Letter to a Friend of Science

Contributed by Philip Mulholland © 2020

I believe that Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) due to the radiative greenhouse gas/CO2 forcing theory is a hoax, but where should I start my explanation to you of how I justify my belief? Perhaps some personal background information will help you to understand my position:
I am a committed environmentalist, with a Bachelor’s degree in environmental science (Lancaster, England 1974) and a Master’s degree in conservation (University College London 1980). I have always had a great appreciation of trees, the first one I grew was a laburnum seedling I found in our family garden in Liverpool at the age of eight. I took this sapling to our new home on the Wirral and tended it for many years in our garden there. My interest developed and at University College London my MSc dissertation was a study into the process of the natural regeneration cycle of Epping Forest. I learnt a lot about ecology from growing trees and since then I have continued to grow saplings as a hobby, so the idea that we are going to save the planet by burning trees is something I abhor.

My great interest in both geography and botany at school led me to apply for a first degree in Environmental Science (ES) at the University of Lancaster. I got in on my second attempt in 1971 at age 19, having lost a year because I failed my maths A-levels and had to re-sit. My father, a maths teacher, was not best pleased at my poor performance. My grades were not good enough for the competing ES course at the University of East Anglia, but in retrospect Lancaster was the better choice for me. The ES department at Lancaster was founded by Professor Gordon Manley, the renowned climatologist, and the modular course he organised provided an excellent grounding in a wide range of geoscience disciplines.

So, I know about greenhouse gases from my time at university. I well remember how we were specifically told in the ES lecture theatre at Bailrigg campus that the vacuum planet equation of astronomy, used by climate science was a mathematical trick. The sole and only purpose of this equation is to calculate the radiant exhaust temperature of a planet. So, I will start here at the core of climate science, the mathematical trick that seems to hoodwink so many into believing that the sun shines at night. Yes seriously, that is the correct description of the idea that it is logically permissible to divide the radiant intensity of incoming solar energy by 4, because the outgoing surface area of the radiant emission from the planet is four times the cross-sectional area of the intercepting disk silhouette. Once you go down the rabbit hole of believing that the rule of divide by four can be applied to incoming solar energy, and therefore make sunlight too weak to heat the planet, then you are lost.

In order to destroy completely this palpable piece of garbage, I created a new mathematical model based on the meteorological principles that my co-author Stephen Wilde supplied. This new model uses as its minimum irreducible basis the presence of the two complementary environments on every solar lit globe, namely day and night. My model uses as its starting point a geometrically valid divide by 2 for the process of radiant solar flux intensity dilution, because only half the surface area of a planet is ever illuminated at any one time. In order to force the issue of acceptance of the meteorological process we are describing, I set the initial condition for the model as being a tidally locked planet. This is in contradistinction to the standard vacuum planet equation of climate science that starts with a rapidly rotating world, and relies on the solid surface translation provided by daily rotation to convey the intercepted high frequency solar energy from the day to the night time side.

What was truly surprising to me was that the meteorological model that I created fully and completely replicates the vacuum planet equation of astronomy. So, my model proves the truth of the greenhouse gas conjecture? Not a bit of it. The new climate model that matches the vacuum planet equation is the diabatic (50% – 50% partition) version in which both day and night time radiation environments are identical in character. But the sun does not shine on to the ground at night! During the day the process of forced radiative convection alters the environmental lapse rate and creates a process by which thermal energy is preferentially retained by the rising air. Adiabatic convection is a pressure related phenomenon that is completely independent of the thermal radiant opacity of a gas. The canonical model with its uniform surface environment and diabatic (50% – 50%) process of energy partition does not describe the real world. It is this uniform day and night environment, that relies on the presence of greenhouse gases to create surface heating by low frequency thermal back-radiation from the atmosphere, that is the fatally flawed concept at the dead heart of climate science.

As an important part of our collaboration Stephen and I attempted to have papers developed from our work published in the official journals, Icarus and the Royal Met Socs International Journal of Climatology. In one case our work was rejected before peer review on the grounds that it did not reflect main stream understanding. So, applying the principle of “softly-softly” I wrote and had published on the WattsUpWithThat (WUWT) blog hosted by Anthony Watts the following sequence of essays: –

  1. Calibrating the CERES Image of the Earth’s Radiant Emission to Space.
    In this first essay I demonstrate that the outgoing radiant flux of the Earth is related to the zones of the atmospheric circulation cells for the planet, and how by using simple meteorological parameters the average global temperature can be calculated.
  2. An Analysis of the Earth’s Energy Budget.
    In this second essay I apply the logic of Climate Science and show how by using the canonical rules of divide by 4 for the solar energy dilution divisor, and the interception rule of “half out to space and half back to the ground” for the low frequency energy transmission through the atmosphere, the process of energy capture by the atmosphere is self-limiting. Consequently, it is impossible to explain the high surface atmospheric temperature of the planet Venus by a radiant energy greenhouse effect.
  3. Modelling the Climate of Noonworld: A New Look at Venus.
    For this third essay I introduced my new climate model concept of a tidally locked planet (Noonworld) and show how this meteorological model fully replicates the canonical vacuum planet equation. The critical modelling distinction however is this – the presence of the dual environments of day and night in my model – whereas there is only a single uniform surface environment in the canonical model. This surface duality allows for the option to have an environment dominated by radiant cooling for the night, and an environment of forced solar radiant convection for the day. This critical distinction between adiabatic day and diabatic night time processes then allows for the creation of a dynamic-atmosphere energy-transport (DAET) process that mimics the natural environmental process of a thermal Hadley cell. My model clearly shows that the presence of thermal radiant opacity (aka greenhouse gases) is irrelevant to the process of energy retention by the atmosphere.
  4. Return to Earth: A New Predictive Model of the Earth’s Climate.
    In this next essay I apply the Noonworld model to the Earth’s climate system, by creating a three-element parallel model that replicates the three atmospheric cells of Hadley, Ferrel and Polar, first discussed in the CERES essay. This adiabatic climate model creates the required greenhouse effect in the Earth’s planetary atmosphere without invoking the need for greenhouse gas generated atmospheric thermal opacity effects.
  5. Using an Iterative Adiabatic Model to study the Climate of Titan.
    This final essay discusses the application of the adiabatic DAET climate model to Titan, the giant moon of Saturn. Titan has an almost pure nitrogen atmosphere that is too cold to contain either water or carbon dioxide. The canonical explanation for the climate of Titan involves methane as a greenhouse gas, but the DAET model demonstrates that it is air pressure alone that generates the atmospheric greenhouse effect on terrestrial planets and moons.

The table that captures the fundamental issues of our work is this:

Following the advice of a friend we were able to have our work peer reviewed and published by the Science Publishing Group. To date two papers have appeared:

An Iterative Mathematical Climate Model of the Atmosphere of Titan.

Inverse Climate Modelling Study of the Planet Venus

Our third paper in this series “Return to Earth: A New Predictive Model of the Earth’s Climate” has passed peer review and is in press.
We hope to complete the set with a modelling study of the atmosphere of Mars.

The key difference between the new climate model we have devised and the canonical formulation is that our model is predictive.
What I mean by this is that for the following 4 key input variables:

  1. Sunlight strength at the top of the atmosphere (Insolation intensity)
  2. The planet’s optical brightness (Bond albedo)
  3. The surface global average air temperature.
  4. The atmospheric thermal lapse rate.

We are able to determine the following parameters:

  1. The height of the tropopause (which is a proxy for pressure).
  2. The temperature of the tropopause.

Knowledge of the temperature of the tropopause is a metric that is particularly interesting. For the Earth this model temperature closely matches the freezing point of supercooled water. Solid ice particles in the upper atmosphere are highly efficient emitters of thermal radiation. So there now appears to be a link between planetary brightness (albedo) caused by the freezing of the primary atmospheric volatile (water), the height of the tropopause and thermal radiant emission to space.

When applied to Venus the new climate model also predicts the height of the Venusian tropopause and its emission temperature. What is truly interesting is that the emission temperature of the Venusian tropopause is close to one of the stable freezing point cusps for concentrated sulphuric acid. It is clouds of concentrated sulphuric acid droplets in the upper atmosphere of Venus that gives this planet its extreme brightness. Like water for the Earth the freezing point of these droplets of sulphuric acid therefore creates efficient thermal radiating particles in the upper atmosphere of Venus.

In both cases (Earth and Venus) the new climate model provides insights that suggest a relationship between albedo caused by the freezing point of each atmosphere’s primary condensing volatile and troposphere structure (temperature profile and atmospheric pressure) that are completely novel. This is also why I describe the canonical model as being a descriptive physical equation (with no predictive power) and ours as being an explanatory mathematical model.

Philip Mulholland MSc
Independent Researcher

1 Comment

  1. nickreality65

    The Radiative GreenHouse Effect theory three-legged stool toppled – together with all the pseudo-scientific, confirmation bias, correlation = cause, climate change, Gorebal warming rubbish stacked on top.

    Leg 1: By reflecting away 30% +/- of the incoming solar radiation the albedo, which could not/would not exist without the atmosphere, makes the earth cooler not warmer. Remove the atmosphere and the albedo goes with it, i.e. no water vapor or clouds, no snow or ice, no vegetation, no oceans, the earth becomes a barren, airless, celestial rock much like the moon, albedo of 10% with 20% more incoming kJ/h, hot^3 lit side, cold^3 dark. Nikolov, Kramm (U of AK) and UCLA Diviner mission all tacitly admit this refuting the RGHE claim that the naked earth would become a -430 F frozen ball of ice.

    Leg 2: The downwelling radiation “trapped” and “back” radiated by the GHGs must first be removed from the terrestrial system. Removing this “extra” energy would short-change & disrupt the balance at ToA so it must be balanced by some kind of “extra” upwelling energy. Entropy absolutely, positively, emphatically PROHIBITS “trapped” “extra” energy.

    Leg 3: The “extra” upwelling LWIR comes from the assumption that the earth’s surface radiates as an ideal black body which, by THEORETICAL definition, with unitary emissivity absorbs ALL and emits ALL. However, because of the non-radiative heat transfer participation of the contiguous atmospheric molecules, radiation becomes accountable only for (ALL – non-radiative) which renders “extra” upwelling LWIR impossible. Emissivity is not 1.0 or .95 but (ALL – non-radiative)/ALL. In the case of the ubiquitous K-T power flux balance graphic: theoretical ε=63/396=0.16 or per the actual balance ε=63/160=0.39. There is no “extra” upwelling LWIR, no “extra” energy for the GHGs to “trap” and “back” radiate and no downwelling LWIR.

    The alleged up/down welling measurements are the result of incorrectly applied instruments and confirmation bias. Remember cold fusion where the “extra” energy was stray currents in the apparatus.

    As demonstrated by experiment, the gold standard of classical science.


    Leg 1 + Leg 2 + Leg 3 = 0 RGHE + 0 GHG warming + 0 CAGW

    Nick Schroeder, BSME CU ‘78
    Colorado Springs, CO
    719 651 7383

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