Warmism assumes that it keeps heat in. The following is the conclusion of a short paper by a modeller who looks at all influences on heat loss together. He also finds, as paleoclimatologists do, that CO2 levels are a response to, rather than a cause of, temperature changes. The author is Fred H. Haynie, who refers to himself as a "Retired Environmental Scientist". An example of his academic journal articles is here. "OLR" is "outbound longwave radiation".

I used the model to calculate average monthly CO2 concentrations for each of the regions and included those values in a regression. The resulting significant coefficient for CO2 was negative -- indicating it accelerates OLR rather than resisting it.

This is unlikely a direct effect and more likely by indirectly lowering the resistance of some other process. The contributions of CO2 and the Unknown factor tend to balance out and when CO2 is not included in the regression, the contribution of the Unknown is only around 0.02 and decreasing slowly.

The following plot is for the Arctic where the effects of water on OLR are the least. Also, the apparent statistical significance of both CO2 and the unknown factor could be to non-linearities that are not identified in the models.

Globally, the measurable effects of atmospheric water on reducing the rate of OLR are orders of magnitude greater than any probable effects of atmospheric CO2. Any possible “greenhouse” effect of atmospheric CO2 is not measurable with monthly, regional averages; being lost in the error associated with the water variables and model design.

The concentration of atmospheric CO2 is likely being controlled by the global three dimensional distribution of the different phases (vapor, condensed, and frozen) of water. As such, it is probably a good lagging response to global climate change.


A correspondent summarizes Haynie's paper as follows:

Assumption: The earth loses thermal energy by radiating to space, i.e., by outbound long wave radiation (OLR).

Assumption: Components in the atmosphere slow down the rate of energy loss.

Assumption: If a CO2 greenhouse effect is measurable, it should be a statistically significant contributor to the total atmospheric resistance to OLR.

Testing these assumptions against climate scenarios provided by NOAA, the factors of precipitable water, precipitation rate, and sea surface temperature are found to be statistically significant.

On the same basis, and using data from Scripps, CO2’s impact comes out as slightly negative, indicating that it accelerates OLR rather than resisting it.

However, since other factors exceed any CO2 signal, it’s safer to say that its impact is lost in the noise and as such is simply not measurable.

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

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