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Abstract

This article summarises seven key reasons (based on the laws of physics) why so-called "greenhouse" gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide etc) cannot warm the surfaces of planets like Earth and Venus. What really happens in all such planets is a totally different paradigm from the old paradigm that direct radiation from the Sun warms the surface to observed mean temperatures and then warmed gases rise by convection and radiation is supposedly returned to the surface ostensibly raising the temperature thereof by more than the surface cooled when emitting the original radiation. The author has been the first to explain how the required additional thermal energy gets down to the surfaces of these planets by a process that is not radiation at all. This discovery was explained in "Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures" first published in 2013.
Cogent and irrefutable reasons why carbon
dioxide cannot warm Earth
Douglas J. Cotton 12 December 2019
These are reasons why claims that carbon dioxide and water vapor warm the planet are false:
(1) The naive claim by NASA (here: https://climate.nasa.gov/causes/) that "most of the heat
is absorbed by greenhouse gases and reflected in all directions warming the Earth" is totally
invalid. Even the use of the word "reflected" instead of "radiated" indicates a lack of
knowledge of physics by the author. Carbon dioxide does not reflect radiation that came from
the Earth's surface: it radiates from colder temperatures in certain bands, thus making its
radiation far less effective than that from the surface. Its main band corresponds to
temperatures found only in the mesosphere. Now, the NASA net energy diagram here shows
a total of 19% of incoming solar radiation being absorbed by the atmosphere (16%) and
clouds (3%) whereas it shows only the equivalent of 15% of incoming solar radiation as
being upward IR radiation from the surface that is being absorbed by the atmosphere. So the
claim that the atmosphere is "transparent" to incident solar radiation and "opaque" to upward
radiation is debunked by NASA themselves. Furthermore, a simple experiment with an
artificial source of radiation warming a nearby "surface" (such as a metal plate) in a vacuum
would show that, if mirrors were used to reflect some radiation back to the plate (without
blocking the incident source) then the plate would not become warmer than the original
equilibrium temperature without the mirrors. It is obvious that, if the surface cools by a given
amount in emitting a certain amount of radiation then, even if all that radiation were reflected
back to the surface, and even if the electromagnetic energy in the radiation were converted
back to thermal energy (which simply does not happen if the surface is warmer than the
source of radiation) then there would still not be more energy than the original amount
radiated as the surface cooled. Hence the "back" radiation cannot raise the surface
temperature above the original temperature from which it cooled while emitting the original
upward radiation.
(2) NASA must have realized that there is a serious error in the above diagram, because the
radiation (51%) supposedly absorbed by the surface (being about 168W/m^2) cannot achieve
a global mean surface temperature above 233K (which is -40°C) according to the Stefan-
Boltzmann Law. Hence the whole paradigm is wrong and the Sun's direct radiation to the
surface of Earth (let alone to the surface of Venus) cannot explain the global mean surface
temperature.
(3) NASA (and climatologists) realized that the direct solar radiation was insufficient and,
because they were ignorant of the fact explained by Josef Loschmidt in 1876 that gravity
forms the tropospheric temperature gradient at the molecular level (not due to rising parcels
of air) these scientists just assumed that it must be the downward ("back") radiation from
greenhouse gases that was adding to the solar radiation about double the flux, thus tripling the
effective radiation to the surface. ("What else?" they probably thought.) Then they used the
total flux from the Sun and the atmosphere, and deducted the flux due to simultaneous
cooling of the surface by non-radiative processes and they used the net total in Stefan-
Boltzmann calculations to explain the observed global mean surface temperature.
See this diagram in which NASA shows a total of 148% of radiation into the surface (48%
solar and 100% "emitted by atmosphere" = total of 148%) and they deduct the non-radiative
cooling of 30.8% (thermals 5.4% plus evaporation 25.4%) leaving a net of 117.2% of the
original solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere somehow supposedly adding more
thermal energy to the surface than the Sun delivered even before about 29% was reflected
back to Space. This claim should have raised alarm bells. But this is what all their climate
models are based on. At the foot of this second diagram they say 100% corresponds to 340.4
watts per square meter. So the above net of 117.2% equates to 340.4 x 1.172 = 398
W/m^2. Then, using Stefan-Boltzmann calculations (with emissivity = 1.000 because this is
the amount they say is absorbed after reflection by the surface) one gets a temperature of
about 289K or about 16°C which is close to the estimated global mean surface temperature.
However, the flux is not uniform over the whole surface and so, even if the science were
correct, Stefan-Boltzmann calculations would yield several degrees less. But, it should be
noted that the Stefan-Boltzmann Law is derived on the assumption that there is only one
source of "black body" radiation. Adding multiple sources with different source temperatures
would not give a Planck function. Furthermore, Wien's Displacement Law would not be able
to be applied to the sum of two or more such Planck functions. Such a sum does not have the
distribution nor the same peak frequency or wavelength as does a single Planck function from
a single source having the same total flux as, for example, radiation from a Sun similar to
ours but just over half the distance away. In fact, there is no conversion of the
electromagnetic energy to thermal energy in the case of back radiation from colder regions of
the atmosphere to the already warmer surface, because all that happens is that electrons are
temporarily raised through one or more quantum energy states by an incident photon and then
an identical photon is immediately re-emitted (in a resonating process) without any energy
being converted to thermal energy in the surface. Hence there is no heat transfer by such
radiation from a cold source to a hotter target - and that is how Nature ensures that the
Second Law of Thermodynamics is obeyed for every single natural thermodynamic process
including every one-way passage of radiation. (There is more on this in my 2012 peer-
reviewed paper "Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics" and in the cited
writings of Professor Claes Johnson.)
(4) A simple experiment with multiple identical sources of radiation focused on a temperature
measuring device will prove (when compared with a single source) that radiation cannot be
added and the sum used in Stefan-Boltzmann calculations.
(5) The main "greenhouse gas" water vapor varies in concentration from a little less than 1%
to about 4%, having an average of just over 1%. (In comparison, carbon dioxide is about
0.04% of Earth's atmosphere.) Hence an obvious study testing the hypothesis that the
greenhouse gas water vapor warms the surface can easily be carried out by comparing
temperature records in regions with different concentrations, other things (like altitude and
latitude) being similar. I did such a study (which is repeatable) and I published it in 2013 in
my paper "Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures." It showed that the greenhouse gas
water vapor cools rather than warms the surface. See this graphic of the results for average
daily minimum and maximum temperatures.
(6) The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that (contrary to what the
physicist Josef Loschmidt explained in 1876, now proven correct) the troposphere would
have been isothermal in the absence of "greenhouse" gases. Then they say that back radiation
from these gases raises the surface temperature by 33 degrees. They also say that water vapor
(at average concentrations) does "most" of this warming. Given that water vapor absorbs at
many more wavelengths than carbon dioxide and that it is at about at least 25 times the
concentration, it could be assumed to do over 30 degrees of warming, but let's say it warms
by at least 25 degrees at about 1.25% concentration, that being about 20 degrees for each
1%. Hence a region with 4% water vapor should be warmed by about 80 degrees, and this is
obviously not the case.
(7) Also, if water vapor were warming the surface with its "back" radiation, then we also
know that it reduces the magnitude of the temperature gradient (aka "lapse rate") in the
troposphere. Hence, with the surface end of a graph of temperature against altitude being
raised and the gradient reduced in magnitude, then we should expect the temperature of the
upper troposphere (where there is little water vapor) to be raised by many more degrees than
the surface. Once again this is obviously not the case.
So, in conclusion, there are so many ways to refute the radiative forcing greenhouse
hypothesis with empirical data that climatologists must acknowledge their "science" is
obviously incorrect and thus does not enable one to deduce that greenhouse gases do (or even
could) warm the Earth's surface. The correct physics is that in my 2013 paper "Planetary
Core and Surface Temperatures." There is a brief six page summary in my "Comprehensive
Refutation of the Radiative Forcing Greenhouse Hypothesis" first published in 2016 along
with the other two papers on SSRN and now also on Researchgate. There is more on my
website climate-change-theory.com and in this video. See also this article about a top
scientist who resigned calling it all a scam.
Footnote: My "Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures" is now also on LinkedIn here.
This paper, first published in 2013, explains what actually happens in regard to heat transfer
processes in the tropospheres and even sub-surface regions of planets and satellite moons. It
contains a world-first discovery which accounts for the "missing energy" needed to assist
solar radiation in attaining observed global mean surface temperatures in planets like Earth
and Venus. This missing energy is not supplied by "back radiation" as NASA and
climatology energy diagrams imply, but is facilitated by the fact that, as Josef Loschmidt
explained in 1876, gravity forms a non-zero temperature gradient in planetary tropospheres
by acting on individual molecules in flight between collisions. This is the state of maximum
entropy (with the sum of mean molecular kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy
homogeneous over altitude) and that state is called "thermodynamic equilibrium" by
physicists. Because it is a state of equilibrium, a disturbance brought about by absorption of
solar energy near the top of the troposphere will result in downward natural (or "free")
convective heat transfer, surprisingly from cooler to warmer regions. This happens because
the process is indeed increasing entropy towards a new equilibrium state wherein the whole
graph of temperature against altitude rises to a new position parallel to the original graph.
Thus some of the new energy absorbed in the upper regions must, by molecular collisions,
make its way downwards from cooler to warmer regions, a process which might appear to
violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics, but is not doing so because entropy increases.
Douglas Cotton, B.Sc. (physics), B.A. (econ), Dip.Bus.Admin.
(Independent self-funded researcher into atmospheric and sub-terrestrial physics)
Watch this video and visit: http://climate-change-theory.com.
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