Physicists: Climate Model Error Overestimates CO2 Impact On Global Temps By Factor Of 5

A new study suggests CO2 molecules have little consequential impact affecting outgoing radiation, and that climate models attribute global temperature effects to CO2 that are fundamentally erroneous.

Russian physicists (Smirnov and Zhilyaev, 2021) have published a peer-reviewed paper in the Advances in Fundamental Physics Special Issue for the journal Foundations.

They assesses the role of CO2 molecules in the standard atmosphere and assert “we have a contradiction with the results of climatological models in the analysis of the Earth’s greenhouse effect.”

Key points from the paper include the following:

1. Climate model calculations of CO2’s impact on global temperatures are in error by a factor of 5 as a result of “ignoring, in climatological models, the Kirchhoff law” which says radiators are “simultaneously the absorbers.”

2. Change in the concentration of an optically active atmospheric component (like CO2) “would not lead to change in the outgoing radiative flux.”

3. CO2 molecules “are not the main radiator of the atmosphere.” Water vapor molecules are, and thus they “may be responsible for the observed heating of the Earth.”

Image Source: Smirnov and Zhilyaev, 2021

The discrepancy between the greenhouse gas effect of water vapor molecules relative to CO2 has been addressed elsewhere.

Lightfoot and Mamer (2014) and (2017) suggest water molecules are a) 29 times more abundant in the atmosphere and 1.6 times more effective at warming than CO2 molecules are; b) water vapor accounts for 96 percent of the total radiative forcing for all greenhouse gases; and c) doubling CO2 concentrations to 550 ppm would only result in a global temperature increase of 0.33°C.

Image Source: Lightfoot and Mamer, 2014 and Lightfoot and Mamer, 2017

17 responses to “Physicists: Climate Model Error Overestimates CO2 Impact On Global Temps By Factor Of 5”

  1. Physicists: Climate Model Error Overestimates CO2 Impact On Global Temps By Factor Of 5 – Climate-

    […] Physicists: Climate Model Error Overestimates CO2 Impact On Global Temps By Factor Of 5 […]

  2. Richard Greene

    We now have 1,267 different views on the exact effects of CO2.
    I prefer my own view: Climate science is not settled.

  3. Lamarque VII

    Knowing the exact “greenhouse” impact of atmospheric CO2, if any, is not the point. It may even be impossible to know it exactly, due to difficulties in conducting accurate empirical measurements in the atmosphere.
    What we already know for a fact is that its effect is negligible, and thanks to Svensmark, Shaviv et al, we now have a proven alternative explanation to the climatic changes that AGW theory failed to explain.

  4. CO2isLife

    I’m not sure those numbers are correct. H2O absorbs across the entire LWIR Spectrum, whereas CO2 is focused on 13 to 18 microns. That is very low energy LWIR, consistent with a black body of temp -80C. Not all LWIR wavelengths are created equal. There is a huge difference between 7 microns and 15 microns as far as energy content per meter.

    1. Cyan

      This graph may be helpful in visualising the intersection of surface radiation and CO2 absorption:

      CO2 data is courtesy of NASA.

  5. Geoffrey Williams

    No doubt the IPCC will ignore this study yet again as it does not suit their mantra.


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  8. E. Schaffer

    OMG, it is amazing how something so simple can get messed up so badly. There is one thing the papers gets right and that would be the key to overthrowing the global warming narrative: CO2 forcing (as well as WV feedback) is much smaller once overlaps are considered. Apart from this little moment of hope, everything else is wrong.

    The paper claims doubling CO2 would increase CO2 “back radiation” by 7.19W/m2. In modtran that figure is 6.97W/m2, not too different. Introducing other GHGs this figure arguably drops to about 3W/m2 (depending WV concentration). Finally adding clouds, one might well arrive at the 1.42W/m2 the paper claims. Perfectly reasonable and I do understand what they mean.

    The problem: the GHE is not related to “back radiation”, neither is ECS. They should have looked at emissions TOA instead. Then they would have found a doubling of CO2 excluding overlaps would indeed diminish emissions by 3.7W/m2, as the IPCC and the orthodoxy claims. However including overlaps, allowing for clouds and realistic surface emissivity, this figure will drop to 2W/m2. And that’s the solution..

  9. Tom0mason

    Climate Models — can’t do precipitation, can’t do clouds, don’t do ocean current effects, don’t do solar effects correctly, and now we learn that these models overestimates CO2 impact on global temperatures by a factor Of 5. Also I note that these climate models predictive value to date amounts to zero!

    Makes me wonder what are these models good for?
    Just to expensively employ many unscientific people . People who would otherwise have difficultly maintaining any form of productive life.

    1. Tom0mason

      I also note that NO climate models is initialized with parameters that are even close the global conditions at the start of there run.

      1. The Indomitable Snowman, Ph.D.

        Back in my student days, someone told me that there was a major problem with a lot of so-called “research” (sic): “You have no idea what you’re doing, but you have a big computer at your disposal; this is getting to be a real disease.” The computers have gotten even bigger (in terms of computation heft), but “researchers” (sic) too often still have no idea what they’re doing – and the “climate science” (sic) chowderheads are some of the worst offenders.

        Along the same lines,

        “The proposed strategy relies on manipulating with high precision an unimaginably huge number of variables.”

        Different area, but same problem as that which infects the so-called “climate models” (sic). Anyone who has even minimal understanding of computational mathematics understands this problem; the “climate science” (sic) chowderheads clearly do not.

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  12. Jon

    The radiative flux model, while not dead, is on life support, kept alive by climate charlatans and all those from profit from re-engineering the world’s energy systems (with apologies to Sowell).

    Back radiation isn’t the cause of the “greenhouse effect”, it’s the result of it. Cause and effect are around the wrong way.

    Kinetic theory + Thermodynamics rule.

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