New measurements contradict main tenets of global warming alarmists. First some background.
A greenhouse structure (or an automobile parked in the sun) warms as follows. Short wave radiation from the sun penetrates the glass and warms the interior. The warm interior radiates heat as long-wave infrared radiation which cannot penetrate glass. The glass also prevents heat loss by convection. Therefore the interior warms.
In the atmosphere, so the theory goes, greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and water vapor allow short wave radiation from the sun to penetrate to the Earth’s surface which warms and radiates long-wave infra-red radiation into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gasses capture some of the long-wave radiation and re-radiate some of it to space and some of it back to Earth, further warming the Earth. The more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere; the more radiation is sent back to Earth and warming increases. Note that the atmosphere does not have anything to prevent convective heat loss (which we call weather).
Climate alarmists have maintained that buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere re-radiates much more infra-red energy back to Earth causing global warming.
A new paper published in the Journal of Climate, based on 800,000 observations, find there has been a significant decrease in long-wave infrared radiation from increasing greenhouse gases over the 14 year period 1996-2010 in the US Great Plains. CO2 levels increased about 7% over this period and according to AGW theory, down-welling long-wave infra-red radiation should have increased over this period. The decrease in long-wave radiation contradicts the main tenet of climate alarmists. The most sophisticated and wide-held theory can be destroyed by one ugly fact.
But that’s not all. Alarmists claim that increased carbon dioxide induced warming will put more water vapor in the air. Water vapor is a much stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. The study, however, found a negative trend in precipitable water vapor, as do other global datasets, again the opposite of alarmist predictions.
See more commentary by Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That . Watts also notes: “Global datasets also show an increase of outgoing long-wave IR radiation to space from greenhouse gases over the past 62 years, again in contradiction to the predictions of AGW theory.”
Remember: There is no physical evidence that our carbon dioxide emissions play a significant (or in most cases, even measurable) role in global warming. It exists only in garbage-in, garbage-out computer models.
But don’t worry, President Obama will save us from climate change that has been happening for only 4.5 billion years.