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The greenhouse effect and the 2nd law of thermodynamics

What the science says...

Select a level... Basic Intermediate

The 2nd law of thermodynamics is consistent with the greenhouse effect which is directly observed.

Climate Myth...

2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts greenhouse theory


"The atmospheric greenhouse effect, an idea that many authors trace back to the traditional works of Fourier 1824, Tyndall 1861, and Arrhenius 1896, and which is still supported in global climatology, essentially describes a fictitious mechanism, in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system. According to the second law of thermodynamics such a planetary machine can never exist." (Gerhard Gerlich)


Skeptics sometimes claim that the explanation for global warming contradicts the second law of thermodynamics. But does it? To answer that, first, we need to know how global warming works. Then, we need to know what the second law of thermodynamics is, and how it applies to global warming. Global warming, in a nutshell, works like this:

The sun warms the Earth. The Earth and its atmosphere radiate heat away into space. They radiate most of the heat that is received from the sun, so the average temperature of the Earth stays more or less constant. Greenhouse gases trap some of the escaping heat closer to the Earth's surface, making it harder for it to shed that heat, so the Earth warms up in order to radiate the heat more effectively. So the greenhouse gases make the Earth warmer - like a blanket conserving body heat - and voila, you have global warming. See What is Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect for a more detailed explanation.

The second law of thermodynamics has been stated in many ways. For us, Rudolf Clausius said it best:

"Heat generally cannot flow spontaneously from a material at lower temperature to a material at higher temperature."

So if you put something hot next to something cold, the hot thing won't get hotter, and the cold thing won't get colder. That's so obvious that it hardly needs a scientist to say it, we know this from our daily lives. If you put an ice-cube into your drink, the drink doesn't boil!

The skeptic tells us that, because the air, including the greenhouse gasses, is cooler than the surface of the Earth, it cannot warm the Earth. If it did, they say, that means heat would have to flow from cold to hot, in apparent violation of the second law of thermodynamics.

So have climate scientists made an elementary mistake? Of course not! The skeptic is ignoring the fact that the Earth is being warmed by the sun, which makes all the difference.

To see why, consider that blanket that keeps you warm. If your skin feels cold, wrapping yourself in a blanket can make you warmer. Why? Because your body is generating heat, and that heat is escaping from your body into the environment. When you wrap yourself in a blanket, the loss of heat is reduced, some is retained at the surface of your body, and you warm up. You get warmer because the heat that your body is generating cannot escape as fast as before.

If you put the blanket on a tailors dummy, which does not generate heat, it will have no effect. The dummy will not spontaneously get warmer. That's obvious too!

Is using a blanket an accurate model for global warming by greenhouse gases? Certainly there are differences in how the heat is created and lost, and our body can produce varying amounts of heat, unlike the near-constant heat we receive from the sun. But as far as the second law of thermodynamics goes, where we are only talking about the flow of heat, the comparison is good. The second law says nothing about how the heat is produced, only about how it flows between things.

To summarise: Heat from the sun warms the Earth, as heat from your body keeps you warm. The Earth loses heat to space, and your body loses heat to the environment. Greenhouse gases slow down the rate of heat-loss from the surface of the Earth, like a blanket that slows down the rate at which your body loses heat. The result is the same in both cases, the surface of the Earth, or of your body, gets warmer.

So global warming does not violate the second law of thermodynamics. And if someone tells you otherwise, just remember that you're a warm human being, and certainly nobody's dummy.

Basic rebuttal written by Tony Wildish

Update July 2015:

Here is the relevant lecture-video from Denial101x - Making Sense of Climate Science Denial


Update October 2017:

Here is a walk-through explanation of the Greenhouse Effect for bunnies, by none other than Eli, over at Rabbit Run.

Last updated on 7 October 2017 by skeptickev. View Archives

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Further reading

  • Most textbooks on climate or atmospheric physics describe the greenhouse effect, and you can easily find these in a university library. Some examples include:
  • The Greenhouse Effect, part of a module on "Cycles of the Earth and Atmosphere" provided for teachers by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).
  • What is the greenhouse effect?, part of a FAQ provided by the European Environment Agency.



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Comments 451 to 475 out of 1089:

  1. Damorbel is doing here exactly what he has been doing on the Wikipedia Temperature talk page. He makes repeated objections based on his flawed understanding of the subject, then accuses others who have taken the time to correct his nonsense of attempting to distort the issue. He has absolutely no interest in understanding anything you guys may say to him. He simply wants to argue.
  2. Re #449 you wrote:- "Before that there was 'albedo', multi-layer insulation, 'sunlight can't make it out of the water', 'constant disequilibrium', 'elastic collision of photons', and the lovely bit of obfuscation, "All materials, even gases, have a refractive index >1, consequently no material substance can behave according to the definition of a black body"." This isn't a scientific argument of any sort, you do know that don't you? You cannot possibly imagine that material with a refractive index >1 can be a 'black body; it is in Kirchhoff's original definition; you have read Kirchhoff's work, haven't you? I think you may have trouble in discussing the matter you refer to as "elastic collision of photons". Photons do not collide there is no known collision process for photons, elastic or inelastic. Photons begin and end at electric charge, free or bound; that is the whole basis of electrophysics. I am beginning to wonder if you are aware of this.
  3. Re #449 Sorry, the link doesn't work. refractive index
  4. I do not claim, KR, 337, that all AGW theories contradict the second law. It is just that many of them do. Most of them confuse heat and energy, which is where entropy comes in. One such explanation, which you can still find in modern text-books, (Houghton for example) is the original greenhouse radiative effect. Consider a greenhouse made of non-absorbing material, such as rock salt. It will absorb heat from the sun, the interior will heat up, and, with convective cooling eliminated, the internal temperature will be higher than the surroundings (G and T’s car interiors, for example). The greenhouse will radiate W watts per square meter, proportional to the fourth power of its temperature. Now replace the rock salt cover with glass, which absorbs infra-red radiation. Half of the outgoing radiation will return to the interior, which, so the story goes, will heat up until it radiates 2W. The original W will then be radiated to the atmosphere, and W will be returned to the interior. The ratio of the glass interior temperature to the rock salt interior temperature will be the fourth root of 2, or 1.19. An increase of 19% of the rock-salt interior absolute temperature, or about 60 degrees C. Does that argument sound familiar? You will find it in part 1 of the Rabett paper to which SOD contributed. It is, of course, wrong. Back radiation from the cooler glass cannot heat the warmer interior. It would breach the second law if it did. To check this R W Woods built two greenhouses – one rock salt, one glass – so that their convective warming would be identical. Any back-radiative effect would heat the glass green-house preferentially. Their temperatures were the same. “Higher is Colder”, is not “part of the greenhouse effect”. It is the only plausible way of explaining how increasing atmospheric absorption and emission can increase the surface temperature. Incidentally, it is a mechanism which G and T did not discuss, although it was current from 1900 onwards. Think about an atmosphere without a lapse rate – an isothermal atmosphere where higher is not colder. Add greenhouse gasses, increase absorption, and you suggest that the atmospheric temperature will increase. What would happen if it did? Apply the Stefan-Bolzmann equation to the radiation to space, and energy emission will also increase (proportional to the fourth power of the atmospheric temperature). But the incoming energy, from the sun, will not change. So the atmospheric temperature will fall back to its original value. With a lapse rate, you can suggest that the effective emission level moves up to a colder region, reducing energy emission. All the temperatures must then increase to restore the balance. The only snag with that argument is that the evidence from the last 30 years shows that it does not happen to any detectable extent.
  5. Fred Staples - Even in the toy case of an isothermal atmosphere, absorbing/emitting greenhouse gases will increase the stable temperature. Power emitted must equal power received at equilibrium. Greenhouse gases do not affect power received (visible light window), while they decrease planetary emissivity in IR by radiating part of the energy back to the surface. Given the Stefan-Boltzmann relationship, if emissivity decreases power radiated decreases, causing an imbalance. An increase in greenhouse gases directly decreases emissivity by absorption band deepening and widening. This drops emitted energy to space. Power = emissivity * SB constant * Area * T^4 That imbalance will persist (accumulating energy, increasing temperatures) until radiated power rises to the level of incoming power again, at a higher stable surface temperature. The temperature will not drop again under those circumstances, because the emissivity of the planet remains lower. The only way to reduce the stable temperature of the planet would be to increase emissivity, by (for example) decreasing GHG's. Emissivity does not magically drop when the imbalance zeros out, which seems to be what you are asserting. Current Earth effective planetary emissivity is ~0.612, with ~240 W/m^2 entering and then going to space. Doubling CO2 creates an imbalance of 3.7 W/m^2, which is equivalent to reducing emissivity to 0.6026 by simple power scaling. Earth surface temperature is ~14C, or 287.15K. Calculating: ( 287.15^4 / ( 0.6026/0.612 ) ) ^ 0.25 = 288.27K The surface temperature under those conditions rises to 288.27K, or 15.1C, matching the 1.1C rise predicted for doubling CO2 with no feedbacks.
  6. Fred Staples - My apologies, I'm mixing two examples in my last post. The isothermal atmosphere example you posit will increase in temperature due to increased GHG absorption, and will remain stable at that higher temperature unless the emissivity increases. That's a requirement of the S-B law. Temperature and emissivity are the two flexible values if emitted power is fixed - as one goes up, the other goes down. And in this case temperature is the dependent variable; emissivity is the driving variable. The actual Earth system includes both band widening/deepening as well as lapse rate driven cooling of the emissive layer. But both are part of the radiative greenhouse effect. Rock salt convective greenhouses are irrelevant to this - and the Woods experiments have been repeatedly debunked over time.
  7. Posting here in hope PhysSci will respond in correct place? "Regarding satellite observations of atmospheric absorption of IR radiation emanating from the surface, they show just that 'absorption' and provide no evidence for a temperature change due to such absorption" Consider ground detectors of IR (DLR). If there is no evidence of temperature change at the surface, explain to me how these detectors work? You seem to be implying that energy absorption by the surface of the detector is not allowed? As to efficiency of radiation cf convection. Lets see surface radiation averages 390W/m2. Convection moves 12W/m2 (and zero off planet).
  8. This is a response to scaddenp from another blog. I've been asked to post this here as a more relevant place ----------------------- scaddenp - Yes, I have read the article "2nd Law of thermodynamics and greenhouse theory". Firstly, I never said that the GH theory violates the 2nd Law of thermo. I said it violates the First Law pertaining to energy conservation, which is even worse, because among the 4 laws of thermodynamics, only the First one is mathematically exact! Secondly, the above article makes a common mistake as many other popular publications do by using the 'blanket' analogy to describe the working of the atmospheric GH effect. Specifically it states: "The Earth loses heat to space, and your body loses heat to the environment. Greenhouse gases slow down the rate of heat-loss from the surface of the Earth, like a blanket that slows down the rate at which your body loses heat. The result is the same in both cases, the surface of the Earth, or of your body, gets warmer." Nothing can be more misleading! As I explained in a previous posting (now deleted!), blankets, coats, and real greenhouses preserve heat by obstructing convective heat exchange, not radiative cooling, i.e. by physically trapping air mass. The free atmosphere does not impose any restriction on the surface convective cooling. That is why the term 'atmospheric greenhouse effect' is a misnomer, and has been identified as such in the science literature back in the 1970s and 80s. In addition, since IR radiation travels at the speed of light, it can only be trapped by materials of very low emissivity and (respectively) high IR reflectivity such as aluminum, polish silver etc. This fact is well known in the insulation industry and is the basis for the so-called radiant barrier technology pioneered by NASA some 40 years ago. Since the atmosphere contains no IR-reflecting substances, and has a negligibly small heat storage capacity, it cannot physically 'trap' heat of any kind (radiative or convective)! Now, here is why the GH theory violates the First law of thermodynamics. These facts are well-known in the science literature, but not usually discussed in popular outlets such as this website - Satellite and surface based observations have determined that the Earth-atmosphere system absorbs on average 239 W m-2 solar (short-wave) radiation. At the same time, the lower troposphere emits towards the surface some 343 W m-2 long-wave radiation (the so-called down-welling thermal flux). If the GH effect were due to absorption and re-emission of IR energy by greenhouse gases ultimately traceable to solar input as claimed by the current theory, then how is it possible that the down-welling thermal flux exceeds the total solar input by 44% (343/239 = 1.44). Simply put, observations indicate that the lower troposphere of Earth contains significantly more internal energy than provided by the Sun. This situation is extreme on Venus, where the down-welling thermal flux is about 80 times larger than the average absorbed solar flux by the entire planetary system of Venus! Given the rather small heat storage capacity of the atmospheres on both planets, these data cannot be explained in the context of the current GH theory founded on radiation interception without violating the Firs law of thermo! ... Yes, the lower atmosphere does contain energy above and beyond of what the Sun provides, but the source of that energy is not IR radiation! It's something else and much more fundamental ... Can you guess what it is?
  9. scaddenp - Read my posting above and it will answer some of your questions. Regarding the efficiency of energy transfer by radiation vs, convection, in the atmosphere (which is a fluid), convective cooling is much more efficient than radiative cooling, simply because radiative heat exchange depends on the 4th power of absolute temperatures, while convection depends on the simple difference between temperatures. That's with respect to sensible heat flux. Latent heat flux (i.e. cooling due to evaporation) can transfer heat even across zero or negative temperature gradients as long as there is a spatial gradient in water vapor concentrations. Most convective cooling of the Earth surface is due to latent heat fluxes. Globally, the convective cooling of Earth's surface (sensible + latent heat flux) is at least 2.5 times bigger than the long-wave radiative cooling. Check papers by Trenberth et al (1997, 2009). As I said in my previous posting, the lower troposphere contains more energy than supplied by the Sun. Where is that energy coming from?
  10. since IR radiation travels at the speed of light, it can only be trapped by materials of very low emissivity and (respectively) high IR reflectivity such as aluminum, polish silver etc.
    Er, no. Somehow, my skin (which is an awful long way from being aluminium or polished silver) traps IR radiation quite effectively - I know I quite appreciate that fact during the cooler months, standing under the heat lamps in the bathroom! To argue that IR is only trapped by materials that effectively reflect it is a fundamental misunderstanding of radiative heat transfer.
    This fact is well known in the insulation industry and is the basis for the so-called radiant barrier technology pioneered by NASA some 40 years ago.
    Er, again, no. The "radiant barrier technology" doesn't absorb IR - it reflects it. You know, bounces it back where it comes from. Foil layers in building insulation are used to do just that - reflect IR either back into the home (to warm it in cold climates) or back out of the home (to stop it heating up in warm climates). As for your comments as to why GH theory violates the First law of thermodynamics - sigh. I suggest you do a bit more reading about radiative heat transfer and the greenhouse effect. Pay particular attention to the bits about how the surface of the earth is about 30ºC warmer than a simple radiative balance with solar input would suggest.
    Response: [DB] Careful, the D-K is strong in this one. I fear you are in for a long slog in your efforts.
  11. Ben, You are mixing apples and oranges here, and obviously do not understand the subject being discussed... Your skin is a strong absorber of IR, but it is also a strong emitter of IR ... When I say 'IR trapping', I mean preventing of IR radiation generated inside from escaping to the outside. That prevention is done NOT through high-emissivity materials but by using low-e (thermally highly reflective) materials ... Talk to any engine mechanics, and he will tell you that in order to help cool an engine, they use black covers of high IR emissivity. That's because such covers help transfer more efficiently the IR heat generated by the engine to the outside environment ... I have done more reading about the radiative transfer theory than you can imagine. From your response regarding the First Law of thermo, I gather that you did not understand my points in the previous posting. Please, read it again and think it through one more time ... I'm not your 'garden variety' of 'climate skeptics', and believe me there is hardly anything you could tell me that I do not already know. On the other hand, I could probably tell you a few things that would enhance your knowledge on this subject ... For example, did you know that this 30 deg (or actually 33 deg) GH effect that's quoted in all popular literature, is mathematically wrong? One arrives at this number, when solving the S-B equation for temperature using observed solar irradiance and the Earth's total albedo. However, since radiation is a 4th power function of the absolute temperature, if one has a non-uniform distributions of temperatures such as on a spherical planet, one does NOT get the TRUE mean surface temperature by simply inverting the S-B equation. Mathematically, this is explained by Hoelder's inequality. The correct way to calculate the 'black-body' (airless) temperature of Earth (or any planet for that matter) is to first take the 4th root of the radiation absorbed at EVERY point on the surface, and THEN average (integrate) the resulting temperatures across the planet surface. When one does that, one finds that the actual GH effect is 133C. That's right - the presence of an atmosphere raises the average temperature on Earth by 133C, not 33C! ... This implies the presence of considerable EXTRA energy in the lower atmosphere above the amount supplied by the Sun. I hope this helps ...
    Response: [muoncounter] Please check that you have the correct names of those to whom you respond. Please refrain from subjective judgment as to who understands what and lofty declaratives like "there is hardly anything you could tell me that I do not already know." Those kinds of statements do not serve to enhance your credibility. Please note also that you've claimed a lot of reading and have yet to cite a single scientific reference. The preferred style here at SkS is to make a point and immediately show some substantiation of it, preferably from a peer-reviewed publication. If you've read this thread from the beginning, you've noted that opinion-based science doesn't usually stand scrutiny - and those discussions do little except go in circles. If you follow these suggestions, you'll find that you can have a worthwhile debate.
  12. PhysSci... I believe your proclamations belong in the "Your Nobel Awaits" category. What you say goes completely against almost all published and accepted literature on the topic. My guess is you know far less about this topic than you claim to know. But I could be wrong. In that case, write up your ideas, publish it, receive the Nobel Prize for overturning a century of basic physics. I'm not joking here. If you're right you quite literally will win the Nobel Prize. What an incredible opportunity! Don't you think? Outside of that, all I see is a case study for D-K.
  13. That's fine, moderator (97). I will move to here and, without waving my hands, invoking the second law, or mentioning entropy, I will attempt to demonstrate that energy is characterised by both quantity and quality. In any transaction involving energy transfer, quantity is conserved. Quality is not.
  14. PhysSci @458:
    That is why the term 'atmospheric greenhouse effect' is a misnomer, and has been identified as such in the science literature back in the 1970s and 80s. In addition, since IR radiation travels at the speed of light, it can only be trapped by materials of very low emissivity and (respectively) high IR reflectivity such as aluminum, polish silver etc. This fact is well known in the insulation industry and is the basis for the so-called radiant barrier technology pioneered by NASA some 40 years ago.
    IR radiation can also be trapped by a high emissivity substance with low temperature. This follows straightforwardly from the fact that absorption is a function of emissivity and the incident radiation (and hence not of temperature), while emission is a function of emissivity and temperature. To illustrate this point, consider a source of heat and a heat sink in a vacuum. Suppose all waste heat is disposed of through the heat sink. In this instance, we can change the temperature of the heat source by changing the emissivity of the heat sink. If we increase the emissivity, we will cool the heat source; and vice versa. But we can also change the temperature of the heat source by changing the conductivity of the connection between heat source and sink. Increasing conductivity will cool the heat source, while reducing it will heat it - even though there is no change in emissivity. @461:
    " The correct way to calculate the 'black-body' (airless) temperature of Earth (or any planet for that matter) is to first take the 4th root of the radiation absorbed at EVERY point on the surface, and THEN average (integrate) the resulting temperatures across the planet surface. When one does that, one finds that the actual GH effect is 133C. That's right - the presence of an atmosphere raises the average temperature on Earth by 133C, not 33C!"
    It is true that equalizing the temperature ranges on the surface of the planet will increase the global mean temperature, and adding an atmosphere and/or ocean to a planet will tend to equalize temperatures. But this is not the greenhouse effect, and should not be confused with it. Therefore including the impact of this effect as part of the greenhouse effect as you have done is an error. The effect you are relying on here would hold with a nitrogen only atmosphere, while the greenhouse effect would not. I will note that calculating the energy balance of the Earth on a one dimensional model will over estimate the Earth's surface temperature. The fact that the Earth's surface is warmer than this over estimated temperature indicates that there is more, not less to be explained by the actual green house effect. I will further note that GCM and energy balance models are not one dimensional calculations, so the overestimation indicated above is not a feature of climate science per se, but only of some simple models used to illustrate a particular concept in climatology. Finally, I will note that because increasing the greenhouse effect reduces the temperature difference between poles and equator, and between night and day; the effect you mention is an additional positive feedback on the greenhouse effect.
  15. Rob Honeycutt @ 462: I agree that what I'm saying goes against the popular believes, but it is fully supported by the scientific literature... Regarding your Nobel Prize remark, I'm flattered ...:-) I'm writing up my ideas in a comprehensive paper (currently over 70 pages long, single space), which I hope to be published sometime this year. However, I do NOT care about the Nobel Prize! I lost respect for that institution after they awarded IPCC, and especially after giving a Peace Prize to Obama at the time when he was just getting into office while expanding the wars. In my opinion, the Nobel Prize has become as corrupt as many other institutions in our society... What's important here is to promote real knowledge and help the intellectual and spiritual evolution of mankind. Oftentimes, these things are done outside the (corrupt) 'establishment'. So my focus is in that direction, not at the 'carrot on a stick' ... :-)
    Response: [muoncounter] Please read the Comments Policy, taking note that accusations of corruption, dishonesty, fraud, etc (even parenthetically) are usually deleted.
  16. Tom Curtis @ 464: Providing a comprehensive response to your comments/questions would require repeating the content of my paper (which I mentioned above). So, you'll have to wait until it's published. However, I'll point out two things: 1) I never claimed that the GH effect was equalizing the temperatures on a surface of a planet, although this is one of the products of the GH effect. As I explained in my posting #458, the lower troposphere contains much more internal energy than provided by the Sun. Therefore, trying to explain the GH effect with a transformation (recycling) of solar energy (as attempted by the current theory) inevitably clashes with the First Law of thermodynamics. 2) The nature of the GH effect has specifically to do with that extra energy in the lower atmosphere. Now, ponder this for a while: the so-called 'greenhouse' effect is NOT a radiative phenomenon, but a thermodynamic one!
  17. muoncounter - Note taken! This was only my personal (unscientific) opinion, and I'm far from the thought that I can prove that in the court of law ... :-)
  18. muoncounter, I have a question for you - how do you upload a PDF file to this blog?
    Response: [DB] You can only link to it. Permissible HTML tags can be found here.
  19. Just a very general point. Your claims involve a different interpretation of thermodynamics from the theory that has served us so well so far. Since you are sure the textbook is wrong and you are right, do you also accept the principle that your claims must account for empirical results? Ie if the textbook interpretation of thermodynamics accounts for observation results and yours do not, then perhaps the textbook is correct and you need to do more reading?
  20. scaddenp @ 469: What different interpretation of the thermodynamics do you mean? Can you be more specific? I believe my claims and the new GH theory I'm proposing is in 100% agreement with the classical thermodynamics.
  21. PhysSci @466, you claimed that the surface temperature of the Earth is raised, not by 33 degrees C, but 133 degrees C. You claimed this based on an integration of the 4th root of the radiation absorbed at every point over the planet, attributing the entire difference between the temperature so derived and the actual mean global surface temperature to the greenhouse effect. That is an error, as I have pointed out. A significant portion of the difference in temperature (but not all) is due to the equalization of temperatures across the Earth's surface by heat transfer by wind and ocean currents (and also temporally by thermal inertia). To determine the actual greenhouse effect, you would need to find the surface temperature distribution that equalizes incoming and outgoing radiation in the case where there is a thermally equivalent atmosphere and ocean, but no GHG (including water vapour). Taking the difference between that solution and the actual situation would then find the strength of the greenhouse effect. Alternatively, we can find the lower limit of the strength of the greenhouse effect by calculating the globally averaged temperature needed to balance globally averaged insolation, and taking the difference from the actual globally averaged mean temperature. That lower limit is a 33 degree increase in temperature increase beyond the maximum increase that can be accounted for by the redistribution of temperature. The upper bound is certainly not 133 degrees. My previous comments where not questions, but criticisms. Your answer is that its all in your unpublished paper. (I suggest you try Energy & Environment for publication, for otherwise I suspect it will be unpublishable.) That, however, is nonresponsive. Appealing to the authority of an unpublished, and hence uncheckable paper is not better than claiming your pronouncements are true ex cathedra.
  22. I'd like to make a clarification - I'm intentionally providing the participants in this blog with certain pieces of science facts and observations that are not normally discussed on this website (due to the blocking effect of the current paradigm), so that all of you could start thinking (critically) and evolving your understanding in a new direction. I have solid answers to all questions you have posted so far, but I do not want to discuss the details (reveal 'secrets') until my paper is published, because it does introduce a qualitatively new paradigm, which may cause an 'Aha' moment in many of you ... :-) The GH theory I present in my paper is very coherent and explains climate variations on a wide range of time scales (from decades to billions of years). For example, it readily explains observations that are problematic for the present concept such as the big swings in Earth's climate over the past billion years from 'snowball-earth' events to 'hothouses', and the giant cooling trend experienced by our planet over the past 51 million years. For those of you not familiar with paleo-climate data, the Earth surface was about 16C warmer than today 51 million years ago, and the climate was equable, i.e. with little temperature difference between equator and the poles. Current GCMs have a hell of a time simulating such an equable climate, and my theory explains it why. The global temperature has been sliding down ever since (following an irregular pattern) despite the slight increase of Sun's luminosity over this time period. So, think about the facts I presented to you as well as some other questions such as: - Where is the solid empirical evidence that CO2 has impacted Earth's climate in the past? - Why has the global temperature stopped rising over the past 10 years, and why there has been no statistically significant warming for the past 15 years despite the continuing increase in atmospheric concentrations of 'greenhouse gas'? - Why do global observations show no increase of temperature in the tropics and higher southern latitudes over the past 30 years when greenhouse gases have increased uniformity everywhere? Satellite data show that the Southern hemisphere has not had any statistically significant warming since 1979 meaning that nearly all warming was due to temperature increases in the Northern Hemisphere. In other words, recent global warming attributed to anthropogenic activity is actually not Global. - Why had the Arctic region experienced a significant warming trend over the past 100 years while Antarctica (as a whole) shows no discernible temperature trend, or even a slight cooling in some areas? - Why do variations in global temperature over the past 27 years correlate much better with observed changes in cloud albedo than with those in GH gases? - Why do reconstructed global temperatures for the past 1000 years correlate much better with reconstructed solar magnetic activity than with CO2 concentrations? (In fact, the CO2-temperature correlation over the past 1000 years is almost zero). Wishing peace and mental clarity to all of you!
    Response: Everyone who responds to this, please do so either by simply and briefly pointing to the appropriate threads, or by responding on those appropriate threads and posting a comment here, pointing to there. After a short grace period, I'll start deleting off topic comments from here.

    - Regarding the empirical evidence that CO2 has affected Earth's climate in the past: There are several relevant Arguments on this site. Just one is "There’s no correlation between CO2 and temperature."

    - Regarding your claim that the temperature has not risen for the past 10 to 15 years, see "It hasn’t warmed since 1998" and "Global warming stopped in 1998, 1995, 2002, 2007, 2010, ????."
  23. PhysSci @472, I have never been one to trust all seeing oracles, particularly when the will not let us look behind the curtain. As you do not want to discuss your theories here, you have nothing to contribute. Come back when you have satisfied yourself that no-one will accept your theories for publication; and are therefore prepared to actually talk about them.
  24. PhysSci - as others are pointing out, there is in fact quite a divergence from how textbooks interpret the laws of thermodynamics. Textbook thermodynamics find GHE in perfect concordance for a start. I will aware you do not believe this, so I ask again, if the textbook interpretation of thermodynamics accounts for observation results and yours do not, then perhaps the textbook is correct and you need to do more reading? Eg. theory has no problem in making quite good estimate of planetary temperature from TSI, albedo - and GHG. Easily within a degree for moon, mars, venus, earth etc. Your theory has to be able to do the same. As to your question above, click on Arguments and look them up. If you dont find the answer satisfying, then comment on the answer in that particular thread. Back your assertions with papers and data.
  25. Actually most of the answers to what you are questioning can be found in IPCC WG1. I wonder if you have read it?

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