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CO2 - A Marginal Problem

(by Erich Schaffer)

The greenhouse effect from an analytical perspective

It is being said that 97% of all climate scientists believe human induced climate change was real, and even among the few
"scepticists" the GHE is mostly considered a fact of physics. My thought hereto is this: if the theory of the GHE is accurate and CO2
at its natural concentration of 280ppm is warming the planet by some 8°K, then substantial anthropogenic increases in the CO2
concentration should cause some significant warming. In other words, if one embraces the theory of the GHE, one should just as well
accept the theory of anthropogenic global warming in general.
Of course even then there will be many subjects of debate, and the term "climate denier" will easily be dropped on anyone who is only
daring to criticise some of the most non-sensical claims by the apologetics of a political agenda.
The scope of this essay shall be to go beyond politics, beyond heresy, beyond anything of conventional wisdom, because only that is
where science starts. Whatever is considered an "acceptable" truth shall not play the slightest role, neither will sociology or the
bigotry of a failing educational system. The process of truth finding is already hampered by the imperfections of the proponent, it will
not require additional, useless limitations.

What is the GHE, and what is it not?

Although almost everyone would instantly give an answer this question, most of them would be more or less wrong. Part of the
problem is, that it has been explained perfectly wrong by some self proclaimed "experts" like Al Gore, or it was over simplified, like
the term "GHE" itself suggests. For that sake, as a foundation, let us get a couple of things right.

1. The GHE is not a fact, but a theory which is based on unrealistic, actually impossible assumptions. These are a) a surface emissivity
of 1, just like a perfect black body, and b) clouds would not interfere with these emissions of LWIR.
2. The GHE can not simply be "measured", as it has been suggested by a lot of scientists. Back radiation, which can be measured, is
something different than a GHE. Neither is the fact that greenhouse gases (GHGs) do interact with LWIR any evidence, neither for the
basic existence of a GHE, nor and especially not for its assumed magnitude of 33K or about 150W/m2. Such (and many other)
observations are IN LINE with the theory, but not proving it. To illustrate the subject: if you have bad luck on a Friday the 13th, that
observation will be in line with the superstition over that day, however it is obviously no evidence. Logical consistency matters!
3. The GHE is not about a "semi-transparent" atmosphere, which lets sun light pass and holds back terrestrial long wave infrared
(LWIR). This will not work as a theory, since GHGs not only absorb LWIR, but also emit it. In other words, less surface LWIR will go
directly into space, but as a compensation GHGs emit additional LWIR into space. It is a lump sum game.
4. GHGs, and specifically CO2, are not irrelevant just because there is too little of it. 10 meters of water exert the same pressure as the
atmosphere, which means 10m below the surface there will be 2 atmospheres of pressure obviously. With CO2 having a concentration
of "only" 400ppm, its mass could be reflected by 4mm of water. Compare that to the thickness of a sheet of paper to understand, that a
layer of 4mm is easily enough to be opaque to any kind of radiation.
5. The actual concept of the GHE, and any reasonable climatologist will describe it that way, works by elevating the average level of
LWIR emissions higher up into the atmosphere. Since temperatures there are lower, less emissions will occur. If you think it as a
process, that means an energy surplus which will increase temperatures until an equilibrium between absorbed and emitted energy is
reached. As temperatures below that level of average emission will be higher due to the adiabatic lapse rate within the atmosphere,
this will be a viable concept on how a GHE should work. Those you have trouble understand my simple explanation are
recommended to watch Prof. Merrifields remarks carefully.

6. Therefore the GHE is not violating any laws of physics. Some "climate deniers", or rather GHE deniers, argue that a relatively
colder atmosphere can not heat a warmer surface, as this would contradict the 2nd law of thermodynamics. But the adiabatic lapse rate
has nothing to do with a flow of energy, rather temperatures of a gas increase purely due to increasing pressure.
7. The same is true for any other "falsifications" of the GHE that I have heard of so far, which all were based on unreasonable
arguments. The GHE, to my knowledge, has neither been falsified nor proven. In all fairness I should add, that it is actually
impossible to positively prove a theory. This is because theories are meant to describe reality and how it behaves. Regardless how
often reality corresponds to the theory, it will not prove the theory. It is still possible, that you run into an instance where observed
reality contradicts a theory, which will then obviously falsify it.

These statements are meant to give us a clean sheet, a basis to work on. They are definitely not conclusions, and as far as they could
be disputed they will be dealt with profoundly here. The important part is, that nothing has been proven, nothing falsified, and most of
all, all is up for discussion.

The GHE in detail

The formula to calculate the GHE of Earth goes like this: 288 - (((1-0.3)/1*342)/5.67e-8)^0.25 = 33K

288K is the average surface temperature of Earth

342(W/m2) is the average solar irradiance on Earth
5.67e-8 is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant
^0.25, or the 4th root, represents the fact that radiative emissions of any body increase by the power of 4 relative to its temperature.
Starting with the radiative input to calculate the temperature, obviously you need to go the opposite way.
(1-0.3/1) finally is the all important part. There you have the assumption of an absorptivity of 0.7, as it gets reduced by an albedo of
0.3, and an emissivity of 1, so that the ratio is 0.7.

A perfect black body (PBB) would have both perfect absorptivity and emissivity and thus a ratio of one (as 1/1 = 1 obviously). The
temperature of such a perfect black body would then be (1*342/5.67e-8)^0.25 = 278.7, or 279K for the sake of simplicity. Of course
any body with a ratio of 1 would yield just the same temperature, even if absorptivity and emissivity were both much lower. It is the
ratio that matters.

It could well be true, that this ratio is > 1 and thus a body or a surface would turn hotter than a perfect black body. In fact we have
very practical examples for this. For instance if you recall the play (or the film) "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" you might question why tin
roofs turn so hot in the sun. The answer is quite simple. Even though sheets of metal are very poor absorbers of solar radiation, they
are even worse emitters of LWIR (especially when polished), which gives them a high ratio of up to 3. This is the why they turn so hot
despite constant conduction (ie. "air cooling"), that they can burn your feet, or those of cat, if you will.

I have added some links that give the specific emissivities of various materials, which you may want to look up yourself. I sure do not
guarantee for the correctness of these data, and actually some are a bit contradicting. The interesting part here is, that not a single
material reaches an emissivity of 1, or a 100%. This is interesting detail to bear when we look at a chart picturing the "traditional"

Note: the specific weighting of individual GHGs is taken from a german text book. It is an arbitrary choice, which is simply more
practical to illustrate than the blurry "ranges" the IPCC would give. The important part is how a 100% of the GHE of 33K gets
affiliated with GHGs, which is the common approach

This very basically illustrates the subject. While a PBB would yield about 279K at given solar radiation, Earth reflects about 30% of
which. With an absorptivity of 0.7 and an emissivity of 1, Earth should have only 255K. Since observed temperature is rather like
288K, the question is why. The answer hereto are GHGs, which are obviously the only possible explanation. The only possible

Definitely! Because..
a) the surface of Earth has the unique property of a perfect emissivity = 1. To quote Wikipedia hereto: "For longwave radiation, the
surface of the Earth is assumed to have an emissivity of 1 (i.e., the earth is a black body in the infrared, which is realistic)" 1. And..
b) clouds do not at all interfere with emissions from the surface and would possibly reduce them. If you believe that clear nights show
faster cooling than cloudy nights, you must be mislead.

Sorry, I am just joking! Of course both arguments are perfectly wrong, but they are the foundation of the GHE that we are being
taught. It is a bit hard to bring this concept forward and stay perfectly serious. But every time someone comes forward and quotes a
GHE of 33K, or that Earth without GHGs would only 255K cold, that is the reference. Everyone educated knows it is fundamentally

For instance, the IPCC in its first assement report states that clouds reflected 44W/m2 of solar radiation, contributed 31W/m2 to the
GHE, and had accordingly a net cooling effect of 13W/m2.2 Obviously that will significantly change our basic GHE model, as
31W/m2 can no longer be attributed to GHGs, but rather to clouds.

Also these 31W/m2 can not be seriously considered to be part the GHE. Of course clouds are not a GHG, as they are not even a gas.
Moreover they are not even a greenhouse factor, or however you want to name it, as they are overall cooling the planet, if we follow
the IPCC. These are two sides of one coin, which can not be separated. Without clouds it would be warmer, so at best it is an anti-
greenhouse factor.

This necessarily leads to the conclusion, that the GHE is NOT about 150W/m2, but rather just 150-31 = 119W/m2. Since Earth
receives effectively about 240W/m2 from the sun, plus 31W/m2 from clouds, there is an overall input 271W/m2 (without GHGs),
which is enough to heat Earth to 263K (as (271/5.67e-8)^0.25 = 263K). The GHE has just shrunk by a non negligible 8K to just 25K!
In our diagram the situation now looks like this..

As trivial is this was so far, you might want to ask yourself if you have ever been told the GHE was much smaller than 33K, 25K at
best? And if not, why not? Also this means we will have to attribute less radiative forcing to all the GHGs, among which of course
there is CO2.

In comparison to the first diagram one will notice a significant change on the left side, on where solar radiation gets reflected. This is
in fact an important issue which we are going to discuss in depth later on. At this point let me say, that the diagram is of course
simplified and that a certain fraction of solar radiation also gets reflected by the atmosphere (or aerosols within) itself. However this is
really just a small part, and most of the 30% of reflected solar radiation must be accounted for by either clouds or surface. And to give
a little spoiler, the IPCC is totally wrong in this regard too, but it is wrong for a motivated reason.

The next problem we need to deal with is the emissivity of the surface. As I have indicated less subtly already, surface emissivity can
not be 1. Rather it must be substantially lower, and that will necessarily reduce the GHE even further. Just yet I will not try to go deep
into the subject, but let us set up a framework.

With a surface temperature of about 15°C, or 288K, a PBB would emit 288^4 * 5.67e-8 = 390W/m2. If for instance emissivity was
rather 0.99 than 1, then this would obviously reduce the GHE by 3.9W/m2 (=0.01 * 390). So for every percentage point that real
emissivity is less than a 100%, the GHE of 119W/m2 will be reduced by almost 4W/m2. This should make it understandable how
even small deviations here are not at all negligible, but incredibly important.

So what is the surface emissivity? Since this is an extremely pivotal question to the whole concept of the GHE and furthermore
"climate change", one might expect a lot of talk about this well researched matter. In fact every school child should probably have
been educated on this by now, as it is the foundation for policies to come, for the world they are going to live in. Yet all you will find
searching the internet, is either something stupid like the quote from Wikipedia, or very detailed graphs on satellite measurements. So
let me show you one of which.

2 (page 79)

Please note that oceans are not covered by these measurements! That is true for this example, but for others just as much. Ocean
emissivity is not measured by satellites as it can not be done. There are specific reasons to it, which we will cover later on. But
looking at this map, what would your guess on average surface emissivity be? Would you still be willing to assume it was just 1, like a
perfect black body?

What if we just look at the arid areas (deserts and so on) which cover around 50 mio. km2, or about 10% of Earths surface. We should
be able to agree, that these show specific emissivites between 0.9 and 0.6. If we take the average of 0.75, and we weight it with a
10%,, that alone should drop global surface emissivity by 2.5% or 10W/m2. That is despite still assuming an emissivity of 1 for all the
remaining 90% of the surface, among which there is the all important "black box", that oceans are so far.

Even with this utmost conservative approach the GHE shrinks by another 10W/m2 to only 109W/m2 in total. Again we can do the
math to calculate the temperature spread of the GHE, which goes like 288 - (281/5.67e-8)^0.25 = 23K. 281 of course is the sum of
240 + 31 + 10, as explained above. The GHE due to GHGs now is only 23K at best, and given the ultra conservative approach, we
may predict it will be even less.

Anyhow, the difference between 150W/m2 or 109W/m2 is not small, neither is the difference between 33K and 23K. If you allocate
the size of the GHE directly to the weight of individual GHGs, as it obviously is being done, this will impact all climate models and
climate prophecies. Also this divergence should probably be communicated to the public, since it is the foundation of an agenda which
demands ultimate power. I mean taking control over the lifes of billions of people, demanding funds in the region of trillions upward,
would likely justify to be a bit more precise.

There is yet another problem. As shown before emissions of 390W/m2 would correspond to a temperature of 288K and a surface
emissivity of 1. However there is widespread communication that surface emissions were actually 396 or 397W/m2. For the sake of
argument let me show you chart from the NOAA. If we recall the solar input to 342W/m2, which is set to 100% here, and if we
multiply that by 116%, as indicated in the chart, we get to 342 * 1.16 = 397W/m2 emitted by surface.
The temperature required for a perfect emitter to emit 397W/m2 is (397/5.67e-8)^0.25 = 289.3K, or 16.3°C. Since these are integer
figures, we should not be too particular about it. Yet there is another example, this time from NASA, where surface emissions are
claimed to be 398.2W/m2.

Here we simply assume an average global surface temperature of 15°C, or 288K, which is perfectly fine for the sake of argument.
However, if we take a closer look, for instance at the GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) temperature record, that temperature
now is roughly standing at 14.8°C due to global warming, up from well below 14°C at its "natural level".

As we are discussing the natural GHE, this temperature should actually be the foundation. At 287K even a perfect emitter would only
emit 287^4 * 5.67e-8 = 384.7W/m2. Thus the 390W/m2 are an exaggeration in two ways, as it a) suggests the surface to be a perfect
emitter, which it is not, and b) requires a temperature we do not have. On top of that comes the claim surface emissions were even
higher than 390W/m2. Having the choice between doing the right or the wrong thing, some climatologists go straight for the second
option. The question is why?

In Austria there is an old sayind "Wer den Groschen nicht ehrt, ist den Schilling nicht wert". Literally translated it goes like "who
won't respect the Penny is not worth the Pound" in the British version. Despite a Penny (or a Cent..) is really not worth a lot, there
seems to be a different perspective on the subject. Although one Penny is almost worthless, a lot of Pennies are not, and it makes all
the difference, whether you look at it as an individual coin, or as part of something bigger.

We have pretty much the same subject here. What I have shown so far are not individual, insignificant flaws, but rather they are part
of something much bigger. The GHE theory constantly needs to be fed with exaggeration, or it would dwindle. A little omission here,
a little lie there, that is what constitutes the GHE as we know it. It is all a margins game!

"fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again" (George W. Bush)

To argue the GHE its apologetics literally have to save it from their mouth, and this behaviour is endemic. Just as the agenda of
"global warming" it is all driven by hyperbolism. All exaggeration, regardless how absurd, is welcome and awarded with accolades,
while realism is considered heretic. Based on the facts and sources shown, there should be little discussion on the fact that the GHE
has a maximum of 23K, rather than 33K. But given what we have learned so far, we should probably be far less gullible and put far
more things into question. We do not want to get fooled again.

Surface Emissivity

So what is surface emissivity for real? We have seen there are satellite measurements of land surface emissivity which strongly
contradict the basic foundation of the GHE. One could sure try to analyze these data in detail and try to get more wisdom over it.
However Earth is dominated by Oceans and without data on these, all seems futile. Water does not only cover 71% or Earth, but it
even covers about 80% of the tropics, where most of the radiative exchange is taking place. Thus let us assume water accounts for
about 75% of total surface emissivity. And now it all depends on a very simplistic question: what is the emissivity of water?

There should be an easy answer to this question, especially since we are living in the time of the internet. Google knows it all, doesn't
it? My first 5 results give me 0.96, 0.993 - 0.998, 0.95 - 0.963, 0.9 - 0.95 and 0.98. Well, that looks a bit frustrating! We could just as
well role a dice. The only thing we may take away from this is that water emissivity will be less than 1, and who guessed that?!

Satellites will not measure it, google will not really tell us, so what is the mystery there? To solve it I have no choice but confront you
with Fresnel equations and the specific optical properties of water.

You may have noticed (or not) that water reflects light at its surface, which is why you can possibly see yourself looking down on it.
However it does not really serve as a mirror, as the reflection will be relatively weak and of course water is not always silent. Anyhow,
when you witness a sunset over water, you might be impressed by the strong reflection of that solar light. The reflectivity of water
depends on the angle of incidence.

Accordingly water absorbs (let us skip the discussion on transmission or absorption here) most of the light coming in vertically, but
reflects most of the light coming in flat. And these optical properties, not only with regard to water, are a simple subject of physics.
And there are formulas to describe all that, just think of computer animated water, where that is being used as a basis.

Essentially all you will need are these basic formulas (hope there is no typo!):


With N1 being the refractive index of air (=1) and N2 that of water with regard to visible light (=1.33), Rs is the specific reflectivity
of S polarized light and Rp that of P polarized. Ra finally is just the average of the two, and this is the result we are after.

In case you are not so much into mathematics, let me simply show the outcome. For any specific angle of incidence water reflects that
share of light..

While at steep angles only 2% of light gets reflected, that percentage moves up sharply beyond angles of 60° and goes up to a
theoretical 100% if light came in totally flat. Light which is not reflected on the other side gets transmitted, as water hardly absorbs
visible light. However, as we all know, water is hardly ever pure and ultimately light will get absorbed by what is swimming around
within water. Practically it makes all the difference whether you think of shallow clean water, where the bottom will reflect or absorb
almost all light, or if we think of deep oceans, where no light at all is reaching the bottom. As the latter version is relevant in this
context, we can simplify and say what is not reflected gets absorbed, and ignore the question of transmission.
As we are interested in emissivity, we will have to apply these formulas on LWIR. N2, the refractive index of water, is about 1.27 with
regard to LWIR, while N1 is still 1. This is a very small difference as compared to visible light btw. By inverting the function we can
show the specific emissivity of water.

Note: Satellites are looking straight down on Earth. The emissivity of water is very high to the vertical, or anything close to it.
Satellites however are no good in looking to the side, because there will be more and more atmosphere blocking the view (especially
at LWIR). You could still give the measured result on water emissivity, but it would be wrong for the named reasons, which is why
such data will be omitted. Also as water is such a homogeneous surface, there is no point in measuring its global emissivity.
Essentially it is everywhere the same. Rather such measurements are done from platforms, boats or aircraft. 3

So what is the emissivity of water? It is 0.986 to the vertical, but obviously that is just a part of the truth. The low percentages to the
right will have to play a role too. What we need to do is to imagine a hemisphere that water radiates into, weight these percentages
accordingly and then yet allow for Lambert's cosine law to calculate hemispheric emissivity.

Maxing out all my mathematical skills, with the assistance of Excel, I got a value of 0.94. I will admit that I am not quite sure if have
done all correctly and anyone more educated in mathematics will be invited to do it properly. Also I think this result might be a little
bit too high, a suspicion that gets supported by a noble text book reference.

H. D. Baehr, K. Stephan in "Wärme- und Stoffübertragung" have it at 0.91, and so I will take this as a reference. Sure one may object
to this choice, especially since I myself got a somewhat higher result. However, that reference was written by real experts on the
subject of electro-magnetic radiation, which I am not. After all this is not a black box and I am not hiding away the issues I have with
it. Given this is a pivotal question, the resources to resolve this mathematical subject once and for all should be available.

Why would I not use another reference? For obvious reasons I guess. As shown there are complete random numbers getting thrown
around, which do not even allow for the complexity of the subject. And then of course there is politics or "climate science", which
totally ignores the fact that surface or water emissivity is well below 1.

Once we have accounted for water, we can add rough assessments for other surface types and add it all up to get the average global
surface emissivity, which again will be about 0.91.

Emissivity Weight Contribution

Water 0.91 0.75 0.68
Arid 0.85 0.10 0.09
Rest 0.95 0.15 0.14
Sum 0.91

This means the surface at a temperature of 288K will not emit 390W/m2, but rather just 355W/m2. We need to allow for this fact in
our GHE model. Now we understand that only a maximum of 84W/m2 of GH-forcing can be attributed to GHGs. Temperature wise
our GHE has shrunk to 288 - (306/5.67e-8)^0.25 = 17K. That is almost half of the popular, but definitely false claim.

Ridiculing GHE stupidity

Alright, this may be a little bit populistic and unnecessary for the core argument, yet it defenitely will help to understand the subject
and it makes a strong point on its own. Did you know that the moon has a GHE too?!

I am not making this up! The GHE of Earth is based on the assumption of perfect emissivity, which I have falsified already. However,
if you base your considerations on this notion, you will always calculate a temperature which will be lower than the observed
temperature. In other words, there will be GHEs everywhere, even, and especially on the moon and other celestial bodies which do
not even hold atmospheres.

The moon has a very slow, bound rotation and receives the same amount of solar radiation as Earth does. When the sun is in the zenith
that will be about 1368W/m2 (note: a sphere has 4 times the surface of a circle). Due to its dusty nature and the lack of atmosphere,
surface temperatures show little inertia and might almost reach their theoretical maxima.

With an albedo of 0.13, we can determine that temperatures could go up to ((1-0,13)*1368/5.67e-8)^0.25 = 380.6K at the equator.
This is contrasted by observed reality: "Daytime maximum temperatures are sensitive to the albedo of the surface and are ∼387–397
K at the equator"4. If we take the average of 392K, then the moon is 11.4K warmer than it should be. As we all know, because we
have been told so, that can only be due to a GHE induced by GHGs. Of which there are none on the moon..

If have found a little website called and they explain the phenomenon perfectly simple. "For a surface with the sun
directly overhead, for example a horizontal region near the equator at lunar noon, I is the solar constant in Earth's neighborhood,
about 1366 W/m^2, minus the portion reflected. Since the emissivity is close to 1 minus the reflectance, those two terms cancel out,
and inverting the equation gives the maximum day-time high on the Moon: 394 K or about 120 degrees C."

Right! It is a simple truth that in general absorptivity and emissivity tend to even out with complex surfaces, that consist of different
substances. So my mistake above was to onesidedly allow for the deviation of absorptivity from 1, while ignoring that deviation on
the other side with emissivity. What I should have done is to assume absorptivity would equal emissivity and thus the moon should
turn just as warm as a perfect black body. Then it all adds up, as (1368/5.67e-8) = 394K.

Is it not funny how simple and sober things get, once you turn away from "climate science"? The reasonable truth can be told and
there is no one calling for a witch hunt. Just imagine what happens if someone said openly that the surface of Earth is about just as
good an emitter as an absorber and thus would naturally yield about 279K, just like a perfect black body?

Anyhow, the approach works perfectly throughout our solar system, with the exception of the moons of Jupiter as the temperature
data circulating on them a totally wrong. There are more recent and correct data too, but most sources still use the wrong ones.

distance AU Solar factor Albedo obs. Temp. incl. Albedo zero Albedo
Mercury 0.387 1.607 0.142 440 431.9 448.8
Mercury maximum 0.387 1.607 0.142 700 610.9 634.7
Venus 0.723 1.176 0.77 737 227.4 328.4
Earth 1 1.000 0.31 288 254.5 279.2
Moon 1 1.000 0.136 218 269.2 279.2
Moon maximum 1 1.000 0.136 403 380.7 394.8
Mars 1.524 0.810 0.25 220 210.5 226.2
Ceres 2.768 0.601 0.09 167 163.9 167.8
Jupiter 5.203 0.438 0.343 165 110.2 122.4
Io 5.203 0.438 0.61 110 96.7 122.4
Europa 5.203 0.438 0.68 102 92.1 122.4
Ganymed 5.203 0.438 0.44 110 105.9 122.4
Kallisto 5.203 0.438 0.19 134 116.1 122.4
Saturn 9.583 0.323 0.342 134 81.2 90.2
Titan 9.583 0.323 0.22 94 84.8 90.2
Enceladus 9.583 0.323 0.99 75 28.5 90.2
Uranus 19.201 0.228 0.3 76 58.3 63.7
Neptune 30.07 0.182 0.41 72 44.6 50.9
Pluto 39.482 0.159 0.5 44 37.4 44.4

In all cases assuming a zero albedo will give you a better approximation of the text book surface temperature, than allowing for the
specific albedo. In all cases? Obviously not! There are two problems. First we have Mercury and our Moon, where we have huge
deltas in surface temperature. Given the geometric nature of emissions by the power of 4, an arithmetic mean is highly inappropriate.
Let us assume an example where the day side had 400K and the night side 100K, then the arithmetic average would be 250K.
However such a body would emit rather like ((400^4 + 100^4)/2)^0.25 = 336.7K. If we corrected that bias both Moon and Mercury
will be better approximated by the zero albedo approach. The same is true for all other objects, though it is less of an issue there.

The other problem are the Jovian moons. The solution here is quite simplistic: the text book surface temperatures are wrong! In fact
these are all data which are to be taken with a lot of salt. Just because NASA stated them, will not make them right. We know that for
sure since a) these data do not make sense, and b) NASA has long "corrected" itself, as the case of Ganymed shows 5. It is pretty much
like the myths over spinach, whose extraordinary high level of Vitamin C was just a typo, or the pointless RDA on Vitamin D. Such
non sense makes it into a text book an then lives on forever.

Yet there is a specific prominent example which is Enceladus, a moon of Saturn. Enceladus is entirely covered by (water-) ice and
snow and thus is extremely bright. Wikipedia claims its albedo was 0.99, in other words it would reflect 99% of solar radiation and
absorb only 1%. One should take this with a lot of salt, yet it should well demonstrate the fundamental problem with the GHE-

Saturn (and its moon) is 9.58 times farther from the sun than Earth. So it receives only 342/9.58^2 = 3.726W/m2 of solar radiation.
Enceladus again will only absorb 1% of that, which means, holding on to the emissivity = 1 mistake, we would calculate a surface
temperature of ((1-0,99)*3.726/5.67e-8)^0.25 = 28.5K. But NASA has its temperature rather at an average 75K, or over 2.5 times
higher than it should be. Relatively this one of the biggest GHEs in the solar system, close to that of Venus. And again Enceladus has
no atmosphere.

Of course the mystery is none and we do understand Enceladus has a pretty low emissivity too. A PBB on its position should have
about 90K, which of course is much closer to the observed temperature. Also since its surface is homogenous it may be an example
where emissivity is indeed substantially higher than emissivity, making it somewhat colder than a PBB. Also the 75K temperature
reading from NASA must be taken with caution, because their measurements require estimates on emissivity again.

The funny thing is this. I once had a little conversation on the subject with "climate scientist" Dr. Christopher Keating, who was so
kind so answer me (and possibly should not have ;)), and he insisted on Enceladus being warmed by geothermia, rather than the sun.
He felt he had to do so, so that he would not need to admit its surface emissivity is lower than 1. We see, emissivity is always 1 for
climatologists, even in space. And if they feel the need, they will even turn into cosmologists, where they are likely just as competent
as in the field of climatology. Although I will not say how much that is in absolute terms.

Note: just in case you are wondering if Dr. Keating could not be right after all, because there are these plumes at the south pole of
Enceladus. No!
a) No, because must learn to refute unsubstantiated non sense arguments in the first place, not losing time and diverting attention with
side shows.
b) Geothermal energy will never produce enough energy to substantially heat a surface in the long run
c) Enceladus is warm around the equator and cold at its poles, perfectly consistent with solar heating. And E. substantially heats and
cools in a diurnal cycle, which definitely settles this question.6

Seriously, this is an important issue. It is highly unethical and of course totally unscientific behaviour. Arguing whatever serves your
agenda, without the slightest evidence, without rationale, is a complete no go. It is childish and embarrassing if someone acts that way
in "normal" life, in an ordinary conversation. If a scientist in his field acts so, then it is a total disqualification, both in regard to his
profession as well as to his character.

I will claim that Dr. Keating in this regard is not the exception, but the rule among "climate scientists". 97% of these people make up
stories, fudge data or simply lie to argue their agenda. Ultimately it is the brute force method of spamming lies, so that no one will
have the resources to fact check and counter them all.

Playing with numbers

We have still another problem with the GHE theory and some of it has already been indicated here. Part of it is the question over the
albedo effect of clouds. I have initially put this to 68W/m2 or 2/3rds of total albedo. This is largely in line with most raw assessments
hereto. However, we have seen the NOAA graph putting it to even 79W/m2 (23% of 342W/m2), plus another 31W/m2 (9% of
342W/m2) of additional LWIR emitted by clouds. And finally the IPCC has it, as quoted, only at 44W/m2. What are these
contradictions about and why do they exist?

To clarify the subject it will be helpful to take a look at Earth. NASA's DSCOVR satellite is located about 4 times as distant than our
moon (at the Earth-Sun Lagrange point), from where it can take great pictures of Earth, sometimes including the moon. For our
purpose these pictures are highly educational.

Since it is one picture showing both Moon and Earth, we can directly compare the brightness, or the albedo of both, and it gets even
clearer if we remove all colours and turn it into gray. We can easily see what about Earth is bright and what is dark.

The moon has a text book albedo of 0.13 and by comparison that seems to fairly well match arid surfaces on Earth, like Australia for
instance. Vegetated areas appear somewhat darker than the moon. Oceans finally, and again they constitute the most important surface
type, are much darker, somewhere between the moon and pitch black space.

Of course we are not just looking at the surface (and clouds), but also at the atmosphere and aerosols within it. So even if the oceans
look that dark, that is including both light coming from the oceans plus whatever is reflected by the atmosphere. For this reason we do
understand, that the atmosphere will have a very tiny share in the total albedo.

At least within the range of visible light we can make some very reasonable assessments. The surface plus atmosphere is obviously
darker than the moon. Thus the albedo of a cloudless Earth will definitely be lower than the 0.13 the moon has, and again, this is
already including aerosols. As total albedo is about 0.3, most of the albedo must be accounted for by clouds, which brings us back to
the starting point, according to which clouds will account for about 2/3rds of total albedo.

However, visible light is only accounting for 45% of solar radiation, with about 10% coming as UV, and another 45% as short wave
infrared. UV light, the shorter it gets, is increasingly absorbed by the atmosphere, among which most notably ozone. If it was not that
way, we would get very bad sun burns in the shortest time. Absorption however is not reflection, and this is the important take away

Similar goes the story for short wave infrared (SWIR) which is partially absorbed within the atmosphere, but again, not or just hardly
reflected, except for clouds. So, even including the non visible share or solar radiation, there will be no substantial change on what
factors constitute albedo. Clouds will still make up the dominant part, as essentially everyone would agree anyhow. Also, to my
knowledge, differentiating between visible and non-visible albedo has never been much of a subject, because why would it? So it
should be no surprise there is plenty of educational material all telling the same story of clouds account for 2/3rds of the albedo, or
reflecting 20% of solar radiation respectively..
So why is it, that the IPCC would like to tell a very different story?

The problem is, that although clouds do cool the planet by reflecting solar radiation, they also warm the planet holding back LWIR
emissions. While the first part is given for granted and totally included in the albedo and thus in GHE theory, the latter part is
preferably being ignored. But once you take a specific look at clouds and their radiative forcing, you will need to argue the whole
subject. You could argue clouds were cooling the planet by about 70W/m2, and warming it by only 31W/m2, thus leading to a
significant net cooling of 39W/m2. However that massive cooling by clouds should be in line with observations and there is chance it
is not.

I know, everyone who imagines a bright summer day would instinctively want to agree that clouds are cooling. Under such
conditions, the sun shines down over 1000W/m2, while the surface emits, depending on the prevailing temperature and circumstances
we are discussing here, over 400W/m2. If you move a blanket between both streams of radiation, then of course you get cooling. It
may be for this perspective that everyone seems to embrace the concept of cooling clouds as being common sense.

There are yet a couple of reasons to object this basic idea.

a) We not just have summer days, but also winter nights. In fact most of the time there is more radiation going outward than coming
in, because even during day time close to sun rise or sun set, the sun is too weak to offset emissions. And aren't clear nights colder
than cloudy nights?
b) The plain vanilla GH model would suggest 342W/m2 of solar radiation and 390W/m2 (yes, we are denying that) of surface
emissions. With more radiation coming from below than from above it might make sense clouds could have a positive net forcing.
c) And most importantly: Let us remember how the GHE is supposed to work, namely by elevating the average level of emissions
higher up into the atmosphere. Clouds will undeniably do just that and thus should (net) warm the planet, specifically due to the GHE
theory. The only way clouds could still have a net cooling effect instead, is if their interference with LWIR was so much lower than
their albedo effect with regard to solar radiation, that this delta not just offsets the GHE (in the named context), but actually
overcompensates it. This is a hard point to make, as in some way clouds would need be relatively transparent for LWIR.

Turning back to the IPCC position, it might reflect a problem with a number of restrictions. You have an albedo of 0.3, which is
essentially a given parameter, regardless of what factors constitute it. Then you have a GHE of 150W/m2, of which clouds will
account for a certain fraction. Keeping the GHE theory healthy, you will want hold this fraction as small as possible, or even deny it if
possible. And finally you have a delta between the cooling and the heating momentum of clouds, which could be anything, positive,
negative or zero.

You will not want to overstate the net cooling effect of clouds, because it might too obviously contradict observations. Also you would
not even mention what I have described under c) above, namely that clouds must contribute to the GHE. And finally you will want to
make the positive cloud forcing as small as possible. If A is the albedo effect, B is positive cloud forcing (which shall be minimized)
and the difference A - B must be kept small, then the easiest and in fact only solution is to minimize A, while leaving total albedo

I guess this is the reason, why the IPCC drops the cloud albedo effect from about 70W/m2 to only 44W/m2, when specifically naming
their positive forcing. For the same reason, as long as you do not name it, you can be far more generous (and probably more realistic),
just like the NOAA which puts the albedo effect to even 79W/m2.

Clouds 1

What I have named are some reasonable doubts over the modelling of clouds in climate. In fact there is widespread consensus, that
climate models do not work well on clouds. The following quote from NASA may illustrate the subject.
It is this schizophrenic behavior that makes clouds so vexing to researchers who are trying to predict the course of climate change. ...
Furthermore, the air temperature, which is affected by clouds, in turn affects cloud formation. It's a circular relationship that makes
climate research all the more difficult.
"Clouds remain one of the largest uncertainties in the climate system's response to temperature changes," laments Bruce Wielicki, a
scientist at NASA's Langley Research Center. "We need more data to understand how real clouds behave."

Sure, these problems all refer to their predictability in climate models. However, all modelling is about using the static factors you
know about and adding some dynamics. It is not so hard to do, if the foundation is solid, which again indicates the very basics here
are at question.

Here is a snapshot of one of my favorite youtube videos, although it is only about 2min long and has hardly over 1000 views. It shows
clouds in the sky over the little Austrian town of Kapfenberg taken with a high quality FLIR cam. If time and location were provided
correctly, temperatures should have been around 10°C at the time of recording.

To understand these pictures, let me explain a few details. First of all, the blue, cold areas are the clear sky (its natural blue has
nothing to do with the colour in the image), and the red/pink areas show clouds. Next, such thermographic cameras work only within
the specific wave lengths of the atmospheric window, where the atmosphere is highly transparent for LWIR, despite GHGs. Otherwise
you would not see a lot. For that reason one must not make the mistake to believe there was almost no radiation coming from the clear
sky. It does, but it is just not visible in this kind of imaging.

I do not know, if this is LWIR reflected, or emitted by clouds, or rather any combination of the two. If we knew the altitude of these
clouds we could possibly draw some conclusions over this question, as temperatures will decrease with altitude. Anyone who owns
such a camera and is able to assess the altitude of clouds could help to clarify it.

If we assume clouds were reflecting this amount of LWIR (coming from the surface or the atmosphere in between), then obviously
they would be highly non transparent to LWIR. What is reflected can not be transmitted. However, if clouds shine so brightly in FLIR
images just because they emit that much LWIR, things could be complicated. That is unless we remember the so called Kirchhoff's
laws, which are telling us, that at any given wave length emissivity will equal absorptivity. In this case it is perfectly applicable (as
opposed to solar radiation and LWIR) as both surface and clouds are emitting at very similar wave lengths.

As a consequence, in either case, clouds should be holding back LWIR at a massive rate, well comparable to, or even higher than their
albedo effect. Of course it would be a little bit shaky to derive this just from a youtube video, which has not the slightest ambition to
serve as scientific evidence. But we are going to investigate this subject in detail in a minute. At this point however the evidence
totally denies the claim clouds were cooling the planet.

Analyzing weather data 1

With the theoretic background and certain observations in mind, I was pressed by the question how to get a clearer and quantifiable
picture over it all. In general what makes physics (and not just physics..) hard to understand are complexities. There are a lot of
variables contributing to the final outcome and thus finding the rules of the game is pretty complicated. If you can run experiments
and single out individual factors, that will be very helpful in understanding how a system works. The problem with global climate is,
that a) global is way too large for a lab, and b) there are way too many variables.

"Give me a place to stand, and I shall move the world"

Thus we are very restricted in finding out what does what. However there are, as always, some opportunities to look behind the
curtain. Such an opportunity is night time cooling in relation to cloudiness. We have one variable and a distinct outcome depending on
it. During the night there is no energy input, just output, thus simplifying all. Even though the system may be chaotic in nature, we can
minimize all other factors by using samples large enough to suppress the chaos. And of course, this will be just a proxy telling us what
effect clouds take on emissivity in general, night AND day.

"Cold is the night when the stars shine bright", so the wisdom goes. Of course you must not take this literally, as winter nights will be
cold and summer nights warm, whether it is clear or not. The rate of cooling however is definitely correlated with cloud status. I
personally once observed a very untypical tropical night in a small Austrian town. It was clear and hot over daytime, but just around
sunset clouds moved in (no wind, no thunderstorm) and the heat was totally contained. Even at 4 in the morning it had still around
25°C, as opposed to about 15°C which would be expected even during warm summer times. This was quite impressive to me and
made me think.

Rather than looking at single observations, one would like to have plenty of data and be somehow able to process them in a
meaningful way. For that reason I was searching for weather data that would give both temperature and cloud status in detail, which I
eventually found with the NOAA. The harder part was to find a reasonable procedure to extract that data and put them in a useful
shape. Without a blueprint for such procedures, I had to invent and construct something.

The data on clouds are described by 5 terms, which are CLR, FEW, SCT, BKN and OVC (in words: clear, few (clouds), scattered,
broken and overcast). These distinctions may well be combined in an ascending order, with the exception of CLR. You might have
FEW on a lower level and then BKN above, for instance. Also there are numbers added giving the altitude of clouds, although that can
hardly be true for all of the sky. And these data have an important restriction, as there is a ceiling of 12.000ft up to which clouds will
be reported. In other words, the data can report an all clear sky, but it could actually be overcast beyond 12.000ft. Finally these cloud
conditions are affiliated (internally) with numbers from 0 to 8, a scheme which I took over. Here is a small excerpt from the table..

WBAN Date Time StationType SkyCondition

12919 20150121 1102 11 OVC005
12919 20150121 1148 11 BKN011 OVC017
12919 20150121 1153 11 BKN009 OVC017
12919 20150121 1203 11 BKN012 BKN019 OVC024
12919 20150121 1213 11 SCT013 BKN018 OVC036
12919 20150121 1253 11 FEW019 BKN025 OVC038

For my purpose all I needed was the maximum degree of cloudiness, which in the examples above would all be OVC. Then I was not
looking for a direct relation between cloudiness and temperature, but the evolution over the course of the night. So I calculated an
average cloudiness for every single night and affiliated it with a number between 0 and 8. This is an important step because it will
allow to simply group nights according to these numbers.

With temperatures again I was not looking for absolute numbers, but for the evolution over the night. So the temperature at sunset (in
Kelvin) would be set = 1, and the following temperatures would be given relative to it.

All said and done, the result would look like this (example Parkersburg, WV, 2015 - 2016). The x-scale gives the minutes into the
night times 10. The legend to the right gives the index range, with 0 for clear and 8 for all overcast nights, and accordingly all
scenarios in between. In parenthesis you have the sample size, that is the number of nights within each category.

So what we finally see here is the correlation between night time cooling and cloudiness. Temperatures are dropping off sharply if the
sky is all clear and they remain very stagnant if it is all overcast. This is pretty much what one would expect, though it is certainly
interesting to see how strong and also precise this correlation is. By comparison OVC nights show about 80-85% less cooling than
CLR nights. And that is despite our all CLR samples will be contaminated with clouds above 12.000ft, which are just not getting

All the different levels of cloudiness align almost perfectly and in the right order in terms of their cooling rate, despite the restricted
size of the sample. This result is perfectly in line with the impression we got from the FLIR picture above. Clouds are shutting down
surface emissions almost entirely, trapping the heat there is. In opposition to what the IPCC implicitly claims, clouds are not at all
transparent to LWIR, or at least to higher degree than to solar radiation. Rather they work as a highly efficient blanket which keeps the
Earth warm.

If we enlarged the sample size, or if we took a look at more locations (I have done over 20 in this context) we would only see that this
trend prevails and smoothens. Some places, specifically if they are close to the sea, show far less temperature variation, but relatively
clouds do have the same impact.

Of course we might want to have a deeper look on this analysis and discuss the details hereto back and forth. However this might fill a
lot of pages, would be technical in nature and would not change the outcome, while we still have a long way to go here.

The basic result is there and I do not feel obliged or called to do all this basic research, which should have been done a long time ago
with results readily available to the public. Rather it seems we are not even supposed to know these things, as shortly after
downloading all the raw data, the NOAA pulled it from its site.


Once the procedure was developed and worked well on clouds, I considered the possibility of applying it on vapour. Superficially the
idea to assess the effect of vapour by reading temperatures might seem somewhat obscene. The problem is quite obvious: relative
humidity, which all weather stations report, is a function of temperature. Relative humidity goes up when temperatures go down and
vice verse. And of course we have cyclical alterations between day and night, and summer and winter respectively. The dependency of
relative humidity to temperatures is so strong, that it is impossible to find a background signal showing us how temperatures may
depend on humidity, aka vapour and its GHE.

On the other side however my approach should solve the major problem as we are looking at night cooling rates. I think most people
would agree that in the desert it gets pretty cold at night, because there is not much holding back LWIR. Most of the time there are no
clouds and of course there is relatively little vapour. If we transpire this idea we should expect to see a signal with regard to the
relation moisture / cooling rate. If it is dry we would expect temperatures to fall faster than when it is moist and vice verse.

As we are calculating an average humidity over the whole night, the diurnal cycle will be eliminated. Yet there are some important
issues I need to name. First of all I did not account for seasonal adjustment, as I do not have enough data to give reasonable samples
on a single month (over many years) for instance. When I came up with the idea the NOAA had already pulled the data from its site.

Second we have data on relative humidity, which is of course not really representing the total amount of vapour in the atmosphere. A
it is only measured close to the surface, and B it is still a function of temperature. What we can do about it is to not just look at
relative humidity, but also at absolute humidity which can derived from it allowing for temperature.

Finally we have a cross correlation with clouds and we have already seen how strongly they affect the cooling rate. So what we have
is far less than perfect, and yet we should see something. Here it is..

Again it is Parkersburg WV, the same sample as before. This time however the nights were grouped according to the prevailing
average relative humidity and the outcome is interesting at least. We see two groups which stand out and show a significant reduction
in the cooling rate, which strangely enough are the extremes, namely very dry and very moist scenarios.
With only 20 nights in the <40% group what we are seeing is an artefact. I checked the data in detail in fact there are simply two
nights responsible for that deviation, which is statistically insignificant.

Much more significant is the strongly reduced cooling rate (by over 50%) in the high humidity sample (90-100% rel hum.). With
Parkersburg not being a tropical location, such high humidity is typically associated with rain. And rain again falls from clouds. So in
this one sample we have very strong cross correlation with clouds which have, as we already know, a much stronger impact than just a
50%+ reduction of emissivity.

All the other groups however show no consistent correlation at all. They are all so close together, that the deviations are statistically
insignificant. Also there is no logical order. The strongest cooling is found with the intermediate sample 50-60%, while the next dryer
sample (40-50%) shows the least cooling. The remaining three samples are somewhere in between.

Among all the shortcomings of this analysis there might be a seasonable bias which, as already told, has not been adjusted. For that
reason let us have short look at how relative humidity evolved over the observed period.

There is some seasonal pattern with winter/early spring showing larger variations and a little bit lower rel. humidity, which comes as a
surprise to me. Otherwise seasonal factors are relatively weak and it is very unlikely they could incidentally mask a correlation that
otherwise would be visible. For instance: we would have expected to see less cooling with high humidity. But if summer time was
associated with such high humidity, and there is more temperature variation during that season, then cooling rates would be too high
for that seasonal factor. And arguably that tendency is there, it is just too small to make much of a difference.

Is relative humidity even a reasonable proxy? Yes and no! The troposphere is over 10 km high and the measurements are done only at
about 2m above the soil. Most of the vapour however is located at low altitudes, as it decreases both with pressure (or density) and
temperature. Within just about 1,400m H2O concentration decreases by about 50%. On the other side moisture of higher air masses
may deviate substantially. Yet again we have no reason to assume these deviations would be systemically going one direction, and
thus causing a bias.

Another thing is it, when it has rained, the soil is wet and due to evaporation we will have very high humidity close to soil, but
certainly not quite as much as we go up in the atmosphere. This scenario, next to the reasons already named, will certainly not be a
good proxy.

So the question is up, why are we not seeing a signal with vapor?

There is a quite obvious and horribly heretic answer to it: vapor is likely not much of a GHG. We have learned that we will have to
allocate a much smaller greenhouse forcing to vapor (and other GHGs) anyway, and so the expectations over its effect must be
lowered anyhow. But that was before we reasonably accounted for the role of clouds (and we done with it yet), so that the actual
magnitude of the GHE and the significance of vapor is still not clear.

Also we must remember, that unlike clouds, which go from clear to overcast, vapor is always present and thus we not see such intense
effects due to its variation. Also radiative forcing of vapor is a logarithmic function, which means doubling or halving it, will have a
much smaller than linear effect.

Yet we should see some signal, and the fact that we do not, is a strong case. That is even more true, as we can see how well approach
works with clouds. Furthermore there is one very basic observation which strongly supports the argument. Globally the highest
average(!) temperatures are attained in the driest places (Sahara, Arabia..). How is the relative scarcity of the most important GHG
consistent with the highest temperatures? Sure, there are a lot of other factors contributing to it, most notably the low emissivity of
sand, which is why it turns so hot in the sun. But even that is being denied by climatologists with their emissivity = 1 claim.

Clouds 2

So far we have developed the theory that clouds would be warming the planet, rather than cooling it, which is the common believe.
Next I went on to investigate the general correlation between cloudiness and temperatures.
I started with a basic approach, which generally seems opportune, but was so specifically in this case, as I was not working with a
database. Rather I was using a c programme to extract the data directly from .txt files including all the records (over 100 Mio) from
the named stations over the years 2015 to 2017. In the evolution of the code you would naturally go from simple to more

So first I plotted these five levels of cloudiness vs. the corresponding average measured temperatures.

Condition Records Temp. F Temp. C

CLR 50,791,658 56.74 13.75
FEW 3,755,719 63.83 17.68
SCT 8,440,561 64.36 17.98
BKN 10,016,310 60.52 15.84
OVC 29,900,161 48.27 9.04

As one might expect, given the assumed predominant cooling effect of clouds, overcast scenarios are by far the coldest. In second
place however come clear skies and that is quite surprising, just as much as average cloudiness is associated with the highest
Further analysis suggested that CLR and OVC scenarios tend to be more common during winter time, which might be a very simple
explanation to this strange pattern (though is ultimately not as we will see). In order to filter this bias I added another register for each
month of the year. Now the programme would shape a 2-dimonsional array, with the 5 cloud conditions and 12 months, and would
then calculate the average for each of which. Only then the average of the 12 months would determine the average of the particular
cloud condition.

Condition Temp. C
CLR 13.22
FEW 15.74
SCT 15.56
BKN 14.94
OVC 10.91

Filtering by season flattens the curve substantially. Now the difference between FEW and OVC shrinks to less than 5°C, as compared
to 9°C before. Except for OVC all other scenarios drop in temperature, which is also due to the large share of OVC scenarios (29%) in
the unweighted sample. As the result shows, a seasonal adjustment is absolutely mandatory.
Next there will likely be another bias due to location. For instance there are a lot of stations located in hot and dry desert areas. So
they would typically be reporting both clear skies and high temperatures. In order to filter this bias, I used a 3-dimensional array with
5 cloud conditions, 12 months for each of the reporting stations. Technically I would add up all the temperatures and run a second
array of the same dimensions that counts the number of samples. Then you just divide the sum of temperatures through the counter,
and only then you average the averages.

Anyhow, the outcome is highly interesting. Now we still have a “curve”, but it is almost symmetric. CLR and OVC scenarios are as
before the coldest, but with almost identical temperatures. In fact they are so close by, that the difference might even be within the
statistical margin of error.

Condition Temp. C
CLR 12.67
FEW 14.15
SCT 14.29
BKN 13.91
OVC 12.30

Only filtering two factors, season and location, has dramatically changed the outcome. Now there is no overall tendency to lower
temperatures with clouds, something that should exist however, if they had a predominant cooling effect. Why does intermediate
cloudiness (FEW, SCT, BKN) go along with the highest temperatures?
One might assume that these are at least partially due to nice weather clouds, where thermal updraft is moving moist air into higher
altitudes. Because of the adiabatic lapse rate, these air masses will cool down (while yet being relatively warmer than surrounding air)
and cause the vapour do condensate. So, partial cloudiness may well be correlated with warm weather, without causing it.

Yet seasonal influences make much of a difference. While CLR situations are moderately warm during summer and OVCs by far the
coldest, it is the opposite during winter. This makes a lot of sense, when you consider that during the cold and low sunlight season a
lot of “heat” is “imported” from warmer regions and the ocean respectively. Under such circumstances clouds will hold back
relatively more LWIR as they block solar radiation.

Another interesting detail is that the intersection of the CLR and OVC lines happens at much lower temperatures in spring (or later
winter) as in autumn. This makes perfect sense, since temperatures will be lagging behind solar intensity by about one month. In
spring we have relatively strong solar radiation, but low surface temperatures. Clouds will accordingly reflect relatively more sun
light than terrestrial infrared. Accordingly OVC will underperform CLR. In autumn it is exactly the opposite way. It is a phenomenon
that should exist in theory, but it is nice to see it confirmed empirically. Also this may be a modest indication, that this analysis is not
totally unreasonable.

Logically this brought up the question, if the picture would not change substantially if we moved southward. Most US stations are
located between 30 and 49° latitude. Most solar radiation however is absorbed in tropical regions, at less than 30° latitude.
Regrettably I could not move US weather stations southward, or find any comparable data in other, more tropic countries. But what I
could do was to select a more south bound sample, based on stations located below 35° latitude. This would yet not be to able
represent a tropical climate, but it should be possible determine a trend, if there is one.

Condition Temp. C
CLR 19.42
FEW 21.52
SCT 21.73
BKN 21.36
OVC 19.40

Is there any trend? Hardly! Apart from the overall higher absolute temperatures (who guessed that?) there is just a small relative
increase in the OVC scenario. It may not be much per se and would not need to mean a lot, however it is pretty confusing if we take a
step back and look at the bigger picture. And the following diagram shows the reason why.

In tropical regions there is a "surplus" of energy, meaning the surface is not quite as warm as it could be given solar input. In polar
regions it is obviously the opposite. This is very reminiscent of the seasonal pattern we just looked at. Remember that clouds were
relatively more cooling in spring, when surface temperatures were behind solar intensity. It is very much the same issue here and thus
one would expect that temperatures with cloudy conditions would rather fall behind clear skies as we go southward, and not that they
stay about the same or even gain. So what have we missed?

I may suggest a simple and logical answer. The logical reasoning suggests clouds will have an overall warming effect which is derived
from the logic of the GHE itself, as clouds move the average level of emissions higher up the atmosphere. Now in the tropics the
troposphere reaches up higher and so do clouds (Note: even though the records only cover clouds up to 12.000ft there will be a strong
correlation with cloudiness above that level). Accordingly clouds should have an even stronger GHE in the tropics which could well
offset the "blanket factor" if you will, which should be negative.

Yet I have attempted two more iterations. A sample of stations <30° latitude..

Condition Temp. C
CLR 22.46
FEW 24.38
SCT 24.59
BKN 24.15
OVC 22.34

..and another one only including stations within 25° latitude south and north. This is really a tiny sample, including just 26 stations
(there was a total of 67 stations, but only those 26 were also reporting cloud conditions). These would be located in Key West and
Hawaii, next to some military bases like Guam, Diego Garcia and so on..

Condition Temp. C
CLR 24.79
FEW 25.51
SCT 25.93
BKN 25.97
OVC 24.96

In this last sample, which is delicate for a couple of reasons, OVC is finally warmer than CLR. Indeed it is a trend we can see, as we
restrict the sample ever more to tropic and warmer regions. The curve rather tilts to the left, than the right (while the "bulge" rather
moves right). Even though the quantity and thus the quality of the data base is diminishing, there is one definite conclusion. There is
not the slightest indication, that clouds would have more of a cooling effect close to the equator. Rather the data suggest the opposite.

Why is the tropical sample delicate? First of all it represents the most significant climate zone, secondly we would love to have much
more data here, thirdly the delta between the 12.000ft reporting ceiling and the height of the troposphere increases, and finally all the
stations reporting are close to the ocean, which is why a few things go different here. Due to the vicinity to water the daily
temperature variations are naturally much smaller than with land locked places. Yet we should take a closer look on these data.

We have the obvious issue of biases which we try to filter as good as possible. The problem with filtering is, that we lose some data on
the other side, so that every time it is more like an iterative process where get closer to the "final truth", but never really reach it. It is
the same story here. If we skip the filter for location and season (which have little significance in this sample), we have enough data to
take a clear look at diurnal patterns.

And again what we see here is already very familiar. At any day time the intermediate levels of cloudiness are the warmest and thus it
is definitely not due to the diurnal bias. Again, these intermediate cloud conditions (especially SCT and BKN) are more often reported
during warmer day time, but we see this is not causing the "bulge" shape. So we should answer the question what is causing it.
Regardless of whether we assume an over all cooling effect by clouds, or the opposite, we would expect to see a linear trend. If clouds
were cooling the surface, then we should see an according correlation. And the same will be true if clouds were warming overall. That
bulge looks like Solomon's solution, but it is not quite satisfying. Is there an underlying trend which is masked by some specific bias
we have not dealt with yet?

If that was so we can actually define what we are looking for. We can compare the bulge to a linear trend and define the possible
biases there might be. Schematically we can draw 4 trend lines over our bulge chart and derive 4 thinkable biases from it. I know it
may look a bit stupid and confusing, but it will get a lot clearer once we can see what we are possibly looking for.

The delta between the actual chart and the trend lines can look like these four basic charts...
The precision here does not matter. What matters is the basic scheme we are looking for and the question if there is some X-factor
which can possibly satisfy the requirement. If such an X-factor existed it could ultimately reveal a linear trend between cloudiness and

Is there such a factor? Of course, I would not rhetorically ask if there was not. It is rain! Rain reduces surface temperatures in two
ways. First it is relatively colder than the surface as it comes from higher altitudes where it is colder, and despite water droplets are
warming up on their way down, that will have a significant chilling effect. Secondly on a moist surface there will be evaporation
which also reduces surface temperatures and the air close to the surface.

To understand how strongly rain affects surface temperatures we can take a look at one of the hottest places on Earth, the city of
N'Djamena in Chad. As it is located at 12.7° latitude N it sees peak solar intensity during regular northern summer (as far the sun goes
beyond the zenith, days are longer as an (over-) compensation). Yet average temperatures drop massively during summer, which is
due to rain. Sure, one could argue it was more due to increased cloudiness, but we already know that correlation will not work.

Essentially temperatures are about 7-8°C lower due to the massive amounts of rain N'Djamena sees during peak summer. Of course
during this season there is also much more of the all important GHG vapour in the air, for whatever you might want to make out of it.
Anyhow, the example demonstrates well the effect of rain on surface temperatures, which I must admit is not quantifiable to me. I can
outline the correlation, I can argue the physics, but I can not tell what amount of rain will drop surface temperatures by how much.

Yet, once we understand the basic physics and once take at the (obvious) correlation between clouds and rain, things should become
very clear and understandable. Yes, clouds do drop surface temperatures by delivering rain. But that is already included in the overall
correlation between cloudiness and surface temperatures. Rain cools the surface and warms the (higher) atmosphere in the process of
condensation. But it does not cool the planet overall, as it has no (direct) effect on radiation balance.
So here is the basic correlation between clouds and rain. Is it? Well, more or less. I must admit I could have done a better job here and
there are a few issues I need to address. As we see there is quite some rain coming from clear skies, which is reflecting the 12.000ft
issue. The sky is clear up to 12.000ft, but above anything goes and obviously there will be some seriously cloudy conditions in the
supposed all clear sample. Another issue is, that during severe weather situations (like hurricanes) there are more frequent reports, not
just in an hourly interval. Catching that bias would have required writing some extra routines which I simply skipped, and thus the
amount of rain with OVC is likely a bit overstated. Yet I think it gives us a good impression of what common sense tells us anyhow:
rain falls from clouds.

Once we sort out the effect of rain, we come to the conclusion there is an underlying linear trend between cloudiness and
temperatures. In fact it fits like Cinderella's shoe. The more clouds, the warmer it is. Period! Schematically it will look something like

The bulge, it turns out, is the footprint of the logarithmic increase of rain and its chilling relative to cloudiness. The relation between
cloudiness and temperatures however is more or less linear in nature. The more clouds, the warmer it is.

Of course all that outlines just a trend, not the final outcome. Temperatures are always lagging behind radiative forcing and cloud
conditions are a changing. In the long term effects would be stronger. Also the data we use are only covering low clouds, which will
be correlated to clouds reaching up higher, beyond the 12.000ft ceiling. But it will be the high clouds which have the strongest
positive forcing, as they move the level of LWIR emissions higher up the atmosphere.

So the actual (positive or heating) impact of clouds on climate should be much stronger than what the data here imply. An all overcast
Earth could easily be 20K warmer than it is today. All it would take to turn Earth into a second Venus is a much more massive
atmosphere and a closed cloud layer which redefines the thermodynamic surface. GHGs are not required.


All this might be considered Vodoo, tricks applied on data to get what you desire, but it is not. Actually it is very simplistic. The basic
observation shows no clear correlation between cloudiness and temperatures. That alone is contradicting the notion clouds were
cooling over all. The picture changes once we take into account the effect of rain, which is reducing temperatures. If anyone wants to
argue with these fact, good luck!

What remains is the simple empirical evidence that clouds are positively correlated with temperatures, which suggests a (net) heating
momentum by clouds. Of course correlation does not necessarily mean causation, but this result is well supported by theoretical
considerations, which ironically are not understood by the apologetics of the GHE.

The only way GHGs can cause a GHE is in the way that Prof Merrifeld (and a lot of others of course) explains. It is, again, by moving
up average emissions of LWIR higher up into a colder atmosphere. Obviously the effect is not about the who, but the what. It does not
matter if this is done by GHGs or by clouds, the effect, the GHE to be more precise, will be the same. It is extremely ironic that this
logical consequence has been overseen. Or, and I can only speculate here, maybe that is the reason why the GHE is mostly being
taught the wrong way. Teaching it the right way certainly increases the "danger" of uncovering the intrinsic problem of the concept.


By now we can definitely tell that clouds are warming planet, not cooling it. It all adds up very nicely. We have the empiric evidence,
we have the theory of the GHE, and we have logical reasoning, and all tell us the same story. It was complicated and time consuming
to analyze all these weather data, but it is equally important as it was mandatory to understand the most significant parts of the so
called GHE. And once we have done it, we can draw some highly revealing conclusions.

a) what does the GHE actually look like?

Since clouds have an overall warming effect on Earth, their positive forcing is effectively higher than their negative forcing, aka their
albedo effect. If we reasonably assume the latter to be about 68W/m2, the positive forcing will be somewhere northward of it, maybe
90W/m2. Again, I am not claiming to know this figure, but it will be somewhere about that magnitude.
If we take this into account, next to what we have already learned, we do understand that an Earth without GHGs will not just be not
255K cold, neither it would be as cold as a perfect black body, but definitely warmer, like 283K or so. Only the remaining delta can be
attributed to GHGs, which will likely warm the planet by 25-30W/m2 or about 5K.

Accordingly all GHGs play a much smaller role than what is commonly but wrongly assumed. CO2 being just one of these GHGs
logically then only accounts for about 1K in total forcing, if we follow the common weighting of individual GHGs.

b) At this point we might start to understand why modelling clouds is such a complicated thing in climate science. It is very much a
mission impossible. Either you account for clouds correctly, but then you lose almost all of the GHE which renders all modelling in
the sense of anthropogenic climate change obsolete. Or you "parameterize" as required, but then you can never model reality.

c) We might also understand now, why there is this huge contradiction within the "official" positions on clouds forcing. You can tell
the truth, or you can tell the GHE, but you can tell both.

d) Despite I am very reluctant to discuss "climate change", "global warming" or "global heating" as it is named more recently, since
this has become an issue of utmost idiocy, that whole story is totally obsolete without a significant GHE. With CO2 being only
responsible for about 1K in total GH forcing, doubling it will have close to none effect at all. As there is a logarithmic scale to any
GHG, its increase will have dwindling effects. In the case of CO2 we are talking about 0.1K at best, and that also goes for any
"feedbacks" like vapor, which is an insignificant GHG just as well.

e) There might be anthropogenic global warming after all due to air travel. It is not the CO2, but the cloudy contrails we should have
an eye on. Btw. this is not at all a devious consideration, since it is widely accepted high altitude clouds would cause stronger "GH-
forcing", so strong it might actually be overall positive, despite a falsely assumed dominant albedo effect. The irony here is, that the
increase in air travel over the last decades actually better aligns with the recent warming (if the data are even correct), than the
increase of CO2. Especially so if you include solar activity. And that is while it is being argued CO2 was the only possible

f) It is all a margins game! The whole GHE narrative lives from cutting all corners, from denying reality and attributing all that is
made up to GHGs alone. These are not minor "flaws" or simplifcations, but a total precondition for the narrative, as almost 90% of the
GHG induced GHE is made up by it.

An alternative view

Finally there is an alternative, much more simplistic view on the whole subject. It will not quite work without all the things said
already, but it cuts short a lot of the issues and is a very direct approach to the "without GHGs Earth would be 255K cold" myth. We
have already dealt with Fresnel equations and I have named the relevant parameters, which are 0.33 for N2 for visible light, and 0.27
for LWIR repesctively (both are averaged for typical spectra). You may want to look up these data on your own at
With these parameters we can directly derive surface emissivity and absorptivity with regard to water. It will not even take
complicated calculations to see that these curves are almost identical.

With regard to water "naked" Earth without GHGs, clouds, aerosols would almost exactly reach the temperature of a perfect black
body. The small deviation between Absorptivity and Emissivity would rather drop it to 278K than the 279K of PBB. Land surface will
not have much of an impact, but as we already have seen Absorptivity and Emissivity even out largely in this regard too.

So a naked Earth, or an Earth without GHGs as the common narrative goes, would no way be even near to 255K. On the other side it
is still about 10K colder than what the actual observation of about 288K is. In this context we are still left with a "GHE" of 10K,
which is caused by anything within the atmosphere that pushes LWIR emissions higher up the atmosphere. These are GHGs (sure!),
clouds and also aerosols. So it are a 10K which have to be shared among those greenhouse factors, if you will, and it is easy to see
how classical GHGs like vapor or CO2 are marginalized in that role. Again CO2 can hardly warm the planet by more than 1K, with all
the implications that has.