Research suggests no extra CO2 warming

Study suggests no more CO2 warming

Reposted by CFACT

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By David Wojick | October 26, 2020 | climate

Precision studies by physicists William Happer and William van Wijngaarden have shown that the current levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and water vapor are almost completely saturated. In radiation physics, the technical term “saturated” implies that adding more molecules does not cause further heating.

In plain language, this means that our emissions from burning fossil fuels may from now on have little or no further impact on global warming. There would be no climate emergency. No threat at all. We could emit as much CO2 as we want. without effect.

This amazing finding resolves a great deal of uncertainty that has plagued climate science for over a century. How is saturation measured and how big is it in relation to the primary greenhouse gases?

In radiation physics, the term “saturation” is nothing more than what we call saturation in ordinary language, just as the greenhouse effect has nothing to do with the way greenhouses work. Your paper towel is saturated when it stops picking up spilled milk. In contrast, greenhouse gases are saturated when there is virtually no milk left to drink, but it is far more complex than this simple analogy suggests.

Happer is probably best known to our readers as a leading skeptical scientist. He co-founded the prestigious CO2 coalition and recently served on the National Security Council and advised President Trump. But his career was as a world-class radiation physicist at Princeton. His numerous articles in specialist journals have been cited over 12,000 times by other researchers.

In this study, Professors Happer and van Wijngaarden (H & W) worked through the saturation physics down to the smallest detail. Your preprint is entitled "Dependence of the Earth's Thermal Radiation on the Five Most Frequent Greenhouse Gases". You have gone well beyond your previous work on this complex problem.

While the standard studies deal with the absorption of radiation by greenhouse molecules using raw absorption bands of the radiation energy, H&W first analyzes the millions of different energies, so-called spectral lines, that make up these bands. This line-by-line approach was an emerging field of analysis that often produced dramatically new results.

You also don't just look at absorption. Professor Happer told me this:

“You would do our church a huge favor by making two important points that few understand. First: The thermal emission of greenhouse gases is just as important as the absorption. Second, how the temperature of the atmosphere changes with altitude is just as important as the concentration of greenhouse gases. "

So they looked not only for absorption, but also for emissions and atmospheric temperature fluctuations. The work is extraordinarily complex, but the conclusions are dramatically clear.

The central conclusion of Happer and van Wijngaarden is:

"With the most common greenhouse gases, H2O and CO2, the saturation effects are extreme, since the force forces per molecule are suppressed by four orders of magnitude at standard concentrations …"

Your graphical conclusions are particularly telling:

"Fig. 9 and Tables 2 and 4 show that at current concentrations the forces of all greenhouse gases are saturated. The saturation of the abundant greenhouse gases H2O and CO2 is so extreme that the drive per molecule is weakened by four orders of magnitude …"

The other three greenhouse gases they analyzed are ozone, nitrous oxide and methane. These are also saturated, but not as strong as water vapor and carbon dioxide. They are relatively rare compared to CO2, which in turn is low compared to H2O.

This is clearly work that climate science needs to consider carefully. This may not be easy as three major trade journals have refused to publish it. The reviews were defensive and antagonistic, neither thoughtful nor helpful. The alarmism controls the magazines and censors contrary results, hence the preprint version.

Undaunted, H & W is now expanding its analysis to include clouds. Alarmist climate science is getting dangerous global warming, not just from the rise in CO2, but also from positive feedback from water vapor and clouds. Given that both carbon dioxide and water vapor are extremely saturated, it's highly unlikely that cloud feedback alone could do much damage. However, careful analysis is required to know for sure. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, if we strive for rational climate science, this work must be central. Professors William Happer and William van Wijngaarden are to be congratulated on an elegant and contemporary breakthrough.


David Wojick, Ph.D. is an independent analyst working at the intersection of science, technology and politics. For origins see

For over 100 previous articles on CFACT see

Available for confidential research and advice.

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