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The ClimArc Archives

Now moved to Brindabella Archives at this site



Not long ago, like many others, I thought it was likely that the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by burning fossil fuels was building up in the Earth's atmosphere and causing the increased global temperatures experienced over the last century. Being a scientist, trained to base my views on data rather than the opinions of others, I started to look deeper. The more I looked, the less certain I became.

The only relevant data we have is the small rise in temperatures the Earth has experienced over the last two centuries – about 1 to 2 Cº – and rising CO2 levels. I eventually came to the conclusion that the temperature increase was just the ending of The Little Ice Age – an historical fact – and we were in what the historians have called a ‘climate optima’ like the previous Medieval, Roman, and Minoan warm periods when humans, and Life on Earth generally, thrived.

Looking at the Earth's carbon cycle, it became obvious that the mere 1% we have added with our total industrial era emissions was not upsetting the carbon cycle and that other factors were determining atmospheric CO2 levels.

I was also surprised to realise how little public discussion and serious debate this issue had received, given the extreme measures that were being proposed. We were being told by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that we had to ‘decarbonise’ our energy use – a massively costly act of deliberate self-harm if not justifiable. There are two links in the chain of logic that supported this conclusion. The first was that our industrial CO2 emissions were the primary cause of increasing atmospheric CO2. The second link was that the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere controlled surface temperatures.

I am now convinced that the IPCC is wrong on both counts, and that the counter-measures the UN have pushed on us are ill-considered and failing. Those countries that have pursued this course are now facing industrially crippling energy prices and supply uncertainty. We need to act quickly to prevent further damage.

My latest research is summarised in the article Radiative Delay in Context. Its abstract reads:

It is said that radiative gasses (RGs, or greenhouse gasses) trap heat radiated from the Earth's surface causing it’s temperature to rise by 33 K above the theoretical temperature with no atmosphere. The word ‘trap’ is misleading. RGs delay the radiative transmission of heat from surface to space.
I estimate this delay and conclude that its average impact on atmospheric temperatures, the Radiative Delay Effect (RDE), is in the order of 0.15 [0.1 to 1] K. This result is then placed in the broader context of atmospheric thermodynamics where it complements recent work on the air-surface interaction. The combination leaves no significant role for carbon dioxide.

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Diurnal Smoothing Effect
The Diurnal Smoothing Effect
Dai Davies, 190108


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 1:

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.




Figure 8: A comparison of Earth atmospheres and the moon







Open Climate Modeller claculating DSE over a daily cycle

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).

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The IPCC and the Carbon Cycle

We are told by the IPCC that CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels are causing atmospheric CO2 levels to rise and that these are causing global warming. Of the two links in this chain of reasoning this article addresses the first.

I show that the IPCC view of the carbon cycle is fundamentally flawed in many ways, and is not supportable at any meaningful level of confidence. This is not esoteric science to be left to specialists or ‘great minds’. Any numerate person who cares to look and think can understand the insignificance of our total industrial era CO2 emissions at less than 1% of the carbon cycle and our annual emissions at just 5% of the air-sea fluxes.

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This article looks at the energy dynamics of the Earth's atmosphere. Since the role of radiative gasses has become a political issue that is undermining the stability of industrial economies and denying the many benefits of cheap and reliable energy to billions of people, the precise nature of the energy dynamics of our atmosphere has become a trillion dollar question.

It shows a new derivation for the adiabatic temperature lapse rate in the atmosphere.
It also points to a possible explanation for why the Earth's water thermostat cuts in so suddenly at 30 Cº.

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The IPCC and the Carbon Cycle

We are told by the IPCC that CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels are causing atmospheric CO2 levels to rise and that these are causing global warming. Of the two links in this chain of reasoning this article addresses the first.

I show that the IPCC view of the carbon cycle is fundamentally flawed in many ways, and is not supportable at any meaningful level of confidence. This is not esoteric science to be left to specialists or ‘great minds’. Any numerate person who cares to look and think can understand the insignificance of our total industrial era CO2 emissions at less than 1% of the carbon cycle and our annual emissions at just 5% of the air-sea fluxes.

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This is an early overview article looking at things and events that have influenced my views on climate.

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Plot from the southern Sea Surface Temperature modelling.
See the SST images archive in the images branch. A description of this project is forthcoming.

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Forthcoming article: a technical description of the SST modelling discussed in the article Natural Cycles.

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This is a personal view of the political nature of the CO2 scare from an environmentalist who has watched on in dismay at the extreme politicisation of the environment. I watched the takeover of the environment movement since the 1970s by the extreme left acting with motives that have nothing to do with reducing our environmental impact.
Moving forward we see the actions of the totalitarian left in the United Nations and associated NGOs forming the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and how this has perverted the already corrupted nexus between science and public policy.

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