Greenhouse Gas Errors Abound on WUWT Blog

Because of the stringent censorship policy of Anthony Watts his award-winning WUWT science blog is not a place  you will find articles skeptical of the so-called greenhouse gas theory (GHE). In keeping with that ethos Willis Eschenbach’s recent guest article for Watts provides another defense of what critics say is pseudo-science.  Nonetheless, adverse comments there soon began to fly, which was unusual coming from loyal WUWT readers. Below is an edited version of Joe Postma’s impassioned refutation of that Eschenbach  piece. If only Mr. Eschenbach and Mr. Watts would engage Postma and other GHE critics in debate. There is no doubt WUWT readers have a growing appetite for it.

CO2 smoking image

The Fraud of the AGHE Part 11: Quantum Mechanics & The Sheer Stupidity of “GHE Science” on WUWT

Guest post by Astrophysicist, Joseph E. Postma

On this fairly recent post at “Watts Up With That”, guest contributor Willis Eschenbach developed an explanation for the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect using steel shells, with one inside the other.  What Willis does is so intellectually offensive, so mentally incompetent, that it beggars the imagination. Willis takes an inner sphere radiating at a certain temperature as a blackbody, and then surrounds the sphere with a metal shell in order to trap the radiation.


Now, what does modern physics actually have to say about radiation trapped inside a cavity?  Let’s forget that the rules of arithmetical addition are still waiting to be defined by greenhouse effect advocates in the 21st Century, and let just pretend that the 20′th Century and the rest of mathematical history actually occurred.

The idea that a cold shell outside a warm interior causes the warmer interior to heat up some more by trapping radiation inside has always been and will always be a gross violation of basic thermodynamics; as we will see it is also an embarrassing violation of quantum mechanics and the very origin and well-known history of the idea of a blackbody.

It is also specifically the pseudoscience that has been invented to explain the arbitrary difference between the kinetic temperature of the air near the surface and the equivalent blackbody temperature of the outgoing averaged radiation – an invention based on an arbitrary and physically meaningless comparison, which isn’t necessary, because the bottom of the atmospheric layer is naturally the warmest part of the total average ensemble, and because sunlight heating in day time at the ground surface actually has an average value of +49C on the sunlit hemisphere, and this heat distributes up into the atmosphere, cooling as it goes.  It is this latter fact that the invention of a cold layer heating up an already warmer layer has been meant to replace, in order to create the foundation for CO2 alarm and hence the political and societal goals related to that fraud, and of course this was done with assistance by diluting the true power of incident sunlight to a greater surface area where said sunshine doesn’t actually even exist.  Sunlight does not exist on the surface at night time and therefore all of the pseudoscience related to this proposition and subsequent to it is false.

A cavity which traps radiation does not increase the frequency of the radiation.  It is only with an increase of the frequency spectrum of the radiation by which a radiation spectrum can induce higher temperature, and radiation can not and does not change its own frequency spectrum when trapped in a cavity.  The idea that it does is a plain violation ofthe whole origin of Planck’s Law and the blackbody spectrum, and hence of quantum mechanics.  Radiation trapped inside a cavity, such as between the atmosphere and surface, does not increase the frequency of the radiation spectrum, and hence does not cause a change in temperature – particularly when the actual source of radiation and input heating is an approximately 6500K spectrum, and the cavity radiation is only a 255K spectrum.  The internal cavity radiation of 255K is a result of the heating which initially occurred due to the 6500K spectrum input, and this cavity radiation can not increase its own temperature or its own frequency spectrum past what the 6500K spectrum input already did.  This is just basic thermodynamics.

In IPCC greenhouse physics and in the attendant fraudulent models, the idea that cavity radiation causes an increase in temperature requires that a hotter object emits less radiation and that a colder object emits more, violating Wien’s Law, Plank’s Law and the Stefan-Boltzmann Law (which are all just Planck’s Law).  The IPCC models stated that a warming planet from greenhouse gases should emit less energy; the data has shown that a warming planet emits more energy.  The mathematics of this invented physics also shows that at zero emission, i.e. perfect internal radiation trapping within the cavity, that at zero emission an object would have infinite temperature.  So, both an object of zero Kelvin and infinite kelvin emit zero energy.  It’s absurd.

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18 responses to “Greenhouse Gas Errors Abound on WUWT Blog

  1. Pingback: Greenhouse Gas Errors Abound on WUWT Blog | Skeptics Chillin'

  2. I don’t know which WUWT blog you were reading. The place is a hotbed of people vilifying AGW as a ridiculous travesty of science.

  3. John O'Sullivan

    John, Anthony Watts is a hard core believer in the greenhouse gas ‘theory’ and insists it must cause ‘some’ warming. However, my colleagues at Principia Scientific International (inc. a physicist nominated for a Nobel Science, Prize, an immediate past president of one of the royal colleges of science. etc.) have refuted the ‘theory.’ We proved CO2 can only cause cooling. We have repeatedly asked Watts to address our science. In reply he has banned us from his site and told us he doesn’t care if our science is correct or not he still thinks we are “cranks.” The only logical reason appears to be he is afraid of losing his blog’s status if the CO2 fraud collapses. This is all in the public domain. Ask Watts if you don’t believe me.

    • That would at least correlate with readings in ice core strata indicating high co2 is consistent with ice ages. Yet such action from a trace gas still cautions correlation is not causation….unless we are really picking nits on the meaning of ‘some.’ Could one even measure such a calculated difference ? Of course I must also allow leeway for co2 saturation to progress to a great excess over current levels when asking such a question.

      • johnosullivan

        This issue of CO2 saturation was addressed and resolved by mainstream science before 1951 and as a consequence the greenhouse gas hypothesis was abandoned. We know this from Brooks, C.E.P. (1951). “Geological and Historical Aspects of Climatic Change.” In Compendium of Meteorology, edited by Thomas F. Malone, pp. 1004-18 (at 1016). Boston: The AMS stated that the idea that CO2 could alter the climate “was never widely accepted and was abandoned when it was found that all the long-wave radiation [that would be] absorbed by CO2 is [already] absorbed by water vapor.”

    • The very first return on your parameters suggests co2 cooling is accepted at WUWT. Mind, if the Solar Wind is hotter than Earth as Roscoe says, why is everybody arguing about heat loss instead of radiation blocking ? ( and I have heard little about fluctuation of the Magnetosphere ). Not that the whole planet would be exposed to that action evenly any more than there is no day and night.
      And Tony may be preserving the co2 warming meme in your eyes – but he has a very strange way of going about it to mine.

      • johnosullivan

        I entirely agree with you that AW is missing the wood for the trees in that he inadvertently has the evidence before his eyes to prove CO2 cannot possibly cause warming. I believe AW’s problem is that he lacks the requisite training in the science to actually gain insight from such evidence. This is why PSI discretely arranged for leading experts in thermodynamics to speak with AW, Roy Spencer and Dick Lindzen. We even involved Mikron Inc. the world leaders in IR thermometers to prove Spencer was flat out wrong to claim IR thermometers ‘prove’ the GHE. We even involved leading space scientists to refute Spencer’s absurd notion that outer space was ‘cold’ and that our atmosphere keeps us ‘warm’ like a ‘blanket.’ Also, the notion that any gas can ‘trap’ heat is one of the most absurd ‘explanation’s offered by these pseudo scientists. Together these become a monumental error that prove Tim Ball’s point that climatology is a generalist subject and requires expert input from other science specialties. It is a travesty that a whole generation of climatologists has been duped into believing the GHE was real when before the 1950’s mainstream science explicitly stated the opposite.

  4. AlecM

    The ‘back radiation’ error is because the pyrgeometer internally converts by S-B the measured temperature [and that measurement is very dodgy because the device doesn’t work as claimed] to the Power it would emit to a sink at 0 °K.

    This is then added to the experimental net surface radiation from the difference of input SW and the convected and evapo-transpired output, to make the claimed black body IR radiation from the surface.

    This is appalling physics unique to the atmospheric sciences. The purported 396 W/m^2 is mostly imaginary. Only the net value is real.and none of that can be in the CO2 IR band – simple radiative equilibrium physics I learnt as a process engineer.

    This increases IR warming by 6.85 times hence the imaginary positive feedback.

    Basically, this is weapons’-grade scientificstupidity. ‘Back radiation’ has never been proved experimentally. There is no peer reviewed paper proving it exists theoretically – Eshenbach’s paper and others of the same ilk are nonsensical.

    • johnosullivan

      Dear Alec, Many thanks for your most insightful comment regarding IR thermometers. We are very much in agreement on this issue. Would you be interested in joining Principia Scientific International (PSI)? Membership is entirely free and we are most eager to recruit individuals with training or technical understanding of these matters. We would be happy to have you in either an active or passive capacity as we seek to build a greater force to help dethrone the post normal science that pervades so much government funded research these days. Kind regards.

  5. Steve Mennie

    John O’Sullivan you are a cosmic joke.

  6. The simple inexplicable truth is that IPCC physics requires that the Earth heats itself UP by radiating LESS to space.

    There is no doubt about their claim – CO2 “traps” heat leading to “global warming”.

    Anything that is radiating LESS to space is actually cooling NOT heating – that is according ALL RATIONAL science.

    That people accept that something can increase its internal energy by radiating less – a sure sign of cooling – is a sure sign that education has either failed or is deliberately misleading.

    The obvious failure of their belief system is when the improbability of cold objects causing warming of hotter objects is highlighted they change tune to the explanation that it is the sun after all and GHGs simply slow the cooling rate.

    One of the principal beliefs is that our atmosphere acts like a blanket protecting us from the “cold” of deep space. This sounds plausible.

    However it is errant nonsense – the Earth is NOT in deep space but is relatively close to a moderate star and the space surrounding Earth is awash with radiation widely agreed to be of the order of 1370 W/sq. metre which according to accepted physics is the radiation that would be emitted by an object with a temperature of about 390 K or about 120 degrees C.

    On the basis of stupidity of applying physical concepts such as hot or cold to something which has no substance at all – vacuum space – I say the vacuum space surrounding Earth is actually quite “hot”.

    • And if one thought of an ‘average of radiation input’ – then the dark side of the Earth should be receiving input at a much lower rate than Sunward, which itself presents various angles of attack. Coupling this with the idea that water evaporation, possibly through thunderheads, could vent some excess energy completely out of the atmosphere, and a balancing mechanism seems possible to likely. Nor have I dreamed that idea up by myself.

  7. Edmonton Al

    I was reading the discussion back an forth on

    This excerpt

    —–Original Message—–

    From: Roy Spencer

    Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2012 10:14 AM

    To: Claes Johnson

    Cc: Pierre Latour; Dick Lindzen; S. Fred Singer; Tom Sheahen; Larry Bell

    Subject: Re: Open Letter Exchange v4

    My blog post simply points out that less infrared energy escaping from the Earth to space leads to net energy accumulation, and a temperature increase.

    If you consider conservation of energy a “triviality”, I cannot help you Claes.


    From above:
    “energy accumulation and a temperature increase…..”

    “Energy accumulation” but not necessarily “Temperature increase”
    A temperature increase only if the atmosphere goes not expand. More heat[KE]; results in more volume; same temp.

    Why does Dr S. not realize that?

    • Al, This is the problem with the likes of Spencer, Lindzen et al. they have no training in higher thermodynamics so don’t think through all the permutations. Instead, they stick to the discredited mantra that CO2 must cause “some” warming. They aren’t scientists, they’re academics pretending to do science.

  8. Gail Combs

    John, here is my take based on actual observation.

    Over at WUWT a commenter, Sleepalot Did a comparison of the Brazilian rainforest (Barcelos) and the N. African Desert (Adrar Algeria)

    I looked at the data in more detail by looking at only non-rainy days. SEE comments, Here and Here.

    The effect of the addition of water vapor (~ 4%) is not to raise the temperature but to even the temperature out. The monthly high is 10C lower and the monthly low is ~ 10C higher when the GHG H2O is added to the atmosphere in this example. The average temperature is about 4C lower in Brazil despite the fact that Algeria is further north above the tropic of Cancer. Some of the difference is from the effect of clouds/albedo but the dramatic effect on the temperature extremes is also from the humidity.
    One would expect a drop in temperature of ~ 4C due to altitude for Adrar, Algeria so the difference between locations, taking into account altitude is ~ 8C higher in Adrar which is further north but with much lower humidity.

    What no one ever mentions is GHGs modify the incoming sunlight in the daytime and the outgoing earthshine at night and this is a very short term modification. You can see the response time in this graph of solar eclipse data taken in the desert. GRAPH

    Second since the wavelength distribution of incoming sunlight is much tighter than outgoing earthshine, sunlight has much greater energy per wavelength compared to the outgoing IR.


    In this GRAPH note the graphic dirty trick of making incoming and outgoing the same shape. Also if only 15% to 30% of outgoing radiation is transmitted the earth would have been a cinder by now. Incoming HAS TO EQUAL outgoing over the long haul.

    A more honest GRAPH

    Another Graph no one ever shows. Note that the variation in Short Wave(SW) energy is not seen in the atmosphere but is absorbed by the earths surface, 70% of which is ocean.
    ocean absorption graph

  9. Gail Combs

    please fish my comment out of moderation

  10. Mervyn Sullivan

    John, I truly value the work you do here.

    I have recently had a book published to which I draw attention to your important articles and to your book “Slaying the Sky Dragon…”

    Could you kindly email me a postal address that I can send you a soft cover version.


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