Climate crisis shattered: doubt no more

What a delight it is to republish this story from CFACT by David Wojick. As he says, “burning fossil fuels can have no further impact on global warming.” Can we believe this? One huge clue is the fact that so far “three major physics journals have refused to publish it. The reviews have been defensive and antagonistic.” They only do that when the paper damages their cause. I’ve skimmed the paper and look forward to comments from people who can follow it. One conclusion fascinates me: “One greenhouse gas interferes with, and diminishes, the forcings of all others. But the self-interference of a greenhouse gas with itself, or saturation, is a much larger effect than interference between different gases.”

Study suggests no more CO2 warming

By October 26th, 2020

Precision research by physicists William Happer and William van Wijngaarden has determined that the present levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and water vapor are almost completely saturated. In radiation physics the technical term “saturated” implies that adding more molecules will not cause more warming.

In plain language this means that from now on our emissions from burning fossil fuels could have little or no further impact on global warming. There would be no climate emergency.  No threat at all. We could emit as much CO2 as we like; with no effect.

This astounding finding resolves a huge uncertainty that has plagued climate science for over a century. How should saturation be measured and what is its extent with regard to the primary greenhouse gases?

In radiation physics the term “saturation” is nothing like the simple thing we call saturation in ordinary language, just as the greenhouse effect is nothing like how greenhouses work. Your paper towel is saturated when it won’t pick up any more spilled milk. In contrast greenhouse gases are saturated when there is no more milk left to pick up, as it were, but it is far more complex than this simple analogy suggests.

Happer is probably best known to our readers as a leading skeptical scientist. He co-founded the prestigious CO2 Coalition and recently served on the staff of the National Security Council, advising President Trump. But his career has been as a world class radiation physicist at Princeton. His numerous peer reviewed journal articles have collectively garnered over 12,000 citations by other researchers.

In this study Professors Happer and van Wijngaarden (H&W) have worked through the saturation physics in painstaking detail. Their preprint is titled “Dependence of Earth’s Thermal Radiation on Five Most Abundant Greenhouse Gases“. They have gone far beyond the work done to date on this complex problem.

To begin with, while the standard studies treat the absorption of radiation by greenhouse molecules using crude absorption bands of radiation energy, H&W analyze the millions of distinct energies, called spectral lines, which make up these bands. This line by line approach has been an emerging field of analysis, often giving dramatically new results.

Nor do they just look at absorption. Here is how Professor Happer put it to me:

You would do our community a big favor by getting across two important points that few understand. Firstly: Thermal emission of greenhouse gases is just as important as absorption. Secondly: How the temperature of the atmosphere varies with altitude is as important as the concentration of greenhouse gases.

So they looked hard, not just at absorption but also including emissions and atmospheric temperature variation. The work is exceedingly complex but the conclusions are dramatically clear.

Happer and van Wijngaarden’s central conclusion is this:

For the most abundant greenhouse gases, H2O and CO2, the saturation effects are extreme, with per-molecule forcing powers suppressed by four orders of magnitude at standard concentrations...

Their graphical conclusions are especially telling:

Fig. 9 as well as Tables 2 and 4 show that at current concentrations, the forcings from all greenhouse gases are saturated. The saturations of the abundant greenhouse gases H2O and CO2 are so extreme that the per-molecule forcing is attenuated by four orders of magnitude…

The other three greenhouse gases they analyzed are ozone, nitrous oxide and methane. These are also saturated but not extremely so like water vapor and carbon dioxide. They are also relatively minor in abundance compared to CO2, which in turn is small compared to H2O.

Clearly this is work that the climate science community needs to carefully consider. This may not be easy given that three major physics journals have refused to publish it. The reviews have been defensive and antagonistic, neither thoughtful nor helpful. Alarmism is in control of the journals, censoring contrary findings, hence the preprint version.

Undaunted, H&W are now extending their analysis to include clouds. Alarmist climate science gets dangerous global warming, not from the CO2 increase alone, but also using positive water vapor and cloud feedbacks. Given that carbon dioxide and water vapor are both extremely saturated, it is highly unlikely that cloud feedbacks alone can do much damage, but it requires careful analysis to know this for sure. Stay tuned.

In the meantime the present work needs to be front and center as we strive for rational climate science. Professors William Happer and William van Wijngaarden are to be congratulated for an elegant and timely breakthrough.

14 Thoughts on “Climate crisis shattered: doubt no more

  1. Hopefully the consensus will start to crumble .
    Don’t hold your breath as there is far to much at stake as this was never about climate .
    As I have stated before there is no proof that the doubling of CO2 will raise the earths temperature by more than .6 of one degree Celsius the effect is logarithmic and that is basically what Happer and Van Wijngaarden have found .
    The theory of global warming relies on the tropical hotspot and positive water vapour feed back.
    Neither have been proven to exist and on top of that the effects of clouds have not been modeled as they both cool and warm the earth and more clouds will reflect more of the suns rays back to space .
    There is so much nonsense about emissions that it is fraudulent the way emissions are calculated .
    The theory of global warming -climate change is that we are extracting and combusting fossil fuel that has been locked up beneath the ground for millions of years and the resulting CO2 is causing the atmosphere to warm .
    If that is so how can CO2 from the atmosphere absorbed by vegetation and then back to the atmosphere qualify as emissions . This is a cycle and there is no way that this should ever be counted as our emissions here in New Zealand or any where in the world.
    James Shaw our climate change minister ? counts all our plantation forest logging as emissions .
    Stop and think for a minute .If these trees had not been planted the CO2 would still be in the atmosphere
    therefore as the timber is used and gradually returns the CO2 to the atmosphere over many years.
    A new crop of trees absorbs CO2 and in 28 to 30 years they will absorb much more than the what would be returned to the atmosphere as sawn timber will be around for up to 100 years .
    70% of our timber is exported yet these exports are counted as our emissions ,How does this happen ?
    Does Saudi Arabia sell oil to the world and count those exports as emissions ?
    Of course not they are counted in the country where the fuel is used .
    Then we look at enteric methane from farmed livestock and the same argument is that the process is a cycle and all the fodder that farmed animals consume has absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere and the very small amount of methane emitted during digestion breaks down in the upper atmosphere in 8 to 10 years into CO2 and water vapour .
    The process is a cycle and not one additional atom or molecule containing carbon is added to the atmosphere over any time frame .
    Jump up and down and scream that methane has a lot more heating power than CO2 .
    That may be so BUT the atmospheric methane levels flat lined from 1999 to 2008 when world coal production hovered around 4.7 billion tonnes year on year ,
    2008 saw world coal production move up and it has now exceeded 8 billion tones and methane levels have increased in line with this increase .
    Blame the COAL and leave the cows alone to provide food for the world .
    A lot more farmed livestock to keep vegetation under control around this country would prevent these fires that we have seen in the South Island .
    And what happened to all that dry vegetation that was burnt ? It is all back in the atmosphere and James Shaw wont count that as out emissions will he .
    I hope that some common sense will prevail but we might be waiting a long time .
    Farming to feed the world .

    • Richard Treadgold on October 27, 2020 at 10:53 pm said:

      A very full response, Graham, thanks. I must say I agree with a lot of what you say; a few points here and there I might quibble with (but they don’t matter). We’re all waiting now on some scientific scrutiny and comment on their paper. Cheers.

  2. This paper obviously has momentous significance for the politics of climate change, because if its conclusions are correct they utterly destroy the so-called ‘scientific’ basis of the alarmists’ worldview and their world revolutionary crusade that’s built upon it. However, I think its significance for science, although potentially just as momentous in the long term, is not so great right now, because its analysis and conclusions have not yet been tested and verified empirically by independent scientists. And given the shambolic, corrupt and highly politicised condition of modern ‘climate science’, I fear we could have a long time to wait before that essential scientific work will get done.

    So the question I am asking myself (and anyone who feels they can answer it) is that of whether or not this completely unverified set of purely theoretical results can really present a serious threat to the climate alarmist establishment. I think the establishment will already have judged that it can and that is why the mainstream journals are refusing to publish this paper.

    But the climate alarmist establishment is doing whatever it thinks it will take to win its insane global war against airborne plant-food and it is already operating beyond the reach of the law. I think Prof’s Happer and van Wijngaarden would be well-advised to check their life-insurance and take their families away to safe hiding places – just as a precaution, you understand.

  3. Last week you were saying that there is insufficient CO2 in the atmosphere to affect the climate. This week you are saying there is so much CO2 that it has saturated the infrared spectra. How do you internalise these logical inconsistencies?

  4. Richard Treadgold on October 29, 2020 at 9:05 am said:


    When you’re not being rude you’re still irritating.

    Whom are you addressing? What did they say?

  5. Its quite simple Simon,the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is very small at 415 parts per million and the effect is logarithmic .
    Do you know what that means Simon? The first 100 parts per million has the greatest effect .
    The next 100 parts per million has only half as much effect and the next 200 parts per million which is in effect doubling has only half as much again .
    This study shows that the atmosphere is saturated with CO2 and water vapour so there can be no more heating caused by either gas .
    This has always been known but some scientists have tried to make names for themselves by proposing that CO2 will cause runaway global warming .
    The theory of global warming relies (or should I write lies on) the tropical hotspot and positive water vapour feed back .
    Despite frantic searching and false claims these have never been proven to exist .
    If there was positive water vapour feed back global warming would have occurred in the past when CO2 has been much higher .
    Water vapour is by far the dominant so called green house gas but it both warms and cools this earth .
    If an increase in water vapour could lead to runaway warming it would have happened by now .
    This study confirms this .
    Come back with some proof that our climate is going to spiral out of control Simon . There is no proof except in the heads of the useful idiots as those scientists pushing this scam know it is not going to happen

  6. “Water vapour………but it both warms and cools this earth.”

    Nothing in the atmosphere warms this earth. All gases in the atmosphere do not add energy to the atmosphere, but disperse it. All gases in the atmosphere just dissipate heat .
    You’re also confused by cloud cover at night keeping the atmosphere warm ( but only warmer than the night or two before, when the night sky was clear… ie no nett warming)
    Clouds, in simple terms, act as a thermostatic governor of Earth temperature…. a fine tuning of the temperature…a moderating effect, dampening down of excessive global temperature swings. The cloud cover (blanket) at night may slow heat movement from the atmosphere near the surface to the atmosphere above the clouds, but that’s about it. Far more effective is the “blanket” of clouds during the day keeping the surface COOLER by shielding it from the sun.
    In total , the atmosphere , water vapour and condensed water vapour, just stabilise and finely tune Earth temperature… cloud’s presence by night slowing the rate of heat loss from the surface causing a “warming”.. and by day , shielding the surface causing the surface to actually BE cooler.
    The atmosphere raising the temperature of this planet by 33deg C, from a frozen Earth at -18 deg C to the real 15deg C, is science for imbeciles and the sooner this piece of science fantasy, derived from Trenberth’s looney Earth Energy Budget diagrams showing only 340 watts/sq.m arriving at The Top of the Atmosphere, is removed from the school curriculums, the better…. How do we do that?

  7. Graham on October 30, 2020 at 7:58 am said:

    For the nitpickers
    Water vapour as clouds holds heat from radiating to space from the earths surface and clouds reflect heat from the sun back into space .
    So water vapour has an effect on the earths temperature as it cools the earth and retains the suns warmth ,

  8. “……reflect heat from the sun….”

    For the nitpickers
    There’s no “heat” from the sun… there’s energy in the form of radiation from the sun.
    Get your basic physics right.

  9. Graham on October 30, 2020 at 5:16 pm said:

    For the nitpickers .
    So the sun does not warm the earth ?
    This scam was originally called global warming .
    Never heard it called global radiation.
    Go stand out side at night on a cloudless night .No heat from the sun .
    The sun radiates but the effect on the ground is warming when the sun shines and the heat soon rises on a cold clear winters night and disappears to space .
    The suns rays are reflected off clouds and snow and ice back into space so that radiation never gets to affect the worlds climate .

  10. Well, as far as I can fathom from your last two comments, which amount to an unhinged, disjointed, confusing. incomprehensible load of crap; I would at least discern some elements that suggest you might know it’s called the RADIATIVE Greenhouse effect…..I may be wrong…. ignorance never fails to amaze me.

  11. btw, for readers and RT. I was told by Graham…
    “Get your facts right before blowing your mouth off” here..

  12. Graham on October 31, 2020 at 2:36 pm said:

    It is a futile waste of time conversing with the nitpicker .
    According to Mack the sun does not warm the earth . Who is talking Crap?
    The surface of the sun is 5578 K and heat is radiated into space and it takes 8 minutes 20 seconds for the suns rays to reach the earth.
    Radiation is the transfer of heat energy through space by electromagnetic radiation.
    Most of the solar radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere and much of what reaches the earths surface is radiated back into the atmosphere and back to space.

  13. “Most of the solar radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere and much of what reaches the earth’s surface is radiated back into the atmosphere and back to space”

    Have you got any numbers to support that pile of tripe? The radiative energy from the Sun (strictly speaking Power) is in watts,… watts/sq.m. Have you got any watts/sq.m. to support your assertions, or are you simply blathering through a hole in ya head?

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