|Optical Systems, Illumination, Solar Energy, Stray Light, Remote Sensing
|Research at Ventura Photonics
Ventura Photonics has conducted research into sensor related topics including climate energy
transfer and climate change since 2009. This has included analysis of the energy transfer at the
land-air and ocean-air interfaces, atmospheric radiative transfer calculations at high spectral
and spatial resolution and analysis of meteorological surface air temperature (MSAT) data from
selected weather stations. This work has revealed serious flaws in the conventional description
of the ‘greenhouse effect’ and the computer models used to simulate climate change.
Over the last 200 years, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 has increased by approximately
120 ppm, from 280 to 400 ppm. Starting with the work of Manabe and Wetherald (M&W)
‘Thermal equilibrium of the atmosphere with a given distribution of relative humidity’ published in
1967, climate models have been developed that predict significant climate warming from such an
increase in CO2. However, comparison of climate model results to the measured temperature
record clearly demonstrates that these climate models have failed. The reason is that the model
assumptions going back to M&W have oversimplified the underlying climate energy transfer
processes. The fundamental error is the equilibrium average climate assumption. This assumes
that there is an exact flux balance between an average absorbed solar flux and the emitted
longwave IR (LWIR) flux at the top of the atmosphere. The result is an elegant set of equilibrium
flux balance equations that have no relationship whatsoever to the earth’s climate. M&W type
models must create global warming as a mathematical artifact of the underlying assumptions.
Physical reality has been abandoned in favor of mathematical simplicity.
The radiative convective equilibrium hypothesis that was introduced by M&W in 1967 has clearly
failed. It creates at least 7 fundamental errors in the energy transfer physics. The simplifying
assumptions used by M&W introduced four fundamental scientific errors:
1) There is no equilibrium climate state on any time or spatial scale.
2) There is no such entity as a blackbody surface with zero heat capacity.
3) The concept of a fixed relative humidity distribution is incorrect.
4) The upward and downward LWIR fluxes through the atmosphere are not equivalent. Instead,
they are decoupled by molecular linewidth effects. This leads to the formation of two
independent tropospheric thermal reservoirs.
Later modeling ‘improvements’ introduced three more fundamental scientific errors. These
‘improvements’ were discussed by Hansen et al. in their 1981 paper ‘Climate impact of
increasing carbon dioxide’.
5) A ‘slab’ ocean model was used instead of the M&W blackbody surface.
6) A prescribed mathematical ritual of ‘radiative forcing’ was introduced.
7) There was a ‘bait and switch’ change from surface temperature to the weather station
It is proposed that this failed radiative convective equilibrium hypothesis be replaced by a 2 part
null hypothesis for CO2
1) It impossible for the observed 120 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration to have
produced any measurable increase in surface temperature.
2) The observed recovery in surface temperature since the Maunder minimum can be explained
in terms of small increases in the solar flux absorbed and accumulated in the ocean thermal
The radiative convective equilibrium hypothesis is based on the First Law of Thermodynamics,
conservation of energy. The average outgoing long wave IR radiation (OLR) must match the
average absorbed solar flux. An energy imbalance from an increase in CO2 concentration at the
top of the atmosphere (TOA) then leads to a change in equilibrium state with a higher surface
temperature. In reality, there is no such thing as an equilibrium average climate. Instead,
climate stability is determined by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The surface must warm
up until the time dependent thermal and/or humidity gradient at the air-surface boundary is
sufficient to dissipate the absorbed solar heat. In addition, there is a time delay or phase shift
between the peak solar flux and the temperature response that is a fundamental property of a
non-equilibrium thermal system. This leads to a completely different description of climate
energy transfer in terms of a dynamically coupled set of thermal reservoirs.
At minimum, the troposphere has to be described in terms of four coupled thermal reservoirs
that function together as an open cycle heat engine. The land and especially the oceans are
the hot reservoirs (‘boilers’) of this engine. The downward long wave IR (LWIR) flux to the
surface and the outgoing LWIR radiation to space are decoupled by molecular line broadening
effects. The troposphere therefore divides naturally into two independent thermal reservoirs.
Almost all of the downward LWIR flux reaching the surface originates from within the first 2 km
layer that forms the lower tropospheric reservoir. The LWIR emission to space originates mainly
from the upper tropospheric reservoir that extends from 2 km to the tropopause. This acts as
the cold reservoir of the heat engine. The heat lost by LWIR emission to space is replaced by
convection from below. Above the tropopause, the stratosphere forms another independent
thermal reservoir. The main heat source here is absorption of the UV solar flux by ozone and
the cooling is dominated by LWIR emission from CO2.
While the local LWIR flux can be used to define the local temperature at the time of
measurement or calculation, the converse is not valid. Any change in temperature has to be
calculated as a change in enthalpy or heat content of a local thermal reservoir integrated over a
specific time period and divided by the heat capacity of the reservoir. For non-equilibrium
conditions, the coupled flux defines a rate of heating or cooling, not an equilibrium temperature.
Furthermore, the LWIR flux cannot be separated from the other flux terms including the solar
flux, the convective or sensible heat flux, the evaporative or latent heat flux and subsurface
conduction on land or convective circulation and transport in the oceans. In particular, over the
oceans, the penetration depth of the LWIR flux into the surface is 100 micron or less. Here it is
fully coupled to the latent heat flux from the wind driven surface evaporation. The magnitude
and variation of the wind speed is so large that any small increase in LWIR flux from an increase
in atmospheric CO2 concentration cannot couple into the ocean and produce a measurable
increase in ocean surface temperature. The increase in CO2 flux is simply overwhelmed by the
wind driven latent heat flux.
Furthermore, the greenhouse effect cannot be defined in terms of a change in a non-existent
equilibrium surface temperature. Instead, it is simply the time dependent LWIR surface
exchange energy. This may be defined as either the downward LWIR flux at the surface or as
an opacity factor. This is just the ratio of the downward surface flux from the troposphere
divided by the surface blackbody emission.
It is also important to understand that the weather station temperature is not the surface
temperature. Instead, it is the meteorological surface air temperature (MSAT). This is the air
temperature measured in a ventilated enclosure located at eye level 1.5 to 2 m above the
ground. The minimum MSAT generally occurs near dawn. At this time, the surface air layer and
the ground are usually at similar temperatures and the minimum MSAT is approximately that of
the bulk surface air temperature of the local weather system that is passing through. The
maximum MSAT is generally recorded in the early afternoon after the peak solar flux at local
noon. It is the air temperature produced by the convective mixing of the warm air rising from the
surface as it interacts with the cooler air at the MSAT thermometer level. There are two
important concepts related to the MSAT that need to be introduced. The first is the evening
convection transition temperature and the second is the seasonal ocean phase shift.
In the evening, the land surface cools until it approaches the surface air temperature.
Convection then slows significantly and the surface cools at night mainly by net LWIR emission
through the atmospheric transmission window. This evening convection transition temperature is
reset each day by the local weather system passing through. In many regions of the world, the
prevailing weather systems are formed over the oceans. The ocean surface temperature in the
region of formation is then carried over long distances by the weather systems. Outside of the
tropics, there is a seasonal time delay or phase shift of approximately 6 to 8 weeks between the
peak solar flux at solstice and the ocean surface temperature response.
The convection transition temperature and the seasonal phase shift provide clear evidence that
climate change is caused by changes in ocean surface temperature. Short term changes over 3
to 7 years and 60 to 70 years are caused by wind driven ocean oscillations. Medium term
changes over several centuries are caused by small changes in solar flux as indicated by the
solar sunspot index and related solar activity parameters. Longer term changes over 10,000 to
100,000 years, such as Ice Age cycles are caused by planetary perturbations to the earth’s
orbital and axial rotation. Over longer geological periods, climate change is also caused by
changes in ocean circulation related to plate tectonic motion that alters the ocean continental
Unfortunately, Eisenhower’s warnings on the corruption of science by government funding have
come true. M&W were just following the scientific method and developed a simplified hypothesis
to simulate the effect of CO2 on the earth’s climate. The climate equilibrium assumption was
accepted at that time as valid and had been in use at least since the work of Arrhenius in 1896.
The radiative transfer algorithms used by M&W produced acceptable results and the
mathematical formulation that followed from their assumptions appeared to be reasonable.
Their primary interest was the development of improved radiative transfer algorithms and
building the foundation for a global circulation model. Regrettably, the mathematical artifact of
global warming soon became a lucrative source of research funding and the issues with the
underlying assumptions were ignored. Their modeling approach was adopted by other groups
including NASA Goddard and formed the basis of the Charney Report in 1979. This established
the benchmark for CO2 induced global warming created by the M&W artifact.
However, it was outside events that gradually led to the complete corruption of the ‘science’ of
climate modeling. These included the end of the Apollo (moon landing) Program in 1972, the
publication of the ‘Club of Rome’ report on limits to growth, also in 1972, and the nuclear
accident at Three Mile Island in 1979. Government ‘scientists’ found alternative employment by
working on the global warming fraud. Global warming was also used to further the careers of
politicians such as Margaret Thatcher and Al Gore. However, the final demise of the ‘science’
came with the formation of the United Nations Inter-Government Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) in 1988. This was a political organization that was chartered to find anthropogenic global
warming whether it existed or not. This led to the development of government policies to limit the
use of fossil fuels and encourage the use of ‘alternative energy’. A vast secondary industry of
policy analysts, economists, geologists, geographers, ecologists, psychologists, sociologists and
other assorted ‘experts’ was created and funded to study every aspect of this nonexistent global
warming problem. Sensational stories of global warming disasters provided lucrative revenue for
the news media.
The scientific method in climate science collapsed. The peer review process was abandoned in
favor of blatant cronyism. Various political and environmental groups began to use global
warming to further their own agendas. The equilibrium climate hypothesis has degenerated into
an unpleasant quasi-religious cult that supports a multi-trillion dollar fraud. Irrational belief in
fraudulent climate models has replaced physical reality. In order to restore the scientific method
to climate science, a massive fraud that extends to the highest levels of government must be
Summaries of the research at Ventura Photonics are provided in a series of seven Climate Notes
and the work is described in detail in seven articles:
The topics addressed in the climate notes are as follows:
Note 1: ‘The Seven Sins of the Equilibrium Climate Models'
This describes the seven fundamental errors in the M&W and Hansen et al papers.
Note 2: 'A Null Hypothesis for CO2'
This provides a summary of the Null hypothesis for CO2.
Note 3: 'Forcing The Climate Fraud'
This discusses the climate modeling fraud related to the use of 'radiative forcing' to determine
the surface temperature.
Note 4: 'What Do We mean By Surface Temperature?'
This describes the energy transfer processes that determine the surface temperature using the
coupled thermal reservoir approach. The phase shift or time delay between the solar flux and
the temperature response and the convective transition temperature are introduced. The
differences between land, ocean and meteorological temperatures are explained.
Note 5: 'What Do We Mean By The Greenhouse Effect?'
This provides an explanation of the greenhouse effect in terms of the surface exchange energy
coupled dynamically to the surface reservoirs.
Note 6: 'Missing the Heat Transfer
This discusses some of the energy transfer processes that have been overlooked in the climate
models. These include the wind driven surface evaporation and Ekman transport/pumping
Note 7: 'Dynamic Climate Energy Transfer and the Second Law of Thermodynamics'
This explains the role of the Second Law of Thermodynamics in setting the Earth's surface
The first two articles:
‘A dynamic coupled thermal reservoir approach to atmospheric energy transfer Part I:
‘A dynamic coupled thermal reservoir approach to atmospheric energy transfer Part II:
were published in 2013 in a special climate issue of Energy and Environment.
DTR1 introduced the concept of dynamic coupled thermal reservoirs. DTR2 used the dynamic
thermal reservoir approach to explain climate energy transfer for selected examples including
the equatorial ocean warm pool, land surface temperature changes and thermal storage in the
The next two articles in this series
‘A dynamic coupled thermal reservoir approach to atmospheric energy transfer Part III:
The Surface Temperature’ (DTR3)
‘A dynamic coupled thermal reservoir approach to atmospheric energy transfer Part IV:
The null hypothesis for CO2’ (DTR4)
have been published recently as Ventura Photonics Monographs.
DTR3 describes the use of the dynamic thermal reservoir approach to calculate the surface and
surface-air temperatures at the ocean-air and land-air interfaces. Two important concepts are
introduced: the convective transition temperature and the seasonal ocean phase shift. DTR4
presents a two part null hypothesis for CO2. The first part of DTR4 uses the dynamic thermal
reservoir approach to show that the increase in LWIR flux produced by an increase of 120 ppm
in atmospheric concentration of CO2 cannot couple into the land or ocean thermal reservoirs
and produce any measurable increase in surface temperature. The second part considers the
coupling of small changes in solar flux into the oceans and how this can cause climate change.
The effects of ocean oscillations, sunspot cycle variations, Milankovitch cycles and plate
tectonics are evaluated. The so called ‘young sun paradox’ is also explained in terms of
dynamic thermal reservoirs.
Two other articles have also been published as Ventura Photonics Monographs.
‘The Greenhouse Effect’
provides a detailed spectroscopic description of the atmospheric flux and explains the
greenhouse effect in terms of the surface exchange energy.
‘Fifty Years of Climate Fraud’
describes the development of the global warming fraud from speculation and hypothesis to a
multi trillion dollar fraud.
In addition, a research summary is provided in the report
‘A Dynamic Coupled Thermal Reservoir Approach to Atmospheric Energy Transfer Part V:
This provides an overview of climate energy transfer and explains the seven fundamental
scientific errors introduced by the radiative convective equilibrium hypothesis. The development
of the global warming fraud is also considered.
A book, ‘The Dynamic Greenhouse Effect and the Climate Averaging Paradox’, describing
some of the earlier work at Ventura Photonics was published in 2011.
These notes and reports may be accessed using the following links:
Clark, R. 2019 ‘The Seven Sins of the Equilibrium Climate Models’, Ventura Photonics Climate
Note 1, VPCN 001.1
Clark, R. ‘A Null Hypothesis for CO2’, Ventura Photonics Climate Note 2, VPCN 002.1
Clark, R. ‘Forcing the Climate Fraud’, Ventura Photonics Climate Note 3, VPCN 003.1
Clark, R. ‘What Do We Mean By Surface Temperature?’ Ventura Photonics Climate Note 4,
Clark, R. ‘What Do We Mean By The Greenhouse Effect?’ Ventura Photonics Climate Note 5,
Clark, R. 'Missing the Heat Transfer' Ventura Photonics Climate Note 6, VPCN 006.1
Clark, R. 'Dynamic Climate Energy Transfer and the Second Law of Thermodynamics' Ventura
Photonics Climate Note 7, VPCN 007.1
Clark, R. 2019 ‘A Dynamic Coupled Thermal Reservoir Approach to Atmospheric Energy
Transfer Part V: Summary’.
Clark, R. 2019, ‘A Dynamic Coupled Thermal Reservoir Approach to Atmospheric Energy
Transfer Part IV: The Null Hypothesis for CO2’ Ventura Photonics Monograph, VPM 005.1,
Thousand Oaks, CA, August 2019 (DTR4)
Clark, R. 2019, ‘A Dynamic Coupled Thermal Reservoir Approach to Atmospheric Energy
Transfer Part III: The surface Temperature’, Ventura Photonics Monograph, VPM 004.1,
Thousand Oaks, CA, August 2019 (DTR3).
Clark, R., 2019, ‘The Greenhouse Effect’, Ventura Photonics Monograph, VPM 003.2, Thousand
Oaks, CA, August 2019
Clark, R., 2019, ‘50 years of climate fraud’, Ventura Photonics Monograph, VPM 002.1,
Thousand Oaks, CA, August, 2019.
Clark, R., 2013a, Energy and Environment 24(3, 4) 319-340 (2013) ‘A dynamic coupled thermal
reservoir approach to atmospheric energy transfer Part I: Concepts’ (DTR1)
Clark, R., 2013b, Energy and Environment 24(3, 4) 341-359 (2013) ‘A dynamic coupled thermal
reservoir approach to atmospheric energy transfer Part II: Applications’ (DTR2)
Clark, R., 2011, The dynamic greenhouse effect and the climate averaging paradox, Ventura
Photonics Monograph, VPM 001, Thousand Oaks, CA, Amazon, 2011.
S. Manabe and R. T. Wetherald, J. Atmos. Sci. 24(3) 241-258 (1967), Thermal equilibrium of
the atmosphere with a given distribution of relative humidity
Hansen et al, Science 213 957-966 (1981) Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon