Flawed Models…”Flat Earth” Climate Simulations Overstate CO2, Falsify Sun And Aerosols

Climate modelers continue to make fatal modeling flaws, scientists find. The earth is not flat.

Example Earth energy balance chart. Source: US National Weather Service – public domain.

German climate scientist Dr. Sebastian Lüning comments on climate models at the Die kalte Sonne website. Dr Lüning cites a recently published paper by Prather and Hsu, who claim that the models assume the earth to be flat, and thus result in major inaccuracies in their results.

“The real flat-earthers are the climate modelers,” Lüning says.

(German text translated by P Gosselin)

Did you know that all climate models assume a flat earth? Hard to believe, but unfortunately true. A study by Michael Prather and Juno Hsu in PNAS explains that this simplification causes powerful distortions in computer simulations.:

A round Earth for climate models

Sunlight drives the Earth’s weather, climate, chemistry, and biosphere. Recent efforts to improve solar heating codes in climate models focused on more accurate treatment of the absorption spectrum or fractional clouds. A mostly forgotten assumption in climate models is that of a flat Earth atmosphere. Spherical atmospheres intercept 2.5 W⋅m−2 more sunlight and heat the climate by an additional 1.5 W⋅m−2 globally. Such a systematic shift, being comparable to the radiative forcing change from preindustrial to present, is likely to produce a discernible climate shift that would alter a model’s skill in simulating current climate. Regional heating errors, particularly at high latitudes, are several times larger. Unlike flat atmospheres, constituents in a spherical atmosphere, such as clouds and aerosols, alter the total amount of energy received by the Earth. To calculate the net cooling of aerosols in a spherical framework, one must count the increases in both incident and reflected sunlight, thus reducing the aerosol effect by 10 to 14% relative to using just the increase in reflected. Simple fixes to the current flat Earth climate models can correct much of this oversight, although some inconsistencies will remain.


Early climate and weather models, constrained by computing resources, made numerical approximations on modeling the real world. One process, the radiative transfer of sunlight through the atmosphere, has always been a costly component. As computational ability expanded, these models added resolution, processes, and numerical methods to reduce errors and become the Earth system models that we use today. While many of the original approximations have since been improved, one—that the Earth’s surface and atmosphere are locally flat—remains in current models. Correcting from flat to spherical atmospheres leads to regionally differential solar heating at rates comparable to the climate forcing by greenhouse gases and aerosols. In addition, spherical atmospheres change how we evaluate the aerosol direct radiative forcing.

The authors stress that the resulting errors are in the order of magnitude of the greenhouse gas forcing. Thus the solar irradiation and the aerosol forcing are falsified.

So in the future, when someone insults annoying climate critics again as “flat-world supporters”, the answer is basically clear: The real “flat earthers” are climate modelers who still simulate flat worlds due to their limited computer computing power, and who have not yet been able to simulate the real world…

18 responses to “Flawed Models…”Flat Earth” Climate Simulations Overstate CO2, Falsify Sun And Aerosols”

  1. Tom Anderson

    Let me recommend a careful, clear analysis of the angular dependence of radiative energy upon a sphere by Dr. Charles R. Anderson, formerly a physicist for the Naval Surface Warfare Center, and now owner and director of Anderson Materials Evaluation, Inc., a firm specializing in physical and chemical analysis of industrial materials. This should satisfy any reasonable questions about the effect of radiation on a spherical surface.


  2. Martin

    Is this a “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct” type of paper?
    Made me laugh a little.

    On a other note (off topic), its becoming much more difficult to search for stuff on the internet. Like finding the tile of this hoax studies.
    I’ve moved from start page to duckduckgo, and a abnormal number of mainstream sites are listed on the top.
    On google/youtube some direct search don’t yield any meaningful results.
    But 10 years ago google was excellent at search and now its become crappier. In fact i think this crapification of was the goal when they bought youtube.

  3. Tom Anderson

    This paper seems to argue that lessened absorption of indirect radiant sunlight and heat by cloud and aerosols at the globe’s higher latitudes increases incoming solar energy by up to 2.5 W/m2 greater than on a plane, raising average daylight global incoming radiant energy by 1.5 W/m2.
    “Unlike flat atmospheres, constituents in a spherical atmosphere, such as clouds and aerosols, alter the total amount of energy received by the Earth. To calculate the net cooling of aerosols in a spherical framework, one must count the increases in both incident and reflected sunlight, thus reducing the aerosol effect by 10 to 14% relative to using just the increase in reflected. Simple fixes to the current flat Earth climate models can correct much of this oversight, although some inconsistencies will remain.”
    The authors seem to have omitted that this increase must offset the decline of radiant energy at higher latitudes that do not receive the more powerful directly incident radiant energy at the geometric equator. I could not begin to analyze the direct or inverse covariance of these two effects, but I believe one should not be considered without the other.
    See Dr. Anderson’s paper at: https://objectivistindividualist.blogspot.com/2019/09/the-incidence-of-planar-radiation-upon.html
    (We are not related, it’s a common name.)

  4. Jon-Anders Grannes

    «But the trouble with the official figure of about 255 K is that the experts calculate it by imagining that the Earth is flat. Then they divide the sunshine by a kludge-factor of 4 in a clumsy attempt to adjust their sums for the fact that the Earth is round. Not very clever, are they, acting as though the Earth was flat?

    But that’s not the only mistake they make when they try to calculate emission temperature. They calculate it by imagining there would be clouds in the air, just as there are today, reflecting almost a third of that lovely sunshine harmlessly straight back into space.

    But clouds are made of water vapour, and water vapour is a greenhouse gas, and it is only in the air because of feedbacks. But at emission temperature there would be no water vapour in the air and no feedbacks. Oops! Aren’t the experts silly, children?

    No, Greta, I’m not an expert. But Professor Richard Lindzen is. He’s the very expertest of all the experts. And here’s what he says about it:

    “In considering an atmosphere without greenhouse substances (in order to get 255 K), clouds are retained for their visible reflectivity while ignored for their infrared properties. More logically, one might assume that the elimination of water would also lead to the absence of clouds, leading to a temperature of about 274 K rather than 255 K.” https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/09/25/and-now-its-time-for-childrens-hour/

  5. Petit_Barde

    Some basics of radiative heat transfer :

    – the actual heat transfer between the earth’s surface and the atmosphere is the net balance of the up going flux (104%, which is, I presume, a percentage of the incoming 350W/m² radiated from the Sun) and the downward flux from the atmopshere (98%).

    There is no such thing as 104% absorbed by the atmosphere (more than the total heat received from the Sun ? What a joke !), but an actual upward radiative heat transfer from the earth’s surface to the atmosphere of 104-98 = 6%.

    Compare this to the 49% radiated into space from the active gases in the infrared spectrum (alias so called “greenhouse” gases) :
    – we actually live in a AC, thanks to the active gases in the infrared spectrum. The efficiency of this AC is 100x(1 – 6/49) = 87%, not bad !

    By the way, CO2 radiates into space most of the heat generated by the reactions [UV + 3xO2 -> 2xO3 and UV + 2xO3 -> 3xO2]. The more the Sun is active, the more the UV flux is high and the more the CO2 has a cooling action by radiative transfer into space.

    The global effect of the CO2 is to cool the atmosphere, not to warm it.
    Another thing CO2 does : it acts (weakly) against any temperature gradient by radiating from the warmer to the colder areas, thus CO2 fights against any temperature extremum : there no such thing as extrem events due to CO2, actually, it is rather the opposite !

    But clearly, the elephant in the room is the water vapor (95% of the radiation in the atmosphere in the infrared spectrum).

    Ref. :
    Modest 2003 – Heat radiative transfer,
    Kondratyev 1969 – Radiation in the atmosphere.

    1. Zoe Phin

      There is no “Downwelling” IR,
      there is Upwelling-from-Pyrgeometer IR.

      The surface can emit more 100% of the sun, because of geothermal.

  6. Gus

    It’s not enough to make the modelled planet round. It has to rotate too.

  7. Josh

    Good call. I’ve gotten sick of the flat earth analogies.

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  9. tom0mason

    Remember that in physics, when you have a vector, you have to keep in mind two quantities: its direction and its magnitude. Quantities that have only a magnitude are called scalars. If you give a scalar magnitude a direction, you create a vector.

    The energy traveling within the atmosphere is acting in a vectorial manner, not in a scalar manner, it has magnitude and direction, and so can not just be add and subtracted as ordinary numbers.

    Also note that the quantities used are given the units of W⋅m−2, this immediately implies that there is an area (or surface) to the where these quantities happen. Exactly where is this area (surface) in the sky where all these actions happen — are they all at the same height? And this surface, if found, must also be curved and not flat.

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  11. Yonason

    A little background on Flat Earth, and why many (though not all) academics are wrong to cast aspersions in their ignorance.


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  16. lifeisthermal

    Quote from Planck makes greenhouse effect impossible:

    “But the empirical law that the emission of any volume-element depends entirely on what takes place inside of this element holds true in all cases (Prevost’s principle).”

    Prevosts principle is:

    “Prevost also showed that the emission from a body is logically determined solely by its own internal state.”

    So Planck says that emission depends entirely on what happens inside the emitter and it holds for ALL cases, while the greenhouse effect says it depends on the atmosphere. It´s impossible to say that the atmosphere is part of the surface internal state, therefore the greenhouse effect opposes Planck and Prevost, and must be wrong.

    Planck goes on:

    “A body A at 100◦C emits toward a body B at 0◦C exactly the same amount of radiation as toward an equally large and similarly situated body B0 at 1000◦ C. The fact that the body A is cooled by B and heated by B0 is due entirely to the fact that B is a weaker, B0 a stronger emitter than A.”

    Here Planck says that a body B at 0◦C cools body A at 100◦C, again in opposition to the greenhouse effect that says a cold atmosphere warms the surface. He also says that emission is equal towards bodies at different temperatures while the greenhouse hypothesis sometimes says that the different temperatures of the atmosphere and space at 3K is what makes the surface emission higher.

    The greenhouse hypothesis stands in opposition to Planck and Prevost, I find it remarkable that nobody has payed attention to this. Page 6 & 7:


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