Now a commenter points me to this article which highlights the revision and re-release of a paper that underlines this point rather more strongly.
The peer-reviewed Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics (Version 4.0) [PDF], published on January 6, 2009, appeared in the March 2009 edition of the International Journal of Modern Physics.
The central claims of Dr. Gerlich and his colleague, Dr. Ralf Tscheuschner, include, but are not limited to:
- The mechanism of warming in an actual greenhouse is different than the mechanism of warming in the atmosphere, therefore it is not a “greenhouse” effect and should be called something else.
- The climate models that predict catastrophic global warming also result in a net heat flow from atmospheric greenhouse gasses to the warmer ground, which is in violation of the second law of thermodynamics.
Essentially, any machine which transfers heat from a low temperature reservoir to a high temperature reservoir without external work applied cannot exist. If it did it would be a “perpetual motion machine”—the realm of pure sci-fi.
Gerlich’s and Tscheuschner’s independent theoretical study is detailed in a lengthy (115 pages), mathematically complex (144 equations, 13 data tables, and 32 figures or graphs), and well-sourced (205 references) paper. The German physicists prove that even if CO2 concentrations double (a prospect even global warming advocates admit is decades away), the thermal conductivity of air would not change more than 0.03%. They show that the classic concept of the glass greenhouse wholly fails to replicate the physics of Earth’s climate. They also prove that a greenhouse operates as a “closed” system while the planet works as an “open” system and the term “atmospheric greenhouse effect” does not occur in any fundamental work involving thermodynamics, physical kinetics, or radiation theory. All through their paper the German scientists show how the greenhouse gas theory relies on guesstimates about the scientific properties involved to “calculate” the chaotic interplay of such a myriad and unquantifiable array of factors that is beyond even the abilities of the most powerful of modern supercomputers.
Indeed. And the two scientists make the point quite forcefully in the abstract to the paper.
(a) there are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effects, (b) there are no calculations to determine an average surface temperature of a planet, (c) the frequently mentioned difference of 33 degrees Celsius is a meaningless number calculated wrongly, (d) the formulas of cavity radiation are used inappropriately, (e) the assumption of a radiative balance is unphysical, (f) thermal conductivity and friction must not be set to zero, the atmospheric greenhouse conjecture is falsified.
Now, true believers may argue that this does not actually prove that mankind is not, in some way, causing warming. However, it does comprehensively demolish the method by which they claim it is happening.
This thorough debunking of the theory of man made warming disproves that there exists a mechanism whereby carbon dioxide in the cooler upper atmosphere exerts any thermal “forcing” effect on the warmer surface below. To do so would violate both the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. As there is no glass roof on the earth to trap the excess heat, it escapes upward into space.Thus we may conclude that the common sense axioms are preserved so that the deeper the ocean, the colder the water and heat rises, it does not fall. QED.
This paper deserves wider dissemination as it strikes pretty hard at the roots of AGW theory. In my humble opinion, it does not entirely disprove the greenhouse theory, since the different properties of the differing layers of atmosphere might well provide some sort of mild, and purely temporary, "ceiling" effect—but then, I am no physicist.
It certainly does disprove the apocalyptic temperature rises that are predicted through CO2 rises alone. But then the IPCC and its hangers-on have long since moved on—they now rely on the theory of "positive feedbacks" to provide their catastrophic scenarios.
This "positive feedback" postulation has long been the dodgiest part of the entire AGW hysteria, however, and for the entire
UPDATE: via John B on Twitter, here is an long refutation of the above paper. The blogger's article does make a number of unbacked assertions, although the length of the article may preclude amplification in that entry.