A mini ice age could be on the way and it’s going to get very, very cold

Sep 2018
cleveland ohio
i have provided evidence that it is not natural, i'm not going to keep repeating things just because your a fucking idiot
Apr 2013
La La Land North
Feb 2007

I saw an article this morning about a climate skeptic name Peter Ward. He has dedicated a book and two web sites to explain his theory of global warming:

He even had shirts made!

He has an interesting theory about how global warming is man-made, but it has nothing to do with CO2. His theory states that the real problem is ozone depletion, which allows more ultraviolet radiation (UV) to reach the surface. He states that CO2 is basically harmless.

Let me state my opinion clearly:

His theory is unconvincing garbage.

To be fair, his ideas about the effects of ozone depletion are not all wrong. They are actually quite well grounded in many ways. Loss of ozone should naturally result in a warming effect.

However, my problem with Dr. Ward’s theory is how he claims to “prove” that it is physically impossible for increased CO2 to cause global warming. He lists off many claims that are wrong in a number of ways.

Let me go over a few examples.

“[models assume] there is more thermal energy contained in Earth’s infrared radiation absorbed by greenhouse gases than in the solar ultraviolet-B radiation that reaches Earth when ozone is depleted. Common experience… confirms that this is not true: you feel hotter standing in … radiation from the Sun than you do standing outside at night with infrared radiation welling up from Earth’s surface.”​

There are many issues with this statement, but it is a good example of how someone can confuse the anthropogenic global warming with all the other things that naturally occur in the energy budget of the climate system. The fact that the warming from CO2 is relatively small compared to other things does not prove that it is harmless. The change in the earth’s radiative budget by elevated CO2 is roughly 4 W/m2 of of extra downwelling radiation, considering all the feedbacks. Think about a 4W incandescent light bulb warming a square meter of the surface. It’s not something you would immediately notice on your skin, especially when standing in direct sunlight. However, adding this up over a long time, it amounts to a great deal of extra heat in the climate system.

Even without increased CO2, the atmosphere is always radiating down on us. If you were standing outside at night and the atmosphere stopped radiating down on you, you would feel a lot colder!

“Greenhouse warming theory also assumes that the heated air radiates energy back to Earth’s surface, and that this return flow of heat energy warms Earth. The problem with this is that the [lower atmosphere is] colder than Earth’s surface. Heat cannot physically flow from cold to hot. You do not stand next to a cold stove to get warm.”​

Heat “flows” in a few different ways, but heat is radiated in all directions. In a way, he is correct that the net “flow” of heat is always from warm to cold, but the downward radiation from the atmosphere slows this net cooling of the planet considerably. This downward radiation is actually really important, it is a key reason why Earth is not a lifeless ball of ice. He is obviously confused about how global warming works, because no one is proposing that there is a net gain of heat from downward radiation. Instead, the idea is that the net loss of heat from the surface is slowed by CO2, which naturally results in a net warming.

( less radiation output ) + ( same radiation input ) = ( more internal energy )

There are more examples of Dr. Ward confusing simple facts about the physics of the atmosphere. Hopefully you can see just how wrong he is about the science of global warming.


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