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Providing Insight
Into Climate Change
The Greenhouse Effect
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31 Articles

Taking Greenhouse Warming Seriously

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Dr. Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology explains how the greenhouse effect works in this paper published in 2007. Lindzen explains that the incoming energy to the earth from the sun is nearly balanced by the outgoing longwave radiation. He shows that increases in greenhouse gas concentrations causes the "characteristic emission level", which is about 7 to 8 km altitude in the tropics, to rise to a higher altitude where it is cooler. Emission from the cooler level is less, so the temperature rises a little to re-establish the radiative balanced. He also shows that the climate models predict that the warming above the tropics should be 2 to 3 times more than the warming at the surface, but the observations do not show this enhanced warming trend, implying that the positive feedbacks in the models are wrong. He concludes,"Using basic theory, modeling results and observations, we can reasonably bound the anthropogenic contributions to surface warming since 1979 to a third of the observed warming".

The Skeptic's Handbook

This page gives links to Joanne Nova's Skepitc's Handbook and Global Bullies Want Your Money. The Skeptic's Handbook says skeptics should stick to four point that matter: 1. The greenhouse signature is missing. 2. CO2 lags temperature change in ice cores by 800 years. 3. Temperatures have not increased since 2001. 4. Carbon dioxide is already absorbing almost all it can.

Decrease of "Back-Radiation" in USA Over Past 14 Years

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Climate models predict that back-radiation will increase with increasing CO2, but an analysis of accurately measured back-radiation in the southern USA shows a declining trend over the period from 1996 to 2010. This summary of the paper from "The Hockey Schtick" also shows that precipitable water vapor has declined over the period, which is the opposite of the model forecasts. The declining back-radiation trend is due to changes in cloudiness and water vapor.

Out-going Longwave Radiation and the Greenhouse Effect

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Using radiosonde data from 1960 to date and a line-by-line radiation code, the normalized greenhouse factor was calculated to have increased by 0.19% over 49 years, which is not significant. Climate sensitivity at doubled CO2 concentration is estimated to be 0.4 oC. This is about 13% of the 3.0 oC estimate by the International Panel on Climate Change.

CERES Satellite and Climate Sensitivity

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The Transient Climate Response due to double CO2 is calculated using the CERES satellite outgoing longwave radiation measurements and HadCRUT surface temperatures. This analysis by FoS Director Ken Gregory suggests that the temperature change from June 2013 to January 2100 due to increasing CO2 would be 0.20 C (from HadCRUT3) or 0.39 C (from HadCRUT4), assuming the CO2 continues to increase along the recent linear trend. The transient climate response to doubled CO2 is 0.38 +/- 0.54 C using hadCRUT3, and 0.74 +/- 0.54 C using hadCRUT4 data at 95% confidence. These values are much less than the multi-model mean estimate of 1.8 C for TCR given in the IPCC 5th assessment report. Revised Feb. 23, 2014.