What do we make of this? The following I got via Climate Science, which to me is a solid resource for climate related news.
Today it featured a post by a Harry Dale Huffman, apparently showing the greenhouse effect is non-existent.
In the post the author compares temperatures on Earth (0.04% atmospheric CO2) and Venus (96.5% atmospheric CO2) at equal atmospheric pressures. That is, he compares the temperature on Earth at sea level (~ 1,000 millibar) to the temperature on Venus at the hight where the pressure also is ~ 1,000 millibar. And he finds that the only variable he needs to explain the difference in temperature is the difference in the Suns radiation, due to differences in distance to the Sun.
There’s a little more to it then that, of course. For the nitty-gritty I refer you to the post itself. It’s not that hard to follow. But the main argument is as I described: 98% of the differences in isobaric temperatures between Venus and Earth is explained by the difference in distance to the Sun. Carbon-dioxide doesn’t figure in the comparison, neither does anything else. It isn’t needed.
There is no sign whatever of a greenhouse effect on either planet. The fact that the temperature ratios are so close to that predicted solely by their relative distances from the Sun tells us that both atmospheres must be warmed, overall, essentially in the same way, by direct IR solar irradiation from above, not by surface emissions from below. Keeping it simple, the atmospheres must be like sponges, or empty bowls, with the same structure (hydrostatic lapse rate), filled with energy by the incident solar radiation to their capacity to hold that energy.
There is no greenhouse effect on Venus with 96.5% carbon dioxide, and none on the Earth with just a trace of carbon dioxide.
I don’t know nearly enough of climate science, or even just atmospheric physics to definitively say this is true or false. However, I know enough to be able to follow the argument and can see no obvious flaw. The argument is presented in a compelling fashion. The idea is beautiful in its simplicity and the results of the analysis seem to hold up to scrutiny. Hence, it has a certain appeal to my inner science geek. Contrary though it is to present-day received wisdom, I am inclined to accept the argument.
Digging around the site and related sites caused me a bit of worry, however. The author is also the author of a book proclaiming that at some point in the distant past the Earth was terra-formed by (alien?) life forms the author refers to as ‘the gods’. It has a bit of an ‘internet crank’ feel about it. You know the type: Wanting to explain everything with everything, on the basis of the flimsiest of correlations or coincidence, because all of it is connected, man!
But does that mean he is wrong on this issue? The results in that particular post are (or seem to be) easy enough to replicate. And it ties in nicely with the recent news that NASA satellite observations showed the Earth is shedding far more heat into space than alarmist computer models have predicted. Moreover, those observations show that the heat radiated off to space increases in times of warming. This seems to put a dent in the cumulative trapping of heat as suggested by the green-house hypothesis of the atmosphere.
So… What is going on here? Is that Venus-Earth temperature comparison the final nail in the coffin of the green-house effect? Anybody care to enlighten the curious (meaning first and foremost: ME!)?