Why The Earth Is Cooling – CO2 Warming Is Only A Tenth Of What The Models Show!

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By Ed Caryl

The Climate Team has always claimed that a doubling of CO2 would add 3.7 Watts/m2 to the global climate budget and thus this would fry us all. This fate is their religion’s version of Hell, except we will all suffer this rather than just the “sinners,” thus giving them leverage to force us to do their will. Many bloggers, and some others, notably even BEST, have pointed out that there are many locations that are cooling rather than warming. The warmists would have us believe that these cooling stations are just due to local phenomenon, such as albedo change, land use, site moves, or other changes, and that the warming stations are not due to UHI.

Last year, Willis Eschenbach took a look at Modtran. Modtran is a program that was initially developed by the US Air Force in the late 1980’s that does a line-by-line analysis of the IR spectrum transmitted by the atmosphere. An on-line version is available at the University of Chicago, here. Willis noted that none of the latitude selections would give a CO2 doubling figure higher than 3.2 Watts/m2. He didn’t notice that the default settings in the program include a setting for water vapor at a pressure setting of 1. Any water vapor in the spectrum will lower the CO2 doubling figure.

Here is the result of calculating the outbound long-wave radiation (OLR) or as it is labeled in Modtran, I out. The settings used were: CH4 – 1.8 pmm, Tropical Ozone 800 ppb, Strat. Ozone 1, Ground T offset – 15°C, hold water vapor – Relative Humidity, Water Vapor Scale – at 0, 10, 50, and 90 percent, Locality – 1976 U. S. Standard Atmosphere, No Clouds or Rain, Sensor altitude 100 km, Looking Down. These values were the best available to represent a global average. This produced the following table and chart for various CO2 and water vapor values.

 

 Table 1 is TOA OLR for CO2 values from 0 to 1000 ppm and RH at 0, 10, 50, and 90%.

 

Figure 1 is a chart of Modtran output for 0, 10, 50, and 90% humidity, and CO2 from 0 to 1000 ppm. The radiation (vertical) scale has been inverted so that increasing greenhouse warming is upward. Note that both CO2 and water vapor forcing are logarithmic; increasing amounts have decreasing effect.

With humidity set to zero, the doubling of CO2 figure actually goes to 4.7 W/m2. Any reasonable humidity value drops that number drastically. At 50% humidity, and our current CO2 value, we get a tiny 0.188 W/m2, far, far below the IPCC favored value. Of course humidity doesn’t stay constant. In the tropics, 90% is more typical. In that case, doubling CO2 gets us 0.125 W/m2. This is all before the additional factors of clouds and rain, which will drop the value even further, into the negative territory that Willis noticed here. The blue triangle in the chart and the blue value in the table are the current values with today’s CO2 and global average humidity.

Given the data, Modtran can compute the real outbound radiation over time. The humidity at 600 mbars and the Mauna Loa CO2 values were applied through Modtran to result in Figure 2. This is a “zoom in” on the blue triangle in figure 1, adding the time dimension. The 600 mbar level for humidity seemed a good compromise, as only one humidity figure could be entered.

Figure 2 is a chart of the outbound radiation increase since 1948. There has been a more than 1 Watt/m2 increase in outbound radiation in that interval, despite rising CO2.

Humidity has been decreasing in the upper atmosphere over the last 60 years. That offsets the rising CO2. We saw the cooling in the 70’s but increased solar radiation along with ocean cycles held off the cooling over the last 20 years. That period has now come to an end.

Mother Earth has an excellent thermostat system. Even if somehow average humidity should increase to 50% and CO2 goes to 1000 ppm, only about 2 Watts/m2 will be added. This is unlikely in the extreme, and would add a small fraction of a degree to warming. No one would notice.

My question is: Why have the professional “climatologists” not done the simple work that I did on a lazy Saturday afternoon with my laptop? They must know that water vapor nearly wipes out CO2 in warming the Earth, and that clouds and albedo do the rest. What’s their excuse for this massive “oversight”?

 

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19 responses to “Why The Earth Is Cooling – CO2 Warming Is Only A Tenth Of What The Models Show!”

  1. Joe

    Or as we often say in the summer: “It’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity”

  2. DirkH

    “At 50% humidity, and our current CO2 value, we get a tiny 0.188 W/m2, far, far below the IPCC favored value.”

    Fantastic work, Ed! Hoisted by their own petard!

  3. Nonoy Oplas

    Pierre, here in Metro Manila and other provinces in the Philippines, there are lots of forced evacuations — too much flooding, the rains are non-stop. Cooling in our part of the planet seems to be getting more severe. The warmists here idiotically keep arguing that more rains is proof of “man-made CC”.

  4. Colin Davidson

    This is a most interesting topic.

    I have been looking at atmospheric temperature profiles (you can get 12 hourly weather balloon readings for many locations at http://weather.uwyo.edu/upperair/sounding.html) .
    What is very striking is that the 1976 US Standard Atmosphere is not a good representation of the atmospheric temperature profile at many locations. Also, the upper atmosphere (Tropopause and above) temperatures are not stable – they bounce around. So does the Tropopause – even in the relatively stable Tropics, the Tropopause can change its height by 1km in 12 hours, in Polar regions this can be a 5km change in 12 hours.

    To take an example:
    At 15km, the US Standard Atmosphere is -56.5DegC, but over Guam (13N) it is -75, while at Inuvik (Canada, 64N) it ranges between -50 and -40 depending on season. These temperature differences have an effect on emission strength, particularly in the strong CO2 band from WN 630-710.

    Futhermore the measured outgoing spectra show that the majority of spacewards emissions in this band are coming from ABOVE 15km . This is clearly shown when the location of the emission is taken into account – the intensity in this band is LESS in the tropics than in temperate locations, due to the much colder high altitude air.
    I consider that in this band, there will be no Tropospheric heating due to an increase in CO2, just Stratospheric cooling, as emissions are almost wholly from the Stratosphere.

  5. PeterF

    I am puzzled: you have applied a humidity of 10, 50, 90% up to a height of 100 km in the atmosphere?

    Don’t we have basically no water vapor beyond a height of some 10km, because temeprature drops and all water vapor does condense out?

  6. Stephen Richards

    MONEY !!!!

  7. Pascvaks

    Religion is about ‘faith’, some still believe that the Earth is the Center of the Universe. Oh ye of little faith, have faith, ye can then move mountains… and the beat goes on, and on, and on. Remember, all things are relative, even our relatives are a little ‘relative’.

  8. Ed Caryl

    PeterF,
    It’s Relative Humidity, which takes into account temperature and pressure.
    And the simple interface on this MODTRAN on-line program doesn’t allow any sophisticated settings.

  9. Mindert Eiting

    A wrong hypothesis makes people blind, Ed, sometimes for the rest of their life. Perhaps that is the reason that the Norwich police and all those experts have found nothing, convinced as they are that climategate-FOIA is a hacker.

  10. Ed Caryl

    Speaking of cooling- (I know. It’s just weather.)
    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/SA-gripped-by-icy-conditions-20120807

  11. PeterF

    “PeterF,
    It’s Relative Humidity, which takes into account temperature and pressure.
    And the simple interface on this MODTRAN on-line program doesn’t allow any sophisticated settings.”

    Relative Humidity is actual, absolute humidity divided by maximum possible absolute humidity. Sure. But 50% of zero humidity ist still zero relative humidity.

    I don’t know the options of MODTRAN, but when you say it is so simple in its options, that you can’t clearly define what you are doing, you are still confident to be doing anything of relevance? That is far, far less than convincing!

    1. DirkH

      “Relative Humidity is actual, absolute humidity divided by maximum possible absolute humidity. ”

      No. Absolute humidity is the water vapor content of a gas mixture; the “maximum possible absolute humidity” would therefore always be 100%. Your definition does not take water vapor pressure or temperature into account.
      You are defining humidity, not relative humidity.

      Relative Humidity “is defined as the ratio of the partial pressure of water vapor in the air-water mixture to the saturated vapor pressure of water at the prescribed temperature”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_humidity

    2. Ed Caryl

      Each operation is clearly defined, there just aren’t many of them. Go look. The link is:
      http://forecast.uchicago.edu/Projects/modtran.html

      1. ed hoskins

        Hi Ed forgive the familiarity I too think that this question is a very large iceberg for the CAGW Titanic. One the IPCC has definitely swept under the carpet.

        I would much appreciate if you could comment on the notes below as being a fair representation of the diminution effect of increasing concentrations of CO2: as presented by a numerate layman. I have prepared some diagrams which I would appreciate you input on as well. They may even be useful to you. How can I get them to you ??

        ————————————————————————-

        The effect of CO2 as a Greenhouse gas becomes ever more marginal with greater concentration

        Remarkably, IPCC Published reports , (TAR3), actually acknowledge that the effective temperature increase caused by growing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere radically diminishes with increasing concentrations. This information is in their report, but is well disguised for any lay reader, (Chapter 6. Radiative Forcing of Climate Change: section 6.3.4 Total Well-Mixed Greenhouse Gas Forcing Estimate).

        And the effectiveness of CO2 as a greenhouse gas is well understood in the climate science community to reduce logarithmically as concentrations increase,

        The calculated achievable values are in the range of few hundredths to a few thousandths of a degree Centigrade. As the margin of error for temperature measurements is about 1.0°C, these miniscule levels the temperature effects for the efforts of the few nations attempting to control CO2 are marginal, immeasurable and irrelevant.

        This is especially so as these minute changes have to be seen in the context of normal daily temperature variations at any a single location of 10⁰C to 20⁰C and which can usually be as much as 40⁰C to 50⁰C over the course of a whole year.

        Although the IPCC tacitly acknowledges that this crucial effect exists, it certainly does not emphasise it. Like the Medieval Warm Period, that they attempted to eliminate with the Hockey Stick graph in 2001, the panel knows that wide public knowledge of the diminution effect with increasing CO2 concentration would be utterly detrimental to their primary message.

        The logarithmic diminution of the effect of CO2 is probably the reason why there was no runaway greenhouse warming in earlier eons when CO2 levels were known to be at levels of several thousands pmmv.

        So the IPCC does not explain these devastating consequences for the CAGW theory in their Summary for Policy Makers. And thus the IPCC is entirely misleading in its central claim for Policy Makers, as they say:

        “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal. Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

        Any unquestioning, policy making reader is unequivocally lead to assume that all increasing CO2 concentrations are progressively more harmful because of their escalating Greenhouse impact.

        But apparently from the present concentration of atmospheric CO2 at ~390 ppmv, only ~12% of the effectiveness of CO2 as a Greenhouse Gas remains. This can only give rise to a maximum further rise in temperatiure of ~0.18°C.

        Thereafter beyond 900+ pmmv the effect of increasing levels of CO2 can only ever be absolutely minimal even if CO2 concentrations were to increase indefinitely.

        Therefore the widely held alarmist policy ambition to constrain Man-made temperature increase to +2°C could never be attained, however much more Man-made or natural CO2 was emitted.

        Thus it is completely impossible to ever reach the much vaunted limit of 2.0 °C that has been promoted by politicians as a target final limit for man-made CO2 emissions.

        1. Ed Caryl

          Ed Hoskins,
          Send them to Pierre and he can forward them to me.

  12. edmh

    Please comment on this as being a fair representation of the diminution effect of increasing concentrations of CO2: as presented by a numerate layman

    The effect of CO2 as a Greenhouse gas becomes ever more marginal with greater concentration

    Remarkably, IPCC Published reports , (TAR3), actually acknowledge that the effective temperature increase caused by growing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere radically diminishes with increasing concentrations. This information is in their report, but is well disguised for any lay reader, (Chapter 6. Radiative Forcing of Climate Change: section 6.3.4 Total Well-Mixed Greenhouse Gas Forcing Estimate).

    And the effectiveness of CO2 as a greenhouse gas is well understood in the climate science community to reduce logarithmically as concentrations increase,

    The calculated achievable values are in the range of few hundredths to a few thousandths of a degree Centigrade. As the margin of error for temperature measurements is about 1.0°C, these miniscule levels the temperature effects for the efforts of the few nations attempting to control CO2 are marginal, immeasurable and irrelevant.

    This is especially so as these minute changes have to be seen in the context of normal daily temperature variations at any a single location of 10⁰C to 20⁰C and which can usually be as much as 40⁰C to 50⁰C over the course of a whole year.

    Although the IPCC tacitly acknowledges that this crucial effect exists, it certainly does not emphasise it. Like the Medieval Warm Period, that they attempted to eliminate with the Hockey Stick graph in 2001, the panel knows that wide public knowledge of the diminution effect with increasing CO2 concentration would be utterly detrimental to their primary message.

    The logarithmic diminution of the effect of CO2 is probably the reason why there was no runaway greenhouse warming in earlier eons when CO2 levels were known to be at levels of several thousands pmmv.

    So the IPCC does not explain these devastating consequences for the CAGW theory in their Summary for Policy Makers. And thus the IPCC is entirely misleading in its central claim for Policy Makers, as they say:

    “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal. Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

    Any unquestioning, policy making reader is unequivocally lead to assume that all increasing CO2 concentrations are progressively more harmful because of their escalating Greenhouse impact.

    But apparently from the present concentration of atmospheric CO2 at ~390 ppmv, only ~12% of the effectiveness of CO2 as a Greenhouse Gas remains. This can only give rise to a maximum further rise in temperatiure of ~0.18°C.

    Thereafter beyond 900+ pmmv the effect of increasing levels of CO2 can only ever be absolutely minimal even if CO2 concentrations were to increase indefinitely.

    Therefore the widely held alarmist policy ambition to constrain Man-made temperature increase to +2°C could never be attained, however much more Man-made or natural CO2 was emitted.

    Thus it is completely impossible to ever reach the much vaunted limit of 2.0 °C that has been promoted by politicians as a target final limit for man-made CO2 emissions.

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