by C. Rotter, Oct 26, 2020 in WUWT
By David Wojick |October 26th, 2020|Climate
Precision research by physicists William Happer and William van Wijngaarden has determined that the present levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and water vapor are almost completely saturated. In radiation physics the technical term “saturated” implies that adding more molecules will not cause more warming.
In plain language this means that from now on our emissions from burning fossil fuels could have little or no further impact on global warming. There would be no climate emergency. No threat at all. We could emit as much CO2 as we like; with no effect.
This astounding finding resolves a huge uncertainty that has plagued climate science for over a century. How should saturation be measured and what is its extent with regard to the primary greenhouse gases?
In radiation physics the term “saturation” is nothing like the simple thing we call saturation in ordinary language, just as the greenhouse effect is nothing like how greenhouses work. Your paper towel is saturated when it won’t pick up any more spilled milk. In contrast greenhouse gases are saturated when there is no more milk left to pick up, as it were, but it is far more complex than this simple analogy suggests.
Happer is probably best known to our readers as a leading skeptical scientist. He co-founded the prestigious CO2 Coalition and recently served on the staff of the National Security Council, advising President Trump. But his career has been as a world class radiation physicist at Princeton. His numerous peer reviewed journal articles have collectively garnered over 12,000 citations by other researchers.
In this study Professors Happer and van Wijngaarden (H&W) have worked through the saturation physics in painstaking detail. Their preprint is titled “Dependence of Earth’s Thermal Radiation on Five Most Abundant Greenhouse Gases“. They have gone far beyond the work done to date on this complex problem.
To begin with, while the standard studies treat the absorption of radiation by greenhouse molecules using crude absorption bands of radiation energy, H&W analyze the millions of distinct energies, called spectral lines, which make up these bands. This line by line approach has been an emerging field of analysis, often giving dramatically new results.
Clearly this is work that the climate science community needs to carefully consider. This may not be easy given that three major physics journals have refused to publish it. The reviews have been defensive and antagonistic, neither thoughtful nor helpful. Alarmism is in control of the journals, censoring contrary findings, hence the preprint version.