The six definitions of the Greenhouse Effect


I have published a research paper by the name “The Greenhouse Effect Definition”, ref. 1. Based on the results of this paper, I have written two blog stories, ref. 2 and 3. Dr. Spencer wrote a blog story in WUWT by title ”Comments on Dr. Ollila’s Claims that Greenhouse Effect Calculations Violate Energy Conservation”, Ref. 4. In his story, Dr. Spencer called my GH effect definition “bad skeptical science”. He did not answer any of my counter-arguments in the comment section.

Dr. Spencer’s blog story raised 584 comments before WUWT closed commenting. I checked the comments and according to my assessment, only five comments directly addressed the subject itself which was the definition/claims of the GH effect according to IPCC, Ollila, or Spencer. My subjective assessment was that one comment was in favor of Dr. Spencer, one in favor of IPCC, and three in favor of me. Of course, it is rather disappointing that most commenters declined the existence of the GH effect.

Most comments were about the reradiation of the atmosphere claiming that there is no such radiation, or it cannot have any warming effect on the surface. Any arguments could not change these opinions even tried by me and by many other commentators. By the way, it is a common observation in social media that nobody ever comments that ”All right, now I understand, and I changed my mind”. The conclusion is rather saddening. Anyway, the discussion is essential in social media.

In this blog story, I represent six GH effect definitions: Ekholm, Hartmann, IPCC, Ollila, Wikipedia, and Spencer. Dr. Spencer’s definition is incomplete because he did not defined it in his story, but he has found errors in the definitions of the IPCC and my definition. I have noticed that even climate researchers do not know the IPCC’s definition which is the basis of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory. It looks like they believe that the definition has an old origin starting from Fourier, Tyndall, Arrhenius, etc. Interesting enough, Swedish meteorologist Nils Ekholm (a close colleague of Svante Arrhenius) was the first to use the term “Greenhouse” effect in 1901, describing it in this way: “Firstly, the atmosphere may act like the glass of a greenhouse, letting through the light rays of the sun relatively easily, and absorbing a great part of the dark rays emitted from the ground, and it thereby may raise the mean temperature if the Earth’s surface. The other is that the atmosphere, absorbing but little of the insolation and the most of the radiation from the ground, receives a considerable part of its heat store from the ground by means of radiation, contact, convection, and conduction, whereas the earth’s surface is heated principally by direct radiation from the sun through the transparent air.” Ekholm obviously was the first to realize that the atmosphere also receives energy from sources other than the absorption of longwave (LW) radiation.

The IPCC does not refer to any of these scientists, but the IPCC has its very own definition. In the end, I have a summary for the ”decliners of physical laws” who decline the existence of the GH effect.

A nice feature of my blog story is that a reader does not need any knowledge about climate science details and calculation methods except that he/she approves the correctness of the Earth’s energy balance. The numerical values of different presentations are nowadays inside the measurement uncertainties (Stephens et al, Wild et al. = the IPCC, Ollila) but the presentation of Kiehl & Trenberth is obsolete and erroneous because it is based on the US Standard 76 atmosphere with reduced water content being 50 % of the real atmospheric water amount. You need only to understand a) the 1st law of thermodynamics (the law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system is constant; energy can be transformed from one form to another but can be neither created nor destroyed), and b) Planck’s thermal radiation law showing that the higher the temperature of a body the more radiation it emits at every wavelength.

Figure 1. A simple energy budget of the Earth showing only the net solar energy fluxes.

Essential qualities of the Greenhouse Effect

The existence of the GH effect

All parties accept the existence of the GH effect.

The magnitude of the GH effect in degrees

All other parties (Ekholm not known) agree that the magnitude is 33 °C, but Dr. Spencer thinks that it cannot be defined.

The forces creating the GH effect

According to the IPCC, the magnitude is 155 W/m2, according to my definition it is 270 W/m2. Dr. Spencer writes that it cannot be measured or defined. Wikipedia has a special approach: its description by words is practically the same as mine meaning 270 W/m2, but its numerical values in a figure show 350 W/m2. Readers should know that in scholarly articles the contributions of GH gases have been calculated from the value of 155 W/m2.

The central issue of my original research study and story was the IPCC’s GH effect definition (AR5, p. 126) essential: “The longwave radiation (LWR, also referred to as infrared radiation) emitted from the Earth’s surface is largely absorbed by certain atmospheric constituents - (greenhouse gases and clouds) - which themselves emit LWR into all directions. The downward directed component of this LWR adds heat to the lower layers of the atmosphere and to the Earth’s surface (greenhouse effect).”

Hartmann summarizes in his book (ref. 5) the GH effect almost in the same way but there is one essential difference: “Most of this emitted infrared radiation is absorbed by trace gases and clouds in the overlying atmosphere. The atmosphere also emits radiation, primarily at infrared wavelengths, in all directions. Radiation emitted downward from the atmosphere adds to the warming of Earth’s surface by sunlight. This enhanced warming is termed the greenhouse effect.” According to Hartmann, the atmosphere emits radiation and not only GH gases and clouds, which is an essential difference to the IPCC’s definition. I think that Hartmann is right because Planck’s law dictates that every object or matter warmer than absolute zero emits radiation always and at all wavelengths.

The criticism of Dr. Spencer

For me, the most frustrating issue of Dr. Spencer’s blog story was an observation that I could find only one comment concerning the IPCC’s definition. Anyway, it was the main point in my blog story. I noticed that Dr. Spencer used an unspecific expression “GH effect” without specifying if it was a question about the IPCC’s definition or about the general GH effect itself. Already starting from the title “Comments on Dr. Ollila’s Claims that Greenhouse Effect Calculations Violate Energy Conservation”. There is no generally accepted GH effect definition but there are different definitions and I have criticized the IPCC’s definition. If a GH effect has been defined in the right way, it does not violate physical laws. It looks like Dr. Spencer does not always make a difference between the energy balance and the GH effect definitions. To make it absolutely clear, I emphasize that the Earth’s energy balance does not violate any physical laws and it is a reference point meaning that any GH effect definition must be in line with energy balance.


Firstly, I refer to three statements of Dr. Spencer which are critical in his criticism:

1) “The latest installment of what I consider to be bad skeptical science regarding the greenhouse effect comes from emeritus professor of environmental science, Dr. Antero Ollila, who claims that the energy budget diagram somehow violates the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, i.e., conservation of energy, at least in terms of how the greenhouse effect is quantified.”

2) But what Dr. Ollila seems to be confused about is what you can physically and quantitatively deduce about the greenhouse effect when you start combining energy fluxes in that diagram.

3) If Dr. Ollila wanted to claim that the energy budget numbers violate energy conservation,…

In the two references Dr. Spencer writes that I have claimed that energy budget numbers violate the energy conservation law. I have never done so in my blog or in my research paper claiming anything like that. On the contrary, I have kept the energy balance as a reference that the GH effect definition must be in line with this presentation and with any physical laws. These claims of Dr. Spencer are simply falsifications of my presentations. This kind of a wrong argument has been called “a strawman argument”: Present a misrepresentation of the opponent's position, refute it, and pretend that the opponent's actual position has been refuted.


I wrote in my blog like this: “From Figure (2) it is easy to name the two other energy sources which are needed for causing the GH effect namely latent heating 91 m/m2 and sensible heating 24 W/m2, which make 270 W/m2 with the longwave absorption of 155 W/m2. The conclusion of Dr. Spencer is like this. “Now, I have spent at least a couple of hours trying to follow his line of reasoning, and I cannot.”.


Dr. Spencer writes that the IPCC’s GH effect definition is incomplete, but he does not specify in which way. Another aspect where Dr. Spencer seems to accept the very nature of reradiation flux but not my wording: “But this is where the problem with ambiguous wording comes in. The atmosphere is not, strictly speaking, adding more energy to the surface. It is merely returning a portion of the atmosphere-absorbed solar, infrared, and convective transport energy back to the surface in the form of infrared energy.”

At least Dr. Spencer accepts that reradiation is real and it brings energy to the surface originating from three energy fluxes which I have pinpointed. It is true that the reradiation energy originates from the Sun and this solar energy finds its way from the surface to the atmosphere and again to the surface: a recycling phenomenon. Dr. Spencer does not approve of the expression “adding energy to the surface”. I think that this description is literally true. If it were not true, the absorption of 345 W/m2 by the surface would not have any temperature impact, and the energy balance would not be in balance. Another issue is, where is the energy originating from. We know that 99.97 % of all energy keeping our planet habitable comes from the Sun. Here I agree with Dr. Spencer.

In this Dr. Spencer’s comment is also something else that differs from my statement. Dr. Spencer claims that the atmosphere returns only a portion of the LW absorption, latent, and sensible heating energy back to the surface. I clearly state that the atmosphere returns all the energy absorbed by the atmosphere and the energy balance numbers univocally confirm that this is the case. The reason is very simple, and I realized this fact in constructing my GH effect definition. The radiation flux into space must be the same as incoming solar energy during a longer period of time (240 W/m2). Therefore, the GH effect energy 270 W/m2 must come back to the surface. There is an empty space outside of the atmosphere but the only energy transfer mechanism that can transfer energy into a vacuum is radiation but this “high-way” has been reserved for the returning solar energy of 240 W/m2. On the other hand, the atmosphere can cool downwards only by radiation because convection and conduction do not work downwards in the atmosphere.


Dr. Spencer states more than once and with different wording that “Descriptions of the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect are unavoidably incomplete due to its complexity, and even misleading at times due to ambiguous phrasing when trying to express that complexity… The most accurate representation of the greenhouse effect is made through the relevant equations that describe the radiative (and convective) energy flows between the surface and the atmosphere. To express all of that in words would be nearly impossible, and the more accurate the wording, the more the reader’s eyes would glaze over.”

Dr. Spencer thinks that the GH effect is too complicated to express with words or by a few numbers like I have done. It is true that the absorption/emission phenomena in the atmosphere are complex, but these calculations can be calculated without 3-dimensional computer-based climate models. I have done it by the means of spectral analysis tool by name Spectral Calculator applying the average global GH gas profiles, temperature, and pressure profiles. The result was the LW absorption is 155 W/m2, ref. 7. This result is easy to confirm. Just subtract the from surface emitted flux 395 W/m2 the outgoing energy flux to space 240 W/m2. Surprise, the result is 155 W/m2. The absorption area of CO2 and other GH gases have been depicted in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Absorption areas of GH gases.

Even though the absorption by CO2 follows the logarithmic curve, it is not totally saturated as illustrated in Figure 3. An absorption area increase due to increased CO2 concentrations happen mainly in the wavelengths zone 12-14 micrometer.

Figure 3. Absorption area increased due to increased CO2 concentrations.

According to my experience Figures like 2 and 3 cannot be generally found in scholarly articles or in blog stories, because there are not too many researchers who can calculate or want to show them.

Outmost simple and extremely complicated calculations lead to the same result. And by the way, both fluxes 395 W/m2 and 240 W/m2 can be measured nowadays accurately enough (about ±5 %). Why it would be difficult to understand and accept these numbers? The GH effect energy of 270 W/m2 circulates between the surface and the atmosphere because it is in a kind of a trap. There is no mysterious extra energy in my definition but in the definition of the IPCC, the LW absorption energy of 155 W/m2 can create the reradiation flux of 345 W/m2 to the surface, because that is the only explanation defined by the IPCC. Do not shoot the messenger – I cannot help it that it was me who first noticed this flaw.


Dr. Spencer wondered if readers were confused about the complexity of the GH effect. I disagree about this conclusion. My definition is very straightforward and there is nothing mysterious and no violation of any physical laws or contradiction with the energy balance. I think that D. Spencer leaves too many threads open, and his GH effect remains a mystery.

The definition of Wikipedia - a cover-up of the IPCC’s definition hoax

Those readers who are actively following climate change writings, know that the descriptions of Wikipedia are in line with the IPCC science. Skeptical scientists have tried to change some basic errors, but they will disappear very shortly. The GH effect description is an exception, Ref. 6. When you read it, you might find out the reason.

Wikipedia: “Because the Earth’s surface is colder than the Sun, it radiates at wavelengths that are much longer than the wavelengths that were absorbed. Most of this thermal radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere and warms it. The atmosphere also gains heat by sensible and latent heat fluxes from the surface. The intensity of the downward radiation – that is, the strength of the greenhouse effect – will depend on the atmosphere's temperature and on the concentrations of greenhouse gases that the atmosphere contains. The atmosphere radiates energy both upwards and downwards; the part radiated downwards is absorbed by the surface of Earth. This leads to a higher equilibrium temperature than if the atmosphere did not radiate.”

This description is practically like my definition and scientifically it is well-formulated. If the numerical values are applied for this description, the magnitude of the GH effect would be 270 W/m2. But Wikipedia does not do that, because a careful reader would notice that this description is not the same as the IPCC’s definition and what is more, a reader with knowledge of physical laws would notice the violation of energy conservation law. Numerical values can be found in a Figure which I have copied below equipped with my comments on the right side.

Figure 4. Wikipedia:

This figure is a cover-up story. Not even a professor of physics could notice anything wrong because one critical numerical value has been falsified. A half-truth is the most efficient way to cheat. It is only a handful of researchers and other active readers who know that the “Greenhouse gas absorption” as named in Figure 4 should be 155 W/m2 and not 350 W/m2. If the net absorption were 350 W/m2, then it might be quite possible that reradiation flux is 324 W/m2 – no violation of physical laws. This figure does not show latent heating and sensible heating flux which are part of the GH effect according to the verbal description.

The real net absorption of LW absorption would be easily calculated if the emitted LW flux by the surface would have been shown Figure 4 but it is missing. This value can be found in the original energy balance figure of Kiehl & Trenberth (Ref. 8), and it is 390 W/m2. The net LW absorption value would thus be 390 – 195 = 155 W/m2 per K&T. This figure has been carefully planned to cover up the physical law violations of the IPCC’s GH effect definition. The energy balance figure of Kiehl & Trenberth is obsolete. The IPCC has used the presentation of Wild et al. (2013) in AR5, and there might be some influence that Martin Wild was a lead author of chapter 2.

The contribution of carbon dioxide in the GH effect

Applying the GH effect definition of mine, the contributions of different factors have been summarized in Table below.

I have a validation section in my research paper, which is normally missing in key papers on climate establishment. I have reproduced the result of Kiehl &Trenberth applying the same wrong atmosphere and the spectral analysis method, and then the contribution of carbon dioxide is 27 % (K&T 26 %). Schmidt et al. (Ref. 9) have used the average global atmosphere model probably remarkably close to mine, because the total absorption of carbon dioxide is 21.7 W/m and my value is 20.1 W/m2. A small absorption difference may be due to a small difference in the atmospheric water amount. I show these figures because somebody might doubt my skills in carrying out spectral calculations. The big difference in CO2 contributions comes from the magnitude of the GH effect: Schmidt et al. 19 % per 155 W/m2 and me 7.4 % per 270.6 W/m2.

Fitting of radiative forcing (RF) and warming equations to the total CO2 contribution

The correct GH effect magnitude does not only mutilate the image of carbon dioxide as a strong GH gas, but it has further consequences in the climate models. I have analyzed in the earlier studies that simple climate models can be used for calculating the global temperature effect of increased CO2 concentration from 180 ppm up to the concentration of 1370 ppm:

dT = λ * k * ln(C/280) (1)

where dT is the global surface temperature change (K) starting from 180 ppm, λ is the climate sensitivity parameter (K/(W/m2)) being 0.5 in the IPCC model assuming positive water feedback, and 0.27 in my model (called here the Ollila model) and k is a parameter being 5.35 in the IPCC model and 3.12 in the Ollila model. These IPCC model parameters give Transient Climate Sensitivity (TCS) values of 1.8°C (positive water feedback) and 0.6°C value for the Ollila model.

IPCC (AR5, p. 631) has reported that the TCS value is 1.2°C if there are no feedbacks included and it means λ value of 0.324 K/(W/m2). Many researchers have also reported TCS values of 1.0…1.3 °C using different calculation methods, the RF value of 3.7 W/m2 and no water feedback. The challenge is the CO2 concentration from 0 to 180 ppm. It can be estimated accurately enough utilizing the total absorption of CO2, Figure 5.

Figure 5. The absorption curves of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrogen oxide in the troposphere.

The general feature of absorption is that the LW absorption rate change, i.e. the angle coefficient of the absorption curve diminishes with increasing GH gas concentration. There is a simple physical explanation for this feature, because the available energy for LW absorption is getting smaller and smaller with increasing absorption (closing saturation but it is not yet saturated), see Figures 2 and 3.

The absorption due to a GH gas also follows another general rule of absorption that the starting phase approximately follows the Beer-Lambert law, which states that absorbance depends linearly on the concentration and path length. When the concentration increases, this relationship is no longer valid. There is no rule when this linear relationship ends, and it is different in each case. In the case of CO2, it ends at about 20 ppm, and thereafter the relationship is very nonlinear to 100 ppm for CO2, and thereafter the relationship is slightly nonlinear after 180 ppm, which can be approximated by a logarithmic relationship very well.

The absorption is the basic process causing the warming effects of GH gases. By the same token, it is easy to realize in Fig. 5 that the warming effects of methane and nitrogen oxide stay below the carbon dioxide curve in higher concentrations. The Global Warming Potential (GWP) values are misleading, calculated with a minimal GH gas concentration (Beer-Lambert law range) and they cannot be used for calculating direct warming impacts.

The absorption curve of carbon dioxide has been utilized in making the two dashed curves from 0 to 180 ppm in Fig. 6. Both CO2 warming impact curves have been adapted to give a total warming value of 2.5 ⁰C caused by the CO2 concentration of 400.9 ppm.

Figure 6. Warming effects of CO2 according to the new greenhouse effect of CO2 being 2.5 ⁰C in 2014 (400.9 ppm). CO2 warming effects from 180 ppm onward are per a green curve TCS = 0.6 ⁰C, and per IPCC (2013) a red curve, TCS = 1.2 ⁰C.

The curve of the model (TCS = 0.6 ⁰C) according to Eq. (1) of this study shows a smooth feature of a warming rate without a transition point at 180 ppm. The curve of the IPCC model (TCS = 1.2 °C) has a transition point at 180 ppm because the angle coefficient starts to increase after 180 ppm when it should steadily diminish. This curve fitting shows that the IPCC model cannot be fitted into this new GH effect magnitude.

People think that the absorption/warming process produces a linear relationship between the CO2 concentration and temperature. Therefore, they may think that there is no problem if 400 ppm causes the warming effect of 2.5°C and the concentration change from 280 ppm to 400 ppm produces 0.95°C. But there is a problem because the relationship is highly nonlinear below 180 ppm as shown in Fig. 5. The concentration of 280 ppm has caused the temperature increase of 2.2°C, today the total warming value is about 2.5°C and the concentration 560 ppm causes 2.8°C warming meaning the climate sensitivity value of 0.6°C according to the Ollila model.

The outcome is that the climate model TCS=1.8°C or TCS=1.2°C cannot be fitted into the correct GH effect but the climate model TCS=0.6°C (Ollila model) fits very well.

Summary for deniers of the GH effect

A general experience is that a story about the GH effect generates comments mainly from persons denying the existence of the GH effect. These deniers are person denying basic physical laws and observed measurement values. It does not make sense to answer these comments, but I have composed a summary for them.

The energy balance is in balance

The numerical values of Figure 1 show that energy fluxes are in balance at the surface, in the atmosphere, and at the TOA (the top of the atmosphere). If this were not the case, observed temperatures should be increasing or decreasing all the time. The variation of one Kelvin degree means in the Kevin scale, which is the scale of nature, only ±0.35 percent variation. It is exceptional stability and accuracy.

The Earth’s surface emits longwave (infrared) radiation about 395 W/m2. If the surface would receive only direct shortwave solar radiation 165 W/m2, it could emit only the same. The surface receives from the atmosphere LW radiation 345 W/m2 meaning together 510 W/m2 radiation energy. Therefore, the same amount of cooling energy must happen on the surface. I have not seen any explanation of deniers for the energy balance. It should be noticed that radiation fluxes at the surface are observation-based.

There is no reradiation from the atmosphere to the surface

This is one of the most favorite claims. This claim can be rebutted shortly that this LW radiation flux is measured with the global network all the time.

The reradiation form the atmosphere does not warm up the surface because heat cannot be transferred from the colder temperature object to the warmer temperature object

This claim is based on the 2nd law of thermodynamics that the heat energy is irreversible meaning that heat moves from a warmer object to a colder object and not otherwise. This is true concerning heat.

Radiation is not heat but it is energy. According to the radiation laws, a black object absorbs all the radiation including shortwave radiation from 0.2 to 4 micrometer and longwave radiation from 4 to 120 micrometer.

Figure 7. The intensity as a function of wavelength and temperature.

The Earth’s surface is close to the black object. According to Figure 7 wavelengths of radiation are almost the same from the objects with temperatures of 7 °C, 15 °C, and 25 °C. The surface has not capability to separate photons from these different temperatures based on the wavelengths or frequency. The deniers say that the photons from the object of 25 °C are absorbed and they increase the temperature of the surface of 15 °C but the photons from the object of 7 °C cannot be absorbed or these photons have no temperature impact. According to the radiation laws a black surface absorbs a photon of any wavelength and its energy is transformed into heat.

There is s physical law called Stefan-Boltzmann law which can be deducted from Planck’s law. This law is a formula for calculating heat transfer rate from a warm object of temperature T1 which is surrounded with a colder object of temperature T2

q=σ A ε (T1^4 – T2^4) (2)

where q is energy transfer rate, A is the surface and σ on Stefan-Boltzmann’s constant, and ε is emissivity.

The deniers of physics are forced to deny this equation (2) which can be found in textbooks of physics. This equation shows that heat transfer by means of radiation depends on the temperature difference like in conduction and convection, but it is the difference between the temperature power of four. Equation (2) shows that net heat transfer happens from the warmer object to the colder one, but it also shows that there is energy transfer from a colder object to a warmer object. In this case this is since the colder object also emits photons absorbed by the warmer object.

The claim that heat has been transferred from colder object to the warmer object is not literally true. It is not heat which has been transferred but energy in the form of photons. Only when photons have been absorbed, heat has been generated. Therefore, the clause “heat cannot be transferred from a colder object to a warmer object” cannot be applied to equation (2).

An object in colder object cannot warm up an object of higher temperature

This claim has been stated to show that there is no reradiation from the cold atmosphere and it cannot warm up the warmer surface. This claim is also wrong argument called a strawman argument. By using this statement, the physics deniers claim that reradiation of 345 W/m2 can increase the surface temperature so much that it can emit LW radiation of 395 W/m2, and it is against the physical laws. Yes, it is but this is not the physical basis of the GH effect.

The GH effect is not based on the reradiation only. The GH effect is not based on the SW radiation of 165 W/m2 only or 345 W/m2 radiation only but it is based on the total radiation energy of 510 W/m2. This is the basis. The surface cannot make any differences what are the wavelengths of photons hitting the surface. The photons absorbed by the surface increase its temperature regardless of the wavelength.

I present a real example where heat is transferred from a cold place to a warm place. Maybe it is a better symbol than a greenhouse. I Figure 8 is a house with a supply and extract air ventilation unit equipped with heat recovery. In my house in Finland’s cold climate I have achieved an energy saving of about 25 % compared to the situation with no heat recovery.

The idea is simply to warm up the incoming air with energy of extract air with the efficiency about 75-80 %. The temperature of the incoming air is lower than the temperature inside the house, but this cold air brings energy in. According to physics deniers it should not be possible that the incoming air of 16 °C can increase the temperature of 21 °C. If I bypass the heat recovery, the inside temperature will decrease several degrees, if the primary energy source of floor heating is constant and I do not warm up the incoming air with the primary energy.

Figure 8. A diagram of heat recovery of air ventilation system.

During the spring and fall time of the year, I can keep the floor heating system on during nighttime with a constant heating power utilizing lower electricity prices. If I bypass the heat recovery of the air ventilation system, the temperature will decrease several degrees. During summertime the heat recovery system will increase the inside temperature to 30 °C without any primary energy and bypassing the heat recovery, the inside temperature will decrease to about 25 °C. According to physics deniers, this would not be possible.

The recycled air with heat recovery matches the reradiation of the atmosphere. The black surface temperature of 345 W/m2 corresponds to the 5 °C. If there were no atmosphere, the “reradiation” to the surface would be practically zero corresponding to the temperature of the space of -270 °C. The atmosphere and the reradiation is the key element of the GH effect.

Another symbol of the GH effect is a semi-transparent mirror, which reflects a portion of light back and transmits a portion of light through it. The atmosphere acts literally in this way by transmitting through 240 W/m2 of the total energy 510 W/m2 and reflecting 53 % (270 W/m2) back to the surface.


If the reradiation from the atmosphere would not warm up the surface, the only energy source to the surface would be the direct solar radiation of 165 W/m2, and it is against the physical laws that the surface would be then able to radiate 395 W/m2. The surface absorbs the reradiation flux of 345 W/m2 from the atmosphere and it has not the capability to react only to the LW absorption flux of 155 /m2: The rest 345-155 = 190 W/m2 cannot be any “wattless power” as claimed by the IPCC. It means that the GH effect as a radiative forcing is 345-75 = 270 W/m2 which is the sum of latent and sensible heating fluxes, and LW absorption. The IPCC’s GH effect definition violates physical laws. The purpose of the erroneous definition is to increase the contribution of CO2 in the GH effect creating an image of a strong GH gas, and to make it possible to apply equations that give too strong radiative forcing and warming capabilities to CO2 in the range 180-1370 ppm.






5. Hartmann DL. Global Physical Climatology, Elsevier Science, USA; 2015.


7. Ollila,

8. Kiehl JT, Trenberth KE. Earth’s annual global mean energy budget. Bull Amer Meteor Soc 90:311-323, 1997.;2

9. Schmidt GA, Ruedy RA, Miller RL, Lacis AA. Attribution of the present-day total greenhouse effect. J Geophys Res 115,D20106:1-6, 2010.

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