Swiss Physicist Concludes IPCC Assumptions ‘Violate Reality’…CO2 A ‘Very Weak Greenhouse Gas’

 CO2 Contributed Only 0.12°C

 To Global Temps Since 1850

A Swiss scientist known to have published hundreds of scientific papers in physics journals has authored a new scholarly paper that casts serious doubts on the effectiveness of CO2 as a greenhouse gas influencing Earth’s temperatures.

This paper has been added to a growing volume of peer-reviewed scientific papers that seriously question estimates of a high climate sensitivity to significant increases in CO2 concentrations.

60 Low (<1°C) CO2 Climate Sensitivity Papers

The link above contains a compilation of over 60 scientific papers with “extremely low” (numerically ranging from 0.02°C to <1°C) estimates of the climate’s sensitivity to a 100% increase in CO2 concentrations (i.e., an increase from 285 ppm to 570 ppm).

Below are some of the key user-friendly (non-technical) points from Dr. Reinhart’s paper entitled Infrared absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide.  

A summarizing conclusion from the calculations may be that if we doubled today’s concentration (400 ppm) to 800 ppm, the consequent temperature response would be less than 1/4th of a degree Celsius.  Even with a ten-fold increase in today’s CO2 concentration (400 ppm) to 4,000 ppm, the resulting temperature change would amount to just 0.8°C.

Reinhart, 2017


Over 200,000 discrete absorption lines of CO2 are used for the numerical calculations. If the absorbed energy is converted entirely into heat, we deliberately overestimate the heat retention capability of CO2. The thermal occupation statistics of the CO2 energy states plays a key role in these calculations. The calculated heat retention is converted into a temperature increase, ∆T. Doubling the present CO2 concentration only results in ∆T [temperature increase of] < 0.24 K. At the present rate of CO2 concentration increase of 1.2% per year, it will take almost two hundred years to reach ten times the present concentration yielding ∆T < 0.80 K.

CO2 ‘Very Weak’, IPCC Assumptions ‘Violate Reality’

Based on all these facts, we conclude that CO2 is a very weak greenhouse gas. We emphasize that our simplifying assumptions are by no means trying to minimize the absorption potential of CO2. To the contrary, they lead to overestimating the limiting values. The assumption of a constant temperature and black body radiation definitely violates reality and even the principles of thermodynamics.

[W]e conclude that the temperature increases predicted by the IPCC AR5 lack robust scientific justification. The main problem is probably caused by the lack of considering the occupation probabilities of the energy levels.

Temperature Changes In Response To Large CO2 Concentrations (800 ppm – 4,000 ppm)

We have calculated ∆Fmax and ∆Tmax for four concentrations namely 400 ppm, 800 ppm, 2000 ppm and 4000 ppm. The results are listed in Table I. They can be quite accurately fitted with logarithmic concentration dependence.

A doubling [to 800 ppm] of the present level of CO2 [400 ppm] results in ∆T [temperature change] < 0.24 K.

The tenfold value of [the present CO2 concentration, or 4,000 ppm] yields ∆T [temperature change] < 0.80 K.

At pre-industrial times, we had cco2 = 285 ppm. The resulting temperature increase [since pre-industrial] according to Eq. (11) only amounts to ∆T < 0.12 K.

Solar Activity Correlates With Temperature, Non-Positive Feedbacks

Lu [and co-authors, 2013] establishes a correlation of ∆T with solar activity, cosmic rays and ozone reactions with fluorocarbons in the stratosphere. According to his result, CO2 only plays a minor role in the temperature evolution since pre-industrial times. Our calculation is compatible with his finding.

There remains the question of the existence of feedback. This effect is thought to amplify or attenuate a small temperature change. Such mechanisms are easy to imagine, but they are extremely difficult to quantify and to observe. Lindzen has tried to observe feedback by complicated correlation studies. He found a tendency to negative feedback that attenuates induced temperature changes because, in this perspective, the weak CO2 concentration effect is not magnified.


Our results permit to conclude that CO2 is a very weak greenhouse gas and cannot be accepted as the main driver of climate change. The observed temperature increase since pre-industrial times is close to an order of magnitude higher than that attributable to CO2. We find that the increase of CO2 only might become dangerous, if the concentrations are considerably greater than 4000 ppm. At present rates of increase this would take more than 200 years. Therefore, demands for sequestering CO2 are unjustified and trading of CO2 certificates is an economic absurdity. The climate change must have a very different origin and the scientific community must look for causes of climate change that can be solidly based on physics and chemistry.

55 responses to “Swiss Physicist Concludes IPCC Assumptions ‘Violate Reality’…CO2 A ‘Very Weak Greenhouse Gas’”

  1. AndyG55

    So weak that warming from CO2 has never been measured.

    Purely theoretical.

    Absolutely no CO2 warming signal in either satellite temperature record.

    No CO2 warming signal in ocean sea levels.

    No mechanism for warming a convective atmosphere or the oceans.

  2. MGJ

    So he’s worked out from first principles how much energy is absorbed from the earth, by the CO2 molecules, then translated that into a steady state temperature rise. His upper limit on this rise assumes that the earth is an ideal black body and that all of the absorbed energy is converted to heat.

    I’ve a couple of questions – can anybody help me out?

    What else would it be converted into if not – ultimately – heat?
    Presumably he is not accounting for convection within the atmosphere? Would this affect his results?

    1. Mike Johnson

      Andy G55: Once the Earth turns away from the Sun an enormous amount of heat is lost to Space. Secondarily the largest convection cells are from the Tropics as the Tropic of Cancer where heated air rises to the top of the atmosphere then travels North to the Arctic as this rising air pulls air from more northerly Latitudes ultimately the cold, dense air from the Arctic where the now ultra cold air from the top of the atmosphere crashes down onto the Arctic. The weakness of CO2 as a store of heat was noted long ago- forgive me as I am working from memory- such that, as described, there is NO linear response to rising CO2 levels. Heat exchange with dark Space (at night) is the ultimate heat sink due to the enormous difference in temperatures between a GMAT (global Mean Average Temperature) of 15 Celsius and Minus 276.5 Celsius.

    2. tom0mason

      “Presumably he is not accounting for convection within the atmosphere?”

      And also the other major air movement advection.
      There is rather a lot of it on rocky planets with atmospheres, including this one.

      <em"Define advection: the usually horizontal movement of a mass of fluid (such as air or an ocean current) also : transport (as of pollutants or plankton)…"

      1. AndyG55

        And this leads to rapid upward energy movement when it hits mountains or even hills or warmer surfaces.

  3. SebastianH

    Well, that “paper” is of similar style as the paper last week that claimed all warming comes from adjusting data (which is false). It’s not much more than a blog post by some climate denier (he mentions Lindzen, a well-known denier).

    Sorry for using the word “denier” in this comment.

    P.S: that paper was on EIKE almost a year ago … is this a new revision?

    1. AndyG55

      snopes is NOT a scientific reference…. it is a load of garbage… about your level, in other words.

      “claimed all warming comes from adjusting data”.. WHICH IS TRUE

      Lindzen is an actual scientist, not one of the fantasy AGW scammers you like to cite.

      Do you DENY that there is zero proof that CO2 causes warming of a convective atmosphere?

      Do you deny that CO2 does not warm oceans

      Seems the only DENIER here is you, seb-t.

    2. Colorado Wellington

      Sorry for using the word “denier” in this comment.

      No, you are not sorry, Sebastian, and you know it. People using dumb ad hominems always do it on purpose but your method is even dumber. You sound just like dimwits who interrupt someone in mid-sentence by saying:

      “I don’t want to interrupt but …”

      And if that was not dumb enough, in subsequent post you defend the use of the word “denier” again. Don’t you see that it doesn’t do your case any good? You should at least pretend that you are making an honest argument.

      Can you explain why so many global warming alarmists argue like you do?

  4. Curious George

    I was surprised that Dr. Reinhart published a paper at EIKE in 2016 (his Reference 14). The link results in Error 503, I hope EIKE will repair their server.

    I am stunned by scientific capabilities of our friend Sebastian H. Not only he worked through the math really fast, but he also noted that the paper is of similar style as a paper about data adjustments. What a genius.

  5. John F. Hultquist

    if we doubled today’s concentration (400 ppm) to 800 ppm,

    Earth apparently has ways of doing this. “We”, meaning humans may not be able to do so.

    The few calculations I’ve seen are based on assumptions that seemed quite aggressive.
    Does anyone know of a paper that does this?

  6. edmh

    It seems that increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere from 400ppmv onwards has precious little effect on world temperature


    Please contradict this view

  7. tom0mason

    The last 1000 years of temperature and CO2 levels show no correlation.
    The last 10,000 years of temperature and CO2 levels show no correlation.
    The last 1 million years of temperature and CO2 levels show no correlation.

    Why does anyone think that this time it must be different.

    Historical record alone say the CO2 levels and global temperature are NOT correlated.

    1. Graeme No.3

      Ah, but SebastianH doesn’t agree. He is firmly against those who deny his version. Like the king SebastianH is a Cnut – I think I spelt that right.

    2. John Westman


      You missed the last 100 years. Again there is no correlation.

      It is clear that Seb-h has a credibility problem, ie, there just isn’t any.

  8. scott

    The inflection points in the CO2 Temperature ice core reconstructions should be all anyone ever needs to see to know CO2 cannot be the main temperature driver.

    Temperature drops first – CO2 continues to rise for a period before following temperature down. Then temperature turns up again while CO2 continues down for a period before turning and following temperature up.

    If CO2 was a main driver then this could never happen particularly at the top of the temperature curve – simple end of discussion.

    climate sensitivity is a made up value to try and fit CO2 to temperature data in their models to come up with a catastrophic outcome. No wonder it keeps coming down in value as actual temps are not following the script.

    I am reminded of the big bang episode with Sheldon rock climbing and his comment that he is a tangent approaching an asymptote before he falls of the climbing wall.

    This ultimately will be the climate sensitivity’s constants fate in the face of much larger drivers on climate.

    1. tom0mason

      You beat me to my second point.
      Well said, you wrote it better than I probably could.

  9. richard verney

    Low Sensitivity to CO2 was of course, the initial view of NASA/GISS

    Back in the day when climate alarmists were banging on about global cooling and the threat of a new mini ice age, and at a period when the Northern Hemisphere had cooled by about 0.5degc from the highs of the 1940s, Climate Alarmists were proclaiming that Climate Sensitivity to CO2 was low.

    It is only after the cooling stopped and there was a short warming period (say early 1970s to late 1990s) that Climate Alarmists started arguing that Climate Sensitivity to CO2 was high, even thoush that short warming period was no different to the warming seen between 1920 to 1940, or 1860 to 1880 as Phil Jones 9the alarmist from CRU) admitted, and even though the proxy record 9for what it is worth) shows no correlation between temperature and CO2, with CO2 lagging, not driving temperatures.

    Perhaps Sebastian, and other of his ilk, should read the NASA/GISS paper written by the well known Climate Alarmist Schneider et al in 1971 published in Science volume 173.

    This paper reports on the results/conclusions of their study:

    It is found that even an increase by a factor of 8 in the amount of CO2, which is highly unlikely in the next several thousand years, will produce an increase in the surface temperature of less than 2degK. (my emphasis)

    The paper sets out their mathematical calculations all based upon the basic physiscs which is said to underpin AGW. So Schneider of GISS held very similar views to the Swiss physicist and to Lintzen.

    GISS, back in the 1970s, held the view that CO2 has a role, but a very modest one, such that an 8 fold increase leads to less than 2 degC of warming.

  10. richard verney

    It is only because of the endless adjustments made to the temperature data sets (by which I include station drop outs, and the shift from rural to urban and indeed to airport stations) that some consider that Climate Sensitivity to CO2 is more than modest.

    I suspect that if we were to remeasure the best sited stations in the Northern hemisphere (thise that have remained truly rural with no land changeand no encroachment of UHI and those with the best practice and data record) with the same LIG thermometers as used in the 1930s/early 1940s and using the same method and practice (including TOBS at the individual stations in question) so that no adjustment is necessary to RAW data, we would find that the majority of the best sited stations in the Northern Hemisphere would show no warming from the highs of the 1930s/1940s notwithstanding that during this period about 95% of all human emissions of CO2 has taken place.

    This suggests that Climate Sensitivity (if any at all) to CO2 is zero, or close thereto (whether because the effect is fully saturated by the time CO2 reaches 300 ppm, or otherwise).

    1. tom0mason

      Endless adjustments made to the temperature data sets, from a reducing number of climate stations over the years, with many of them now suffering UHI effects, mix in homogenization of temperatures across regions and add the dodgy infilling data over vast areas of the world.

      And they have the temerity to say there’s proof that temperatures are rising. BS!

      Even the much trumpeted UK CET is not immune, its major site is now very close to some horticultural hot-houses. See

  11. Tab Numlock

    This is bad news. The current inter-glacial is overdue to end. Even if it wasn’t, warming is generally good, especially since so much of the world’s landmass lies at high latitudes.

    1. sunsettommy


      actually the Inter-glacial period is already ending, since it has been cooling for a few thousand years now,this link below shows a number of charts and evidence that the transfer from inter-glacial period into Glaciation is well underway.

      The Holocene context for Anthropogenic Global warming


      Our current beneficial, warm Holocene interglacial has been the enabler of mankind’s civilisation for the last 10,000 years. The congenial climate of the Holocene epoch spans from mankind’s earliest farming to the scientific and technological advances of the last 100 years.

      However all the Northern Hemisphere Ice Core records from Greenland show:

      the last millennium 1000AD – 2000AD has been the coldest millennium of the entire Holocene interglacial.

      each of the notable high points in the Holocene temperature record, (Holocene Climate Optimum – Minoan – Roman – Medieval – Modern), have been progressively colder than the previous high point.

      for its first 7-8000 years the early Holocene, including its high point “climate optimum”, had virtually flat temperatures, an average drop of only ~0.007 °C per millennium.

      but the more recent Holocene, since a “tipping point” at ~1000BC, has seen a temperature diminution at more than 20 times that earlier rate at about 0.14 °C per millennium.”

      A lot more here:

      1. tom0mason

        @sunsettommy 18. July 2017 at 7:47 PM

        Well that might excite the old arguments as to what is the correct global temperature?
        My answer has always been that the correct global temperature is were its at right now.
        BTW Exactly the same answer applies for CO2 — whatever the current level is is where it should be, nature overall is choc-full of negative feedback processes to insure that it can not rise too much.

  12. Il fisico svizzero Reinhart’s conclude che le ipotesi dell'IPCC hanno 'violato la realtà' - la CO2 è un 'gas serra molto debole' : Attività Solare ( Solar Activity )

    […] Fonte: notrickszone […]

  13. DavidG

    Yes, a great post by Charles Higley, well said!:)

  14. Rosco

    “The assumption of a constant temperature and black body radiation definitely violates reality and even the principles of thermodynamics.”

    This should be obvious to everyone !

    The “back radiative greenhouse effect” is described using the Stefan-Boltzmann equation in all of the simple models describing it including Richard Lindzen’s description.

    I firmly believe that such application of a “law” empirically derived from experiments involving the emission of continuous spectra to substances which we all should know never emit continuous spectra is scientifically wrong !

    All of the models invoke a “layer” of the atmosphere emitting sigmaT(atmos)^4.

    To my mind this is absurd – gases emit line spectra and hence the SB equation does not hold – it is derived from continuous spectra as later theoretically described by Planck’s law.

    Even Planck himself warned that objects sustaining convection currents should not be treated as blackbodies – Planck M. The theory of heat radiation. P. Blakiston’s Son & Co., Philadelphia, PA, 1914.

    The only thing “settled” about climate science is that it is junk !

    This should be obvious from the claim that the “atmospheric back radiation” has EQUAL heating power to the solar radiation – a claim that should be met with derision !

    Climate science is nonsense – they do not understand even basic physics !

    1. tom0mason


      So true!

      “This should be obvious from the claim that the “atmospheric back radiation” has EQUAL heating power to the solar radiation – a claim that should be met with derision !”

      Just try a quick back of the envelope calculation —

      Take a body of warmish (+10°C) ‘dry’ air over an ocean, say it picks up a 10,000 tons of water. How much energy does that take?

      Now consider,(and here’s that never to be spoken about) advection, or horizontal winds, just moves that 10,000 tons of buoyant water as clouds at say 10 km/hr for 8 hrs. How much energy does that take?

      Guess what nature does party tricks like that every day, some days the wind may blow a few million tons of dust off the desert, or whip up a storm at sea with wave 50meters high. No energy is used in these processes, well none that the models, modelers, or climate theoreticians can see.

      Climate modelers are they just whistling in the …er, still air?

      1. tom0mason

        Ooops, over-blown storm!

        It should be ‘with waves 15 meters high…’

  15. HL Mencken

    I have made this same point before. Resorting to the device of ad hominem attack by the climate alarmists tells us all we need to know about their mental state.
    They realize that their arguments, when closely examined, are so flimsy that they must resort to name calling to distract public attention away from the fact. Ad hominem is one among many of the logical fallacies earlier defined by Greek writers during the First Millennium BC.

  16. david russell

    I am excited about the conclusion but wonder how it was reached especially in light of Gunnar Myhre’s work which implies 2X CO2 = 1.1C of warming. That’s about 5x the warming that Reinhart suggests, but I can’t believe that Myhre is wrong. So what’s the explanation for this discrepancy?

    The following seems to be the key reason why Reinhart is about 1/5 the forcing of Myhre (.24 vs 1.1C). I don’t know what he means by “calculated heat retention.” Presumably he means that while the radiative forcing may be what Myhre suggests, that only 1/5th of it “is retained.” There’s something in his paper that says most of the radiative forcing energy goes to heat the atmosphere (as opposed to heating up the surface). Maybe that’s a clue, Maybe it’s a clue because air doesn’t retain heat very well , I dunno, Here’s the key passage (from the abstract):
    Over 200’000 discrete absorption lines of CO2 are used for the numerical calculations. If the absorbed energy is converted entirely into heat, we deliberately overestimate the heat retention capability of CO2. The thermal occupation statistics of the CO2 energy states plays a key role in
    these calculations. The calculated heat retention is converted into a temperature increase, ∆T. Doubling the present CO2 concentration only results in ∆T < 0.24 K.
    [end quote]

    Can anyone explain how both Myhre and Reinhart can be right or are we stuck with having to choose one over the other. And if we have to choose, I'd say it's too early to choose Reinhart until we hear/see the response by the scientific community.

    I suppose another troubling issue is that the various radiative forcing formulae seem to closely explain the warming since 1880 or so, despite a lot of interim variation. For example, the 1.83 W/M2 of CO2 forcing would explain about .55C of the .85-1C of warming, which seems plausible given there are other GHGs and some negative feedbacks.

  17. Fred

    AGW sceptics come in two main camps – those like Lindzen, Spencer, etc. who appear to accept the main tenets of global warming, but argue over the degree of climate sensitivity to CO2 changes, and the more radical type – who can often be found in the comments’ sections of popular sites – who dispute the physics itself.

    It’s noticeable that these two groupings rarely engage with each other. A pity because I think these exchanges would be more enlightening than the usual back and forth brtween ‘believers’ and ‘deniers’.

    1. AndyG55

      The physics? The science.?

      Please show us one single paper that empirically proves that CO2 causes warming in a convective atmosphere.

      The physics says that any energy absorbed by CO2 in the atmosphere is immediately thermalised to the remaining 99.96% of the atmosphere and dealt with by the gravity/pressure/thermal effect.

      The physics does not allow for any warming from CO2 of a convective atmosphere or of oceans.

  18. Grönlandeis wächst mitten im Sommer – Arktis im Juli 2017 weiter unterkühlt! – wobleibtdieglobaleerwaermung

    […] Swiss Physicist Concludes IPCC Assumptions ‚Violate Reality’…CO2 A ‘Very Weak Greenhouse Gas’ […]

  19. Schweizer Physiker: IPCC-Hypo­thesen ,verge­waltigen die Realität‘ … CO2 nur ein ,sehr schwaches Treib­hausgas‘ – EIKE – Europäisches Institut für Klima & Energie
  20. Owen

    I have read the paper and the author talks of line spectra. He goes into detail as to the isotopic effects. I understand the origin of all of these lines, These are from changes in vibrational levels in the molecules. They are complicated by simultaneous transitions in the rotational energy levels thus giving a forrest of individual peaks. These vib-rotational lines are relatively high in energy and do not have much coincidence with black body radiation at 288K. What does have coincidence with black body radiation is the so-called continuous radiation absorption by CO2 at low infra red energy. These do not seem to correspond with vibrational bands. Did Reinhart account for this radiation? He does not seem to have said so in his paper.

    Could someone enlighten me of the origin of this continuous spectrum, is it vibrational -colissional? And so in effect it really is a continuous spectrum and not a discrete line spectrum.

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