The Greenhouse Effect – Happer: In a 25-minute presentation for the Shiller Institute, William Happer gives an outstanding presentation on the greenhouse effect, which is poorly understood by those claiming that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing dangerous global warming. Happer is a distinguished professor in Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics – the field of physics that encompasses the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation, radiative transfer.
Happer considers the proclamations of a climate crisis a form of hysteria and they have no scientific backing. Unfortunately, governments and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are promoting climate hysteria. Among the tricks they use is “bait and switch.” Photos of air in China polluted by soot, dust, etc. are passed off as pollution from CO2, N2O (Nitrous oxide), and CH4 (methane). These gases are invisible, transparent, but propagandists, including those in government, do not care.
The emissions of a clean power plant, which uses scrubbers for removing impurities from the exhausts, is about as clean as human breath, which is 4% CO2 and 6% water vapor (power plant emit much more CO2, but contrary to propaganda photos the CO2 is transparent.)
Happer points out that the 800-pound gorilla is the sun. About 30% of sunlight is reflected to space and about 70% heats the earth. Through convection in the oceans and the atmosphere this heat is transported from the tropics to the poles and to the top of the troposphere. The radiative effect primarily takes place above the troposphere where the atmosphere is very thin and there is little water vapor remaining. (Water vapor freezes out at the tropopause, about 20,000 feet (6000 meters) above the poles and 60,000 feet (18,000 meters) above the equator.)
[To TWTW, many of the problems of “solving climate change” encountered by climate modelers and others occurs because they fail to separate the issues of heat transport, by convection, from the issue of greenhouse effect, radiative transfer.]
Happer then discusses the work of John Tyndall (see quote of the week, above) and points out that we have forgotten this important work.
Happer brings up the work of Max Planck trying to solve the problem of how and why does radiation transfer work. In solving the thermal radiation transfer problem, Planck invented quantum mechanics. Why does the radiation distribution look the way it does? [Anyone claiming that understanding the greenhouse effect is simple physics does not know what he is talking about.]
Using the calculations of Planck for outgoing radiation without greenhouse gases the earth’s average surface temperature would be about 16 °F (minus 9 °C). [As Tyndall wrote, on the land masses each night, all plant life would freeze, making life on land unlikely.] With greenhouse gases, the earth’s average surface temperatures are about 60 °F (16 °C), making the earth habitable.
Happer super imposed on Planck’s graph is a graph using calculations and observations from the high-resolution transmission molecular absorption database (HITRAN). The second graph is named after German physicist and astronomer Karl Schwarzschild who died in 1916 on the Russian front from disease. The difference between the two graphs illustrates the greenhouse effect over the entire spectrum of infrared frequencies (wavelengths). The influences of various gases are identified.
What is clearly shown is that the influence of CO2 on warming the planet is pronounced when the CO2 goes from zero to 400 ppm (parts per million (actually in volume)). But there is little influence going from 400 ppm to 800 ppm. Based on HITRAN, Happer estimates that going from 400 to 800 ppm will decrease radiation to space by about 3 W/m2, which is insignificant.
Happer’s review is based on rock-solid physics. He states there is no climate emergency.
Happer presents two graphs comparing projections of temperatures with actual data. The first graph is from a paper in Nature Climate Change (September 2013) which shows estimated changes in temperatures as °C per decade on which the actual surface data from the HadCRUT 4 (Hadley Center and Climatic Research Unit Temperatures version 4) data set is superimposed. All the estimates exaggerate actual changes, including Happer’s own estimates in 1982.
The second graph is from John Christy showing predictions from climate models compared with observations in the Global Bulk Atmospheric Temperature (Surface-50K ft). The models greatly overestimate the warming of the atmosphere where the greenhouse effect occurs.
Happer then discusses the benefits of adding CO2 to the atmosphere, stating the Earth has been in CO2 famine for several tens of millions of years and our primate ancestors lived in an atmosphere far richer in CO2 than today. In recognizing that his view is opposed to a supposed “consensus of scientists,” Happer points out that so was the theory of continental drift. What is important is that it agrees with observation and experiment.
Happer concludes by stating:
“Policies to slow CO2 emissions are based on flawed computer models which exaggerate warming by factors of 2 or 3.
“More CO2 is an overall benefit, so costly ‘mitigation’ schemes are harmful. We should have the courage to do nothing about CO2 emissions.” See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
via climate science
March 29, 2021 at 06:10AM