Thoughts on the ‘greenhouse effect’


The black line is the annual variation in atmospheric "aborbing power" over a 61-year period. The red trend line shows the greenhouse aborbing power remaining constant (in equilibrium) during that period. Greenhouse absorption increases (blue trend line) only when H20 levels are kept constant.

Here is my reply to Roy Spencer’s recent column describing the reality of the “greenhouse effect”:

Thanks for the nice explanation of the workings of the so-called “greenhouse effect,” which, as you point out, is misnamed. It more accurately should be referred to as the “atmospheric effect,” but I guess we’re stuck with “greenhouse.”

I notice you don’t spend much time explaining the role of conduction, convection and vaporization and its contribution to the earth’s cooling. Is it possible that those atmospheric processes overwhelm what little impact the earth receives from CO2-induced warming?

Dr. Ferenc Miskolczi’s peer-reviewed findings indicate that there is a “greenhouse equilibrium,” probably the result of changes in atmospheric water vapor transport and heat transport, cancelling out the thermal impact of increased levels of CO2.

As Miskolczi notes: “Our atmosphere, with its infinite degree of freedom, is able to maintain its global average infrared absorption at an optimal level. In technical terms, this “greenhouse constant” is the total infrared optical thickness of the atmosphere, and its theoretical value is 1.87. Despite the 30 per cent increase of CO2 in the last 61 years, this value has not changed. The atmosphere is not increasing its absorption power as was predicted by the IPCC.

He continues:

“The conventional greenhouse theory does not consider the newly discovered physical relationships involving infrared radiative fluxes. These relationships pose strong energetic constraints on an equilibrium system . . . Nobody thought that a 100-year-old theory could be wrong. The original greenhouse formula, developed by an astrophysicist, applies only to the stars, not to finite, semi-transparent planetary atmospheres. New equations had to be formulated.”



About kirkmyers

Environmental News Columnist for Thirty-year veteran of the advertising and public relations professions.
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