Energy Flux Units

Climate skeptics are sometimes confused by the way that the intensity of sunlight is reported. The intensity of sunlight in space at Earth’s orbit is reported as about 1361 W/m2, while the average intensity of sunlight above Earth’s atmosphere is…

Response to R. I. Holmes on Total Solar Irradiance and Temperature at 1 Bar

This work responds to a paper by Robert Holmes (2019) which suggests that the temperatures of terrestrial planets with thick atmospheres depend primarily on total solar irradiance and pressure, based on examination of Venus, Earth, and Titan at an altitude where the pressure is 1 bar. A re-evaluation of the data invalidates the hypothesis in the case of Titan. Calculating a temperature for Earth based on Titan data yields a temperature for Earth that is too low by 25-30 K.

Response to R. I. Holmes on the Ideal Gas Law, Thermal Enhancement, and the Greenhouse Effect

This work responds to papers by Robert Holmes (2017, 2018), which assert that the Ideal Gas Law (IGL) predicts planetary surface temperatures and shows that increases in atmospheric CO2 can have only minimal impact on temperatures; also asserting that the greenhouse effect does not produce significant warming, and that surface temperatures are enhanced by convection and “auto-compression."

In 2015, Feldman et al. published a study that offered direct observational confirmation of the relationship between local variations in atmospheric CO2 concentration, and the radiative flux of downwelling longwave radiation (DLR) at the surface. In this essay, I'll address a question about interpreting these findings.

What factors contribute to increases in planetary temperature?

Physics tells us there are only a few fundamental factors that drive global temperatures. It is helpful to define what I will call the “energy-balancing temperature." This is the average global temperature that the planet’s surface would need to have in order for the rate at which energy leaves the planet by escaping into space to exactly balance the rate at which energy arrives into the planet’s atmosphere, oceans, and land.

Claes Johnson and the Schwarzschild Equation

Claes Johnson offered an analysis which claimed that the Schwarzchild equation used to do radiative transfer calculations is wrong. However, Johnson made up his own incorrect version of the Schwarzchild equation and made other errors, which render his conclusions nonsensical.

Comparing spectrums: Sunlight and Earth’s surface emissions

There seems to be a belief that diagrams comparing the spectrum of the Sun and the spectrum of thermal emissions from Earth's surface conceal how much longwave radiation is present in sunlight. That's not the case, but there is sometimes something a little "off" with such diagrams. In this post, I'll sort out these issues and present some rigorously correct diagrams.

Only a small fraction of CO2 in the air is of human origin?

"Both IPCC and NASA agree that anthropogenic CO2 is between 3 and 4% of total CO2." The person who wrote the statement above likely believed that this information counters the idea that anthropogenic CO2emissions are responsible for the the rise in atmospheric CO2 levels from 280 ppm to 420 ppm. Yet, it doesn't counter that idea at all.

Did Thomas Allmendinger show that Nitrogen and Oxygen absorb infrared radiation?

A 2016 experiment by Thomas Allmendinger claimed to have demonstrated that infrared radiation is absorbed by gases such as nitrogen, oxygen, and noble gasses, thereby invalidating the status of water vapor and CO2 as Greenhouse gasses. However, the flawed experiment actually demonstrated aluminum foil absorbing radiation.

Statistically Falsifying a Model

Many alleged "tests" of mainstream climate theories don't follow any scientifically legitimate procedure. So, their "falsifications" are themselves false. Here, I sketch how a proper statistical test of a scientific model functions.