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Energy and Atmosphere Revisited

Energy and Atmosphere Revisited
An Audio-Visual Journey
Dai Davies, 181212


This article is a major revision of the Energy and Atmosphere article I wrote in 2017 (1). It incorporates the key aspects of my more recent, and more technical, article Radiative Delay in Context (2), which challenges the role of the Greenhouse Effect (GHE) and describes an alternative, the Diurnal Smoothing Effect (DSE), which is not only supported by empirical data, but also readily quantifiable – neither of which can be said about the GHE. It can be explained with simple undergraduate physics and quantified in simple spreadsheet calculations.

I break the problem into two components. The first is how does our atmosphere raise the Earth's mean surface temperature from the far lower one it would have if it was a bare rocky body such as our moon? And secondly, what are the mechanisms that cause temperature fluctuations on century to millennial scales? The answers to these questions absolve carbon dioxide, and hence our use of fossil fuels, from any significant role.
What I'm presenting is not new. The DSE has been know for most of this decade and ignored by the consensus science of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). I also discuss my evaluation of the GHE (2), which has been public for over a year and has not been refuted.

I move on from the scientific basis of the problem to discuss the geopolitical and institutional reasons for resistance to a full reassessment of what threatens to be a disastrous undermining of Western economies. Throughout human history, and through the range of prosperity we have across the globe today, the availability of cheap energy has been a fundamental driver of prosperity.
We also need to consider the consequences for the reputation of science of the uncritical acceptance of the claims of a politically motivated rogue branch. A more general problem exists in the widespread view of science giving absolute truths. It is never settled, and the fact that there's always more to discover is its greatest strength and beauty.

Thermal radiation and our atmosphere

Here, I build from a molecular level to develop a macroscopic view of radiative energy flows in the Earth's atmosphere. It is awash with thermal radiation in the infrared (IR) spectrum produced by collisions of radiative gas (RG) molecules commonly, but inaccurately, referred to as greenhouse gasses. What distinguishes them is their ability to absorb thermal energy in an internal excited state.

(a) Scissoring (b) Symmetrical stretch (c) Asymmetrical stretch (d) Rotational (e) Vaguely Realistic

Figure 1: Excitation modes of the water molecule. Click to start/stop.

Excitation modes can be either vibrational, where energy is imparted to stretching the bonds between the molecule's constituent atoms, or rotational where the excitation energy is a rotation around a major axis of the molecule. As required by quantum mechanics, all excitation states are quantised – energy can only take certain values.

Figure 2: Atmospheric molecular dynamics. Click to start/stop.

Figure 2 is a visualisation of the relevant molecular dynamics. Molecules are divided into two categories: Radiatively Inert gasses (nitrogen and oxygen), and Radiatively Active Gasses (RGs, mainly water vapour and carbon dioxide).

Excitation usually comes from a collision between two molecules. A small part of the energy of motion (kinetic energy) is transferred to excitation energy. Excitation can also come from the absorption of an infrared photon of the right energy. Because of the quantisation of excitation levels, not all collisions or incident photons create excitation.
Likewise, de-excitation is usually via collision, but can also occur through the emission of a photon. Excited states are unstable and have a natural lifetime (as with radiative decay in other areas such as unstable atomic nuclei). Here, this is usually far longer than the mean time between collisions, so relatively rare. It should be noted that the radiation we're discussing here is just the harmless heat we feel coming from a fire.

The photons are emitted in random directions. About 10 to 14% of those emitted from the surface, and within a narrow wavelength band, can escape directly to space (the "atmospheric window" in Figure 4). The mean free path (mfp) of the remainder, before being re-absorbed by an RG, is around 50m at sea level and increases as the atmospheric density decreases with altitude, as can be seen in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Mean free path distributions varying with altitude

Figure 3, generated by my Open Climate Modeller package (OCM), shows the path length distributions for IR photons travelling vertically in the atmosphere. Each probability distribution represents photons emitted at its central altitude. The distributions can be seen to widen with altitude as mfp increases.
They also become asymmetric, skewing upward, showing that a photon moving upwards will generally travel further than one emitted downwards. This results in an upward flow of energy, which counters the assumed "trapping" of energy by RGs in the surface layer of the atmosphere. Above 10 km a significant fraction of these photons start escaping to space.

The atmosphere's energy dynamics

The key to determining the impact of the GHE is the rate at which this transfer of energy from the lower atmosphere to space takes place. It isn't the only transfer mechanism, so we need to look at a broader picture of atmospheric energy flows. The diagram of Figure 4 initially ignored mid-atmosphere radiative flow altogether. I've added to it in purple.

Figure 4: A modified version of NASA's atmospheric energy budget

It acknowledged atmospheric emission of IR in the lower atmosphere at A and again in the upper troposphere at F where it shows the radiation escaping to space. It ignored radiation emitted between A and F. There is no basis in physics for this omission.
RGs are excited by both collision and absorption at all altitudes, though decreasingly so with increased altitude because density and temperature are decreasing. Both lead to fewer collisions, and lower temperatures mean lower collision energy and reduced excitation. From the viewpoint of Figure 4 this appears to be a bottleneck for radiative transfer, but calling it "trapping" is misleading. It's still far from a complete picture because it represents a static time-aggregated view rather than a dynamic one. At least two dynamic elements need to be included for a more realistic view.

The first is the rate at which radiative transfer shifts energy upwards. If this was slow there would be significant accumulation of heat. I address this with detailed calculations in my Radiative Delay work (2). The result of these calculations are that while the delay is typically hours, it is not long enough for the delayed energy to significantly heat the atmosphere. For a rough intuitive picture we have 200W heating a 1 m2 column of air. This is equivalent to a 200W light bulb heating the air in a gym for several hours. We can recognise intuitively that this is a small effect, and applying it to the heat capacity of air gives an increase of 0.14˚C, certainly less than 0.3˚C, rather than the 33˚C assumed by the UN consensus for the Greenhouse Effect (GHE).

The second missing temporal consideration is the significance of convection cells at the top of the troposphere – the tropopause. Here the Hadley cells shown in Figure 5 take the hot air that has risen at the tropics and carry it poleward. This air radiates heat to space until its temperature drops to the point where its density is great enough for it to start sinking. Rather than heat being blocked by a radiative bottleneck in the upper troposphere, the heat has whatever time it needs to exit to space.

Figure 5: Global atmospheric circulation

Figure 4 is also missing diurnal and annual cycles. The significance of the diurnal cycle will be discussed later when we look at the role of diurnal temperature smoothing in determining the Earth's energy balance, and providing an alternative to the GHE.

Air convection, including evaporation and the dumping of the heat of evaporation in the upper atmosphere, are playing a major role in moving heat to the upper troposphere where it's then radiated to space by RGs. I've added arrows in Figure 4 to indicate boosting of these by energy lost from mid-level radiative transfer.
In the lower atmosphere, radiation is given as 340 W/m2, and in the upper troposphere as 170 W/m2. There is continuity in between. This omission is not an oversight. It's clearly done to support the narrative of "trapping" heat in the lower atmosphere. This assertion is supported by the error analysis in note (B) which provides strong evidence of deliberate deceit.

Figure 6: (a), (b) The effect of collisional excitation

Confusion exists in the public debate over the downward 340 W/m2 from the atmosphere to the surface, labelled "back radiation" in Figure 4. It's sometimes described as the mirror reflection of the upward surface radiation, and the label tends to reinforce this view. The terminology is only meaningful in the scenario depicted in Figure 6a where the downward radiation is just the re-emission of excitation energy absorbed from the upward radiation with no contribution from collisional excitation. Since emission is equal in all directions, the downward component would be limited to roughly 67 W/m2 minus what was lost to collisional de-excitation.
The inclusion of collisional de-excitation means that very little of the radiation reaching the surface would be from molecules excited from the upward radiation, almost all of which would have lost their excitation energy in collisions before emitting it as radiation because the time between collisions is much shorter than the natural lifetime of the excitated states. In this case only a few W/m2 would be returned to the surface. Only with the inclusion of collisional excitation can the downward radiation reach the given value of 340 W/m2.
The downward radiation does contribute to the heating of the Earth's surface – not by the GHE but another process that dominates it. That's the topic of the next section.

The Earth's mean surface temperature

I'm dividing the discussion of Earth's surface temperatures into two parts. In this section I discuss the factors that set its baseline temperature. In the next section I look at the influences that cause this to vary on decadal to longer timescales.
We can start with a bare rocky planet, and here we have our moon as an example. From there we add oceans and ice which change the albedo or the amount of incoming solar radiation that's reflected straight back to space. Then we have the atmosphere. The chief point of contention is the influence of radiative gasses as components of the atmosphere, but I describe a broader view, which takes in the influence of the Earth's surface and the non-radiative gasses in the atmosphere.

The IPCC consensus value for the GHE of 33˚K (or ˚C) is an assumption based on the difference between estimates of the Earth's current mean surface temperature (about 288˚K or 15˚C) and the temperature which would be required for radiated output to balance solar input (255˚K). This latter figure is an abstraction that only has physical meaning for a flat surface in Earth orbit facing the Sun.
As Kramm et al. (3) put it: ‘Since such a “thought experiment” prohibits any rigorous assessment of its results, this study considered the Moon as a testbed for the Earth in the absence of its atmosphere. ... Consequently, the difference of ∆Tae ≅ 33 K lacks adequate physical meaning as do any contributions from optically active gaseous components calculated thereby.’

To my knowledge, the IPCC has not provided an alternative evaluation for the GHE beyond this assumption, which fails if there is an alternative mechanism.

A fact that has often not been recognised by it's critics is that if the GHE is not significant there has to be an alternative. The Earth's surface is certainly warmer than it would be without an atmosphere.

Figure 7: Calculating the Diurnal Smoothing Effect

An alternative can be found in the Diurnal Smoothing Effect (DSE). The atmosphere cooling the surface during the day and warming it at night, results an an overall warming of the surface. This may seem counter-intuitive, but at its core the DSE is a simple physical process as illustrated in Figure 7 where the effect is calculated for a 1 ˚K (or ˚C) smoothing of the surface temperature between day and night.
The differential rate of surface radiation comes from the nonlinear relationship between energy radiated from the surface and its temperature, given by the Stefan-Boltzmann law as E = σT4. Reducing peak temperatures during the day reduces radiation more than the same temperature increase raises radiation at lower night-time temperatures. The mean temperature must rise to correct the imbalance. Typically, the temperature smoothing would be far greater than the 1˚C and consequent 1 W/m2 deficit of this example.
The Open Climate Modeller repeats this calculation over a daily cycle to obtain mean daily values (for a typical temperate latitude not global means). It can be used to explore the DSE in depth.

Nikolov and Zellar (4) have provided a detailed analysis, as have Kramm et al. (3). The UN climate consensus has been faced with this challenge for at least five years and has not addressed it. It's reasonable to assume that they can't.

Figure 8: A comparison of Earth atmospheres and the moon (subtract 273 for ˚C)

The condensing atmosphere approximately represents our atmosphere. As can be seen in Figure 4, surface level radiative transfer dominates surface-air thermal coupling and increases diurnal smoothing, and hence the DSE. At surface level, water vapour usually dominates radiative transfer, and carbon dioxide plays no significant role.
The radiative atmosphere has a mean 69˚K above the non-radiative, rather than the 33˚K assumed by IPCC science. These are intended to represent typical rather than full global calculations. The mean for the condensing atmosphere, at 287˚K, is just 1˚K lower than the commonly accepted global mean of 288˚K.

Figure 9: Measured lunar temperature cycle compared with a hypothetical insulating surface (* values) and emitted radiation

We can go beyond theory. The moon provides a clear and simple empirical example. NASA's 2009 DIVINER lunar temperature data (5) has shown that heat storage in surface rock raises the mean temperature to 217˚K above the 162˚K mean calculated for a thermally insulating surface, giving a DSE of 55˚K. Without this heat storage the night temperature would drop to near the temperature of space, said to be 3˚K. It clearly doesn't. The mismatch between measurements and the OCM model are discussed in note (C).

As an attempt to complete the comparison between the GHE and DSE, my recent theoretical evaluation of the magnitude of the GHE at 0.14˚C (with CO2 contributing 0.01˚C) rather than the assumed 33˚C (with CO2 contributing 1 to 4˚C) has been public for over a year now, and widely distributed with no rebuttal. Downloads are approaching 1500 from up to 60 or more countries, and it has been the subject of public debate. Also ignored without rebuttal was an earlier estimate published by Nahle (6) in 2011, which I independently calculated with similar results. These were based on laboratory measurements. My latest calculations were based on atmospheric data. Further details of this, the DSE, OCM, and references can be found in (2).

We now have the GHE relegated to an insignificant role, and an alternative process in the DSE to replace it. Our current mean temperatures are accounted for, but they have clearly been changing on a decadal to millennial scale. For the various factors that produce this on different time-scales we need to look beyond Earth to the Sun and our galaxy.

Variability in the Earth's mean surface temperature

I'm starting with small time-scales then moving on to longer ones.

Svensmark and Friis-Christensen (7) proposed a model in which solar flares (associated with sunspots) could modulate the rate at which cosmic rays (very high energy particles from outside the solar system) could influence the Earth's cloud cover, and hence surface temperatures. This has been controversial, but evidence supporting it is now strong.
Central to the controversy were Svensmark's attempts at laboratory experiments using a Danish laboratory then the CERN accelerator to demonstrate the ability of high energy particles in the atmosphere to produce cloud condensation nuclei. One objection made was that the nuclei created were too small to produce cloud. Figure 10 shows that the development of cloud nucleation takes several days. It is not possible to replicate this in a particle accelerator, so this objection was invalid. The debate is ongoing, but it seems pertinent that until the 1950s cloud chambers were the principal tool used by particle physicists for detecting high energy particles. The early ones used water vapour.

For me, the strongest evidence for a link between solar activity and cloud formation is seen in the response of the atmosphere to sudden bursts of energy and particles from the Sun called Forbush events. Their brevity and strength make the responses stand out.

Figure 10: Forbush events and the atmospheric response (6,7)

Quoting from their paper (7): “... an effort was undertaken to use sudden plasma ejections from the solar corona (coronal mass ejections) to look for an effect in aerosols and clouds on a global scale. If the ejected plasma travels past the Earth, there will be a sudden decrease in the measured cosmic ray flux typically over hours, which slowly recovers during a week or two. These events are called Forbush decreases and can in this context be seen as natural experiments with the whole Earth. Following strong Forbush decreases in the period 1987- 2006, a clear response was found both in aerosols and clouds, see Fig. [4]. This result demonstrates the whole chain from solar activity to cosmic rays to aerosols to clouds. Due to the time it takes for small aerosols to grow to CCN a delay of 4-7 days is not unreasonable as seen in the cloud responses, and the size of the response is consistent with expectations”

Figure 11: Correlation between cosmic ray intensity and cloud cover

Sun and Bradley (8) concluded that the cosmic ray/cloud correlation was not conclusively proven, drawing largely on its absence over land and other inconsistencies. (“Our analysis also suggests that there is not a solid relationship between cosmic ray flux and low cloudiness as proposed by Marsh and Svensmark [2000]”.) All they demonstrate is that it's not the only factor involved. That's not disputed. As their data in Figure 11 shows, it can be a highly significant factor over oceans, and over decadal periods.
Over land, dust and aerosols presumably dominate. As an interesting aside, aquatic microorganisms produce cloud nucleating aerosols. This may reach back to the earliest life-forms that had problems with destructive UV radiation, so may have evolved a mechanism for increasing cloud cover as protection. In a similar manner, terrestrial vegetation may have evolved this ability to increase local rainfall.

Figure 12: Clouds

While on the subject of clouds, something I've not seen mentioned is that the lateral transport of energy by collision induced IR means that heat can flow around and between clouds. While a 50% cloud cover will shade the ground from incoming solar radiation by roughly that amount, it can have a far smaller affect on the upward flow of heat via IR. Clouds have a strong tendency to clump and, as Figure 12 shows, often do so in a highly granular and regular manner. We have a lot to learn about clouds, their formation, and in particular the role of electrostatic and electrodynamic influences.

Figure 13: Cyclic variation in sunspot numbers

My own confirmation of the solar-temperature connection (10) came from taking a published model for sunspot activity (11) and official Southern ocean Surface Temperature data (SST). After a few hours of manual tweaking of parameters in a spreadsheet, the model shown in Figure 14 emerged.

Figure 14: A model of southern ocean temperatures derived from a sunspot model

Since it could be argued that this model was forced from the sunspot model I decided to take a general approach, which was totally automated, so free from confirmation bias. As part of the foundation technology of my PhD I'd developed a new approach to extracting cycles from short data sets (note A). Applying it to the SST data gave the model shown extrapolated back and forward in time in Figure 15.

Figure 15: A de nouveau model of southern ocean temperatures extrapolated (click)

The blue curve is the model, with the other curves showing ±10% variations in parameters. It can be seen to reasonably represent the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period. This is a reflection of the tight cyclic nature of the SST data. The mean error over the data period is 0.03˚C. The cycle periods align well with solar system cycles. The well known 11 year sunspot cycle is significant, but not included in this version of the model to simplify the display.
Its major features correspond quite well with radiocarbon records of solar activity shown in Figure 16 based on data from (12). Clicking on Figure 15 shows the radiocarbon data overlaid. Note that some contemporary surface water rising from deep currents last gained heat from the sun in the Medieval Warm Period, and would reflect earlier solar cycles.

Figure 16: Solar activity as seen in radioisotope 14C data.

The most prominent ocean cycle is the quasi-millennial Thermohaline circulation.

Figure 17: The Thermohaline ocean circulation

There have been many other cyclic models of Earth's temperature based on different data sets such as various terrestrial surface temperature collections.
I have also run the model in Figure 15 forcing it to adapt to a linear component rising over the last century to represent possible atmospheric CO2 influence. Increasing the slope of this component increased errors at all stages. This result excludes a significant role for atmospheric CO2 in ocean temperature data.

The cyclic nature of solar surface activity – sunspots and flares – has been controversial, particularly since planetary orbits have been invoked as a cause. The most obvious example is the approximately 11 year Schwabe cycle clearly seen in the short-term sunspot data of Figure 13. This aligns with the orbital period of Jupiter.
An argument against this view is that the gravitational forces of the planets are too weak at the Sun's surface to cause tidal effects. But this ignores electromagnetic forces and resonance. Just as the movement of a child's swing can be built up with many small pushes, the electromagnetic planetary influences acting as dynamos can promote resonances in the circulating plasmas of the Sun's outer layers shown in Figure 18.
Gravitation asserts a general tug on all matter equally. The effect of magnetic fields on a highly charged plasma is specific and differential. It acts in opposite directions on negatively charged electrons and positive ions, and generates electrical currents or influences existing ones generated by the Sun's own complex intrinsic magnetic fields driven by the thermal roiling of the convective zone.

a b
Figure 18: The outer convective zone of the Sun and possible circulation models

Figure 18a is a schematic representation. The original data it's based on (13) suggests less regular motion. Strong eddies will be formed in the boundaries between these regions acting as localised dynamos creating intense pockets of magnetic force which are relieved by exiting the surface as huge loops that return to the surface (the prominence in Figure 18b), or escape into the solar system as flares.

Figure 19: Regular movement of sunspot zones toward the Sun's equator

Figure 19 shows the dominant 11 year periodicity of sunspots. It also demonstrates a spatial order, with sunspots migrating from around 30˚ latitude towards the equator over each cycle. The roughly 120 year cycle of Figure 14 can be seen in the varying magnitude of the 11 year cycle over the displayed period. The more robust model that produced Figure 15 suggests that this is a product of the 200 year DeVries cycle and the quasi-millennial Eddy cycle. These and other cycles have been identified in long term proxies for solar activity.

The flares interact with and disturb the magnetic fields of the planets, notably in our case modulating the arrival of cosmic rays. Sun and planets have been influencing each other through the whole evolution of the solar system. They have evolved together as can be seen in the simulation in Figure 20. Resonance created the solar system.

Figure 20: A simulation of solar system formation

Resonance is common in the motions of planets and their moons, a local example being the moons Io, Europa, and Ganymede of Jupiter, which have orbital periods in the ratios 1:1, 2:1, and 4:1 respectively. An extreme example is seen in the exoplanets of the TRAPPIST-1 system, modelled in Figure 21.

Figure 21: Super-resonances of the exoplanets of TRAPPIST-1.
Orbital frequencies are sped up to audible frequencies. Click to start/stop.

But resonance can also be destructive, as seen when a singer shatters a wine glass with a note that resonates with the glass's natural ring; when soldiers march in step over a bridge; or the swaying resonance of London's Millennial bridge. When resonances involving small integer ratios are not stable, nature goes in the other direction to the Golden Ratio, also known as phi. This is the ratio that most reduces the chance of destructive interference between resonance in systems that form stable states within deterministic chaos. Here, rather than "resonance" we talk about "attractors" – states that survive because they are minimally disturbed.
The planets can be seen settling into attractors in the simulation in Figure 20. The relative orbits of our planets and their moons exhibit many examples of phi. It is ubiquitous in nature (note E).

Figure 22: Ice core temperature data: GISP2 Temperature EPICA DomeC

Moving to the longer timescale of the Holocene, Figure 22 shows that since the last ice age the progress of human civilisation has been punctuated by global temperature fluctuations on the millennial scale of the Eddy cycle.
As a rough historical review: We have the development of agrarian cultures through the Holocene Climate Optimum culminating in a shift to urban cultures and the start of a sequence of Kingdoms and Empires.
The collapse of the Minoan Warm Period coincided with the migration of the Germanic tribes from Northern Europe. They went on to invade a weakened Rome after its warm period ended, and the Late Antique Little Ice Age was approaching. Following this, Slavic tribes prospered and spread in the rise into the Medieval Warm Period.
For consistency in nomenclature, the Medieval Warm Period should be called the Mongol Warm Period. They thrived, then headed south as the cold set in – habitual for northern nomads, as the multiple Great Walls of China attest. As conditions deteriorated, fighing broke out between tribes. They united under the leadership of Temujin, who as Genghis Kahn led them south via the long route east through a Europe which had also flourished during the High Middle Ages. By then it was collapsing under the weight of famine and plague. They then headed east and invaded China from the south to create the largest empire in human history.
The Mongols are suspected of spreading the plague in their travels. They coexisted with the tarbagan marmot which can carry plague. They had a tradition of avoiding the animals when their behaviour became erratic (fleas?) and may have developed some resistance. Was this a precursor to the spread of disease to the New World by European adventurers at the nadir of the Little Ice Age?

The collapse of Europe produced disillusionment in God and the rise of the quest to study nature through science, then on to The Enlightenment as conditions improved in the rise to the peak of the Modern Warm Period. Now past that peak, science and technology have given us the means of fending off the worst of the coming cold. If we don't recognise the cyclic nature of climate over this time-scale, that help may be too slow in coming.
I wonder what the present warm period will be called in the future when it's no longer "Modern".

Variability in the the distant past

Figure 23: Temperature and ice level variations of major ice-ages

The temperature variations of major ice-ages in Figure 23 are attributed to regular variations in the Earth's orbit – the Milankovitch cycles. The relatively sudden endings of these (e.g. the vertical purple line) are thought to be caused by low carbon dioxide levels killing vegetation, creating deserts and dust that covered ice sheets making them dark and absorbing more heat from the Sun.

Figure 24: Earth's temperature and CO2 levels over its geological history

I don't know how Figure 24 was composed or how accurate it is, but it seems to be given credence. Given what it's trying to achieve, it's remarkable that it exists at all.
As my added orange line shows, on long time-scales there has been a general trend to lower CO2 levels. There is no consistent correlation between temperature and CO2 levels, which have been ten times greater than present levels. They are recently rising from a low that was just above the minimum necessary for sustaining most life.

A feature relevant to climate, which becomes apparent on the timescale of Figure 24, is that temperatures hit a limit indicated by my added green line. The Earth has a thermostat. In (1) I review relevant literature and discus how it's likely to be produced by nanocrystalline properties of liquid water which cause water molecules to be more strongly bound to each other over small distance scales. These disintegrate as the temperature rises from 0˚C up to 30˚C. This is summarised in note (D).

Figure 25: Atmospheric water column and Saturated Vapour Pressure against temperature

The satellite data in Figure 25 shows the rapid rise in evaporation as water surface temperatures approach 30˚C (303˚K). (The unit used, water column centimeters, is the depth of liquid water evaporated into an air column.) At this temperature the ability of air to hold water vapour (the vapour pressure at saturation) can also be seen to rise rapidly. The increased ability of liquid water to evaporate and the increased ability of air to hold water vapour rather than it condensing to liquid on cloud nuclei fit neatly together. The vertical green line is a rough estimate of the green line in Figure 24.

As evaporation suddenly increases, surface temperature hits a limit with evaporative cooling soaking up heat as latent heat of vaporisation, just as sweat cools our skin. Water vapour is lighter than air, so the vapour rich air rises. As rising moist air cools, the relative humidity reaches saturation level and water starts to precipitate as clouds. In doing so it dumps the latent heat into the air of the upper troposphere where it's radiated to space. Completing the thermostat effect, the production of cloud shades the surface below.

Sea surface temperatures around 30˚C are largely tropical, but much of the Earth's land surface is also wet, and can more readily reach 30˚C since it captures the sun's heat at a shallow depth rather than penetrating for hundreds of metres in the sea. And the sea's surface waters mix with cooler sub-surface waters. I give a personal perspective in note (F), showing that this is an effect that most of us may be intuitively aware of. Have you ever scalded your feet in a puddle?

A climate puzzle remains in the apparent coincidence of the period of the Thermohaline circulation and the quasi-millennial cycle in solar activity. My exploration of the role of resonance in nature (note E) suggests that it may not be coincidence. As a final tentative speculation on the role of resonance and attractors I'm going to describe how I see how the Earth may have arrived at its present continental distribution and where it might be going from here into the distant future.

Figure 26: Continental Drift, click to start/stop (long restart pause!). Time: 750 million of years ago

On these timescales we have the major reshuffling of continents shown in the animation of Figure 26 (14). This movement has a direct effect on ocean currents, and hence climate. It isn't just random drift. There's a pattern here – I dare say purpose. As continental plates have moved they have followed an attractor that tends to maintain open ocean on the opposite side of the planet. In this configuration the water can absorb tidal deformation and minimise tidal stress on the plates. Figure 27 shows the present disposition of the continents in an antipodal representation. At this stage, around 86% of land is opposed by water.

Figure 27: Antipodean continental distribution

I see two basic attractor modes as illustrated in Figure 28: mode 1 with all the land on one side of the planet, and mode 2 with three land masses – the next simplest configuration with antipodal land-ocean opposition.

Figure 28: Land-ocean antipodal modes

Looking at four time intervals in Figure 26: starting at the beginning at 750Mya, the land is aggregated at the far side of the planet – a longitudinal mode 1. Through to 580Mya, land moves down to a southern latitudinal mode 1. By 350Mya most is south and some is starting to stream north, clustered to the near side of the planet as a new longitudinal mode 1. By 200Mya most has headed north on this side, then a division starts. Some continues north to form the accumulation of land we now have in the northern hemisphere – a partial northern mode 1 with a gap at the pole. Some heads back south with Africa and South America dividing and with Australia heading north. These are assembling in mode 2. Currently, I gather, the Atlantic is widening and the Pacific narrowing, so the three continents are moving to be equidistant and strengthening this mode 2. The counterpoint to the Antarctic is the open sea and thin ice sheets of the Arctic.

On these time-scales a millennial scale solar influence is a rapid vibration, and it's well established that vibration lubricates friction. The triggering of an avalanche by a loud sound is an example. But continental movement is a physical process, not thermal. The connection may be in the affect the 6˚C variation of ocean current temperatures over the Milankovitch cycles has on the mass of Greenland and Antarctic ice caps and the oscillating stress this creates in the Earth's crust. It will be aided by the constant jiggling of the lunar tides.

We now have two cyclic solar system influences on continental relocation – the word "drift" no longer quite appropriate if we see the Earth's crust as being pushed into attractors of minimal stress. In the example of the singer shattering a glass, she adjusts her pitch to resonate destructively with a resonant mode of the glass. Here we may be seeing the converse – Earth adjusting to minimise the influence of regular external forces.

And the impact of this on future climate? I started in familiar territory with molecular dynamics and the Diurnal Smoothing Effect and I've become increasingly speculative as the article has progressed. It has to stop somewhere.

Figure 29: "The Earth has become greener over the past 20 years." (15)

We've journeyed from atom to galaxy, over time-scales of nanoseconds to millions of years, in an attempt to plot some of the many influences on Earth's climate. Human activities in increasing desertification since the start of the agricultural era and general land-use change have probably had some influence, but our industrial era carbon dioxide production has played no significant part. At just 1% of the Earth's active carbon cycle it probably hasn't even contributed much to increased atmospheric levels which have led to a recent greening of the Earth.

Now where?

After a catastrophic start to the last century, brought about largely by hubris and group-think, the past half century has seen a dramatic improvement in human living standards, with UN goals for poverty reduction for the first fifteen years of this century achieved years before the target date. But the UN and associated NGOs can claim little credit for that.
It has been achieved, in part, through improved climatic conditions as were experienced in the flourishing of civilisations during the rise of past climate optima; to a small but significant extent through carbon dioxide fertilisation of the Earth's flora; but mainly through the spread in the undeveloped world of electricity, fossil fuels for transport and replacement of human labour, and improved communications technology.
The flat-lining of Earth's surface temperatures over the past two decades is described by climate alarmists as a "hiatus" when it's recognised at all. They could attribute this to the downward phase of the sixty year temperature cycle clearly seen in temperature data over the last century, but they must deny any cyclic influence. Cyclic analysis suggests that we have just passed the peak of the Modern Warm Period, and are heading towards conditions last experienced in the Little Ice Age. Low temperatures and increased snowfalls in recent years are tending to confirm that.

Unlike the LIA, we now have energy technologies capable of countering the impact of a new cool period. In the Western world we need to stop dismantling them. The effect on crop yields will not be so easily avoided, but putting a stop to the pointless use of food crops and agricultural land for biofuels would help.

Fortunately for the majority of the world's poor, China and India are building hundreds of coal-fired power stations – China playing a double hand by being the major supplier of unreliable alternative solar and wind technologies for gullible Western nations. We need to reverse this if we are to avoid destroying our economies.

The UN and political motivations

Individuals within the UN admit that their climate fund is in reality a mechanism for taxing Western countries in a global socialist attempt at wealth distribution. The reality of the UN is that it has become a kleptocrats club, and there is no reason to assume that it will, or can, deliver benefits to the world's poor. It's worth labouring this with a few direct quotes.

a b c d e f g h i j
Figure 30: Hall of infamy

“We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis…”
David Rockefeller, Club of Rome executive member (a)

“…the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries.”
David Rockefeller, June, 1991, Bilderberg Conference, Baden

"De facto, this means an expropriation of the countries with natural resources. This leads to a very different development from that which has been triggered by development policy."
Ottmar Edenhofer, IPPC, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 14 November 2010 (b)

"This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history"
Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC, UNRIC, 3 February 2015 (c)

“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialised civilisations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
Maurice Strong, Founder of the UN Environmental Program (d)

“To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family, tradition, national patriotism and religious dogmas…
Brock Chisholm, first Director General of the World Health Organisation

“A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
Ted Turner, Founder of CNN and major UN donor (e)

“The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the worst thing that could happen to the planet.”
Jeremy Rifkin, Greenhouse Crisis Foundation (f)

“Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”
Paul Ehrlich, Professor of Population Studies, Author: Population Bomb, Ecoscience (g)

“The data doesn’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations on the data. We’re basing them on the climate models.”
Prof. Chris Folland, Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research

“The models are convenient fictions that provide something very useful.”
Dr David Frame, climate modeller, Oxford University

“Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.”
Sir John Houghton, First chairman of the IPCC (h)

“We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination… So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”
Stephen Schneider, Stanford Professor of Climatology, Lead author, IPCC (i)

“We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.”
Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation (j)

“No matter if the science of global warming is all phony … climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment

Though I sympathise with the environmental concerns behind some of these statements, the UN and its associates must be strongly opposed because of their toxic totalitarian globalist ideology. Direct experience has shown that industrialisation is what reduces poverty and birth rates, not fantasies of enforced wealth distribution and the collapse of the societies which have not only created prosperity but the economic security, technologies, and policies that have reduced our environmental damage, and can continue to do so if we are not pushed into crisis. We have ample evidence showing that tyranny produces social, economic, and environmental chaos.

Criticism of the UN IPCC alarmism

A decade ago, as someone with a long-standing concern about our impact on the environment, and as a published environmental researcher (16), I believed it likely that CO2 was a rising problem. Jolted into looking closer by Al Gore's B-grade disaster movie, an obvious abuse of science, I discovered that there were many reasons to doubt the alarmist claims. There are many flaws in the UN climate science view of the Earth's surface energy balance, and these have accumulated over recent decades. They include:

• Historical evidence supports the existence of roughly millennial climate optima – the Medieval and Roman warm periods. Ice core data shows that these extend back to the last ice age. Our resent rise fits that pattern.
• Other data sets show the cyclic nature of Earth's temperature: e.g. ocean temperatures in Figures 13 and 14.
• Historical surface temperature measurements have been adjusted in a manner that has usually led to apparent increase in the twentieth century temperature rise. The main changes to measurement reliability over this period have been increased urban heat, which would lead to adjustments in the opposite direction.
• Large amounts of government money have been poured into research and the renewables industry distorting science and energy markets.
• The politicisation of scientific bodies such as The Royal Society, American Geophysical Union, and The Australian Academy of Sciences has further damaged the reputation of institutional science. It should be recognised that these bodies are advocates for the prestige and funding of their disciplines not arbiters of scientific fact.
• Science is never settled, and the stifling of debate is a major cause for concern.
• Internal emails between climate scientists at UEA, "Climategate", rightly undermined public trust in scientists at the centre of contemporary climate science.
• The claim that there is a 97% consensus among scientists, or climate scientists, is founded on faulty methods. Even if true, it's irrelevant.
• Some claim that the greenhouse effect breaks the laws of thermodynamics. It doesn't.
• The issue is being used by the UN and associates to create a global taxation system and push their globalist agenda. As I have shown, this is openly acknowledged.
• Predictions of imminent catastrophe, such as major polar ice sheet and glacial melting, sea level rise, ocean acidification, and increasing storm severity have proved to be false. Reality, and words like "professional negligence" have led to the IPCC repeatedly downgrading its claims of imminent or present disaster of anthropogenic origin.
• In recent ongoing work Nikolov and Zellar (17), looking at a number of solar system bodies, have observed surface atmospheric pressure to be the strongest determinant of surface temperatures. The DSE is pressure dependent.
• A plausible case can be made from ice core data that temperature rises precede rises in atmospheric CO2, thus following Henry's law – that CO2 is most soluble in cold water. By inference, the current CO2 rise is from the same cause. I think most physicists would assume that to be the case if the issue wasn't so politicised.
• More specifically, in (18) I discuss published research that a shows poor short-term decadal correlations between our industrial CO2 output, atmospheric CO2, and temperature. A good specific example is the dramatic increase on industrial CO2 from China's recent growth associated with flattening out of temperature rise.

These points have varying degrees of validity and significance, but I don't think any of them individually amount to a strong scientific case against the IPCC claims. I think the case I've presented here against the significance of the Greenhouse Effect does.


I have skin in this game. My recent electricity bills have hurt, and many others are feeling the burden more than I am. Even those who now feel secure in publicly funded jobs should recognise that collapsing economies mean reduced tax revenues and tightening government expenditure.

Figure 31: Australian electricity prices

In addition to the threat to our economies, we are currently faced with major environmental problems created by the mining of rare earth metals for the wind and solar industries, de-afforestation to provide wood-chips as an alternative to coal, vast tracts of land used – even cleared of native vegetation – for solar and wind "farms", and food crops and native forests used for biofuels. I resisted the temptation to show a picture of a shredded endangered raptor beneath a wind turbine but that problem is beyond exaggeration.
If we had an effective environment movement it would be screaming about these issues. I remained a mute observer in the 1970s as it was taken over by the Marxist left who re-badged themselves as Greens. Now their only environmentally related concern is to present atmospheric carbon dioxide as a pollutant. It, along with water, are the foundations of all carbon based life.

As significant as the many problems with the IPCC perspective listed above are, they only amount to circumstantial evidence of malpractice by individuals and hand-waving reasons for doubting the scientific basis of their claims. If all you present is hand-waving, it shouldn't come as a surprise when the only response is having a middle finger waved back. These criticisms may demonstrate incompetence, exaggeration, even deliberate deceit on the part of individual alarmists and scientists, but they don't amount to a sound scientific case against our use of fossil fuels.
After realising that my doubts about the IPCC science were not scientifically grounded I started to examine the physics that the edifice they had created was based on. I became aware that its foundation was an unjustified assumption about the magnitude of the GHE, and that there was a recent alternative that hadn't been publicly acknowledged.

Summarising recent developments – the elevator pitch:

• The magnitude of the GHE has, from the start, been an assumption based on the idea that no other effect was known that could raise the Earth's mean surface temperature above what it would be if it didn't have an atmosphere.

• The alternative mechanism, the Diurnal Smoothing Effect, has been empirically demonstrated in lunar data, is basic undergraduate physics, and a reasonable estimate of its magnitude can be calculated with a simple spreadsheet model. Quantification of the DSE shows it to be capable of creating our current surface temperatures without the involvement of radiative gasses.

• Attempts to theoretically quantify the GHE in recent years (2, 6) have shown it to be insignificant. Without assuming it to be the only possible atmospheric effect there is no empirical evaluation of the GHE.

These are relatively simple ideas, which are readily comprehensible in the context of public debate. You don't need to be a scientist to understand the basic logic here. If the evidence changes, intelligent people re-evaluate. Pushed to detail, they amount to a solid and coherent scientific case against alarmist claims and the whole greenhouse narrative. At the very least, the ball has been in the alarmist court for more than five years and they haven't provided a response.
We need to challenge the idea that this is deep difficult science involving complex supercomputer models that only the experts can understand and deal with. Those models are meaningless if based on a false assumption.

Figure 32: Trends in climate sensitivity

Most discussion of temperature in this debate is about climate sensitivity, or the amount that temperatures are expected to rise with a doubling of atmospheric CO2 levels. Figure 32 shows trends in CS estimates with my estimate added and an overlay of Excel's best fit of the ECS points. It's clearly not settled science.

Another simple but important point that can be made is to question those who think the issue is "climate change" rather than its causes. Nobody that I'm aware of, other than extreme alarmists, denies that climate changes. The issue is the role of atmospheric CO2. The assumption that we contribute significantly to that can be questioned (18), but doing so diverts from the larger claim that it doesn't matter.
I think many people are genuinely concerned that there are others who dispute the reality of obvious climate change. They naturally conclude that sceptics or deniers are either ignorant, have been misinformed, are acting with disingenuous motives, or selfishly care little about the future. The success in propagating this view has been one of the activist's greatest achievements. It is also easily countered.

Few of those with a vested interest in demonising carbon dioxide, whether it be ideological, reputational, or commercial are likely to change their stance when presented with the new scientific perspective that has developed over the past decade. They refuse to look or are banned by their peers from looking, or even talking to sceptics. The legacy media are raising the draw-bridges and refusing to deal with discussion.
Others, potentially the majority of the population, are becoming more concerned about rising energy costs, which not only increase household expenditure but are threatening industries and jobs. Figure 31 shows costs doubling over the past decade. Prices will continue on the upward trajectory until Governments are pressured into taking serious steps to reverse the trend.
The Paris constraints were only ever aspirational and in the light of new evidence can be ignored without shame. It was non-binding because the writing was already on the wall for the carbon scare. Countries that genuinely believe they are likely to be subjected to human induced climate change need to support those claims with scientific evidence – not of climate change, but carbon dioxide as its cause.

Companies that have invested in solar and wind systems will have to face up to real market forces. They need to demonstrate that they haven't just been been subsidy farmers, though they could continue to be subsidised by those consumers who are prepared to pay a premium price for their electricity.
To assist their cause, renewables suppliers could issue stickers colour-coded with the customer's premium and year – small enough that diehards could accumulate a few on their bicycle helmet or frame. I believe people should be free to express their religious beliefs, but not impose them on others. Let the market take over from government intervention.
Australia needs at least one new coal-fired power station ASAP, and not with carbon capture and storage. Australian suppliers have diversified into renewables, and resist this reversal in direction. Careful reflection on the viability of this policy might cause them to reconsider, otherwise it may be necessary to encourage new players – nuclear, perhaps.

There is now a clear and simple case against climate alarmism, against the need to control carbon dioxide emissions, and against attempts to incorporate expensive unreliable and environmentally dubious solar and wind energy systems into our electricity supplies. These are already proving to be disastrous, and any further expansion must be halted.

This vampire has been sucking the lifeblood of Western economies for decades. Exposure to the light of independent analysis has been gradually weakening it, but now we have a wooden stake to drive through the heart of the beast.


If carbon dioxide has no significant impact on climate, then what we've experienced in recent decades is the greatest stuff-up in the history of science. As such, it should be treated seriously with Science and its institutional processes given a thorough shake-up.
The tendency will be to try to forget it happened and air-brush it away, as with the Climategate scandal – forming a few committees of inquiry that discuss straw-man issues resulting in "Nothing to see here. Move along." reports. That's human nature, with people in privileged positions trying to retain the status quo, but we need to bypass scapegoating and recognise that we have a society-wide problem.

We've been sleep-walking into a lazy self-interested decadence that has made us vulnerable to the influence of the ideologically driven and well organised globalist totalitarians I quoted earlier. This isn't conspiracy theory. It's not theory when they've become brashly open about their intentions and boast about their achievements. This is war, and climate is just one battleground on which, thanks to the internet, the momentum towards undermining Western economies and bringing about global socialism is being checked.

As for Science, specifically, I think the main lesson to be learned here is the need to differentiate between "science" as processes for incrementally approaching a valid view of the natural world and "Science", the institutions that have grown around it. In particular we need to recognise the degree to which faith in Science has become an ideology, even a de-facto religion, in the western world.
Faith in the scientific method should include an understanding that it is not absolute but relative knowledge, which if we practice diligently should lead us into a relatively better understanding than we had yesterday. It tends toward religious dogmatism as soon as we start to think we have final answers.

The debate over climate has been politically polarised over at least two dimensions: liberal vs. conservative; and science vs. anti-science. Neither of these is either correct or helpful. I think everyone should take some serious time, because this is a serious problem, to think carefully about the foundations of their beliefs and their motives.
We need to ask ourselves whether we would change our opinion if in the near future there was a clear continuation of rising global temperatures or a clear drop. The other question is whether our opinion is based on loyalty to our social peers or Science, and whether we have looked at, and thought about, the issue enough to have an opinion we can call our own rather than a reflection of the views of others – their avatar.
We can make ideas our own in the sense of being able to say "I think ..." rather than "I've heard ..." by making some effort to find out what evidence the idea was based on, if any. Where did it start? What assumptions is it based on? In this article I've tried to pose the problem in its fundamental forms so that anyone who makes the attempt can make up their own mind, or at least know what questions need asking.

We need to develop a better understanding of the delusion that can arise from collective thinking, and a recognition that rational thought is only as reliable as the assumptions it's built on – the core objectives of science being not just the collection of data, but an understanding of its reliability, and a recognition of our inevitable fallibility. As a bulwark against hubris, we need to progress from The Enlightenment's Age Of Reason to an Age of Wisdom – from a world of assumed facts to a world of limitations and consequences.

A sad consequence of treating scientific results as absolute is that it robs young researchers of hope, though it's not as bad as telling classrooms of young children that they have no future at all. That's child abuse on an industrial scale. Along with rescuing our economies from energy poverty we need to recover a hope for the future so children can strive to be successful participants.



(A) About the author

Experience and credentials should play no part in assessing the validity of a scientific result, but they can be relevant when it comes to deciding whether a result should be given serious consideration. I've reported two results from my personal research in this article: the evaluation of the GHE, and the cyclic analysis of ocean temperatures. I can claim to have relevant credentials in each case.
Directly relevant to the greenhouse calculations, my MSc project (19) involved several years of experimental work in gas-phase molecular spectroscopy. Taking advantage of advances in computing, I developed ground breaking quantum mechanical calculations of the relevant energy levels and transition probabilities.
Through the construction of an argon ion laser I gained practical experience in the sometimes bizarre instabilities of plasma dynamics. I struggled unsuccessfully to minimise events that were similar to the looped prominences seen at the surface of the Sun in Figure 18.

As part of my PhD project (20) I produced a spectral analysis algorithm specifically designed for analysing short data sets and extracting cyclic components. It systematically and exhaustively fits short segments of sin waves to the data, so can detect cyclic components with periods longer than the data set. I applied this to the 135 years of ocean temperature data enabling me to extrapolate well beyond the data boundaries – better than is possible with conventional techniques.

(B) Notes on reporting accuracy

As a tutor/demonstrator in the ANU Physics Department for five years I spent my time helping undergraduates with their experimental work. A significant part of that was the evaluation and presentation of experimental errors. I hope that most of those students would recognise the implausibility of the implied error analysis of Figure 4.
Values are given to an asserted accuracy of ±0.1 W/m2, or as little as ±0.03%. These are global temporal and spatial averages and vary between different version of the diagram. An alternative representation, the Sankey diagram, gives figures implying ±4 W/m2. Given the difficulty of determining such global aggregates, the errors are likely to be far greater. That they could then balance to ±0.1 W/m2 accuracy is totally beyond credibility. A reasonably capable undergraduate would point out that the overall error accumulates in the aggregation process.
Is this an oversight, incompetence, or deliberate disinformation? And why should anyone want to claim such accuracy and risk their credibility? The answer is in the lower left of the diagram – the 0.6 W/m2 claimed to be entering the deep oceans as a net result of the GHE. The data has been manipulated to match this value which is derived from ocean temperature measurements. These are also not accurate enough for this figure to be meaningful. The motivation for the deceit is an attempt to empirically quantify the GHE.
In the article IPCC-CO2 (18) I showed that this artificial balancing act has also been used by the IPCC in claiming the significance of our contribution to the Earth's carbon cycle. In that case they were honest enough to partly admit to the fiddle.

(C) The OCM lunar model:

The difference between my calculations for the moon and the Earth without an atmosphere is mainly due to the differing thermal properties of the moon's dust cover and the solid granite assumed in the model for Earth. The effective thickness and thermal properties of the dust were adjusted in the OCM lunar model to match the lunar data minimum. This produced a good fit with the DIVINER maximum but not the mean. This mismatch is presumably due to the fact that the measurements are a global mean and the model is not.

(D) The Earth's thermostat – a molecular basis
Buchner (21) used a pulsed laser technique to measure electrical properties of water. Figure 33 shows a drop at 30°C in permittivity (the ability of a substance to store electrical energy in an electric field) and relaxation time (the time taken to dissipate energy).

Figure 33: Anomalous dielectric behaviour of water

This looks to me like the kind of structural transition point needed to explain the uptick in Figure 25. In (1) Note (c) I discuss this in more detail and with further literature references for the anomalous behaviour of water at this temperature.

(E) Resonance in nature

The ratio phi, or golden ratio, is seen in quantum mechanics, the repetitive structures of plants, our sense of beauty, solar system formation, and galaxies. It may even be built into the structure of the universe if, as some conjecture, it has a soccer-ball structure. Whatever that might mean, it's a dodecahedron and a regular dodecahedron has dimensions determined by phi.
Another name for phi is the divine proportion. It is in a very real and rational sense God's cleaver, which has allowed nature to create order from chaos. If you need a reminder, re-view the simulation in Figure 19.
I predict that the most productive avenues in scientific discovery over this century will be plotting the role of resonance in nature.

(F) The Earth's thermostat – a personal perspective

Figure 34: Near the sea

I spent the first few years of my life near the sea – near enough that a king tide nearly took the house. All the ground around was sand, and in summer it was too hot to walk on. My introduction to thermodynamics came with the discovery that wet sand was merely warm – even cool if recently washed by a wave.
Later, adjusting to city life and still usually barefoot in summer, I found that bitumen molten in summer heat was far more painful than sand and it stuck, solidified, and was difficult to remove. On the other hand, puddles, also something new to me, were cool to warm and I learned unconsciously that they were never hot enough to be painful – a surface I could step on without caution – one of those little things we learn without knowing we've learned them, let alone wonder why. It's been many decades later that I discovered why I never scalded my feet in a puddle.


1: Dai Davies, 2017, Energy and Atmosphere, Energy&Atmosphere.pdf

2: Dai Davies, 2017, Radiative Delay in Context,

3: Gerhard Kramm, Ralph Dlugi, Nicole Mölders, 2017, Using Earth’s Moon as a Testbed for Quantifying the Effect of the Terrestrial Atmosphere, Natural Science, Vol. 9, (No. 8), pp: 251-288

4: Volokin and ReLlez, 2014, On the average temperature of airless spherical bodies and the magnitude of Earth’s atmospheric thermal effect SpringerPlus, 3:723.

5: Williams J.P. et al, 2017, The global surface temperatures of the Moon as measured by the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment, Icarus 283, 300–325

6: Nahle, Nasif S., 2011, Determination of Mean Free Path of Quantum/Waves and Total Emissivity of the Carbon Dioxide Considering the Molecular Cross Section. Biology Cabinet Online, Academic Resources. Monterrey, N. L.

7: Svensmark H, and Friis-Christensen E, 1997, ‘Variation of cosmic ray flux and global cloud coverage - a missing link in solar-climate relationships’, J. Atm. Sol. Terr. Phys. 59, 1225–1232.

8: Data sources for Figure 10.
(i) SSM/I: "The Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) and the Special Sensor Microwave Imager Sounder (SSMIS) are satellite passive microwave radiometers. ... These are near-polar orbiting satellites. ... Atmospheric Water Vapor, Cloud Liquid Water, and Rain Rate.
(ii) AERONET: Continuous cloud-screened observations of spectral aerosol optical depth, precipitable water, and inversion aerosol products in diverse aerosol regimes.
(iii) MODIS: Moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer Satellite imaging of multiple atmospheric and surface data.
(iv) ISCCP: International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project.

9: Bomin Sun, Raymond S. Bradley, 2002, Solar influences on cosmic rays and cloud formation: A reassessment, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 107, Issue D14

10: Dai Davies, Natural Cycles,

11: Scafetta N, 2010, Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics.

12: Reimer et al., 2004, Radiocarbon 46, data:

13: Junwei Zhao et al., 2013, Detection Of Equatorward Meridional Flow And Evidence Of Double-Cell Meridional Circulation Inside The Sun The Astrophysical Journal Letters

14: Continental drift animation,


16: Davies D., Lead in Petrol: Toward a cost benefit assessment, CRES Monograph 1, ANU Press, 1980.

17: Nikolov N., Zeller K., 2017, New Insights on the Physical Nature of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect Deduced from an Empirical Planetary Temperature Model. Environ. Pollut. Climate Change 1: 112.

18: Dai Davies, The IPCC and the Carbon Cycle – Fact or Fantasy?, IPCC-CO2

19: Davies D., 1972, A study of the hyperfine structure of the iodine molecule using a laser technique, MSc thesis, ANU.

20: Davies D., 2002, Representing time in automated speech recognition, PhD thesis, ANU.

21: Buchner R., The relaxation of water between 0 ºC and 35 ºC, Chemical Physics Letters 306, June 1999