08 March 2012
Even prominent man-made climate change skeptics are ignoring monumental errors in orthodox ‘greenhouse gas theory.’ Critics say it's time for full public debate on the underlying science.
This article presents a challenge to all fair-minded thinkers to meet in debate to discuss where the 'greenhouse gas warming' supposition is contradicted by (1) empirical measurements, (2) established laws of science and (3) real-world observations.
Critics argue that with the climate alarmist movement in full retreat and temperatures in decline - despite incessant rises in levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), climatologists should now come clean about the anomalies.
Recently public in-fighting has arisen among ‘skeptics’ of the man-made global narrative due to compelling new science that deftly refutes the greenhouse warming fiction.
This ‘new’ science is merely correct adherence to traditional 'old' scientific methods by specialists from space science, thermodynamics, mathematics and applied engineering. It is only in recent times that such an array of highly credentialed specialists has formed to collectively critique this cornerstone of the generalist field of climatology.
Specialists Succeed Where Generalists Fail
Climatologist, Tim Ball, more than anyone, eruditely describes this concept of specialists unraveling errors created by generalists. It is also inescapably defined as a key issue by the Oxburgh Review. This was the British government's official investigation into the 'Climategate' scandal. It observed that there exists a critical weakness in the science of climatology because it is comprised of generalists. Oxburgh recommended that the errors exposed in Climategate would be better avoided if climatologists were less insular and took on board input from outside experts. Oxburgh identifies the right problem but for the wrong reason.
Let’s be clear, it is not a weakness to be a generalist discipline. Climatology is a generalist discipline and therefore must incorporate the individual pieces studied by specialists. The role of the climatologist is to identify how and where each specialist piece fits. Oxburgh is correct that climatologists should seek input from specialists, as Ball has done, especially in his work with physicists on the role of CO2.
This is precisely the approach applied with the dozens of scientists and engineers associated with Principia Scientific International. As a result several robustly peer-reviewed papers critical of the standard GHE model have been published to intense interest (but not within the climate science fraternity).
Anyone pursuing objective science won’t mind me pinpointing some of the more obvious errors committed by Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer and Christopher Monckton.
Fallacies that Require Open Debate
Lord Monckton on blackbody radiation:
The Viscount asserts that Blackbodies have albedo. Yet a blackbody is defined as an entity that absorbs and emits all of the radiation that impinges on it, thus ruling out a reflective component ipso facto. Indeed, the blackbody radiation formula was derived from observations of cavity radiation, that is, radiation emanating from a hole that has no reflecting surface in the first place. The Earth is clearly not a hole, and any attempt to compare it to a hole is only justifiable as a convenience, not as a reality.
What Monckton is talking about is a gray body - another hypothetical entity which follows the Stephan Boltzmann Equation but reduced by a constant value for each wavelength. Again this does not describe the Earth. The shorter solar wavelengths are more likely to be reflected and the longer solar wavelengths to be absorbed.
Indeed it is this variation of albedo with wavelength that is used by the believers of the greenhouse theory to justify their claim of a 33K greenhouse effect. Joseph Postma has written three papers on the greenhouse effect and deals with all the mistakes that Monckton makes. [1.]
Roy Spencer on Greenhouse Theory:
The argument by Latour exposes the junk numbers in the entire man-made global warming argument. It appears as though, besides Monckton, Spencer also needs to reassess the need for math and blackbody calculations. In short, Latour affirms that there is NO greenhouse effect in the atmosphere and he shows the calculations to prove it. But what would chemical engineers know anyway? They aren’t UN IPCC climatologists.
Lindzen’s Greenhouse Gas Theory Contradicts Spencer’s
Professor Lindzen's GHE theory has it that atmospheric warming occurs from the top down. Professor Spencer, who argues the GHE operates from the ground up, contradicts this. The contradiction requires open debate, without fear that proponents of official IPCC science will benefit from the division among skeptics.
No CO2 Signal in Downwelling Radiation
Here is a peer-reviewed paper on a 14-year study of downwelling infrared radiation in the central U.S. It shows a decrease over that period and roughly correlated with average cloudiness. If there was a signal from increased CO2, it wasn’t detectable.[2.]
Climate “science” should confirm this lack of CO2 effect, because it is the proper scientific approach to disprove the hypothesis that human CO2 is causing warming or climate change.
Why Popular Skeptics Should Lead by Example
We rightly admire these popular leading scientists for exposing the worst excesses of climate alarm. But we should also never forget that science is not a popularity contest. In the true spirit of skepticism should we not also question whether the greenhouse gas hypothesis is ‘settled science’?
In his Dimbleby lecture the other day, Royal Society President and Nobel Science Prize winner, Paul Nurse put this into context:
“The scientific endeavour is at its most successful when there is freedom of thought. Scientists need to be able to freely express doubts, to be sceptical about established orthodoxy, and must not be too strongly directed from the top, which stifles creativity.”
This is ironic because the Royal Society and Paul Nurse have not followed these practices in the climate debate. Those of us dubbed skeptics - as all scientists should be - must practice what they preach in open public debate and thrash out the uncertainties. Scientists should never flee from debate or the public may reasonably question – why?
[1.] Postma, J.E., ‘The Model Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect,’ (July 22, 2011), Principia Scientific International; Postma, J.E., ‘Copernicus Meets the Greenhouse Effect,’(Sept. 10, 2011), Principia Scientific International;Postma; J.E. Postma, 'Understanding the Thermodynamic Atmosphere Effect,' (March, 2011), www.tech-know.eu
[2.]P. J. Gero, D.D. Turner, 'Long-Term Trends in Downwelling Spectral Infrared Radiance over the U.S. Southern Great Plains,' (September 2011), American Meteorological Society,Volume 24, Issue 18
John O'Sullivan is Co-founder of Principia Scientific International
Acknowledgements: This article is inspired by the work of Malcolm Roberts, Pierre Latour, Alan Siddons, Hans Schreuder, Tim Ball, Nasif Nahle, Martin Hertzberg, Jinan Cao, Matthias Kleespies, Claes Johnson, Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf Tscheuschner