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RadiationPhysicsConstraintsOnGlobalWarmingfirst-revised-3.pdf(file size: 183 KB, MIME type: application/pdf)

  • The original version of this article was published on the Activist Teacher blog on 8 May 2011 here
  • The present is the May 12, 2011, revision following peer criticism. See below for the section on changes made to this Revised version.
  • This research was opposed by the University of Ottawa - See here

Radiation physics constraints on global warming – Revised

By Denis G Rancourt - May 2011


I describe the basic physics of planetary radiation balance and surface temperature, in the simplest and most robust terms possible that capture the essential ingredients of planetary greenhouse warming. Our revised simple radiation-balance model uses only (i) the satellite-measured absolute longwave Earth emission, (ii) a present mean global surface temperature of 14oC, (iii) the satellite-measured fraction (~0.26) of longwave absorbance due to CO2, (iv) a satellite-measured global mean surface albedo of 0.30, (v) the season-average solar constant and (vi) known characteristics of the CO2 longwave absorption cross section at the dominant 15 μm absorption band. The model gives: (a) a total longwave emission atmospheric mean transmittance <te> and mean longwave emissivity <ε> product <te><ε> = 0.62, (b) a zero-greenhouse-effect Earth mean surface temperature of To = -18oC, (c) a post-industrial warming due only to CO2 increase of ΔTind = 0.29oC, and (d) a temperature increase from doubling the present CO2 concentration alone (to 780 ppmv CO2; without water vapour feedback) equal to ΔTdbl = 1.0oC. Earth’s radiative balance determining its surface temperature is shown to be two orders of magnitude more sensitive to solar irradiance and to planetary albedo and emissivity than to the atmospheric greenhouse effect from CO2. All the model predictions robustly follow from the starting assumptions without any need for elaborate global circulation models. A recent critique of the dominant climate change science narrative is evaluated in the light of our model.

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