Posted by: graemebird | December 14, 2009

“Greenhouse Effect”: Just Settle Down And Try To Understand The Logic Of This/ Dithering Either Side Of The Phase-Change Region.

No area and no subject is exempt from the need for the conceptual audit. The conceptual audit is not “peer review”. The conceptual audit is what peer review ought to have been. Peer review is the changeling. The Cuckoo baby. Where peer review as a doctrine starts, science ends. But all areas can use a conceptual audit and no area should be let get away without it.

I think Peter Drucker once expressed the idea that when he was doing his consulting work, his ignorance of the specifics of the business at hand was actually an advantage. It allowed him to apply general principles and see matters with fresh eyes. He didn’t say what I just said. Thats just an inkling of a memory of something I think I once read. But it makes sense anyway. The philosopher arbitrates between warring tribes of specialists. This is only natural and the way it ought to be. But birds law of persistent controversies says that both sides are wrong to some extent but the alleged mainstream is more comprehensively wrong, or the controversy would not have been persistent.

Going over the same old ground again. But maybe the rewriting of the same concepts will help you understand things a bit more. The key to the difference in surface temperatures between us and the moon is air-pressure, and the phase-changing nature of water. That is to say, what is mistaken for the moderating influence of the alleged GREENHOUSE EFFECT, which does not exist ……….. is really all about our planet being at a temperature and pressure range that sees water actively changing phase. None of the other substances involved in this story are within a range where their ability to change phase could have this sort of moderating influence. Water vapour, separated out from all other forms of water, is a net cooler make no mistake. But where H20 is dithering either side of its gas/liquid phase-change……. IT IS IN THIS REGION AND THIS REGION ALONE that we get this massive moderating effect. Its an evening-out effect. It is this effect that makes our temperature behaviours so different from the moon or even the desert.

No other gases enter into this story in any individually outstanding way. They don’t enter into this story because on this planet they are seldom dithering around their phase-change region, between being a gas and a liquid, like water is always doing. Where the night and day temperatures are at their closest on this planet, we see that there is much airborne H2O, and this airborne H20 is constantly going backwards and forwards around the phase-change region.

But anyhow. Try and understand the logic of it. From Elsewhere:

The “Greenhouse Effect” is a wrong and misleading paradigm. It fails on any serious conceptual audit. It would be more helpful to talk of warming and cooling gases. The data tells us that CO2 cannot be much of a warming gas and that extra CO2 probably has a tiny cooling effect. So what would be the ideal characteristics of a “warming gas”.

Its only when we try and speak plain English and tighten up our definitions that we can see this matter clearly. An ideal warming gas would not have the characteristics of CO2. An ideal warming gas would be a lot heavier than air. CO2 is heavier than air but only a little bit. That advantage isn’t going to amount to much. We would want CO2 to be heavier if we wanted it to be a net warmer. The other thing that stops CO2 from being an effective warming gas is it has three absorption regions and not only one. The lowest one is the one most talked about. The upper two tend to be forgotten. And really these two absorption regions are going to destroy CO2’s chances of being an effective “warming gas” at our level of air pressure.

You see we know this because of how well CO2 is mixed in the atmosphere. CO2 stays at pretty much the same percentage pretty much up to 100 kilometres. For CO2 to be a warming gas it has to capture energy above your head, house and thermometer and transfer that energy down to where you are. For CO2 to be a threat it must lodge that energy deep in the ocean.

An ideal warming gas would sink even though it was warmer than the molecules around it. Evidently this doesn’t happen with powerful effectiveness with CO2, or CO2 wouldn’t be so evenly mixed up to around 100 kilometres.

Electromagentic radiation comes up from the ground. O2 and Nitrogen get hit by some of that and re-radiate the entirety of the spectrum. CO2 re-radiates the spectrum minus its absorption region. Right there we see the silliness of the greenhouse business. Since far from warming through back-radiation, in the first instance at least, the CO2 is hogging some of the spectrum. Thats a cooling effect right there. You see we would want the CO2 to hog some of the spectrum well above our house, head and thermometer and then transfer that energy downward.

Thats not going to happen in the daytime at least. Because the CO2 is hogging both incoming and outgoing. The molecules will warm more than most of the molecules around the CO2 molecules. And so the CO2 molecules that started where your head, house and thermometer are, will high-tail it out of there. Taking the energy they have hogged both ways with them.

“Heat rises” is perfectly fine English, no matter what your 9th grade science teacher told you. She was only trying to help you pass exams so don’t take it too seriously. Heat rises for sure. But to the extent that this generalisation is overturned we are able to generate a heat budget in any given strata.

It might be that extra CO2 has a compensating warming effect in the night-time via a bit of extra air pressure. I don’t see this possibility being addressed. It might be in the night-time, since CO2 is now only hogging energy from the ground, and CO2 being a little bit heavier than air, well there could be a bit of warming during the night as compensation for what you’d have to presume was a cooling effect during the day. But then the daytime cooling effect can be mitigated, or even reversed by overturning in the troposphere. This is far too complicated a scenario to figure out what the overall effect will be apriori. Apriori, prior to taking in account a possible increase in air pressure, then CO2 will be a net cooler during the day and a tiny warmer during the night. But this may not be so if overturning is a big enough part of this picture.

Obviously in a matter this complicated we have to rely on empiricism. Since there are so many countervailing forces. The wrong Greenhouse paradigm suggests that CO2 will be a net warmer but cannot tell us to what extent, and so we need the data. Under my paradigm its easier to see how the CO2 would be a net cooler. But I’d of course be open to correction on this, because of the factor of overturning. So it had to come down to the data. And the data says there is no convincing evidence either way. With a slight bias towards the net cooling theory. But nothing significant.

Now thats just the effect of CO2 alone. But Richard Lindzen has very recently proved convincingly that the earth currently reacts to ANY source of warming by mitigating it. Not by amplifying it. His was a straight input-output sort of experiment. He simply assumes that a doubling of CO2 will increase temperatures by about 1 degree Celsius. I think that simple assumption is wrong but that doesn’t alter the rest of his evidence which would seem to be quite decisive. The earth, for the most part, acts like a mitigater of extra heat being lodged into it. Negative feedbacks prevail totally under current arrangements.

The above is the first of a six part series. Richard talks about the a lot of different stuff to do with the way the science has been warped. He comes out modestly with his own recent results, in an almost off-hand way towards the end of his talk. The science is settled on this matter. One side refuses to come up with evidence for a problem worth addressing.



  1. That which people call the greenhouse effect is really about H2O dithering around its phase change region. No other gas will have any individually important contribution because H2O is the only substance that is in its phase-change region at earths typical temperatures. This seems obvious once one drops the greenhouse paradigm. Where are temperatures the most even? Precisely where the H2O is doing the most dithering. That is to say where relative humidity is typically near 100%. H2O has both warming and cooling properties in its various forms. It is thought that water vapour is a warming agent. This is wrong. Taken totally on its own, water vapour would be the refrigerant to beat all. Its simply because its dithering between its phase change on a microscopic level, when its airborne, that creates this effect, which evens out temperatures..

  2. Graeme, how do you explain the measurable and significant shrinking of the glaciers in the South Island of New Zealand in the last half century?


    Just slow down there. Pick it up from the sun rising in the morning and the CO2 blocking the radiation coming to earth.

    Don’t miss out any steps. This is not an exercise in ontology or wordgames.

    So we start from the first acknowledgement that the CO2 has cooled matters at ground level in terms of incoming.

    Now start talking about the individual molecule. You are such a stupid cunt you don’t know what you are talking about when you say “The CO2”

    “The CO2” does no such thing. Tell me about a molecule of CO2. Be specific. Are you talking about a molecule. Or a representative sample of a million molecules.

    Break it down.

    No stop spinning on your head you jerk. I didn’t mean for you to start up with some faux-rap jive.

    I’m saying break it down.

    Explain it on a molecular level then move out from that. You will see that in the first, second and third instances, cooling influences predominate.

    Log all the cooling influences you can. Then if you can try and find the warming influences. The latter are far more hard to find. And you, you stupid pig, haven’t found even one yet.

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