|Optical Systems, Illumination, Solar Energy, Stray Light, Remote Sensing
|Research at Ventura Photonics
Ventura Photonics has conducted extensive research into sensor related topics including
climate energy transfer and climate change. This has included analysis of the energy transfer at
the land-air and ocean-air interface, 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:
The earth is an isolated planet that is heated by the sun and cooled by long wave infrared
(LWIR) emission back to space. Climate stability requires that there be an approximate long
term energy balance between the absorbed solar flux and the LWIR emission to space.
However, the basic assumption of an ‘infrared equilibrium climate state’ that can be changed by
increasing the concentration of ‘greenhouse gases’ is incorrect. The concept of a 24 hour
average absorbed solar flux in exact equilibrium with the LWIR emission is just a mathematical
abstraction. It oversimplifies the energy transfer processes that determine the earth’s climate.
The solar illumination profile and LWIR emission to space are illustrated in Figures 1 and 2.
|Figure 1: Solar illumination pattern and LWIR emission to space
|Figure 2: Daily solar illumination flux (tropical/summer peak) and normalized
intensity/cumulative intensity distribution vs. latitude. Half of the solar flux is
incident within the 30 degree latitude bands.
In reality, the troposphere acts an open cycle heat engine that transports the surface heat to
higher altitudes by convection. From here the heat is emitted back to space as long wave IR
(LWIR) radiation. The equilibrium climate state has to be replaced by a dynamic or time
dependent description of climate energy transfer between a set of coupled thermal reservoirs.
The cumulative difference between heating and cooling fluxes produces a change in enthalpy
in a thermal reservoir. The change in temperature is the change in enthalpy divided by the
heat capacity of the reservoir over a specific time period. A simple change in ‘equilibrium
LWIR flux’ is not directly related to the change in temperature. This concept is illustrated in
|Figure 3: Temperature change is determined by the change in local heat content
(enthalpy) of the reservoir divided by the local heat capacity
The land and especially the oceans act as the ‘hot’ reservoirs of the heat engine. These are
heated intermittently by the local absorbed solar flux. Some of this heat is stored and released
over a wide range of time scales. A time varying thermal and/or humidity gradient is required
at the surface to dissipate this heat. This of course is a consequence of the Second Law of
Thermodynamics. Since the tropospheric heat engine operates at relatively low temperatures
and pressures, the transfer fluid cannot be described using simple blackbody theory. Instead,
a detailed radiative transfer analysis is required. The troposphere 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. Above the tropopause, the stratosphere forms a third
independent thermal reservoir. The main heat source here is absorption of the UV solar flux
by ozone and the cooling is mainly by LWIR emission from CO2. This is illustrated in Figure 4.
|Figure 4: Climate energy transfer and the upper and lower tropospheric reservoirs
The basic concept of the so called ‘greenhouse effect’ is that the infrared absorption and
emission produced by the IR active ‘greenhouse gases’ in the atmosphere increases the
surface temperature. While this concept is correct, the conventional explanation of the
‘greenhouse effect’ is based on the invalid assumption of an equilibrium average climate.
Climate stability simply requires that there be an approximate energy balance between the long
term average absorbed solar flux and the LWIR flux emitted to space. The surface
temperature has to be maintained within relatively narrow bounds. However, there is no
requirement for an exact flux balance. When the high resolution radiative transfer properties of
the troposphere are analyzed, the molecular linewidths decrease with increasing altitude. This
means that the upward and downward fluxes through the troposphere are not equivalent. This
is illustrated in Figure 5. The concept of radiative forcing in an equilibrium climate system has
no basis in physical reality. The perturbation approach for the calculation of the increase in
surface temperature produced by an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration is nothing
more than a prescribed mathematical ritual. The idea that a small increase in the atmospheric
LWIR flux from an increase in the CO2 concentration can directly cause an increase in ‘surface
temperature’ is simply wrong. Changes in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 have had no
effect on the earth’s climate for at least the last half a billion years.
|Figure 5: Atmospheric line narrowing with altitude. A single water line is show at
altitudes of 1, 5 and 10 km. The upward LWIR flux from the wings of the lower
altitude line is not reabsorbed. However, the downward flux closer to line center
from the higher altitude line is reabsorbed.
The earth’s average surface temperature is near 288 K (15 C). The effective emission
temperature of the LWIR emission to space is near 255 K (-18 C). This temperature difference
of 33 K is called ‘greenhouse effect temperature’. In reality it is not produced by ‘greenhouse
gas warming’. Instead, it is just the cooling produced within the tropospheric heat engine as
the warm air ascends approximately 5 km from the solar heated surface to the altitude of the
main water band LWIR emission to space. Convection is a mass transport process. As an air
parcel ascends through the troposphere it must perform mechanical work to overcome the
gravitational potential or the earth. This reduces the internal energy of the air molecules and
produces cooling. The 33 K cooling is produced by the thermodynamics of the convective
heat engine, not the LWIR flux.
It is also argued that the temperature of the earth would be near 255 K if the greenhouse
effect were removed. This is not the case. The average temperature of a ‘barren earth’
without air or water has been calculated to be near 198 K (-75 C). At the current average
surface temperature of 288 K (15 C), this gives a ‘greenhouse effect temperature’ of 90 K.
Such a temperature difference may be explained by considering the effect of the LWIR surface
exchange energy on the dynamic surface energy transfer. In particular, the exchange energy
limits the radiative cooling of the surface. Ocean surface temperatures must rise until the
excess solar heat is dissipated by the wind driven evaporation. The exchange energy is just
one of several time dependent flux terms that determine the surface temperature. The land-air
and ocean-air interfaces behave differently and have to be considered separately. The basic
surface energy transfer processes are illustrated in Figure 6. The coupling of the tropospheric
convection to the rotation of the earth produces the characteristic weather patterns and the
ocean gyre circulation. The climate models used to ‘predict’ global warming are based on
climate equilibrium and related assumptions that are invalid. CO2 induced global warming is
based on nothing more than empirical pseudoscience.
|Figure 6: Time dependent surface energy transfer. The surface is heated by the sun
and cools through a combination of net LWIR emission, convection and evaporation.
In addition heat is transported below the land surface by thermal conduction. Over
the oceans, the surface is almost transparent to the solar flux. About half of the flux
is absorbed within the first meter layer and 90% is absorbed within the first 10 m layer.
The increase in downward LWIR flux from the atmosphere to the surface produced by an
increase in ‘greenhouse gases’ must interact with the surface. The weather station
temperature (MSAT) is measured inside a ventilated enclosure place for convenience at eye
level 1.5 to 2 m above the ground. The historical temperature record usually consists of the
daily maximum and minimum MSAT. The minimum MSAT temperature normally occurs near
dawn. It is a measure of the bulk air temperature of the local weather system as it is passing
through. The maximum MSAT temperature normally occurs in the early afternoon. It is a
measure of the maximum temperature reached as the warm air from the solar heated surface
rises and mixes with the cooler air at the level of the MSAT thermometer. The minimum and
maximum MSAT are produced by two different energy transfer processes and should be
analyzed separately. Over many regions of the world, the predominant weather patterns are
formed over the ocean. The long term trend in the local weather station minimum MSAT may
therefore contain the temperature trend of the ocean surface temperature in the region of
formation. For example, the California minimum MSAT is dominated by the Pacific Ocean
temperature. Once the dynamic surface energy transfer processes are understood, it
becomes very clear that there can be no CO2 induced warming signal in the MSAT record.
The original climate modeling approach that was described by Manabe and Wetherald in 1967
was nothing more than a mathematical platform for the development of radiative transfer
algorithms. As the atmospheric concentration of CO2 or other ‘greenhouse gases’ is
increased, the ‘global warming’ produced by this model is just a mathematical artifact of the
simplifying assumptions used to create the model. However, irrational belief in CO2 induced
‘global warming led to the acceptance of the M&W paper without any discussion of model
validation or the time dependence of the climate energy transfer. The model was then
‘improved’ without changing the underlying invalid assumptions. An ocean layer was added
without any consideration of the surface energy transfer physics. Later, the model was
empirically ‘calibrated’ so that the increase in atmospheric long wave IR (LWIR) flux from any so
called ‘greenhouse gas’ could produce ‘surface heating’. This created the pseudoscience of
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. 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. Global warming has degenerated into a quasi-religious
cult where belief in fraudulent climate model results has become a source of money and power.
The details of this research can be found in the following publications:
Clark, R., 2017, ‘The Greenhouse Effect’, Ventura Photonics Monograph, VPM 003.1,
Thousand Oaks, CA
The Greenhouse Effect
Clark, R., 2017, ‘50 Years of Climate Fraud’, Ventura Photonics Monograph, VPM 002,
Thousand Oaks, CA.
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’
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’
Clark, R., 2011, The dynamic greenhouse effect and the climate averaging paradox, Ventura
Photonics Monograph, VPM 001, Thousand Oaks, CA, Amazon, 2011.