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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Where Did Climate Science Go Wrong?

Where Did Climate Science Go Wrong?

Climate Science, specifically the Theory of Global Warming, is based on assumptions. If those assumptions are valid, the supporting work will be valid, if not?

The first assumption is that our world without greenhouse gases would be 33 degrees cooler. That assumption is based on the assumption that the Earth would reflect just as much sunlight as it does today. A valid assumption provided the surface absorbed all the sunlight or if the top of the atmosphere temperature is used consistently to determine warming. If the top of the atmosphere is used, then the assumption can be made that the atmosphere was so low, that the surface and atmosphere could be at the same temperature.

That’s what, three assumptions supporting one main assumption?
There is more to heat transfer than photons. If the Earth had nitrogen and oxygen in the same quantities as today, conduction and convection assure that the Earth would have an atmosphere even without greenhouse gases. With Oxygen in the atmosphere and ultraviolet energy emitted by the sun, the Earth would be assured of having a Tropopause, the temperature inversion in the lower atmosphere. That would mean the surface would be at least 2 degrees cooler than the top of the atmosphere if the Troposphere is assumed to be the top.

The Earth also has a wealth of water, water, temperature, equatorial sunlight and atmosphere ensure there would be latent cooling as water evaporated and is carried aloft by convection. That could produce nearly 10 degrees cooler temperatures at the surface than at the top of the atmosphere. That could result in a 30% error in the Greenhouse Effect portion of the overall atmospheric effect.

Assumption two, the greenhouse effect will uniformly warm the surface with most impact at the poles and upper troposphere. Unfortunately, this is also an incorrect assumption.

In the tropics, additional Carbon Dioxide has minimal effect on the surface due to the high concentration of water vapor. The Carbon and water vapor radiant effects are more strongly felt above this water vapor where its downward impact warms the water and clouds below it. This increases upper level convection promoting cooling which partially offsets the warming potential of the Greenhouse Effect. In the Northern polar region, were the air is less saturated with water vapor, the additional Carbon Dioxide enhances warming as predicted. In the Southern polar region where temperatures are much lower, water vapor does not increased significantly with the radiant forcing of additional CO2 reducing the impact of the Greenhouse Effect.

Trying to match observations with these faulty assumptions has led Climate Science down a path of attempting to “Force” data to match expectations instead of matching theory to observations. Not sound scientific practice.

Is the Earth warming due to Anthropgenic Greenhouse Gases? Yes, but it will also cool because of them. The additional greenhouse gases amplify natural variability in some regions and not others. More, proper, research needs to be done.

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