Good News for Humanity, Part 1

Good News for Humanity, Part 1

Every newspaper and TV News Broadcast should have heralded the most important news story from Madrid in December.

This diagram puts to rest the idea that CO2 is a threat to mankind.

Graph from Dr. W. Happer’s press briefing, Madrid, Spain, December 2019 (Note)

The top curve is the theoretical heat loss from the Earth into the vacuum of space for the range of frequencies, assuming no atmosphere. This is Planck’s curve for heat loss from the Earth’s blackbody. (Notations above the curves are of various chemical compounds at their spectral frequencies.)

The sawtooth curve shows the actual heat loss through the Earth’s atmosphere for each frequency, where the percentages of CO2 are 0 ppm, (in green), 400 ppm (in black) and 800 ppm (in red). The sawtooth curve is known as the Schwarzschild curve. (The heat loss for all other compounds are for conditions as they exist today.) 

Of particular importance are the circled, red and black, CO2 curves.

These two curves, highlighted by the circle, are virtually the same, indicating that heat loss is nearly unchanged after doubling CO2 from 400 to 800 ppm.

In other words, adding CO2 to the atmosphere so that atmospheric levels of CO2 doubles (from 400 ppm to 800 ppm) has virtually no effect on temperatures. CO2 is saturated, and adding more CO2 to the atmosphere has a minimal effect.

Note that heat loss from the Earth would have been greater if atmospheric CO2 was at 0 ppm, as shown by the green curve.

The fact that CO2 levels can double from today, without affecting temperatures is great news for mankind.

It should be shouted from every rooftop, “Increasing atmospheric levels of CO2 has minimal effect on temperatures.”

There is no need for a carbon tax. 

There is no need to impose regulations to curtail CO2 emissions.

There is no need to stop using fossil fuels.

This is great news for humanity since it can continue to have access to the lowest cost sources of energy.

Please forward to people on your email list. The media won’t report this good news.

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Note: Dr. W. Happer, Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at Princeton University, and former science advisor to the president of the United States on the National Security Council.

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9 Replies to “Good News for Humanity, Part 1”

  1. The graph appears to be derived from the MODTRAN (Univ. Chicago) IR absorption model, which uses data in a very large IR data base. I checked that graphic. There appears to be a small, but quite distinct difference in the IR absorption width of the 15 micron CO2 band between 400 and 800 ppm. However, there is a similarly small difference in this band width between 400 and 200 ppm CO2, and between 200 and 100 ppm, and even between 100 and 50 ppm CO2. It does not require much change in the width of absorption around 15u to produce a warming effect, and as you imply, the 15u band center has a small incremental effect. Weather satellites take advantage of the “wings” of various IR absorption bands to look down to specific altitudes in the atmosphere. The MODTRAN graphic is better suited for examining IR absorption at lower concentrations and for comparing possible overlap effects.

  2. I add some additional detail to my comment above.
    The MODTRAN calculation gives these upward IR fluxes to space for the different CO2 concentrations.
    800 ppm = 295.19 W/m^2
    400 ppm = 298.52
    200 ppm = 301.85
    100 ppm = 305.21
    Starting at 100 ppm CO2, the W/m^2 decrease with each CO2 doubling is 3.36, 3.33, and 3.33.
    This very modest change approximately represents the semi-log effect of decreasing CO2 influence with increasing concentration.

  3. Hi Don and others – I’m a retired Australian journalist who still writes occasionally about climate and renewable energy. Look, the stuff about extra CO2 not causing much warming has been known for decades. I have seen graphs which suggest that doubling from 400 to 800 would add around a degree centigrade, but no matter. The additional, slight warming from the extra CO2 in the atmosphere is supposed to permit the atmos to carry more water vapor and its the water vapor which causes the bulk of the warming. There is a feedback effect. It was the discovery/invention/whatever of this feedback which kicked off the modern alarmism. Almost everyone on all sides of the debate still think its all about CO2. It ain’t. I think its a load of excreta myself but, anyway, that’s the theory.

    • Thanks for your comment.
      Note that the graph includes water and its effect.
      However, I will address the feedbacks, at least indirectly, in my next article. The feedbacks are supposed to be included in the computer projections and it’s interesting to see how computer projections have not tracked reality. It’s also noteworthy how the projected temperature rises have decreased in severity over time, to the point where the projected temperature rise is not a threat. A 1 to 2 degree F rise, or even a 1.5 degree C rise, over a hundred years is no problem.

      • Oh sure – I’m not saying for a moment the models are of any use, all I’m saying is that its long been known that the direct warming effect of CO2 is limited .. that the supposed knock-on/feedback effect hardly exists is far from surprising. I regard all teh theory as complete nonsense..

        • Thanks for all your comments. And good luck in Australia. Hope you have not been affected by the wildfires.You may know that I have been a frequent visitor to Australia and have watched events there very closely.

    • Mark,
      I agree that there are multiple factors causing global warming, and the IPCC does not fully consider all of them.
      Above I point out that increasing CO2 from 400 to 800 ppm would decrease outgoing IR by about 3.3 W/m^2. Assuming that warming of one deg-C is equivalent to 3.7 W/m^2, this is less than 1C for this CO2 doubling. There is not much controversy over this direct value. Possible feedback effects are much more uncertain. Water is about 2.5 times as effective at warming as CO2, and its concentration tends to increase with warming. On the other hand, high albedo clouds likely increase also, tending to decrease warming Clouds are a large uncertainty in the climate model predictions. Then, there are other natural factors that caused warming over ~1910-1940 and cooling over ~1940-1970, which cannot be explained by increasing CO2. Possibly these represent changes in deep ocean mixing, which also produce the shorter-lived ENSO events.
      Climate is Complicated.

      • Thanks again for your comments.
        For over 10,000 years temperatures have been higher than today for over 60% of the time, and, until the mid-1800s, CO2 has been constant at around 280 ppm. (Initially 260 ppm, increasing to 280 ppm about 4,000 years ago.) Temperature changes could only be attributed to natural causes before the mid-1800s. This means there have always been changes in climate caused by nature, not CO2. Today, with an increase in atmospheric CO2, it’s possible that there could be an additional effect on temperatures, but, as I mention in today’s article, the mounting evidence is that these changes are minimal.
        Nature is the main cause of climate change, which means temperatures could decrease at some point in the future.