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AGW Falsified: NOAA Long Wave Radiation Data Incompatible with the Theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming

ANTHROPOGENIC Global Warming (AGW) theory claims the earth is warming because rising CO2 is like a blanket, reducing Earth’s energy loss to space. However, data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that at least for the last 30 years, Earth’s energy loss to space has been rising. The last 30 years of NOAA data is not compatible with the theory of AGW. It would appear that either 30 years of NOAA data is wrong or the theory of AGW is flawed. This is Michael Hammer’s conclusion following analysis of the official outgoing long wave radiation (OLR) data.

Read the complete article here: ‘The NOAA Outgoing Long Wave Radiation Data Appears to be Incompatible with The Theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming’ by Michael Hammer. Michael Hammer Chart

The research uncovers some interesting trends and most importantly highlights that:

1. Earth can only warm if the rate of energy input exceeds the rate of energy loss;

2. Thus earth would warm if energy absorbed from the sun increased or energy loss to space (outgoing longwave radiation or OLR for short) decreased – or of course both;

3. The theory of AGW claims that Earth is warming because rising CO2 is reducing the energy loss to space i.e. is causing OLR to decrease;

4. Thirty years of experimental data published by NOAA (one of the prime AGW reference sites) shows OLR has been rising progressively between 1980 and 2010 and is now 2.5 watt/sqM higher than in 1980; and

5. The period between 1980 and 2010 is when almost all the CO2 induced warming is supposed to have taken place.

“If the corner stone of AGW theory says earth is warming because outgoing long wave radiation is decreasing yet 30 years of experimental data shows OLR is rising (remember 30 years is the time AGW proponents claim is the interval necessary to separate climate from weather) it would seem the theory of AGW is as a minimum extremely seriously compromised.”

Read the complete article here:

Michael Hammer has a B Eng Sci and M Eng Sci from Melbourne university. His original training was as an electrical engineer but for the last 35 years he has been employed to carry out research across a wide range of technologies for a major multinational spectroscopy company. Over that time he has taken around 20 patents and his work has resulted in a significant number of commercially successful products.

To read older blog posts from Michael Hammer click here and scroll down:


98 Responses to “AGW Falsified: NOAA Long Wave Radiation Data Incompatible with the Theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming”

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  1. Comment from: Neville

    Very funny post by Joe Bastardi on all the problems the warmists face in their CAGW struggles. And all in verse.

  2. Comment from: michael hammer

    Nullis in Verbena at 11:35 pm Your comments are wise and considered and I thank you for them. Your point about losing the distracting elements such as my diversion into emissivities is undoubtedly correct. I included it because I found the visible green house effects of water vapour very interesting and thought others might as well but I admit in hindsight it was just a distraction better done without.

    I do somewhat disagree with the first part of your first paragraph however. The fundamental thesis of AGW is that rising CO2 acts as a blanket reducing Earths energy loss to space ie: reducing OLR. Once that happens the temperature of Earth rises and that triggers the sort of feedbacks you mention. It has never been suggested to my knowledge that CO2 could directly change anything other than energy loss to space. So what are the possibilities?

    Well if the time constant was short the temperature would rise until OLR again matched insolation. ie: no change in OLR but higher temperatures. In that case the 0.4C rise we have seen is all we would get from the half doubling of CO2 ie: 0.8 C per doubling – not dangerous. That would explain no fall in OLR but it would not explain a rise. Also the warmists reject that situation claiming very long time constants and more rising temperature in the wings. That would mean the imbalance must still be there ie: OLR must still be depressed from its long term average.

    Maybe CO2 is only one factor and there are others in operation – highly plausible. But in that case, the other factors are forcing OLR up while CO2 should be forcing it down. That means the other factors have greater impact than rising CO2 so CO2 is not the dominant effect. Not only in forcing OLR in the opposite direction but also increasing insolation since if bothe the temperature and OLR are rising insolation must be rising even faster that OLR. Yet the CAGW theory says CO2 is the dominant effect, they cant explain what is happening any other way. If there is something else more potent than CO2 which is changing both OLR and insolation then until we understand it, CAGW theory is worthless as a predictor.

    Maybe rising CO2 has forced temperatures up 0.4C and that has been enough to trigger all sorts of feedbacks. Trouble with this is that feedbacks are a response to an initial forcing and are maintained by that intial forcing. They can therefore exacerbate or reduce the initial forcing but they cannot reverse it since if they did there would be no basis for the feedback – indeed if the forcing reversed, the feedback would as well which leads to an infinite regression argument.

    The issue remains, the entire basis of CAGW theory is that rising CO2 reduces energy loss to space yet over the 30 years of dominant rise in CO2 and claimed world temperatures OLR has risen not fallen or even remained static. Further it has risen more than could be explained by the temperature rise given the thermal sensitivity of earth even in the absence of any feedbacks.

    Your point about testing a “weapon” before using it in battle is very good and I would argue that the posting on this blog is exactly that, a test to see what the alternative interpretations are. Consider the strong language a challenge to warmists to prove me wrong.

    Lastly, I sent a short version of this to a high profile and respectable person in the AGW debate and he came back with the comment – this is not new, Linzden and Choi commented on it back in 2011 but its interesting to have your corroboration. Hmm the point was raised by others far more learned than me and with far higher profile 2 years ago. No mention of counter arguments and yet it got swept under the carpet? That is worrying.

    Again I thank you most sincerely for your thoughtful and well considered comments.

  3. Comment from: spangled drongo

    And thank you too Michael for those very clear comments.

  4. Comment from: Neville

    The CAGW warmists certainly have a few problems with their iconic agenda.

    Problems with increase OLR, polar bears increased 4 fold since 1960, lack of extra humidity in the system, no evidence of more extreme weather events, latest SLR study shows about 7 inches by 2100 or 17.5 cm, all models show no dangerous SLR for the next 300 years, no hot spot over tropics at 10 klm level, ice extent in Antarctica at all time high, Arctic ice extent up 50% in last 12 months, Greenland temps show warmer 1920s to 1940s and 1930s to 40s being the highest.

    Just a few problems for the extremists to think about. But the biggest con is the BELIEF that the developed world can somehow fix or mitigate their problem.
    The OECD countries will only add 6% of the increase in co2 emissions until 1940 and the non OECD will add 94% of the increase to 1940. What a maths challenged joke.

  5. Comment from: hunter

    How can we do a wager regarding an ice free Arctic by 2016? I am in a betting mood.

  6. Comment from: Neville

    Sorry last paragraph above should read until 2040 not 1940. Twice.

  7. Comment from: cohenite

    Nullius says:

    “The hotspot isn’t a prediction of AGW, it’s a prediction of the water vapour feedback.”

    As they say I wouldn’t like to live on the distinction.

    I’m sure Nullius remembers all the fuss about Specific and Relative humidity and the [in]famous papers by Dessler, Soden, Minchswaner about how AGW would increase atmospheric WV and therein create a hotspot as described by Figure 9.1:

    The IPCC calls this water feedback, which in turn produces an enhanced Greenhouse effect:

    The point I’m labouring to make is that the THS through the feedback from water which has increased through CO2 heating has been one of the primary predictions of AGW. The absence of a THS acts to, if not kill AGW, put a stake through its heart. But then I’m given to hyperbole! How would you describe the absence of a THS in terms of damage to AGW?

  8. Comment from: David Appell

    This is an extremely amateurish paper that cannot be taken seriously.

  9. Comment from: Neville

    The mitigation of this CAGW con has been a disaster. Lomborg runs the numbers for biofuels and shows that millions now starve because of the stupidity and ignorance of EU and USA politicians.

    The biofuel idiocy has been as big a disaster and scandal as wind and solar energy. And it saves ZIP emissions and costs the poor taxpayers a fortune.
    Of course take away the taxpayer subsidies and all of the above industries????? collapse in a heap.

  10. Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes

    @ Neville
    “millions now starve because of the stupidity and ignorance of EU and USA politicians.”

    And what makes you think it’s stupidity and ignorance, Neville?
    Sometimes a bit of cynicism is healthy.

  11. Comment from: Neville

    JW you may be right, who knows what these creeps really think about and how extreme they really are?
    But it’s a provable disaster at the level of increased human misery and countless billions wasted for a zip return for lower temp and desirable CC by 2100. Unbelievably stupid and disgusting behavior.

  12. Comment from: Nullius in Verba

    “The fundamental thesis of AGW is that rising CO2 acts as a blanket reducing Earths energy loss to space ie: reducing OLR. Once that happens the temperature of Earth rises and that triggers the sort of feedbacks you mention. It has never been suggested to my knowledge that CO2 could directly change anything other than energy loss to space. So what are the possibilities?”

    In order to explain it simply, the effect is broken down into a chain of simpler steps that are explained individually. But the whole sequence of mechanisms act simultaneously, in concert. There are several different ways to break the mechanism down, giving rise to several different intuitive understandings, each with their own set of common misunderstandings. My way of understanding the effect is a bit different to the one taught in climate science courses, although it originated in a standard ‘literature’ approach I first saw in Soden and Held’s review from 2000, but which dates back to the radiative-convective approach of Manabe, Moller, Wetherald, and Strickler from the late 1960s, and even Schwarzchild’s 1930s work on the structure of stars.

    The approach commonly taken in climate science is to first perturb one element holding everything else fixed, and then see what imbalanced forces arise to see how things will change. This is akin to working out what happens when you poke something with a stick by assuming that the hand holding the end of the stick moves while the rest of the stick stays where it is, and analysing the elastic forces that arise in the bent stick. In practice, the stick moves with the hand, the forces adjusting its location simultaneously with the motion. The alternative approach is to assume all the forces remain in balance, and work out where the stick has to be if your hand moves just so. Both approaches come to the same answer, but the intuitions can be different.

    Rising CO2 raises the average altitude of OLR emission to space, which – other things held equal – is a colder level that emits less energy. More energy arriving than leaving warms the entire system until emission at the new higher level once again emits all the energy that the Earth absorbs. In practice, the rising of the emission level is slow enough that the system remains almost at equilibrium the entire time. The atmosphere warms with the rising of the emitting layer, and the imbalance is never very large. It is also buried under the annual cycle of warming and cooling with the seasons, and with the distance from the sun – the imbalances of which are far larger.

    Likewise, the feedbacks occur almost simultaneously with the change – certainly on a far shorter timescale than the century-long rise in CO2. You can actually see the lag in some of the feedback effects – for example, CO2 is more soluble in colder water, so warm weather releases more CO2. The CO2 level fluctuates following the temperature with a lag of a few months, which can be detected. The effect is about a factor of 10 too small to explain the observed rise in CO2, but larger, shorter timescale variations in temperature do have a visible effect. But with a time constant of only months, there is in effect no significant delay between the force and the adjustment when it comes to the centennial changes.

    So according to the theory, OLR should be continually almost in balance all the time. The amount of heat needed to warm the Earth’s surface at a rate of 1 C/century is very low, even if you assume a fairly thick slab of ocean is being warmed.

    The OLR is determined by the temperature of the emitting layer, which can be approximated by treating it as if it all happened at the average altitude of emission to space. The emitting layer stays the same temperature, so it emits the same OLR, but it rises further above the surface, and so the temperature of the surface increases due to the lapse rate having a greater height difference to work across.

    To summarise (and simplify grossly):
    T_surf = T_eff + ALR * AAES
    where T_surf is surface temperature, T_eff is the effective radiative emission temperature, ALR is the adiabatic lapse rate, and AAES is the average altitude of emission to space.

    The lapse rate can be affected by humidity – this is where the upper troposphere tropical hotspot comes from. It’s also part of the reason why dry deserts are so hot.

    The average altitude of emission to space is affected by GHGs.

    T_eff is effectively the OLR figure converted to a temperature, and it is affected by the solar constant, clouds, aerosols, and surface albedo. (Deep ocean heating also takes from this number.)

    (There’s also a lot of stuff going on with horizontal heat transfer between latitudes, ocean oscillations, air and ocean currents, inversions and boundary layers, weather systems, and so on. Don’t let me fool you into thinking any of this stuff is simple.)

    But roughly speaking, T_eff is the most likely source for other influences besides GHGs, and T_eff is what you have observed a rise in. However, it is independent of the greenhouse effect, which is the other two terms in the equation, except possibly via any feedbacks that might affect it. For example, melting ice would increase the amount of heat absorbed from the sun, increasing T_eff, and hence OLR.

    So the critical question is: is this rise the result of a forcing (e.g. Svensmark’s solar hypothesis, or Spencer’s internal variation of cloudiness) or is it a feedback (e.g. water vapour affecting cloudiness, ice cover, vegetation cover, etc.)? If the former, then this is an alternative warming method that suggests AGW is contributing less of the observed increase. If it is a feedback, it kinda hints that the cloud feedbacks are more positive than the models assume, which potentially makes it “worse than we thought” – although given the difficulty in working out what effect clouds have, not necessarily.

    I don’t have the expertise to even guess. But I’m pretty sure that if even I, as a sympathetic reader strongly biased towards finding reasons to doubt AGW, can find issues with it, then the warmists are certainly going to do so.

    By all means challenge them to explain it, or ask the question ‘does this falsify AGW?’ But I’d still be cautious about saying that it *does* falsify it until I was really sure. It’s the same sort of integrity we demand of climate scientists – not to claim more than they really know, with more certainty than is justified. In the long run it works better, even if it gives up some temporary advantage in the short term.

    “The point I’m labouring to make is that the THS through the feedback from water which has increased through CO2 heating has been one of the primary predictions of AGW. The absence of a THS acts to, if not kill AGW, put a stake through its heart.”

    It arguably does so for catastrophic AGW, the problem is that the term “AGW” is ambiguous. Does it mean the hypothesis that anthropogenic CO2 contributes to warmer temperatures, or is the dominant cause of the observed warmer temperatures, or will in the future give rise to dangerously warmer temperatures? Or does it refer to the political campaign to do something about it?

    The reason I emphasise it is that the warmists always bring it up as their standard counter. Even if the observed warming is due to natural variation – Svensmark’s solar hypothesis, or Tisdale’s ENSO residue – there still ought to be a hotspot. So this arguably isn’t a problem specific to AGW – it’s generic to our understanding of climate.

    As I said, it’s an issue with the feedbacks rather than with the AGW mechanism itself. So long as you know and can argue that position, the warmist counter shouldn’t prove a problem. But you have to be a bit careful about how you phrase it to avoid falling into rhetorical traps.

    I’m a great believer in the principle that it’s not sufficient to simply present arguments against incorrect positions – you have to present the *right*, technically correct arguments, or you’re vulnerable to a rhetorically devastating counter-attack from somebody who knows what they’re talking about. And while I cannot reasonably expect every man-on-the-street sceptic to be a climate science expert (I’m not, either), I do what I can to prod things in the right direction.

  13. Comment from: Neville

    Interesting cautionary tale from Nullius in Verba. I just wish I had the education and understanding to unravel Willis Eschenbach’s latest post at WUWT.

    I think I understand some of it, but would anyone here care to have a go? And please in reasonably plain english for we lay people. Just a short summary will do.

  14. Comment from: Neville

    I can’t believe some of the strange people we find at the summit of climate science. Here’s the deputy head of the UK’s Tyndall centre.

  15. Comment from: kuhnkat

    Interesting discussion over the radiation. I would suggest that it is a lack of Papers from the IPCC types touting the decrease or lack of increase that proves whether Mr. Hammer is right or not.

    Like the HotSpot, stratospheric temps, and tropopause height, they have stopped directing attention to radiation metrics as it is a LOSER!! They leave it to their little fanboys to yap about things like Arctic Ice that prove nothing and concentrate on their MESSAGE of the science being settled and anyone who disagrees must have mental issues as the science is burying them.

    Hey fanboys, how is that Antarctic sea ice and volcano beneath the western glacier treating yuh???
    The rest of this winter should be mostly bad news for y’all also. Yup, Climate is the average of weather over decades. We are in for a lot of colder than normal weather.

  16. Comment from: cohenite

    Thanks Nullius. I agree, the THS is really a function of water vapor feedback, not a first order forcing. You don’t see it in MODTRAN as implemented on line because a surface temperature offset entered in MODTRAN only affects the temperature up through 10 km and its constant. You get the THS only if the lapse rate decreases as temperature goes up because the moist lapse rate gets lower as specific humidity goes up (higher energy content/kg). A decreasing lapse rate is actually a negative feedback, but the increased radiation from increased water vapour [SH] is supposed to more than make up for that according to AGW [ie Dessler et al].

    Say the lapse rate is 6.5 K/km and the surface temperature is 300 K. Then the temperature at 10 km would be 235 K (300-6.5*10). Now let’s raise the surface temperature by 10 K and lower the lapse rate to 6 K/km. In this case the surface temperature is 310 K and the temperature at 10 km is 250 K (310-6*10). So the surface has warmed by 10 K and the 10 km temperature has gone up by 15 K. That’s the source and the signature, but with smaller numbers, of the THS.

    The problems are still 2-fold; firstly, a THS DOES depend on a temperature signature; Fig 9.1 of AR4 makes this plain; and this temperature signature is distinct to GHG’s; that is unequivocal; and that temperature signature is NOT THERE. The second problem is more convoluted and depends on there being more SH at particular levels and for that increased SH to have a +ve feedback to temperature. Initially, despite all the Santer and Soden modeling, it is problematic that SH is increasing at all or where it should be [see Soloman and Paltridge]; secondly, does increased SH have a positive feedback; increased SH should increase the latent heat of the atmosphere but this paper says otherwise:

    I guess my point in referring to poor old Miskolzi is that regardless of whether you approach the THS as an AGW forcing or feedback it still fails. In terms of Michael’s post it also fails because there is insufficient radiation being ‘trapped’ in the atmosphere. Chicken or egg this Dodo isn’t going to cross the road!

  17. Comment from: Beth Cooper

    Serfs enjoy The Chiefio’s musings, here that the Elvis heat has left the planet.

  18. Comment from: michael hammer

    Nullis in Verbena at 1:11. Your arguments are very clear rational and reasonable. It a pleasure debating with you. I believe I understand what you are saying. Let me say first up that the view of an effective radiation altitude is one I know is a commonly used simplification by the climate science community but its one I strongly disagree with because from a spectroscopic point of view it has no meaning. What really happens is radiation comes from different altitudes depending on the wavelength. IN the atmospheric window its from the surface or cloud tops. At the 14.7 CO2 line its from the top of the CO2 column which is at the tropopause and so on. To me the concept of an effective riadiation altitude and then tying this to a lapse rate is a very questionable concept even as a simplification. However in the interest of effectiveness lets put that to one side for the moment.

    Your greater argument as I understand it is that the radiation and temperature equilibration time constants are far shorter than the rate of change of CO2 so the system is always in pseudo equilibrium. I completely agree, all my analysis points to the same thing. That already debunks the claim that there is more warming in the pipe line even if CO2 stops rising tomorrow. If its all due to CO2 then half a doubling gives 0.4C rise in temperature which speaks very strongly against CAGW at least (although not AGW)

    Moving on, if the system is always in temporary thermal equilibrium then the 2.5 watts/sqM rise in OLR must be matched by a 2.5 watts/sqM rise in insolation. This could come about from 2 sources you claim. It could be due to an external factor such as solar modulation of cosmic rays (Svensmark’s theory) or it could be caused by a change here on Earth as a result of the warming we have seen so far and for this you give the example of melting ice exposing more dark ground which absorbs a larger fraction of the incoming solar energy. If the latter, it would represent positive feedback (rising temperature causes greater solar energy absorption) which is what the climate scientists are of course claiming. So lets examine this a bit.

    Lets take your model of earth emitting as a black body at an effective emission temperature (even though I disagree with it) and also accept your point that the system is in pseudo thermal equilibrium. If we use the largest claimed rise in temperature since 1980 (that claimed by nasa giss) 0.5C it means a rise of 0.5C increased OLR by 2.5 watts/sqM giving an incremental sensitivity of 5 watts/sqM/C. For a black body the maximum achievable sensitivity (emissivity =1 ie: a black body)is simply the first derivative of the Stefan Boltzman law which at the effective emission temperature of 255K computes to 4*5.67e-8*255^3 = 3.76 watts/sqM/C. So its not possible for the emission to increase by 2.5 watts/sqM for a rise in Teff of 0.5C. Teff must have risen by at least 2.5/3.76 = 0.66C ie: more than the surface. That means the effective emission altitude must have fallen but you pointed out earlier that rising ghg makes the effective emission altitude rise. The claim that rising ghg makes the effective emission altitude rise is simply the translation into the Teff model of the statement that rising ghg reduces OLR emission to space at constant temperature so its not negotiable.

    If the rise in OLR were entirely due to external factors driving up insolation, with no change in CO2 levels the temperature rise needed for a 2.5 watt/sqM rise in OLR would have been 0.66C. Rising CO2 would add to this making it still bigger but its actually smaller. Thus the observed rise in OLR if due to external forcings is in conflict with the AGW thesis. If the rise in OLR is due to feedbacks in our climate system then we find that the feedback we logically assumed was positive is actually negative. Is there any way that could happen? Maybe, if the feedback were clouds then a reduction in cloud cover would increase insolation (lower albedo) but would also increase OLR because clouds also impede OLR (we well know the difference between a cloudy night and a clear night) so according to the Teff model decreasing cloud cover would drop the Teff altitude. Trouble is while Svensmark gives a model of how that could come about via an external forcing its hard to see how rising temperatures could reduce cloud cover. Anyway negative feedbacks are not compatible with the CAGW thesis.

    I realize you are taking the devils advocate approach and don’t necessarily agree with your own argument but its hard to phrase the response other than implying you do. Please be assured I do realize the distinction.

  19. Comment from: Nullius in Verba


    Thanks! It’s a pleasure debating with you, too!

    I agree about the approximation involved in treating the emission as if it was coming from a single level. The only reason it works is that convective coupling ties the temperature profile at all the different levels together, so it moves together a bit like a rigid body. If you push and pull on different various parts of a rigid body, it moves as if you had applied only a single external force on a particular point or line. Internal forces take care of the rest.

    I also agree that the apparent increase in OLR corresponds to a bigger change in T_eff than is a comfortable fit with observed surface temperature change. What’s more, I can’t think of any easy explanation besides ‘measurement error’, since most of the other forcings and feedbacks that can otherwise offset warming act *through* changing T_eff. But neither am I quite convinced yet that there couldn’t be such an explanation. But I’d definitely say that it counts as a “Good question!” I will be very interested to see how this develops.

    Yes, I am to some extent playing devil’s advocate. This seems to me to be the way science is supposed to work – you do your best to knock down every thesis, especially your own, and the ones left standing are the ones you want to keep. The problem with certain parts of climate science was they lost the habit of doing that – probably because they didn’t want to break another man’s rice bowl. We can do better than that.

    Part of it is a matter of my own scientific integrity. If I can see a problem with an argument, I’ll say so. Even if I like the conclusion, or think that in the end it’s probably close to the truth.

    And part of it is tactical. Not only is it good to tidy up an argument before letting the AGW-fanatics have a go at it, but I’ve also occasionally seen sceptics come in for criticism for uncritically accepting any old anti-AGW argument, no matter how scientifically iffy, while jumping up and down over every scientific infraction when it comes to pro-AGW arguments. That’s unscientific and hypocritical, they say. Being able to point to debates on sceptic blogs where we *do* criticise anti-AGW arguments is an excellent counter to that. I don’t do it so much – they don’t need the help – but it sets a good example.

    Thanks for taking my comments and criticisms in the right spirit.

  20. Comment from: Neville

    Bob Tisdale looks at the warming and cooling of the oceans at various depths.

    So why are the Pacific and Nth Atlantic oceans showing either no warming or indeed some cooling over the last 10 years?
    If human co2 emissions were to blame surely the same temp variations should be seen everywhere?
    And who believes the measurement accuracy of hundredths and thousandths of a degree? Of course pre Argo temps were measured from buckets etc, but only on well used shipping lanes. That’s a tiny area of all the ocean’s surface. Surely those earlier temps must be very doubtful?

  21. Comment from: handjive of

    @ Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes December 18th, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Thanks for the link, JW.

  22. Comment from: michael hammer

    Hi Nullus in Verbena;

    I wanted to explain why I am so opposed to the idea of an effective emission temperature and why I think it leads to problems. Firstly from a spectroscopic point of view an effective emission altitude is meaningless. For the atmosphere to radiate energy it must have a non zero emissivity at least at some wavelengths ie: the emission must be coming from a ghg. Well that’s OK the atmosphere is full of ghg’s. Now lets look at CO2 as an example. At 280 ppm the atmospheric column of CO2 has an optical absorbance of around 2000 abs. Think of it as 2000 layers each 1 abs thick. A 1 abs layer absorbs 90% of the energy (at 14.7 microns for CO2) incident on it, a 2 abs layer absorbs 99% and so on. Thus any energy emitted towards space by CO2 lower down in the atmosphere is re-absorbed by the CO2 above it. Its only the last 2 abs ie: the top 1/1000 of the CO2 column that can emit to space. That’s the very top of the CO2 column. A similar situation exists for any other green house gas.

    By far the two most significant green house gases are water vapour and CO2 and for both the top of the gas column is the tropopause in the case of water this defines the tropopause. So in a somewhat simplified approach we can consider emission to space follows a bimodal distribution, some from the surface (in the atmospheric window) and some from the tropopause at the ghg wavelengths (there is some from the stratosphere via ozone and 10 microns plus minor components from other ghg’s). Increasing the CO2 concentration slightly reduces the fraction from the surface and slightly increases the fraction from the tropopause. Since the tropopause is far colder than the surface the net effect is a reduction in energy radiated to space. Actually there are 3 main emission layers, because clouds absorb surface emissions in the atmospheric window and in turn radiate to space from the cloud tops.

    Now in the model used by climate scientists they glibly say, the emission went up so Teff rose and that could be explained by a drop in the effective emission altitude (something one cant measure because it doesn’t exist). But in the real world the emission from the surface is tied to the surface temperature (not some mythical Teff) so if the emission rose without the surface temperature rising either the tropopause got warmer, which means lower or cloud cover decreased or clouds got lower so the cloud tops are warmer. Now we can measure the tropopause temperature and altitude and I haven’t seen any suggestions it is progressively getting lower and warmer, indeed I get the impression warmists are claiming it is rising as the planet warms due to stronger convection from increased absolute humidity. So that leaves clouds which I indeed think is the dominant factor and the one which is least understood. But this idea of a Teff which can change by a change in emission altitude is to me a dangerous misconception.

    Also, while I agree completely the lapse rate is set by very strong negative feedback (too low and convection stops, too high and one would get massive convection) I do not believe that entirely sets the height of the tropopause. While the peak of solar output is a 550nm there is still significant energy in the near infrared 700nm to 2000nm and in these regions water vapour has some strong absorption bands. Thus the top of the water vapour column can absorb significant solar energy which adds to the energy it receives from convection. In fact, I strongly suspect the absorbed solar energy is larger than the energy received from convection and that’s what sets the tropopause at the top of the water vapour column. In that model, rising CO2 means the tropopause can radiate to space over a slightly greater range of wavelengths so at a given temperature it could radiate more energy, but the CO2 does not contribute to energy gain by this region since the sun puts out negligible energy at the CO2 absorption lines thus one would expect rising CO2 to slightly cool the tropopause and since the lapse rate is well defined that means it would slightly raise the tropopause altitude. Looked at another way, the tropopause cant radiate more energy to space because it doesn’t have any more to radiate, so, if it can radiate over a greater range of wavelengths, it radiates less at each wavelength.

  23. Comment from: Robert Lepage

    As Sea Ice Shrinks, Arctic Shipping Options Expand
    On October 7, 2013, the Nordic Orion bulk carrier ship completed its journey from Vancouver, Canada, to Pori, Finland, having traveled northward around Alaska and through the Northwest Passage. It was the first large commercial freighter ever to make the voyage through these typically ice-covered Arctic waters.

    This is of course not really happening

  24. Comment from: Graeme M

    While the reduced sea ice in summer undoubtedly makes this voyage a possibility, I wonder at the extent to which modern ship design, navigational aids and ice-breaking activities contribute?

    This article notes some of those matters and observes that Russia in particular is well placed to take advantage of the likelihood, again through the application of serious ice-breaking. The article also sounds a note of warning about just how easy it is likely to be at a commercially viable level. And as the comment notes, that’s presuming warming continues and sea ice reduces more dramatically. As it is, current conditions raise some questions about that.

  25. Comment from: cohenite

    More doom and gloom from LP, although I can see an upside to having the North Pole more accessible to shipping: just think of the commercial and tourist possibilities! Anyway we’ve still got a long way to go to get to what they were doing in 1959 as this photo of the USS Skate shows:

  26. Comment from: Neville

    RLP you’ve obviously not heard of the Holocene climate optimum or RWP or MedWP etc. During those times the Arctic was probably ice free in summer ( sometimes little winter ice as well) for hundreds if not thousands of years.( Hol Opt)

    Coher’s photo was taken in 1959 at the North pole and Wilkins was a famous Aussie polar explorer and expedition leader at that time.

  27. Comment from: Neville

    Don’t worry RLP there’s hope for you yet, even this bloke has started to wake up. But ya gotta laugh.

  28. Comment from: Larry Fields

    Comment from: Neville December 19th, 2013 at 10:46 am
    “The mitigation of this CAGW con has been a disaster. Lomborg runs the numbers for biofuels and shows that millions now starve because of the stupidity and ignorance of EU and USA politicians.”

    On the whole, Lomborg makes a very valid and timely point.

    However the article contains conflicting numbers about how many millions of people are starving/going hungry because of biofuels. If he’s making some kind of distinction, he should explain it more clearly.

    Supposedly, the bioethanol that’s added to petrol here in some American states causes a non-trivial reduction of harmful pollutants in tail-pipe exhaust. I don’t know if that’s accurate, but Lomborg should at least mention it — if only to put that puppy to rest.

    I also have the impression is that Lomborg is exaggerating on one point. Is his concern about the isoprene emissions justified, or is he simply stirring the pot, by hinting at the fallacious Precautionary Principle?

    Paracelsus’ old saying:
    The dose makes the poison.

    Tree emissions make you sick. Yeah, right. If Lomborg wants to score more points with discerning readers, he should avoid pissing in the soup. I hope that his academic writing is better than this.

  29. Comment from: Neville

    Larry I think you’re being far too technical. Lomborg has exposed this bizarre fraud like no other and with the help of a large team of experts.
    The trouble is this fraud is so brazen and has been going on for so long that many people can’t understand just how big it is and yet how easy it is to understand.
    You just need commonsense and very simple sums to unravel the con. Simply put western countries could stop emitting today and co2 levels would keep rising because of the soaring fossil fuel appetite of China , India etc.
    All the trillions $ to be wasted by the western countries on fraudulent mitigation scams can’t make zip difference to co2 levels or climate or temp anytime soon or by 2100.

  30. Comment from: Neville

    Larry here’s more idiotic legislation from your house of Reps.

    Steve Goreham has written a good article condemning some of your Dem donkeys for telling lies about the reasons for forcing people to use super expensive, unreliable renewable energy.
    These idiots actually state that it will create jobs and help save US fuel imports. In fact these stupid wind and solar technologies???? require backup from gas fired plants when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

    Of course zip savings in co2 emissions and zip change in temp or weather or climate. They keep telling these lies and a percentage of the electorate seem to believe them. Why is that?

  31. Comment from: J.H.

    Luke misses the biggest point…. He makes it yet misses its importance. He says.

    “Those data are from a whole series of satellites not just one with drift issues and interpolation. A regression through the OLR data series would be flat until your predetermined stats norty of trying to squeeze out what you want with a polynomial. Errors bounds are? And trying to resolve what level of theoretical change?”

    So, he’s saying the OLR trend is flat…. But that in itself is disastrous for the AGW hypothesis….Over the last 30 years of the satellite record, CO2 has risen 20% or more, yet the OLR is barely distinguishable from flat as far as Luke is concerned, while Dr Hammer contends that OLR loss to space is rising.

    ….. The fact remains, if the AGW hypothesis is to be valid, OLR has to be lessening as the effects of 20% more CO2 “impact” the atmospheric system as per the hypothesized effects on OLR. The effects of 20% more CO2 should be starkly clear….. But they are not.

    After all, Luke can barely tell if OLR is going up, down or sideways….. :-)

  32. Comment from: Robert LePage

    Walking In An Anthropocene Wonderland: “But I’ll know my song well before I start singing”

  33. Comment from: cohenite

    This article by Michael vindicates Miskolczi big time.

    LePage you’re a crank. You belong on a street corner.

  34. Comment from: Neville

    Hansen and his supporting scientists tell us we should reduce and hold co2 levels at 350ppmv for future climate outcomes that will benifit the environment and leave better lives for our kids and grandkids etc.
    Can Luke or bazza or RLP tell us just how this reduction of 50ppmv will help the planet in any positive way or change OLR or bushfires or SLR or change rainfall/ snowfall or droughts or floods or hurricanes or tornadoes or slow ocean acidity, or any future extreme weather events etc?
    And while your at it you could please tell us how to reduce and hold co2 at 350ppmv?

  35. Comment from: kuhnkat

    Michael Hammer,

    I notice you seem to use a couple of the AGW assumptions in your statements. I always wondered about them and would appreciate if you could explain why you think they hold.

    Specifically you state that as GHG’s increase the amount of radiation from the lower levels making it through decreases. That would be true IF there is no warming!!! f the atmosphere warms it expands decreasing the density. I have no idea whether this is neutral, positive, or negative in respect to the IR, but, never saw any expert deal with the issue.

    The other item is the assumption that the temperature of the average emission altitude would become colder. As the atmosphere warms it warms through the entire column, although not necessarily at the same rates. Still, the higher emissions altitude may NOT be cooler.

    OF course, if there is no warming this is totally moot!! 8>)

    Again, I have not seen any competent person try and deal with the actual numbers that will obtain in a realistic scenario as opposed to the ASSUMPTIONS that less radiation will make it through and the average emissions altitude will be colder because it is higher. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

  36. Comment from: Neville

    Environmental writer Lawrence Solomon explains why wind and solar energies are a toxic environmental disaster for the planet.

    Matt Ridley has also shown that fossil fuel use has helped to green the planet over the last 50+ years.
    We only need to take away the subsidies for these toxic disasters and the whole mess will soon cease to exist. Apart from the inevitable clean up that will have to take place.

  37. Comment from: Neville

    Hey I’ve just seen the future for all the warmist loonies. There is a country that they can live in now and enjoy all of the pseudo sc-fi nonsense they want. It’s called North Korea.

  38. Comment from: michael hammer

    Hi Kuhnkat; I will do my best but before I do that I wanted to make 2 points. Firstly I do not hold a PhD so the title Dr which some others have used is not appropriate. Secondly, I do not have formal training in spectroscopy and I certainly would not claim to be a spectroscopist (a new graduate spectroscopist would run rings around me) but after 35 years of research for a spectroscopy company I have learnt some of the basics and I do claim the ability to apply what I have learnt. So on to the explanations

    Long wave or thermal emission depends only on the temperature of the emitting source and its emissivity. The relation between energy emitted at any specific wavelength and the temperature for a black body (emissivity =1) is given by Planks law. That is the maximum energy that can be emitted by any surface at that temperature. If the surface has an emissivity less than 1 that reduces the actual emission in a linear fashion. When it comes to absorption, that only depends on the absorptivity(at the wavelength in question) not the temperature and the absorptivity is always exactly equal to the emissivity.

    The surface of the earth has an emissivity very close to 1 in the thermal emission range and any ghg column thick enough will have an emissivity of exactly 1 so to a pretty good first approximation we can look at surfaces as black body in the thermal IR.

    When it comes to average thermal emission altitude please see my post at 8:00 am on the 20th, I describe the situation in some detail there – no point repeating it. Suffice to say I disagree with the concept.

    So back to emission to space at a function of rising ghg. The absorption/emission lines displayed by ghg’s look a bit like gaussian curves. As the concentration goes up the peak of the curve gets higher until it gets to 1. It cant go higher than that because you cant do more than absorb all the incident radiation. So once that point is reached it clips and we say the line centre has become saturated. Does that mean no greater absorption is possible? No not at all. Curves like gaussians have a very interesting characteristic. The product of a gaussian by itself is also a gaussian of the same shape but broader. If you double the concentration of a ghg its like putting 2 identical layers one on top of the other and the combined transfer function is like the transfer function of the first layer times the second layer. Thus as green house gas concentration rises the absorption profile gets wider. It doesn’t matter what the starting concentration is, doubling the concentration is like multiplying the gaussian by itself and that always gives the same amount of widening. This is what gives rise to the logarithmic response with concentration. It only starts once the line center saturates but unsaturated lines are generally so narrow that they would absorb insignificant amounts of energy. In short a ghg only really starts to have a significant impact after the line centre saturates so all significant ghg display this logarithmic behaviour.

    So with regard to emission from the surface, as the ghg concentration above the surface rises it intercepts a slightly greater range of wavelengths emitted by the surface (as an example, if at 280ppm CO2 say blocked radiation between 14microns and 15.2 microns then doubling it to 560 might block radiation between say 13.8 microns and 15.4 microns – the numbers are plucked out of the air for illustration purposes don’t assume they are representative). Incremental surface emissions between 13.8 and 14 plus 15.2 and 15.4 are now blocked and in turn replaced with emission at those wavelengths from the top of the CO2 column.

    This has nothing whatever to do with density. It simply depends on the mass of ghg gas (or if you like the number of molecules) above the surface. Heating the air does not change the amount of air present, if the density goes down the volume goes up whch in this case means the atmosphere would get a bit thicker.

    Does this help?

    Mike Hammer

  39. Comment from: Malcolm

    After all the billions of dollars that has been doled out for the biggest scam of all time, there are people who are credible and brave enough to call it for what it is, and always has been …
    “deeply unscientific”.

    Its about time that the whole hypothesis was finally put to bed and consigned to the scrap heap …along with the perpetrators and their bag carriers.

  40. Comment from: Robert LePage

    No snow in Siberia? Locals marvel – and worry – at the ‘snow shortage’
    Of course this is not the result of global warming, it’s cyclical and all happened before……not

  41. Comment from: Robert JM

    The direction of OLR change does not falsify AGW, you need to compare its correlation to other factors for that! :)

    The system only has four components that determine temp.
    1/ Power of energy source (solar plus orbital)
    2/ Absorption of power (albedo)
    3/ Energy Storage/release
    4/Energy loss to space

    The observation show:-
    1/no significant change to power source.
    2/ 5% step decrease in cloud cover in 1990s
    3/ increase or no change in ocean heat storage.
    4/ increase in energy loss to space.

    The increased OLR was directly caused by a 5% decrease in clouds in the 1990s and is responsible for 75% of the observed warming trends. This natural component must be subtracted from the temp trend leaving a residual warming of 0.1deg C over 30 years from CO2 or other factors. This is obviously a falsification of dangerous global warming due to man, not to mention the explanation for the current pause in global warming.

    The CAGW theory also requires that the extra energy from CO2 energy ends up in the atmosphere where it is amplified by water vapour positive feedback. If the energy is “hiding in the deep oceans instead this actually falsifies CAGW since it is not atmospherically amplified.

  42. Comment from: Larry Fields

    Comment from: Neville December 20th, 2013 at 7:23 pm says:
    “Larry I think you’re being far too technical. Lomborg has exposed this bizarre fraud like no other and with the help of a large team of experts.”

    We’re essentially on the same page about the biofuels issue, but our general approaches are slightly different. Here’s what I’m saying to the Warmies: Get real! Probably we’d agree on this one specific point But I’d be a hypocrite if I did not hold Climate Realists and Lukewarmers to the same standard, wouldn’t I?

    The whole point of articles about the science/politics interface is to influence the undecideds. Preaching to the choir does not cut the mustard, even though it warms the cockles of readers having the same persuasion. And that’s Lomborg is doing in this article.

    Lomborg has the APPEARANCE of being less than fair dinkum — or at least of being a hack — because of the specific points that I have raised. And for his true target audience, discerning fence-sitters, Lomborg is shooting himself in the foot.

    If you’re so inclined, you can accuse me of being overly technical. Moreover you can tar-and-feather me, and run me out of Skepticville on a rail. But like it or not, I’ll always be a science curmudgeon.

  43. Comment from: kuhnkat

    Mike Hammer,

    “This has nothing whatever to do with density. It simply depends on the mass of ghg gas (or if you like the number of molecules) above the surface. Heating the air does not change the amount of air present, if the density goes down the volume goes up whch in this case means the atmosphere would get a bit thicker. ”

    No it doesn’t help. You ignore that as the air expands up it also expands to the sides a tiny amount also as the geometry is NOT a tube with parallel sides but a cone.

  44. Comment from: kuhnkat

    Mike Hammer,

    You run into another area I am confused upon:

    “Long wave or thermal emission depends only on the temperature of the emitting source and its emissivity. ”

    Dr. Spencer and others play with their IR thermometers and tell us that they point them at the sky and read a “temperature” that coincides loosely with the emissions altitude. As there is plenty of water vapor and other specie in the first 100 feet of the atmosphere their readings should be for the air right in front of them.

    My only conclusion is that they really are reading the GHG emissions right in front of them. GHG’s emit primarily based on the molecular vibratory mode I believe which changes very little due to the narrow range of temps in the atmosphere. The emissions from GHG’s molecular geometry swamp their own temp based emissions.

    If I am way off base would you please explain why they keep reading the low temp with their IR thermometers when the atmosphere in front of them should BLOCK the IR from above?? Also, if there is a substantial change in frequency for GHG’s based on their temperature, the GHG’s in the upper trop, and strat should NOT be absorbing the emissions from lower down!!! Or have they decided a GHG molecule can absorb frequencies substantially different from their emissions??

  45. Comment from: kuhnkat

    Mike Hammer,

    I went back and reread your post on the effective emissions altitude. I have to disagree with your statement of how thin a layer actually emits to space. The density of the GHG’s falls off rapidly above the lower troposphere which is why they have to talk about an average. There are substantial emissions from middle trop up due to this low density.

  46. Comment from: michael hammer

    Hi Kuhnkat;

    You make 2 main points. Firstly you talk about a change in density and the way the air expands. There is a much simpler way of looking at the situation. The pressure at any altitude is simply a measure of the amount of gas above that altitude. Now certainly if the ghg is not well mixed its partial pressure may fall faster than the total pressure which is I think what you are getting at with your comment “The density of the GHG’s falls off rapidly above the lower troposphere”. However the pressure at the tropopause from memory is about 1/3 that at sea level and the troposphere is certainly welll mixed wrt to CO2 because of the turbulence and convective processes. That means the CO2 emisison altitude MUST be higher than that point (the so called average emission altitude is claimed to be within the troposphere). Now when we go into the stratosphere things change. There is no convection (temperature inversion) and the stratosphere is relatively calm. Since CO2 is much heavier than air it could indeed pool in the lower stratosphere or if you like stratify. I have read several claims that the stratosphere is alos well mixed WRT CO2 but I dont believe them. If it were true the emission altitude for CO@would be high up in the stratosphere where the temperature is close to 270K but the Nimbus data shows that the CO2 emission altitude is about 220K corresponding to the tropopause or very low stratosphere. IN fact there is s slight upwards spike in apparent emission temperature in the middle of the CO2 band (about 240K) and thsi corresponds to the very top of the column at the band center. 240K corresponds to the low stratosphere so indeed that supports a pooling of CO2 in the stratosphere.

    With regard to pointing IR thermometers at the sky. You are completely correct to say the thermometers would be reading the ghg emissions from directly above the thermometer. However a IR thermometer reads the total IR energy and uses Planks law to convert that to an apparent emission temperature. The ghg do not emit at all thermal wavelengths, specifically they do not emit at all in the atmospheric window between 8 and 13 microns and there is normally a lot of energy in that wavelength range. Thus the thermometers see emissions from warm ghg at the ghg wavelenghts and an emission in the atmospheric window corresponding to the 4K of space. Not surprising that the average comes out well below the warm ghg temperature.

    ghg do not shift their absorption/emission wavelengths with temperature and pressure (at least not the sort of temperatures we are talking about). The line center remains unchanged but the line width can increase – ie: the ghg can absorb and emit over a slightly greater range of wavelengths centered about the same wavelength as before.

    I hope this answers some of your questions
    kindest regards
    Mike Hammer

  47. Comment from: michael hammer

    Robert JM; I think we are more or less in agreement. There is no doubt that CO2 is a ghg and ghg’s do impede radiation of long wave energy to space however the AGW hypothesis is that rising CO2 is having a dominant impact on our climate and is the primary driver. The point is that clearly something else is having a much larger effect swamping the impact of CO2 and you are more or less saying exactly the same.

    Your claim that there was a 5% step change in cloud cover in the 1990′s is extremely interesting. It would indeed explain the change in OLR as you state and it would also explain the step change in temperature registered by the satellite temperature measurements (UAH). I referred to just such a change as a likely possible cause in the post. Do you have a reference for that claim of 5% change in cloud cover? If so would be most interested to have a look at it.

    kind regards
    Mike Hammer

  48. Comment from: Lexington Libertarian | Global Warming A Ruse To Impose A Marxist-Socialist System

    […] AGW Falsified: NOAA Long Wave Radiation Data Incompatible with the Theory of Anthropogenic Global Wa… […]

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