From the blog: Knowledge Drift; The Science of Human Error
The effectiveness of CO2 as a greenhouse gas, GHG, tails off logarithmically. On doubling CO2, from 280ppm (pre-industrial level) to 560ppm an extra 3.7 W/m2 warming is expected.
That is expected to lead to about 1ºC warming of the average global surface temperature. Note: more CO2 does not cause 'global warming', it just slows down the rate of loss of atmospheric warmth. All other things being equal that would cause warming. All other things are not equal. There is a negative feedback operating called the Stefan–Boltzmann effect. As temperature rises the rate at which black bodies emit heat increases according to the 4th power of temperature. When the temperature increases the Stefan–Boltzmann relation means that everything else (ground and oceans) emits more black body heat. This extra heat is eventually radiated to space so is lost to the climate. This built-in negative feedback on temperature rise keeps earth's temperature at a reasonable level : a temperature rise leads to a faster emission of black body (LWIR) heat. The black body formula (Stefan–Boltzmann relation) used to calculate how much heat is being dissipated to space is P = 5.76 × 10-8 × T4 where P is power in watts per square meter and T is temperature in degrees K or Kelvin. So the amount of LWIR emitted increases according to the fourth power of the temperature.
|CO2 radiative forcing||Stefan–Boltzmann effect|
(W / m²)
(W / m²)
|P||T (ºC)||Net warming|
(W / m²)
Comment: multiple catastrophic errors
The errors climate alarmists seem to have made are many-fold:
- Eliding how the CO2 GHG effect tails off logarithmically,
- Assuming the atmosphere is a heat sink. It is not. The oceans are earth's heat sink. Earth's atmosphere has a tiny heat capacity compared to its oceans. Oceans have over 1000 times the heat capacity of the atmosphere
- Misuse of this saw them to invent 'catastrophic warming' by putting all their extra heat into the atmosphere! (which it isn't going to hold!). It was a convenient con because a body with a small heat capacity can (in theory) be made to warm quite fast!
- Logically, it would make more sense to put their extra heat into the oceans. Because the amount of heat which could, in theory, warm the atmosphere by 10ºC can only warm the oceans by 0.01ºC. Fail. Put the heat in the oceans and catastrophic global warming is not 'catastrophic'.
- Ignored basic physics of the Stefan–Boltzmann negative feedback.
- The majority of climate models miss (forget, or never bothered to consider) many ocean oscillation effects. These are like smaller versions of El Nino. In the North and South Atlantic and Indian oceans. In this situation an area of the ocean collects warm water. Heat is transferred to the atmosphere by evaporative cooling, etc. So oceans heat the atmosphere. Not CO2. CO2 just slows down the rate of cooling. Ocean oscillations give global warming records a bumpy or spikey appearance.
- ... on to infinity. There will always be yet one more 'error' they're prepared to make to push their alarmist/Luddite/Malthusian political agenda.