William Happer – Climate Models Do CO2 With Incorrect Radiative Wings

A bit slow and dense, but important. Picks up in the lsst 10 minutes when you get to conclusions. The basic point is that the computer models use a computation for radiation by CO2 that it wrong, increasing the effect, due to incorrect handling of the “wings” ( further out emission frequencies from broadening) of IR emissions.

Note the the graphs don’t look that much different, but they are LOG graphs, so it is a big deal.

“Why has global warming paused!”

Subscribe to feed

About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in AGW Science and Background and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to William Happer – Climate Models Do CO2 With Incorrect Radiative Wings

  1. tom0mason says:

    Thanks for the video EM,
    William Happer has made this point in other videos about the pressure broadening but this time he has pointed out so well why the models are wrong (and IMO it is well worth saying again).

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    You’re welcome!

  3. gallopingcamel says:

    I love Will Happer’s presentations. Like Albert Einstein he has a great sense of humor.
    I started building lasers in 1970 so an understanding of quantized energy levels is essential. While familiar with the basic spectra for CO2 (my favorite line is 15 microns aka wave number 666) I was gobsmacked by the complexity when you get into transitions with low probabilities.

    My take from Happer’s presentation is that most climate models are based on CO2 sensitivity and associated feedbacks. Clearly they can’t explain the past or predict the future so they are simply WRONG. Happer makes some interesting suggestions about why that is so.

    Fortunately there are models that do work. More on that later……….

  4. cdquarles says:

    Remember that an IR active agent will absorb/emit in all directions. Absorb incoming, absorb outgoing; as well as emit outgoing and emit incoming. If the sun, and other stars did not emit long wave radiation, microwave and longer radioastronomy would be impossible. Even more, photon absorption/emission at the single photon/atom/molecule level does not have to have a lossy conversion. Why? It is at a single and discrete wavelength.

    So, extraterrestrial longwave radiation is *never* zero incoming. It might be small, but never zero. Likewise, terrestrial shortwave (up to a point) outgoing is never zero either; and even though most may have been reflected, some will not have been.

    All that said, the effect of IR active gases in Earth’s atmosphere would be to lower the vertical gradient, away from the pure -g/Cp/km, which is about 9.7 K/km set by mass and total composition. So yes, there should be a ‘hotspot’ in the atmosphere, and not just in the tropical zones. Remember that water does exactly that, though mostly in the troposphere because water will mostly condense out (again, not completely!), resulting in a moist lapse rate that’s about 6 K/km. There is water even at the top, where it decomposes to hydrogen and oxygen in the harsh shortwave solar light.

    Consider that again. A lowering of the gradient, not necessarily a shift of the gradient. So why is a cloudy night warmer than a clear one? Well, that cloudy night, if the clouds are water clouds, mean that the specific humidity is higher and the air contains more energy, even if not all of that is the kinetic energy of the gases present. Also consider that to have more water in the atmosphere, particularly over continents, mass advection (wind) is also present; so the air isn’t the same between the two nights. It isn’t all about radiation. Radiation is just one player on the field, so to speak.

  5. cdquarles says:

    And another thing that disturbs me. Warming is the direct increasing of internal kinetic energy. Slowing cooling is *not* the same thing; even if the proxy that is temperature is the same.

  6. Compu Gator says:

    cdquarles on 17 January 2020 at 9:47 pm contrasted “warming” and “slowing cooling”:

    In response, I wonder what is the percentage of 1st-World high-school graduates who either refused to take the school’s intro course in Newtonian physics, or effectively flunked it? I’m thinking here of velocity vs. acceleration, and more specifically, analogous quantities involving temperature (in the sense or weather or climate).

    Are instructors of those courses unable to teach science objectively anymore?

    I don’t recall much discussion of IR, except for its assignment to wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum; and maybe no discussion of absorption or emission by any molecules or their physical states (e.g.: water vapor).

    Postulating ethical physics & chemistry instructors like those by whom I recall being taught as a Baby Boomer in the politically then-conservative Southeast U.S., how could high-school course-material be refocused or augmented to provide objective knowledge for resisting global warming propaganda? Would such a change need to be deferred to college-level courses in which “humanities“-&c. majors, presumably the enrolled majority in nearly all colleges, would never set foot?

  7. cdquarles says:

    Good question, Gator; for this boomer remembers Jim Crow and the government mandated segregated schools. Still, you could get exposed to Newtonian and to an extent quantum physics, back then, in High School, as well as chemistry, biology, & etc. Heck Algebra was taught *before* high school. It was a 5th grade subject back then, for the first class in it. The small city’s library had books on it even if the school’s library didn’t. Also, the door-to-door encyclopedia salesman did reasonably well, even in ‘poor’ neighborhoods where the folk wanted to know more and have it at their fingertips.

    About college, the disconnect was visible in the 70s. I heard the west side of the quad, where the humanities folk were, grumbling about the east side, were the science and engineering folk were. It wasn’t quite as political then, though.

    I’ve seen teachers teach a class of several hundred, where the students wanted to learn. I’ve seen a teacher unable to teach one student who refused to learn, for whatever reason.

    Best guess about the reformulation would be via online classes, I’d say. Locally, the state wired all of the schools to the internet, or at least they said that they did. I have to wonder about the filtering, though.

  8. Compu Gator says:

    “Upon further review”, it seems as if the knowledge necessary to impart to Baby Boomer high-schoolers back then, so that they’d be prepared now to resist the global warming propaganda, fell thro’ the proverbial cracks of public education. UV? The electromagnetic spectrum is the job of physics instructors. How molecules such as CO2 react? That’s the job of chemistry instructors. So ne’er the twain met.

    The knowledge that now seems to be packages as earth-science didn’t have an established cubby-hole in my high school, nor, I suspect, as a required course in the vast majority of colleges. And oceanography? Here in inland Florida, we’ll leave that to coastal high schools who can make a case for what seems to us like a luxury. I, for one, would be graduating in less than a year before anyone had seen the Blue Marble photos from space, altho’ the now-classic posters would later be displayed from numerous walls in college dorms. Climate? What more detail do you need beyond it being hot & humid down here? Day-to-day, you can get all you need to know from the nightly t.v. weatherman, who’ll present his best up-to-date guesses (isobars–how quaint!) if a hurricane shows up.

  9. gallopingcamel says:

    Happer & Wijngaarden are having trouble finding a peer reviewed journal to publish their model for Earth’s atmosphere. This is a 66 page paper that uses detailed spectra to calculate radiative energy transfer. Such models are known as “Full Physics” and they are far more complex than the Robinson & Catling model I have been studying.

    H&W analyse temperature gradients at low latitudes, mid latitudes and high latitides. The model even includes the wintertime temperature inversions often form in the lower troposphere near the poles.

    Let’s hope the full paper will eventually be published but for those of you who want to get a preview a 16 page version can be found here:

    Click to access Methane-and-Climate_Happer_vanWijngaarden11-25-19.pdf


    This version of the paper only shows the effect of doubling CO2 whereas the full version includes a “halving” as well.

    If you look closely at the charts such as “Figure 6 Left” you will see that doubling [CO2] has a greater effect on the stratosphere than on the troposphere.

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    @G.C.:

    Thanks for the link. I’ve downloaded it and will read it tomorrow.

  11. gallopingcamel says:

    @Chiefio,
    Figure 22 in the long H&W paper looks a lot like the output from my much simpler model which is based on Robinson & Catling (2012).

    I have assumed (without proof) that the tropopause starts at T = 216 K @ p = 0.16 bar regardless of CO2 concentration.

    The H&W Figure 22 shows it starting at 218 K @ altitude = 11 km.

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    @G.C.:

    Well done!

  13. David A says:

    Question for the very bright Musings crowd…

    Willis on surface emissions –
    “12°C = 374.9 W/m2

    13.5°C = 380.2 W/m2. Plus 5.3 W/m2

    15°C = 390.9 W/m2. Plus 10.7W/m2

    Yet if a doubling of CO2 is supposed to lead to a 3.7 W/m2 increase in downwelling TOA longwave radiation;
    then how does plus 3.7 W/m2 produce progressively larger surface emissions per doubling?

    As the surface warms would it not take progressively larger increases in downwelling LW radiation to produce the same affect?

  14. E.M.Smith says:

    2 different things from the look of it. Willis has surface emissions, you talk downwelling.

    Looks to me like Willis is just showing the effect of increased surface emissions with the black body exponential. The 4th power of absolute temperature.
    https://www.britannica.com/science/Stefan-Boltzmann-law

  15. David A says:

    What I am not understanding is how a repeated 3.7 W/m2 increase in doubled GHG caused downwelling energy can cause the SAME surface T change each doubling, when each HIGHER T change in the same degrees, requires progressively higher surface energy emussions.

    It would appear likely to me that a 3.7 W/m2 increase each doubling would produce a progressively smaller T change at the surface due to the 4th power laws. ( In essence it takes progressively greater energy to maintain each T increase.)

    Put another way, as the surface T increases due to plus 3.7 W/m2 downwelling, each subsequent 3.7 W/m2 increase in downwelling GHG emissions would produce LESS warming T change due to greater energy required to raise an already higher T the same amount.

    Each doubling would produce the same W/ m2 increase of T and the 4th power law would mean a progressively reduced increase in T would be required to match the equivalent increased downwelling flux if energy.

    How can a plus 3.7 W/m2 downwelling flux cause a 5.3 W/m2 increase one time, and a 10.7 W/m2 increase.

    Hell, I don’t even see how a plus 3.7 W/m2 increased downwelling can produce more then a 3.7 W/ m2 increase in upwelling.

  16. David A says:

    What I am not understanding is how a repeated 3.7 W/m2 increase in doubled GHG caused downwelling energy can cause the SAME surface T change each doubling, when each HIGHER T change in the same degrees, requires progressively higher surface energy emussions.

    It would appear likely to me that a 3.7 W/m2 increase each doubling would produce a progressively smaller T change at the surface due to the 4th power laws. ( In essence it takes progressively greater energy to maintain each T increase.)

    Put another way, as the surface T increases due to plus 3.7 W/m2 downwelling, each subsequent 3.7 W/m2 increase in downwelling GHG emissions would produce LESS warming T change due to greater energy required to raise an already higher T the same amount.

    Each doubling would produce the same W/ m2 increase of T and the 4th power law would mean a progressively reduced increase in T would be required to match the equivalent increased downwelling flux if energy.

    How can a plus 3.7 W/m2 downwelling flux cause a 5.3 W/m2 increase one time, and a 10.7 W/m2 increase.

    Hell, I don’t even see how a plus 3.7 W/m2 increased downwelling can produce more then a 3.7 W/ m2 increase in upwelling.

    I know they are two different things, but they are causetively correlated to each other. Downwelling increase is correlated to surface increase in emissions due to greater influx, and T is correlated to increased W/m2 of energy.

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    I don’t know that Willis was saying these increases were due to downwelling. For all I can see, he might just be making a chart showing temperature and radiated heat. The context of his article matters.

    Each doubling of CO2 does less heating as the window is more closed. But the warmer surface will radiate more away.

  18. David A says:

    Thank you EM. I am certainly not debating Willis, just ??? the GHG warming scenario of CAGW.

    AFAIKT the upwelling radiation from the surface is determined via the mean T. ( Curious how disparate models compute disparate mean T) So it would appear intuitive to me that as surface T raises each doubling if CO2 would be less effective in raising T.

  19. cdquarles says:

    @GC,
    Don’t forget that the actual tropopause start is latitude dependent, too. Now why would that be? Hint: the lapse rate is the change in temperature above the ground and ground conditions matter, as well as atmosphere mass and composition (up to a point).

    Please, heat is not radiated. Light is radiated. Heat is internal kinetic energy and only kinetic energy. Heat, directly, is conducted or diffused, strictly speaking. Thermal radiation is light radiation solely due to internal KE effects, so the wavelength may be (and is) variable. Under the necessary conditions, this is even visible or shorter wavelength. Sure, KE can be converted to light and vice versa.

    I expect the misnamed greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide, on Earth, to be small; especially compared to water. What this IR active agent does do is absorb and emit both incoming and outgoing radiation at the required quantum of energy. To the extent it does that to incoming IR, it reduces the IR received at the ground. The same for outgoing. Whether that alters internal KE depends, as well as how much it alters that. It will, however, alter the lapse rate in the manner that water does, but with lesser effect.

  20. gallopingcamel says:

    cdquarles said:
    “@GC,
    Don’t forget that the actual tropopause start is latitude dependent, too. Now why would that be? Hint: the lapse rate is the change in temperature above the ground and ground conditions matter, as well as atmosphere mass and composition (up to a point).”

    The Wijngaarden & Happer model does poles, mid latitudes and equatorial regions, each with very different characteristics. At the poles you have an almost dry adiabat of ~9 K/km compared to a moist 5 K/km at the equator.

    My model assumes that one can average all that. Consequently we use McClatchey et al (1972) as the target representing Latitude = 40.

    What surprised me is how well the sophisticated W&H model agrees with a simplistic version of the Robinson & Catling model which is just an Excel spreadsheet. I will be sending an update to our esteemed leader since we have found a way to boil the oceans.

  21. Paul says:

    I’m a simpleton plastic surgeon in Australia who did high school physics and only a smattering at university, many decades ago now. What I understand is that moving electrons generate an EMF and the faster they move the stronger the EMF they generate, the higher is its frequency. Everything with a temperature above absolute zero is vibrating and consequently producing EM radiation.

    Molecules as a whole may be the vibrating body or the individual atoms in the molecule may be the vibrating body. If a CO2 molecule is vibrating because it is warm, it will produce EM radiation. If it is in an activated condition, bending for instance, it will be producing radiation with a frequency measured as 667 cm-1. I assume the intensity of the intramolecular produced radiation will be greater than the extra-molecular radiation will be but I don’t know. The temperature that is associated with 667 cm-1 is -80 C. What would the radiation produced by CO2 that is at -80 C but not bending be? Would it also be 667 cm-1?

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    @Paul:

    While I had physics in both high school and University, we didn’t do radiation calculations of that sort, so someone elsexwill need to answer that one. Though it seems a bit hypothetical to gave non-bending CO2 as it always bends.

  23. Paul says:

    Many thanks for that, EM.

    In order to better understand what is going on in a gas, I have a thought experiment to consider.

    We have a Thermos flask with a rocksalt window through which an IR detector records what is going on in the gas. The experiment is being conducted in space.

    A: The CO2 gas in the flask has a temperature of 193 Kelvin (let’s ignore the fact that that is below the temperature of dry ice) so most of the molecules are activated in the bending mode and when they relax the emitted photon is absorbed by a non-activated molecule, activating it. The 667 cm-1 photons are bouncing around in the flask but a small proportion are escaping through the window allowing the gas to gradually cool.

    B: Time has passed and the temperature of the CO2 gas is 150 Kelvin. Energy is quantised so only the 667 cm-1 photon is allowed. A small proportion of the molecules are activated so only they can emit radiation. When we say everything above absolute Kelvin radiates is it correct that we don’t mean every molecule in the group but the group as a whole does radiate?

    C: Now we heat up the gas in the Thermos flask to 386 Kelvin. Through the rocksalt window we see every molecule emitting a photon and some molecules absorb extra photons and reach the next order of activity and then emit a higher energy photon. It could have a wavenumber of 1334 cm-1, 2001 cm-1 (harmonics of 667 cm-1) or 2330 cm-1 due to asymmetrical stretch mode or other wavenumbers due to rotational modes. The picture gets complex!

    D: We take another flask and fill it with nitrogen with a temperature of 193 Kelvin. Much like case B, the temperature is way below the temperature where most of the moecules are activated. Is it probable that some of the molecules become activated and emit a high energy photon that is charatistic of nitrogen on a spectrograph? In other words, can nitrogen at this temperature emit radiation to space?

  24. cdquarles says:

    @ Paul,
    The thermodynamic temperature is the internal kinetic energy of a sample of matter and only its internal kinetic energy. One mole of a pure substance is 6.0223 x 10^23 atoms or molecules. For ordinary light water (remember, pure, so only 1H1(2) and 16O8) so 18 ml (a bit more than a tablespoon) is a mole. Being triatomic, there are multiple modes for vibration, rotation, bending and motion in 3 dimensions. Thus, a sample will have a range of kinetic energies. We can’t measure them. We measure a proxy for it, of some kind; such as thermal expansion; which is a complex function. Thus, by definition, any matter above absolute zero must contain internal kinetic energy and some fraction will be enough to have fluctuating electromagnetic fields associated with it. As a result of those, electromagnetic radiation must occur. Whether the emission or absorption changes the internal kinetic energy remains to be seen.

    Bottom line: the warmer the sample, the larger a fraction of them will have/cross the threshold required for emission of photons. For a single molecule, that will be at a single line and will not, necessarily, require a lossy conversion. For a bulk sample, it might. The larger the sample, the larger the number of constituents emitting and absorbing. For your nitrogen sample, the answer is yes, there will be some. The question is: Will there be enough of them in our sample to see/measure it? If not, that does not mean that outgoing radiation is not taking place.

    Another thing to remember: the color/brightness temperature is not necessarily the same thing as the thermodynamic temperature, so the equivocation may bite you.

  25. Paul says:

    That’s excellent. Thank you very much, CD.
    Will Happer teaches that blackbody radiation from the earth may be absorbed by a CO2 molecule. It starts vibrating after 1 nanosecond and transfers the resultant kinetic energy to a neighbouring air molecule warming it. The CO2 does not get a chance to emit a photon, like a little mirror as taught by alarmists, because that process takes almost 1 whole second. CO2 loses the energy and cannot do that.
    Way up in the atmosphere, where the air is very thin, the neighbours are a distance away and CO2 does get a chance to emit a photon. That might be 20 km up and the radiation can be upwards, to the right, to the left, forward, backward or downwards. So precious little comes back down.
    The air molecules, warmed by CO2, rise up by convection, cooling all the time, until the tropopause where temperature goes up again. As you say, some of these nitrogen molecules can emit radiation to space and there are many more of them than CO2 molecules. Prior to thinking this through, I was assuming that the energy had to be handed back to CO2 because it had to radiate the energy out to space. That seemed like a difficult task in the very thin atmosphere.
    Many thanks, I’m happy now.

Anything to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.