Years ago I attended a lecture featuring Dr. Fred Singer and I was impressed by how concise his presentation was. Whereas other lectures I attended were a gobblygook of emotional rhetoric and anecdotal evidence of this melting or that, Dr. Singer simply focused on what the models said, and what the instruments said. He boiled his skepticism down to about 4 charts, the most important being the lack of the “Stratospheric HotSpot.” Back then when it was still called Global Warming, everything supporting this “settled science” hinged upon the existence of a “Stratospheric HotSpot.”
In reality, the lower stratosphere has been shown to be cooling, not warming. How can that be for a “settled science” to be off by a full 180°? As the previously linked article demonstrates, this settled science when punched in the face with the facts simply changes the theory. Stratospheric cooling is now evidence of man-made CO2. How convienient.
The problem I see however isn’t the flip-flopping on this issue, it is the fact that the Stratospheric Hotspot Theory ever existed in the first place. As I’ve said countless times, I’m not a climate scientist, and being a non-expert, I should not be able to improve upon what the “experts” conclude. While I’m not a climate scientist, I know a whole lot about radiation, wave and particle physics, chemistry and have a Ph.D. in common sense.
The problem with this stratospheric hotspot theory is that O3 is already known to warm the stratosphere, and it warms a whole lot more than CO2. The blackbody temperature of O3’s 9µ or 1050 Wavenumber is 300°K or 27°C or 80°F, which is above the temperature of the Stratosphere. Because O3 only absorbs a small band of the LWIR spectrum O3 simply does provide enough energy to warm the air to its potential of 300°K, but it does warm the air. CO2, on the other hand, absorbs 15µ LWIR, which has a blackbody temperature of 193°K or -80°C or -112°F. At no point in the stratosphere does the temperature get down to -80°C, so CO2 at bests puts in a temperature floor, which is best seen as the bottom of the mesosphere temperature. Note in the above graphic that CO2’s warming gray spot at the bottom of the stratosphere is dwarfed by the much darker gray attributed to O3. If O3 is already warming the air towards 27°C, CO2’s additional heat equivalent of -80°C simply gets lost in the noise, and that is exactly what the data has shown.
The explanation then changed so that CO2 should result in stratosphere cooling. The new theory goes that instead or thermalizing 15µ LWIR in the dry stratosphere, CO2 is trapping LWIR in the troposphere preventing the energy making it to the stratosphere, and thus the stratosphere cools due to lack of energy reaching it from below. Problem with that theory is that H2O simply dominates the troposphere. H2O absorbs across the LWIR spectrum including the 15µ that CO2 absorbs. H2O already absorbs all the 15µ LWIR, so adding CO2 is like adding another coat of black paint on an already blackened window. CO2’s contribution simply gets lost in the noise.
If the stratosphere is in fact cooling due to energy being trapped in the troposphere, then H2O is to blame, not CO2. From the above graphic, atmospheric H2O had been increasing and is closely tied to ocean oscillations like El Niño and La Niña, neither of which have anything to do with CO2.
Try as they might, the facts simply don’t support the climate alarmists claims, even when they do a complete 180° Flip-flop. The frightening thing is that this junkiest of junk science has been used to force the wasting of trillions and trillions of taxpayer and consumer dollars. It is time to end the madness and start spending our precious public resources on solving real problems.
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