Greenhouse molecules, their spectra and function in the atmosphere

Dr Jack Barrett, of the Scientific Alliance wrote the paper entitled ‘Greenhouse molecules, their spectra and function in the atmosphere,’ to explain the properties of radiatively active molecules and how they affect the Earth’s atmosphere.

The spectroscopic properties of the molecules are incorporated into general circulation models (GCMs) and are used to indicate various degrees of enhancement of global warming caused by increases in their concentrations. Some climate sceptics hold the opinion that greenhouse gases have very little effect on the temperature of the atmosphere and the main body of climatologists, represented by the IPCC, state that they have a considerable effect, leading to a temperature rise of between 3 and 11 degrees C for a doubling of carbon dioxide. In my opinion, and in those of many climate sceptics, such results represent an exaggeration of the phenomenon and that a doubling of carbon dioxide should produce about 1 degree C rise in atmospheric temperature. One of the main positive feedbacks used by the IPCC to obtain their results is that of the spectroscopic effect of additional water vapour resulting from the rise of temperature following an increase in CO2. They seem not to allow for the extra water vapour contributing to greater cloud coverage, which is a negative feedback effect dependent upon the non-spectroscopic properties of water. Until such effects are properly incorporated into GCMs their results will not be acceptable to climate sceptics.

60 thoughts on “Greenhouse molecules, their spectra and function in the atmosphere”

  1. Steve, just quoting you:

    “And indeed it is not all just CO2. Nobody ever said it was. CO2 gets such a focus because a) high levels of it are known to have unfortunate consequences for climate (which is not to say that other things can’t), b) CO2 levels are rising fast and c) we can do something about it. There are a number of other problematic human-caused forcings that we cam also do something about, but CO2 remains the big one. In sharp contrast, things like changes in solar radiance, orbital wobbles and volcanos are rather less within our control. ”

    Didn’t you oxymoronise yourself with this?

  2. You mean regarding the role of water vapor, Louis? There is no contradiction since water vapor is both the major GHG and a feedback (not a forcing). But you knew that.

  3. Steve
    ” since water vapor is both the major GHG and a feedback (not a forcing)
    If CO2 causes a temperature increase its a forcing
    If H2O cuases a temperature increase its a forcing
    H20 cannot be feed back only its plainly illogical and stupid
    If some thing doesn’t already cause something the increasing its concentration
    will not change its properties

  4. Thomas, this is just a matter of definitions. GHGs and solar are forcings because they add heat to the system from “outside” the climate system. Water vapor can’t be added in that manner since it will return to equilibrium very quickly (mainly via precipitation). The basic mechanism here is that the forcings heat the air and this heating increases the air’s capacity to retain WV (which is already “inside” the system), which is then acquired by evaporation and results in the bulk of the heating.

  5. RE: Bloom’s Black Body BS ….. Mann declared in his answer’s to Inhofe (I’ll take the liberty of paraphrasing a bit) that "plain old" physicists would not be folks he’d classify as being qualified to be "climate scientists." I found this to be quite telling. To me, if we are to be serious about truly understanding how the climate works (and to hopefully make better predictions about what it might do) we must absolutely get the best people from Physics – as well as from Astrophysics, Geophysics, Oceanography, and even some seemingly, on the surface, not entirely relevant disciplines such as Mechanics, Electronics and E&M. Using a truly interdisciplinary approach, and with an a priori recognition that the climate is far, far more complex than a seismic reflection model or a complex electrical circuit model, we might be able to at long last develop a sense of just what sorts of signal analyses, understandings of all the frequencies involved, understanding of gains and damping coefficients and other interactions, are in play. With that approach, we might be able to develop the initial primative means of doing true modeling as opposed to the sorts of mental masturbation which have so sadly characterized the so called field of "climate science" – which, at this stage in its developement, is about on par with alchemy, in terms of real scientific gravitas and staying power!

  6. Not only albedo, consider also the impact on heat flow from the troposphere to the stratosphere (and beyond) due to the highest build ups. That is a powerful convective conveyance mechanism. Unless it can be factored into the models, how can we understand the overall global heat flow pattern. Of course I realize this has been posed many times before as a concern, I just wanted to issue a reminder here.

  7. nanny_govt_sucks, you have filled the web with some of the most asinine crap I have had the misfortune to read.

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