming hypothesis in the 21st century. His model remains the basis for most modern energy equilibrium models.

2. Arrhenius’ Energy Equilibrium Model

Arrhenius’ proposed a two-part energy equilibrium model in which the atmosphere radiates the same amount of heat to space as it receives and, likewise, the ground transfers the same amount of heat to the atmosphere and to space as it receives. The model contains the following assumptions:

Heat conducted from the center of the Earth is neglected.

Heat flow by convection between the surface and the atmosphere and throughout the atmosphere remains constant.

Cloud cover remains constant. This is questionable but allows the model to be quantified.

Part 1: Equilibrium of the Air

The balance of heat flow to and from the air (or atmosphere) has four components as shown in Figure 1. The arrow labelled S1 indicates the solar energy absorbed by the atmosphere. R indicates the infra-red radiation from the surface of the Earth to the atmosphere, M is the quantity of heat “conveyed” to the atmosphere by convection and Q1 represents heat loss from the atmosphere to space by radiation. All quantities are measured in terms of energy per unit area per unit time (W/m2).

Figure 1. Model of the energy balance of the atmosphere. The heat received by the atmosphere ( R+M+S1 ) equals the heat lost to space (Q1). In this single layer atmospheric model, the absorbing and emitting layers are one and the same.


Part 2: Thermal Equilibrium of the Ground

In the second part of his model, Arrhenius describes the heat flow equilibrium at the “ground” or surface of the Earth. There are four contributions to the surface heat flow as shown in Figure 2. S2 is the solar energy absorbed by the surface, R is the infra-red radiation emitted from the surface and transferred to the atmosphere, N is the heat conveyed to the atmosphere by convection and Q2 is the heat radiated to space from the surface. Note: Here Arrhenius uses the term N for the convective heat flow. It is equivalent to the term M used in the air equilibrium model.

Figure 2. The energy balance at the surface of the Earth. The energy received by the ground is equal to the energy lost.

3. Finding the Temperature of the Earth

Arrhenius combined these equations and, by eliminating the temperature of the atmosphere which according to Arrhenius “has no considerable interest”, he arrived at the following relationship:

ΔTg  is the expected change in the temperature of the Earth for a change in atmospheric emissivity from ε1 to ε2. Arrhenius determined that the current transparency of the atmosphere was 0.31 and, therefore the emissivity/absorptivity ε1 = 0.69. The current mean temperature for the surface of the Earth can be assumed to be To = 288 K.

Figure 3. Arrhenius’ model is used to determine the mean surface temperature of the Earth as a function of atmospheric emissivity ε. For initial conditions, ε = 0.69 and the surface temperature is 288 K. An increase in atmospheric emissivity produces an increase in the surface temperature of the Earth.

Arrhenius estimated that a doubling of carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere would produce a change in emissivity from 0.69 to 0.78 raising the temperature of the surface by approximately 6 K. This value would be considered high by modern climate researchers; however, Arrhenius’ model has become the foundation of the greenhouse-global warming theory today. Arrhenius made no attempt to quantify the specific heat flow values in his model. At the time of his paper there was little quantitative data available relating to heat flow for the Earth.

4. Evaluation of Arrhenius’ Model under Present Conditions

More recently, Kiehl and Trenberth (K & T) [ 3 ] and others have quantified the heat flow values used in Arrhenius’ model. K & T’s data are summarised in Figure 4.

The reflected solar radiation, which plays no part in the energy balance described in this model, is ignored. R is the net radiative transfer from the ground to the atmosphere derived from K & T’s diagram. The majority of the heat radiated to space originates from the atmosphere (Q1 > Q2). And the majority of the heat lost from the ground is by means of convection to the atmosphere (M > R + Q2).

Figure 4. Model of the mean energy budget of the earth as determined by Kiehl and Trenberth.


Substituting ε = 0.567, ν = 1.0 and Tg = 288 K we get:  Q2=149.2 W/m2

Using Arrhenius value of 0.69 for the atmospheric emissivity Q2 = 120.9 W/m2.

Both values are significantly more than the 40 W/m2 determined by K & T.
The equation will not balance, something is clearly wrong.

Figure 5 illustrates the problem.

Equation (5) is based on the Stefan-Boltzmann law which is an empirical relationship which describes the amount of radiation from a hot surface passing through a vacuum to a region of space at a temperature of absolute zero. This is clearly not the case for radiation passing through the Earth’s atmosphere and as a result the amount of heat lost by radiation has been grossly overestimated.

No amount of adjusting parameters will allow this relationship to produce
sensible quantities and the required net heat flow of 40 W/m2.

This error affects the equilibrium heat flow values in Arrhenius’ model and the model is not able to produce a reasonable approximation of present day conditions as shown in Table 1. In particular, the convective heat flow takes on very different values from the two parts of the model. The values M and N in the table should be equivalent.

5. A New Energy Equilibrium Model

A modified model is proposed which will determine the change in surface temperature of the Earth caused by a change in the emissivity of the atmosphere (as would occur when greenhouse gas concentrations change). The model incorporates the following ideas:

1) The total heat radiated from the Earth ( Q1+Q2Q1+Q2 ) will remain constant and equal to the total solar radiation absorbed by the Earth ( S1+S2S1+S2 ).

2) Convective heat flow M remains constant. Convective heat flow between two regions is dependent on their temperature difference, as expressed by Newton’s Law of cooling1. The temperature difference between the atmosphere and the ground is maintained at 8.9 K (see Equation 7(a)). M = 102 W/m2 (K & T).

3) A surface temperature of 288 K and an atmospheric emissivity of 0.567 (Equation (7b)) is assumed for initial or present conditions.

Equation (9) represents the new model relating the emissivity of the atmosphere ε to the surface temperature Tg. Results from this model are shown in Table 2. The table shows the individual heat flow quantities and the temperature of the surface of the Earth that is required to maintain equilibrium:

The table shows that as the value of the atmospheric emissivity ε is increased less heat flows from the Earth’s surface to space, Q2 decreases. This is what would be expected. As well, more heat is radiated to space from the atmosphere; Q1 increases. This is also expected. The total energy radiated to space Q1+Q2=235 W/m2 . A plot of the resultant surface temperature Tg versus the atmospheric emissivity ε is shown below Figure 6.

Figure 6. Plot of the Earth’s mean surface temperature as a function of the atmospheric emissivity. This model predicts that the temperature of the Earth will decrease as the emissivity of the atmosphere increases.

6. Conclusion

Arrhenius identified the fact that the emissivity/absorptivity of the atmosphere increased with increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and this would affect the temperature of the Earth. He understood that infra-red active gases in the atmosphere contribute both to the absorption of radiation from the Earth’s surface and to the emission of radiation to space from the atmosphere. These were competing processes; one trapped heat, warming the Earth; the other released heat, cooling the Earth. He derived a relationship between the surface temperature and the emissivity of the atmosphere and deduced that an increase in emissivity led to an increase in the surface temperature of the Earth.

However, his model is unable to produce sensible results for the heat flow quantities as determined by K & T and others. In particular, his model and all similar recent models, grossly exaggerate the quantity of radiative heat flow from the Earth’s surface to space. A new energy equilibrium model has been proposed which is consistent with the measured heat flow quantities and maintains thermal equilibrium. This model predicts the changes in the heat flow quantities in response to changes in atmospheric emissivity and reveals that Arrhenius’ prediction is reversed. Increasing atmospheric emissivity due to increased greenhouse gas concentrations will have a net cooling effect.

It is therefore proposed by the author that any attempt to curtail emissions of CO2
will have no effect in curbing global warming.

Climate Truth Science Soundbites

The climate realists at Creative Society have put together a short video with pithy statements skewering the CO2 theory of climate change.  Above is the video and below a transcript with exhibits and the speakers’ identities.

Dr. Harold Burnett
Over time the atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have radically fluctuated throughout the earth’s geologic history. They have been in the past as much as 5000 parts per million. Currently they are about 420 parts per million. So over long periods of time they have fluctuated, but in general they have fallen.

Gregory Wrightstone
There doesn’t seem to be any correlation whatsoever with increasing CO2 and temperature. And in fact one of the things we’re being asked to believe is that our modern temperatures are unusual and unprecedented, as thought we’ve never seen temperatures like this in thousands of years. That’s just not the case.

Prof. Ole Ellestad
We have a map showing temperature changes over the last 11,000 years. These are Greenland ice cores and we can see a thousand years ago, about 2000 years ago and about 3000 years ago we had warm periods. And everything indicates that these were periods of global warming.

Hans Borge
It was long before man-made CO2 emissions had any considerable volume. Therefore we know that the natural variability can be large.

Jan-Eric Solheim
In this graph we also show what the IPCC does. It prolongs more or less this curve going to infinite.  So it becomes warmer and warmer because of the CO2 release or climate. And that’s what we think is wrong. Our prediction is that it will soon start Cooling and we have to be prepared for that.

Gregory Wrightstone
The warming trend we’re in right now though started more than 300 years ago. But again 250 years of warming took place before we started adding CO2. But we’re asked to believe that those natural forces that have been driving temperatures since the dawn of time suddenly ceased in the 20th century.

Hans Borge
CO2 is a gas that has very little effect on the climate. The IPCC models assume that the higher the CO2 level, the higher the water vapor level, and water vapor is a gas with the greatest impact on the climate. But the assumption that the more CO2, the more water vapor, has never been proved.

Jan-Eric Solheim
With some colleagues I have done experiments to see if CO2 can heat or carry heat. So we have built small greenhouses and tried to heat it by the sun outside or inside with artificial heating. We were able to show that carbon dioxide stops radiation, but we were not able to show any heating. So it’s a mystery how CO2 cannot heat, but what can heat is the water.

Gregory Wrightstone
The water vapor temperature changes first and then CO2 levels follow that. It’s not the other way around. If man increasing CO2 is going to drive temperature, CO2 should change first and then temperature should change.

Jan-Eric Solheim
The blue curve is the temperature of the sea that is the ocean surface temperatures. The red is the land temperature which we get in this case from HadCRUT, which is an official temperature series. First comes the change in the sea temperature, a little bit later the land temperature (red) and then about one year, 10 or 11 months the carbon dioxide changes. And when temperature at the sea surface goes down, the carbon dioxide goes down 10 or 11 months later.

Hans Borge
Well let me show you another table that might tell you a little bit about the CO2 content. Take a look:  there are 3 000 billion tons of CO2 in the atmosphere and the total man-made emissions per year are 20 to 30 billion tons. But if you look at the ocean, it has far more CO2. So the exchange of CO2 between the ocean and the atmosphere totally overshadows human activity.

Jan-Eric Solheim
So a more detailed analysis telling that this red part here is apparently what anthropogenic yes or mankind produced carbon dioxide, which is about three percent of the increase from 1960. But nature produces the rest, this variable curve here. So 97 percent of the increase comes from nature, according to these scientists.

Prof. Ole Ellestad
The IPCC also claims that the sun has no effect on us. It’s a great paradox; not clear how they arrive at that. Moreover today we see that the warming is happening not only on our planet but also on other planets and on the moon too, where there’s a completely different atmosphere that has nothing to do with CO2. So clearly there is a sun factor which is missing in their model.

Gregory Wrightstone
Well, the iIPCC if you look back on their charter it was formed to present the data that supports warming. They weren’t tasked to provide all the data. They started with an assumption and went from there. So if that’s their task, they’re doing a darn good job at it. You better have some good science behind you, and it’s just not there.

Dr. Harold Burnett
The world’s governments through the UN formed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Now you would think that would be studying climate change, but they specified that you study the human causes of climate change. So they ruled out all natural factors. They said no no: we’re not going to study whether the sun plays a role; we’re not going to study whether volcanoes play a role; we’re not going to study whether ocean current shifts play a role. And we really don’t understand clouds, so we’re not going to count them much. What we’re going to study is human CO2 emissions because that’s what we can get a handle on.

That’s not the way science is supposed to work. If you make faulty or incomplete assumptions, your models are going to be weak, because they’re only as good as the accuracy of the stuff that’s put in them. Now climate models have failed to accurately reflect past temperatures; they fail to accurately represent present temperatures; but we’re told we can trust their projections of future temperatures.  That doesn’t seem reasonable to me.

Gregory Wrightstone
If on the other hand, you like the scientific process, we’re not getting much data out there. Dr Will Happer is our chairman here at the CO2 coalition and he’s got a paper that he and Dr. Van Wijngaarden have done on climate sensitivities. They’re not able to get it in any prestigious journals, yet it’s a landmark study. They need to shut people like me down: I was just banned on linkedin, which should be a professional network, a social media network. I don’t talk those things that are controversial; I post scientific facts, and they were being removed. And they came back and said: No, you’re done. We don’t allow that kind of information on linkedin.

Prof. Ole Ellestad
This debate is so violent that if you go to the media you can express your opinion, but you will be strongly criticized, and then you won’t really have an opportunity to defend yourself. But most importantly, you won’t get into the media with your first articles.

Hans Borge
This is what we see now in the academic world, for example at universities. Academic freedom is so endangered. I have to say that many people who joined the ranks of climate realists do so when they retire; because until retirement they just don’t dare. Researchers who claim something different don’t get grants; they don’t have their say in either published media or in edited journals.

Dr. Harold Burnett
First off you’re having a difficult time getting published because journals won’t hear it. Well, that affects your tenure track position and your colleagues are frowning at you. And you’re not getting government grants because government doesn’t give grants to study natural factors for climate change or to study things that prove humans aren’t causing climate change. Because government has a motive: expanding its its reach. I know researchers who’ve left the field because they feel like they can’t give their honest assessment and get it either published or get tenure.

Prof. Ole Ellestad
Climate and environment are often lumped together. But being against climate doesn’t mean being against the environment. That is, we are not against climate, but we are skeptical of CO2, which is not the same as being skeptical of the environment. So important environmental issues should be discussed and resolved.

Dr. Harold Burnett
That subsurface volcanic activity in Antarctica and even in parts of Greenland and Iceland are contributing to the melting of the glaciers there. That is not controlled by CO2. We don’t control the ocean currents; we don’t control the magnetism of the earth’s magnetic poles and how it shifts or can shift over time. We don’t control our orbit.

We don’t control those things and they’re really what’s driving things. That’s why we should study them, because they’re really what’s driving climate change. And if we think it’s bad, we should know that too.

I want an adaptable society. An adaptable society is one that does not lock us into solving the wrong problem.


Ian Plimer Asks, “What Climate Crisis?”

The supercontinent Gondwana hundreds of million years ago at its primary stages, and the directions pieces drifted away

That question is the title of Ian Plimer’s Spectator Australia article What Climate Crisis? Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

For more than 80 per cent of time, Earth has been a warm wet greenhouse planet with no ice. We live in unusual times, when ice occurs on continents. This did not happen overnight. The great southern continent, Gondwanaland, formed about 550 million years ago. It occupied 20 per cent of the area of our planet and included Antarctica, South America, Australia, South Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

Gondwanaland was covered by ice when it drifted across the South Pole 360-255 million years ago. Evidence for this ice age is in the black coal districts of Australia, South Africa and India.

If Antarctica is to lose its ice sheets to end the current ice age, plate tectonics must move the continent northwards or fragment Antarctica into smaller land masses. Parts of Antarctica are currently being fragmented which is why there are more than 150 hot spots and volcanoes in rift valleys beneath Antarctic ice. Plate tectonics must also widen the Bering Strait to allow more warm Pacific Ocean water to enter and warm the Arctic.

Arctic ice formed 2.5 million years ago when plate tectonic-driven volcanoes in central America joined North America to South America and stopped Pacific and Atlantic Ocean waters from mixing. This was exacerbated by a supernova explosion that bombarded Earth with cosmic particles to produce cloudiness and cooling.

Figure 16. The geological history of CO2 level and temperature proxy for the past 400 million years. CO2 levels now are ~ 400ppm. Source: Davis, W. J. (2017).

The Earth has been slowly cooling for the last 50 million years from times when life thrived and rapidly diversified. In these warmer times, there were no mass extinctions due to natural warming and, if the planet is warming today, the past shows us that life will thrive and diversify even more.

Source: Phanerozoic_Biodiversity.png Author: SVG version by Albert Mestre

Once the Antarctic ice formed, ice sheets waxed and waned depending on whether Earth was closer or more distant from the Sun. Within these cycles there were smaller cycles driven by variations in energy emitted from the Sun producing many short warm spikes during long glaciations and very short cold spikes during short interglacials with average temperature rises and falls of more than 10°C a decade.

    • On a scale of tens of millions of years or more, the Earth’s climate is driven by plate tectonics.
    • On a scale of hundreds of thousands of years, the Earth’s climate is driven by orbital cycles which bring Earth closer to or more distant from the Sun.
    • On a scale of thousands of years to decades, the Earth’s climate is driven by variations in energy emitted from the Sun.

If governments, the UN or climate activists want to stop the normal planetary process
of climate change, then they need to stop plate tectonics,
stop variations in the Earth’s orbit and stop variations in solar output.

Even the omnipotent, omnipresent Kevin Rudd couldn’t manage this!

No past warming events have been driven by an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. No past cooling events were driven by a decrease in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Six of the six most recent ice ages were initiated when the Earth’s atmospheric carbon dioxide was far higher than at present. Atmospheric temperature rise occurs before the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere rises. It has never been proven that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive global warming despite numerous requests to climate activist scientists for the published evidence. Trillion-dollar bankrupting decisions on energy policy are being made using invalid science.

The peak of the last orbitally-driven interglacial was 7,000 to 4,000 years ago and for the last 4,000 years the Earth has been cooling as the climate changes from an interglacial into glaciation. There were solar-driven warm spikes such as the Minoan Warming, Roman Warming, Medieval Warming and the Modern Warming and cold spikes (e.g. Dark Ages, Little Ice Age) during this 4,000-year cooling trend.

Solar cycle 25 prediction, NOAA, July 2022

In 2020, we entered the Grand Solar Minimum which is calculated to end in 2053. Whether there will be a solar-driven cooling, similar to the Little Ice Age (1300-1850 AD), or a full-blown orbitally-driven glaciation, such as the last glaciation from 116,000-14,400 years ago, is unknown. The former cooling could last for hundreds of years whereas the latter would last for at least 90,000 years. If there was another period of sustained subaerial volcanism, cooling would be accelerated.

During the last glaciation, Europe was covered with ice north of the Alps, as was Russia; Canada and northern and alpine USA were covered by ice; southern South America and the Andes were covered by ice; Himalayan ice expanded to lower altitudes; and alpine Australia, Tasmania and the South Island of NZ were covered by ice as were the southern and elevated portions of Africa.

In the last glaciation, vegetation contracted and tropical areas such as the Amazon Basin only had copses of trees occupying some ten per cent of the area of the current Amazonian rainforests; large areas of inland Australia, China, India, USA and Africa were covered by sand deposited from cold dry cyclonic winds; inland lakes evaporated; sea level was 130 metres lower than at present; there was no Great Barrier Reef; sea ice isolated Greenland, Iceland, northern Russia and northern Canada; Antarctic sea ice extended hundreds of kilometres north and there was a reduction in rainfall and plant and animal species. Areas that now support pastoral and grain-growing activities were sandy wastelands during the last glaciation.

Humans struggled as hunter-gatherers around the edge of ice sheets and at lower latitudes.

We are putting all our efforts and wasting trillions of taxpayers’ dollars into trying to prevent mythical human-induced global warming, yet we still don’t prepare for the inevitable annual floods, droughts and bushfires, let alone longer-term solar – and orbitally – driven global cooling.

We have a crisis of single-minded stupidity exacerbated by a dumbed-down education system supported by incessant propaganda, driven by financial interests and political activist authoritarianism.

Today’s Mildly Icy Climate in Perspective


Raymond at RiC-Communications has produced the above poster on the theme expounded in a previous post In Celebration of Our Warm Climate, reprinted below. The above image is available in high resolution pdf format at his website The last ice age and its impact.

His other science infographic projects are:

The World of CO2

The World of Climate Change

The World of Energy

Legacy and social media keep up a constant drumbeat of warnings about a degree or two of planetary warming without any historical context for considering the significance of the alternative.  A poem of Robert Frost comes to mind as some applicable wisdom:

The diagram at the top shows how grateful we should be for living in today’s climate instead of a glacial icehouse. (H/T Raymond Inauen)  For most of its history Earth has been frozen rather than the mostly green place it is today.  And the reference is to the extent of the North American ice sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM).

To see this geologically recent glacial period in perspective, consider the maps created by paleo climatologist Christopher Scotese, leader of the Paleomap Project.

The animation below shows how the planet surface changed over the past millions of years (Ma means Millions of years Ago). 

Note that in 66 Ma Earth was a “hothouse” with little ice and green polar land masses.  By 50 Ma cooling resulted in polar ice caps and glaciers. By 14 Ma both Greenland and Antarctica are ice covered. 18Ka a severe “icehouse” world is evidenced by the Laurentian icecap. Then the Modern world appears with the ice retreating, but still covering the two poles. Continental drifts are also shown by India starting as an island and later joining Asia, and by Africa isolated but later approaching Europe.

For further context consider that geologists refer to our time as a “Severe Icehouse World”, among the various conditions in earth’s history, as diagramed below by Christopher Scotese. Referring to the Global Mean Temperatures, it appears after many decades, we are slowly rising to “Icehouse World”, which would seem to be a good thing.

His compete evidence and analysis can be reviewed in his article Some thoughts on Global Climate Change: The Transition from Icehouse to Hothouse.  In that essay Scotese shows where we are presently in this cycle between icehouse and hothouse.

As of 2015 earth is showing a GMT of 14.4C, compared to pre-industrial GMT of 13.8C.  According to the best geological evidence from millions of years of earth’s history, that puts us in the category “Severe Icehouse.”  So, thankfully we are warming up, albeit very slowly. Moreover, progress toward a warming world means flattening the profile at the higher latitudes, especially the Arctic.  Equatorial locations remain at 23C throughout the millennia, while the gradient decreases in a warmer world.

We have many, many centuries to go before the earth can warm up to the “Greenhouse” profile, let alone get to “Hothouse.” Regional and local climates at higher latitudes will see slightly warming temperatures and smaller differences from equatorial climates. These are facts based on solid geological evidence, not opinions or estimates from computer models.

It is still a very cold world, but we are moving in the right direction. Stay the course.

Instead of fear mongering over a bit of warming, we should celebrate our good fortune, and do our best for humanity and the biosphere.  Matthew Ridley takes it from there in a previous post.

Background from previous post The Goodness of Global Warming

LAI refers to Leaf Area Index.

As noted in other posts here, warming comes and goes and a cooling period may now be ensuing. See No Global Warming, Chilly January Land and Sea.  Matt Ridley provides a concise and clear argument to celebrate any warming that comes to our world in his Spiked article Why global warming is good for us.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Climate change is creating a greener, safer planet.

Global warming is real. It is also – so far – mostly beneficial. This startling fact is kept from the public by a determined effort on the part of alarmists and their media allies who are determined to use the language of crisis and emergency. The goal of Net Zero emissions in the UK by 2050 is controversial enough as a policy because of the pain it is causing. But what if that pain is all to prevent something that is not doing net harm?

The biggest benefit of emissions is global greening, the increase year after year of green vegetation on the land surface of the planet. Forests grow more thickly, grasslands more richly and scrub more rapidly. This has been measured using satellites and on-the-ground recording of plant-growth rates. It is happening in all habitats, from tundra to rainforest. In the four decades since 1982, as Bjorn Lomborg points out, NASA data show that global greening has added 618,000 square kilometres of extra green leaves each year, equivalent to three Great Britains. You read that right: every year there’s more greenery on the planet to the extent of three Britains. I bet Greta Thunberg did not tell you that.

The cause of this greening? Although tree planting, natural reforestation, slightly longer growing seasons and a bit more rain all contribute, the big cause is something else. All studies agree that by far the largest contributor to global greening – responsible for roughly half the effect – is the extra carbon dioxide in the air. In 40 years, the proportion of the atmosphere that is CO2 has gone from 0.034 per cent to 0.041 per cent. That may seem a small change but, with more ‘food’ in the air, plants don’t need to lose as much water through their pores (‘stomata’) to acquire a given amount of carbon. So dry areas, like the Sahel region of Africa, are seeing some of the biggest improvements in greenery. Since this is one of the poorest places on the planet, it is good news that there is more food for people, goats and wildlife.

But because good news is no news, green pressure groups and environmental correspondents in the media prefer to ignore global greening. Astonishingly, it merited no mentions on the BBC’s recent Green Planet series, despite the name. Or, if it is mentioned, the media point to studies suggesting greening may soon cease. These studies are based on questionable models, not data (because data show the effect continuing at the same pace). On the very few occasions when the BBC has mentioned global greening it is always accompanied by a health warning in case any viewer might glimpse a silver lining to climate change – for example, ‘extra foliage helps slow climate change, but researchers warn this will be offset by rising temperatures’.

Another bit of good news is on deaths. We’re against them, right? A recent study shows that rising temperatures have resulted in half a million fewer deaths in Britain over the past two decades. That is because cold weather kills about ’20 times as many people as hot weather’, according to the study, which analyses ‘over 74million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries’. This is especially true in a temperate place like Britain, where summer days are rarely hot enough to kill. So global warming and the unrelated phenomenon of urban warming relative to rural areas, caused by the retention of heat by buildings plus energy use, are both preventing premature deaths on a huge scale.

Summer temperatures in the US are changing at half the rate of winter temperatures and daytimes are warming 20 per cent slower than nighttimes. A similar pattern is seen in most countries. Tropical nations are mostly experiencing very slow, almost undetectable daytime warming (outside cities), while Arctic nations are seeing quite rapid change, especially in winter and at night. Alarmists love to talk about polar amplification of average climate change, but they usually omit its inevitable flip side: that tropical temperatures (where most poor people live) are changing more slowly than the average.

My Mind is Made Up, Don’t Confuse Me with the Facts. H/T Bjorn Lomborg, WUWT

But are we not told to expect more volatile weather as a result of climate change? It is certainly assumed that we should. Yet there’s no evidence to suggest weather volatility is increasing and no good theory to suggest it will. The decreasing temperature differential between the tropics and the Arctic may actually diminish the volatility of weather a little.

Indeed, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) repeatedly confirms, there is no clear pattern of storms growing in either frequency or ferocity, droughts are decreasing slightly and floods are getting worse only where land-use changes (like deforestation or building houses on flood plains) create a problem. Globally, deaths from droughts, floods and storms are down by about 98 per cent over the past 100 years – not because weather is less dangerous but because shelter, transport and communication (which are mostly the products of the fossil-fuel economy) have dramatically improved people’s ability to survive such natural disasters.

The effect of today’s warming (and greening) on farming is, on average, positive: crops can be grown farther north and for longer seasons and rainfall is slightly heavier in dry regions. We are feeding over seven billion people today much more easily than we fed three billion in the 1960s, and from a similar acreage of farmland. Global cereal production is on course to break its record this year, for the sixth time in 10 years.

Nature, too, will do generally better in a warming world. There are more species in warmer climates, so more new birds and insects are arriving to breed in southern England than are disappearing from northern Scotland. Warmer means wetter, too: 9,000 years ago, when the climate was warmer than today, the Sahara was green. Alarmists like to imply that concern about climate change goes hand in hand with concern about nature generally. But this is belied by the evidence. Climate policies often harm wildlife: biofuels compete for land with agriculture, eroding the benefits of improved agricultural productivity and increasing pressure on wild land; wind farms kill birds and bats; and the reckless planting of alien sitka spruce trees turns diverse moorland into dark monoculture.

Meanwhile, real environmental issues are ignored or neglected because of the obsession with climate. With the help of local volunteers I have been fighting to protect the red squirrel in Northumberland for years. The government does literally nothing to help us, while it pours money into grants for studying the most far-fetched and minuscule possible climate-change impacts. Invasive alien species are the main cause of species extinction worldwide (like grey squirrels driving the red to the margins), whereas climate change has yet to be shown to have caused a single species to die out altogether anywhere.

Of course, climate change does and will bring problems as well as benefits. Rapid sea-level rise could be catastrophic. But whereas the sea level shot up between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago, rising by about 60 metres in two millennia, or roughly three metres per century, today the change is nine times slower: three millimetres a year, or a foot per century, and with not much sign of acceleration. Countries like the Netherlands and Vietnam show that it is possible to gain land from the sea even in a world where sea levels are rising. The land area of the planet is actually increasing, not shrinking, thanks to siltation and reclamation.

Environmentalists don’t get donations or invitations to appear on the telly if they say moderate things. To stand up and pronounce that ‘climate change is real and needs to be tackled, but it’s not happening very fast and other environmental issues are more urgent’ would be about as popular as an MP in Oliver Cromwell’s parliament declaring, ‘The evidence for God is looking a bit weak, and I’m not so very sure that fornication really is a sin’. And I speak as someone who has made several speeches on climate in parliament.

No wonder we don’t hear about the good news on climate change.



Climate and CO2 Hysteria Is Optional

This is your brain on climate alarm.  Just say No!

David Simon shines a light of sanity in his Real Clear Markets article To End Climate Lunacy, Stop Treating Warming & C02 Hysterically.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Those who oppose economically destructive “climate” policies – like those promoted by the Biden administration and at the recent United Nations COP27 conference – will continue to fail to stop the advance of these policies so long as they continue to accept the false claim that warming of the planet and carbon dioxide emissions are harmful.

They are not. On balance, global warming and CO2 emission are beneficial.

Before getting to why that is, however, it is crucial to understand why accepting the false climate claim is so harmful.

When the destructiveness of climate policies is shown, the response is that the policies nevertheless are necessary to address what President Biden refers to as the “existential threat” of global warming and increased CO2 emissions.

When it is noted that these climate policies will at most microscopically and insignificantly reduce temperatures and CO2 emissions, climate policy mandarins push for even more draconian policies.

The result has been that since the 1990s, climate policies have become increasingly destructive and wasteful. Even worse, their continued intensification appears unlikely to be stopped until the public and policymakers are persuaded that global warming and CO2 emissions are not harmful. As Margaret Thatcher famously said: First you win the argument, then you win the vote.”

To win this argument, it is necessary to focus on the scientific facts.

A warming planet saves lives. 

Analyses of millions of deaths in recent decades in numerous countries, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, show that cooler temperatures killed nine times (July 2021 study) to seventeen times (In May 2015 study) more people than warmer temperatures. The planet’s recent modest warming (by 1.00 degree Celsius on average since 1880, as calculated by NASA) thus has been saving millions of lives.

A 2015 study by 22 scientists from around the world found that cold kills over 17 times more people than heat.

CO2 emissions do not pollute and instead are environmentally beneficial. 

In 2017, over 300 scientists, including Richard Lindzen of MIT and William Happer of Princeton, signed a statement that made this point: “carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. To the contrary, there is clear evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful to food crops and other plants that nourish all life. It is plant food, not poison.” Every one of us, indeed, also exhales carbon dioxide with every breath.

Spatial pattern of trends in Gross Primary Production (1982- 2015). Source: Sun et al. 2018.

Since 1920, deaths each year from natural disasters have decreased by over 90 percent. 

And this happened, data from EM-DAT – The International Disaster Database presented by The University of Oxford show, not only as the planet has warmed, but as world population has quadrupled.

Global warming has not increased hurricanes.

 A NOAA report, updated on November 28, 2022, states that “there is essentially no long-term trend in hurricane counts. The evidence for an upward trend is even weaker if we look at U.S. landfalling hurricanes, which even show a slight negative trend beginning from 1900 or from the late 1800s.”

The same report sums it up in bold: “We conclude that the historical Atlantic hurricane data at this stage do not provide compelling evidence for a substantial greenhouse warming-induced century-scale increase in: frequency of tropical storms, hurricanes, or major hurricanes, or in the proportion of hurricanes that become major hurricanes.”

Global warming also does not increase land burned by fires. 

As environmental statistician Bjorn Lomberg has shown using data from the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Remote Sensing of Environment, and Earth’s Future, the percentage of global land burned per year in 1905-2021 has been declining.

Sea levels are rising – but only by a small fraction of an inch each year. 

An EPA report updated on August 1, 2022, states: “When averaged over all of the world’s oceans, absolute sea level has risen at an average rate of 0.06 inches per year from 1880 to 2013,” including a slightly increased rate since 1993 of “0.12 to 0.14 inches per year.”

The UN climate models that President Biden, John Kerry, and other climate doomsters use to predict future global temperatures are so speculative and unreliable that they have been unable even to reproduce the 20th century’s temperature changes. This is a key point in the must-read book by Obama Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science Steven Koonin, Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters.

These kinds of facts should persuade the public and policymakers to stop accepting the false claim that global warming and CO2 emissions are harmful.

When this false claim is no longer widely accepted, policymakers will stop imposing climate policies that particularly impoverish the world’s poor.

They will stop holding international boondoggles like COP27 and that demand vast climate-related foreign aid programs.

They will stop spending hundreds of billions of dollars on domestic climate sinkholes.

And they will stop using purported “social cost of carbon” factors (even though the true social cost of carbon is zero) to regulatorily restrict domestic fossil fuel production, transportation, and use.

For additional climate science facts see Climate Problem? Data say no.


Global Warming Abates in Autumn 2022

Hot, Hot, Hot.  You will have noticed that the term “climate change” is now synonymous with “summer”.  Since the northern hemisphere is where most of the world’s land, people and media are located, two typical summer months and a hot European August have been depicted as the fires of hell awaiting any and all who benefit from fossil fuels. If you were wondering what the media would do, apart from obsessing over the many small storms this year, you are getting the answer.

Fortunately, Autumn is on the way and already bringing cooler evenings in Montreal where I live. Once again open windows provide fresh air for sleeping, while mornings are showing condensation, and frost sometimes. This year’s period of “climate change” is winding down.  Unless of course, we get some hurricanes the next two months.  Below is a repost of seasonal changes in temperature and climate for those who may have been misled by the media reports of a forever hotter future.

[Note:  The text below refers to human migratory behavior now resuming after being prohibited because, well,  Coronavirus.]


Autumnal Climate Change

Seeing a lot more of this lately, along with hearing the geese  honking. And in the next month or so, we expect that trees around here will lose their leaves. It definitely is climate change of the seasonal variety.

Interestingly, the science on this is settled: It is all due to reduction of solar energy because of the shorter length of days (LOD). The trees drop their leaves and go dormant because of less sunlight, not because of lower temperatures. The latter is an effect, not the cause.

Of course, the farther north you go, the more remarkable the seasonal climate change. St. Petersburg, Russia has their balmy “White Nights” in June when twilight is as dark as it gets, followed by the cold, dark winter and a chance to see the Northern Lights.

And as we have been monitoring, the Arctic ice has been melting from sunlight in recent months, but is already building again in the twilight, to reach its maximum in March under the cover of darkness.

We can also expect in January and February for another migration of millions of Canadians (nicknamed “snowbirds”) to fly south in search of a summer-like climate to renew their memories and hopes. As was said to me by one man in Saskatchewan (part of the Canadian wheat breadbasket region): “Around here we have Triple-A farmers: April to August, and then Arizona.” Here’s what he was talking about: Quartzsite Arizona annually hosts 1.5M visitors, mostly between November and March.

Of course, this is just North America. Similar migrations occur in Europe, and in the Southern Hemisphere, the climates are changing in the opposite direction, Springtime currently. Since it is so obviously the sun causing this seasonal change, the question arises: Does the sunlight vary on longer than annual timescales?

The Solar-Climate Debate

And therein lies a great, enduring controversy between those (like the IPCC) who dismiss the sun as a driver of multi-Decadal climate change, and those who see a connection between solar cycles and Earth’s climate history. One side can be accused of ignoring the sun because of a prior commitment to CO2 as the climate “control knob”.

The other side is repeatedly denounced as “cyclomaniacs” in search of curve-fitting patterns to prove one or another thesis. It is also argued that a claim of 60-year cycles can not be validated with only 150 years or so of reliable data. That point has weight, but it is usually made by those on the CO2 bandwagon despite temperature and CO2 trends correlating for only 2 decades during the last century.

One scientist in this field is Nicola Scafetta, who presents the basic concept this way:

“The theory is very simple in words. The solar system is characterized by a set of specific gravitational oscillations due to the fact that the planets are moving around the sun. Everything in the solar system tends to synchronize to these frequencies beginning with the sun itself. The oscillating sun then causes equivalent cycles in the climate system. Also the moon acts on the climate system with its own harmonics. In conclusion we have a climate system that is mostly made of a set of complex cycles that mirror astronomical cycles. Consequently it is possible to use these harmonics to both approximately hindcast and forecast the harmonic component of the climate, at least on a global scale. This theory is supported by strong empirical evidences using the available solar and climatic data.”

He goes on to say:

“The global surface temperature record appears to be made of natural specific oscillations with a likely solar/astronomical origin plus a noncyclical anthropogenic contribution during the last decades. Indeed, because the boundary condition of the climate system is regulated also by astronomical harmonic forcings, the astronomical frequencies need to be part of the climate signal in the same way the tidal oscillations are regulated by soli-lunar harmonics.”

He has concluded that “at least 60% of the warming of the Earth observed since 1970 appears to be induced by natural cycles which are present in the solar system.” For the near future he predicts a stabilization of global temperature and cooling until 2030-2040.

For more see Scafetta vs. IPCC: Dueling Climate Theories

A more recent Scafetta publication is Reconstruction of the Interannual to Millennial Scale Patterns of the Global Surface Temperature in the journal atmosphere.  There is provided this exhibit comparing his semi-empirical forecast to HadCRUT4

A Deeper, but Accessible Presentation of Solar-Climate Theory

I have found this presentation by Ian Wilson to be persuasive while honestly considering all of the complexities involved.

The author raises the question: What if there is a third factor that not only drives the variations in solar activity that we see on the Sun but also drives the changes that we see in climate here on the Earth?

The linked article is quite readable by a general audience, and comes to a similar conclusion as Scafetta above: There is a connection, but it is not simple cause and effect. And yes, length of day (LOD) is a factor beyond the annual cycle.

Click to access IanwilsonForum2008.pdf

It is fair to say that we are still at the theorizing stage of understanding a solar connection to earth’s climate. And at this stage, investigators look for correlations in the data and propose theories (explanations) for what mechanisms are at work. Interestingly, despite the lack of interest from the IPCC, solar and climate variability is a very active research field these days.

For example Svensmark has now a Cosmosclimatology theory supported by empirical studies described in more detail in the red link.

A summary of recent studies is provided at NoTricksZone: Since 2014, 400 Scientific Papers Affirm A Strong Sun-Climate Link

Ian Wilson has much more to say at his blog:

Once again, it appears that the world is more complicated than a simple cause and effect model suggests.

Fluctuations in observed global temperatures can be explained by a combination of oceanic and solar cycles.  See engineering analysis from first principles Quantifying Natural Climate Change.

For everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 1:9)


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