About greenhouse gases

The IPCC back-radiation mechanism cannot have an influence on the temperature of the Earth’s surface


Roland Van den Broek - Civil Engineer


August 11, 2023


2023-08-22 Integration of responses to reader comments

1 Summary

Already in 2018, in an article in two parts (here et here), Georges Geuskens declared that the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere could have no influence on the temperature of the Earth’s surface. Based on experimental data, he explained that due to inelastic collisions between the molecules of the atmosphere, the back-radiation mechanism imagined by certain climatologists did not have time to take place in the lower layers of the atmosphere and could therefore have no influence on the climate.

Today, the myth of greenhouse gases (GHG) is more present than ever. The belief that an increase in temperature is caused by a back-radiation mechanism is still shared by a large percentage of the population.

This document does not consider the back-radiation hypothesis to be absurd. Fluorescence radiation re-emitted by GHGs has been observed at very high altitudes. But it shows that even if it occurred in the lower atmosphere, this back-radiation mechanism could not have the slightest influence on the temperature of the earth’s surface.

The reasoning is very simple and within everyone’s reach.

It is enough to understand that the level of water in a bathtub cannot be modified by a pump which would suck up its water and pour it back into it.

2 Earth’s heat balance without GHGs

The Sun is the Earth’s main source of energy.

Some of the power it emits is absorbed on the Earth’s surface after passing through its atmosphere.

Every moment, the Earth evacuates energy from its surface. This energy is emitted to the Cosmos after passing through its atmosphere.

The power it emits depends on its temperature. The higher the temperature, the greater the power emitted.

When the received power is greater than the transmitted power, the temperature of the Earth increases, and it decreases in the opposite case.

If the power received from the Sun is constant, a balance is eventually established. The temperature adapts in such a way that the transmitted power is equal to the received power.

When the Earth is in thermal equilibrium, the energy received and the energy emitted over a period of time \(\Delta t\) are equal and the increase in temperature caused by the energy received is exactly compensated by the decrease in temperature induced by the energy emitted.

This mechanism is equivalent to that of a bath whose supply flow would correspond to the power received from the sun, and the evacuation flow to the power emitted by the Earth. This flow increases with the amount of water it contains. The water level in the bathtub corresponds to the temperature of the Earth. See Figure 1

Figure 1: Energy balance of the Earth at thermal equilibrium

3 Earth’s heat balance with GHGs

There are many different interpretations of the mechanism of action of GHGs. In their 2009 article, Gerlich and Tscheuschner mention 14 of them and explain why they are all wrong.

The diagrams of parts A and B of the Figure 3 are based on very widespread interpretations of the radiative greenhouse effect that can be found in particular on the sites of NASA (here et here), CNRS (here et here), UCAR (here) and Wikipedia (here). You will have no trouble finding many more.

According to these sources, the following considerations would apply with regard to GHGs.

The Earth dissipates the energy received from the Sun by three distinct mechanisms: water evaporation, convection and thermal radiation.

Part of the thermal radiation emitted by the Earth is absorbed by so-called greenhouse gas (GHG) molecules which enter an unstable state of excitation. Returning to the basic state, they re-emit in any direction the energy they had absorbed. It is then inevitable that part of the absorbed radiation will return to the Earth. The Earth undergoes a back-radiation which heats it, in the same way as the Sun. Back-radiation is considered radiative forcing in IPCC jargon. See Figure 2.

Figure 2: Mechanism of action of GHGs. Radiation re-emitted by GHGs can return to Earth. The more GHG molecules there are, the greater this effect. The original figure comes from here. It has been modified to indicate the complete course of the back-radiation in blue. Several intermediate absorptions-re-emissions may take place before returning to Earth.

According to the IPCC, in the presence of GHGs, the temperature of the Earth must increase. This will then emit additional radiation which will compensate for that returned by the greenhouse gases.

This seems logical and irrefutable, but yet, this reasoning is marred by several errors. Figure 3 makes it easy to understand.

Figure 3: Earth’s heat balance in the presence of greenhouse gases. Parts A and B reflect flawed IPCC principles. Part C describes the correct mode of operation of back-radiation if it occurs.

Part A

A fraction \(f\) of the radiation emitted by the Earth is absorbed by GHGs. The heat balance of the Earth is therefore unbalanced in the quantity \(f\) since it only dissipates the quantity \(1-f\) to the Cosmos as it receives the quantity \(1\) of the Sun.

This reasoning is naïve: the imbalance comes from the fact that the absorption flux permanently accumulates in GHGs, as if they were an infinite reservoir. The diagram is incomplete. It lacks the re-emission flow that prevents this accumulation.

Part B

The fraction \(f\) is re-emitted downwards and absorbed by the Earth. According to the IPCC, this causes an increase in its temperature which allows it to dissipate this additional energy. It has returned to thermal equilibrium since it now evacuates the same amount of energy as that received from the Sun.

This poses two problems.

  • The balance sheet is balanced only in appearance. The IPCC forgets to note that the back-radiation must now increase in proportion to the increase in the energy dissipated by the Earth. It became equal to \((1 + f) \times f\), and the Earth must dissipate an energy equal to \((1+f) + (1+f)\times f = (1+f)^2\). We can repeat this operation as many times as we want, each time the imbalance increases. It is a divergent system and the temperature must increase indefinitely.

    Indeed, the first time, the Earth emits \(1\) and the back-radiation is equal to \(1+f\) :
    \(R_1=1 \times f\)
    The second time, the Earth emits \(1 + f\) and the back-radiation is equal to \((1 + f) \times f\):
    \(E_2 = 1 + f\)
    \(R_2 = (1 + f) \times f\)
    The third time
    \(E_3 = 1 + f + (1 + f) \times f = (1 + f)^2\)
    \(R_3 = (1 + f)^2 \times f\)
    The fourth time
    \(E_4 = (1 + f)^2 + (1 + f)^2 \times f = (1 + f)^3\)
    \(R_4 = (1 + f)^3 \times f\)
    Generally speaking, the n-th time
    \(E_n = (1 + f)^{n-1}\)
    \(R_n = E_n \times f\)

  • This diagram contains a subtle but fundamental error. It is easier to understand it if we move the red circle, origin of the arrow representing the absorption flow. It is located somewhere between the Planet and the Cosmos. It would be better to place it on the surface of the Planet. Physically, that’s where it is. It thus becomes an additional drain hole of the bathtub. There is then no longer any derivation in the flow emitted by the Earth which goes immediately towards the Cosmos. We then realize that all the balance sheets are balanced and that no increase in the temperature of the Earth is necessary. We thus obtain the diagram of part C.

Part C

This is the correct pattern if there is back-radiation.

The emission and absorption mechanisms are distinct. Emission to the Cosmos is not affected by absorption-re-emission, the balance of which is zero. It is equal to the radiation received from the Sun. The heat balance of the Earth is zero, because it emits what it received.

The energy balance of GHGs is also zero since they re-emit what they absorb.

Obsessed with back-radiation, the IPCC only sees downward radiation, while this is permanently compensated by equivalent upward radiation. This is easy to understand by looking at Figure 2. Just notice that for every arrow that returns to Earth, there is exactly one arrow that comes out.

Back-radiation cannot have the slightest influence on the temperature because the heating caused by the radiation which returns to the Earth is always preceded by a radiation which escapes from it and which induces an equivalent cooling.

A pump which discharges the water it has sucked from a bathtub into it will never modify the level of its water, whatever its power and flow rate. It has no influence on the outgoing flow which, at equilibrium, is equal to the supply flow.

The Earth’s heat balance is always balanced. It re-emits towards the Cosmos all the energy it receives from the Sun, whether there are greenhouse gases or not. If we remove from section C everything concerning GHGs, we find exactly the diagram in Figure 1. The thermal imbalance noted by the IPCC does not exist.

If the GHG molecules were particularly ill-intentioned and systematically sent all the radiation they absorbed back to Earth, the coefficient \(f\) would increase, but without changing anything in the heat balance. Their effect would be mistaken for that of a mirror. But this one doesn’t warm you up when you stand in front of it. Do a little assembly. Place an object inside a box whose all internal faces have been covered with mirrors. If you notice the object heating up, immediately patent your assembly and you will become immensely rich.

If you get lost in the intricacies of Earth’s energy absorption-emission mechanisms, consider the following reasoning. Back-radiation is comparable to rain falling from the sky. This does not come from nowhere. It comes from the evaporation of water from the oceans which has condensed at altitude. Each drop of rain causes an increase in the level of the oceans which only compensates for the decrease in level that took place when the same amount of water evaporated and then condensed to form the drop. The mass balance is zero. It is not necessary for the Earth to increase its temperature because the additional evaporation would increase the rainfall which would again have to be compensated.

GHG molecules are in energy balance. They have no warming power. They produce no energy. Only sources of energy, such as the Sun, can have an impact on the surface temperature of the Planet, but not internal mechanisms whose energy balance is zero.

The radiative greenhouse effect does not exist, except in the minds of those who imagined it. The term “greenhouse gas” is particularly poorly chosen. The radiation absorbed and re-emitted by greenhouse gases towards the Earth has no influence on its surface temperature.

The keystone of anthropogenic global warming has disappeared: the radiative forcings associated with GHGs do not exist. They are all zero. All the programs, analyses, studies and publications that depend on it are meaningless.

4 Conclusions

The origin of the hypothesis of the radiative greenhouse effect goes back about 200 years. See here.

Since then, no one has noticed that it is a mechanism that only re-emits the same energy that it previously absorbed and that it cannot heat anything.

A subtle but fundamental principle error in what amounts to a simple bathtub problem has escaped the sagacity of all scientists thus far. It is taught in our Universities today, disseminated by research centers of high reputation.

This error has been exploited and maintained by the IPCC. This organization was created to supposedly research the causes of human influence on the climate. It has considerable financial resources from the UN.

Maurice Strong

In fact, Maurice Strong, a wealthy Canadian businessman and principal responsible for its creation clearly stated that his aim was to destroy our industrial societies through the IPCC because he considered them responsible for an overexploitation of the Planet . He believed that going through democratic routes posed huge funding problems and had no chance of success. Going through the UN made it possible to benefit from almost unlimited budgets by bypassing democratic constraints. He was a cunning fox, and his plans are unfolding as he had planned.

This pseudo-scientific political organization has oriented research only in the direction favorable to its objectives. It organizes its alarmist propaganda based on computer models whose temperature projections are systematically higher than reality because they are based on an assumption that is false. These models are the only places in the world where a radiative greenhouse effect exists.

An immense number of scientific publications proving the influence of Man on the climate are false, although they have been peer reviewed. We have come to the point where the completely biased reports of the IPCC serve as the basis for the courses taught in our Universities. Professors who dare to go against the current of thought that has become dominant are repressed or even dismissed by their academic authorities.

A supposedly green industry has grown with broad government support at the expense of taxpayers and is lobbying heavily to promote its development at the expense of the fossil fuel industry.

The IPCC’s messages have been amplified to infinity by a press incapable of discerning truth from lies and which has shown culpable and inexcusable leniency when IPCC henchmen have been caught red-handed in manipulations of data to adjust historical temperature readings that did not fit their purposes (Climategate). It is high time that the press investigates the IPCC rather than suspecting every climate-realist of being a representative of the oil lobby.

Totalitarian political measures were imposed. They push our industries to bankruptcy or to relocate to less restrictive skies. The Western world has embarked on a process of collective economic suicide.

Our societies must engage in horribly expensive energy transition plans without the slightest impact on the climate. CO2 , a molecule essential to life, has been satanized. It must be captured and stored using very expensive techniques, while the increase in its content in the atmosphere in recent decades is responsible for the greening of the planet.

Renewable energies will never be able to fully replace conventional production, and in no way produce all the products derived from petrochemicals.

Our young people have been brainwashed and terrified of living in a world with a bleak future. The press doesn’t care about groups that fund their protests to save the planet from non-existent evil, and Justice shows unjustifiable condescension in this regard.

Freethinking must be eliminated through the establishment of fact-checking systems and ministries of Truth. Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter (before the takeover by Elon Musk) and the UN claim to own this “definitely settled” science. Bills to censor all climate-realistic speech are ready to be passed. Clearheaded people who dare to take a stand against those who claim to be the only ones with the Truth must be imprisoned.

In the Netherlands, a university organizes training to help psychologists convert climate skeptics to the new green religion.

They want to force us to live within a carbon budget. People will no longer be able to travel more than a quarter of an hour from their home. Air travel will be strictly limited, except for elites. Those who break the rules will be tried and sentenced.

The elderly will have to commit suicide to make room for young people for lack of ecological space.

Companies and individuals whose activity is deemed incompatible with ESG criteria will no longer find financing from banks influenced by huge ideologized financial groups.

You have to stop eating meat. Cattle must be sacrificed on the altar of GHGs, because when they digest, they produce and burp methane. This GHG would still be much more powerful than CO2.

An ecological dictatorship is being put in place above national sovereignties under the false pretext that if we do nothing, the Earth will turn into a ball of fire. There is no longer a political majority to oppose it. Justice, converted to climate alarmism, pronounces unfair biased judgments to impose compliance with unfounded rules from a climate sect.

The situation is truly appalling. Democracy, where are you?

It is high time to step back. A major reset is needed, but not the one imagined by the WEF, which wants to enslave the world population by terrorizing it.

The IPCC should be dismantled. Article 2 of its statutes has become irrelevant, now that we know that greenhouse gases have no influence on the climate. It is now very clear that the climate alarmists are the real climate deniers.

Thirty years of intense media hype have plunged us into a state of advanced mental confusion. I hope this article has lifted you out of it and that you are now free from the heavy burden of guilt you have been saddled with.

I hope that everyone will recognize their mistakes and that this return to normal, based on a rationalized ecology, will take place calmly. In the meantime, let’s prepare for the future in a sensible way by taking advantage of the current clemency of the Sun. It is by far the primary source of energy on the planet. It is he who regulates the climate. We can only bend to his will. Claiming to do it in its place through geoengineering is playing sorcerer’s apprentice.

5 The future

It will depend on you.

In recent years, the situation has only deteriorated exponentially. The bludgeoning of public opinion is getting stronger and stronger. The media are currently beating our ears with an unprecedented heat wave in southern Europe, whose so-called temperature records do not yet appear in the readings of the measuring stations. It’s disgusting.

Today, we finally have a really simple argument that definitively undermines the theses of the IPCC. We still have to spread it.

The Truth will eventually come to light, but it may take time. It took doctors 200 years to stop the practice of bloodletting after it was proven to be ineffective.

Faced with the IPCC, which has colossal resources to spread climate alarmism relayed by a press that has completely lost its bearings, we do not represent much, but if we do nothing, we will all be responsible for the survival of the myth of anthropogenic global warming.

We must therefore take the initiative. Those who doubt the influence of Man on the climate are much more numerous than they think, but too few people know it.

All scientists who think they have shown that the radiative greenhouse effect is real must admit their mistake. It’s going to be very difficult, no one likes to admit they’ve made a mistake.

Climate-realists who have believed in it even a little bit can and should state clearly that this effect does not exist.

Take your pilgrim’s staff and spread the good word, without fear of being contradicted. You are right. Spread this article widely, like that good joke that a friend passed on to you. Post in discussion forums and let alarmist trolls know you exist. Don’t stay silent.

Stop funding or supporting your torturers to abuse you.

Talk to the press. Tell your favorite newspaper that you won’t buy it anymore because you’re tired of reading its articles every day that only try to make you feel guilty and terrorized for non-existent reasons.

Approach your political representatives. Make them understand that you now refuse to vote for those who are destroying your jobs by continuing to spread climate delirium, and who would refuse to cancel all the measures they have taken despite common sense.

Always have this document on the principle of the greenhouse effect at hand. This is a 3 pages PDF file. You can download it by clicking on this link. Do not hesitate to discuss it in an evening with friends, or to try to de-indoctrinate your children who will not succeed on their own.

Present page 1, the one where all the arrows are red in the top figure. Explain that the down arrows are meant to warm the Earth. Go to page 2, the one with the blue arrows in the top figure. Point out that each arrow that returns to Earth is always preceded by an upward arrow, that warming is always preceded by an equivalent cooling. Compare with the pump. Explain that the Earth’s heat balance is independent of the presence of GHGs. Compare it to rain (page 3). At this point, your opponents should be showered with ridicule. If you don’t convince anyone, the situation is hopeless.

You can try doing the same on Facebook or YouTube. The audience will be larger, but you risk being another victim of fact-checking. Today you will have more luck on Twitter.

It is now certain that the radiative greenhouse effect does not exist for a very simple reason. Miraculously, the ball changed sides. But if lucid people continue to behave like sheep, they should not be surprised to find themselves shorn to the bone.

Do not remain passive hoping that others will get wet for you. Don’t waste a single moment. If you have succeeded in convincing someone, persuade them to take the same approach as you. Otherwise, we will have to live with permanent rules of climate confinement and other increasingly restrictive totalitarian provisions. It might happen a lot faster than you think. The plans are already ready.

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7 Sites that published the article

science-climat-energie.be 2023/08/11/a-propos-des-gaz-a-effet-de-serre/
climategate.nl 2023/08/over-broeikasgassen/
climatetverite.net 2023/08/28/a-propos-des-gaz-a-effet-de-serre/
fakta360.no 2023/09/drivhuseffekten-finnes-ikke-og-drivhusgasser-varmer-ingen-ting/