For quite some time now, whenever someone has felt the need to explain the basics of the theory of anthropogenic global warming to me (the theory that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere prevents heat from escaping Earth by reflecting it back towards Earth) I have felt compelled to pose the question “but if carbon dioxide reflects heat, would it not also reflect heat from the sun back in to space, negating any excessive reflective action it may have on heat which is already on Earth?”. This usually results in me being scoffed at and told that I just don’t understand the science.
How interesting it is then that a recent NASA study  (and remember, NASA has been one of the main proponents of the theory of man-made warming) seems to prove me right.
A recent flurry of eruptions on the sun did more than spark pretty auroras around the poles. NASA-funded researchers say the solar storms of March 8th through 10th dumped enough energy in Earth’s upper atmosphere to power every residence in New York City for two years.
“This was the biggest dose of heat we’ve received from a solar storm since 2005,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA Langley Research Center. “It was a big event, and shows how solar activity can directly affect our planet.”
Mlynczak is the associate principal investigator for the SABER instrument onboard NASA’s TIMED satellite. SABER monitors infrared emissions from Earth’s upper atmosphere, in particular from carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO), two substances that play a key role in the energy balance of air hundreds of km above our planet’s surface.
“Carbon dioxide and nitric oxide are natural thermostats,” explains James Russell of Hampton University, SABER’s principal investigator. “When the upper atmosphere (or ‘thermosphere’) heats up, these molecules try as hard as they can to shed that heat back into space.”
For the three day period, March 8th through 10th, the thermosphere absorbed 26 billion kWh of energy. Infrared radiation from CO2 and NO, the two most efficient coolants in the thermosphere, re-radiated 95% of that total back into space.
“This is a new frontier in the sun-Earth connection,” says Mlynczak, “and the data we’re collecting are unprecedented.”
5% of the energy which was received from the sun made its way through to the planet’s surface. This is to be expected as we obviously receive enough energy from the sun at ground level to keep warm and to see sunlight etc, but 95% of the energy was absorbed and sent back out in to space through a process of temporary heating of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere. Surface heat making its way up to the atmosphere could very easily have a similar effect in that it heats up the atmosphere, causing the majority of the heat to be radiated back out in to space while a small amount (5% based on this study) to stay on Earth.
Over at Principia Scientific International (PSI) greenhouse gas effect (GHE) critic, Alan Siddons is hailing the findings. Siddons and his colleagues have been winning support from hundreds of independent scientists for their GHE studies carried out over the last seven years. PSI has proved that the numbers fed into computer models by [NASA’s chief climatologist, Dr James] Hansen and others were based on a faulty interpretation of the laws of thermodynamics. PSI also recently uncovered long overlooked evidence from the American Meteorological Society (AMS) that shows it was widely known the GHE was discredited prior to 1951.
As PSI’s own space scientists have confirmed, as solar energy penetrates deeper into our atmosphere, even more of its energy will end up being sent straight back out to space, thus preventing it heating up the surface of our earth. The NASA Langley Research Center report agrees with PSI
To those independent scientists and engineers at Principia Scientific International this is not news. The “natural thermostat” effect of CO2 has long been known by applied scientists and engineers how have exploited it’s remarkable properties in the manufacturer of refrigerators and air conditioning systems. The fledgling independent science body has repeatedly shown in it’s openly peer reviewed papers that atmospheric carbon dioxide does not cause global warming nor climate change.
The findings of this study show that carbon dioxide is less of a heater and more of a cooler, although it could also point to carbon dioxide not really being a heater or a cooler, but a regulator. Either way it shows that the sun’s cycles have more to do with the earth’s temperature and climate than carbon dioxide levels, especially given that despite consistent increases in carbon dioxide levels over the last few decades, we have not seen any statistically significant warming of the planet in the last 17 years.
The links between the sun and the climate becomes even more clear when historical records of solar activity are checked against temperature records as there is a remarkable correlation between the two. Perhaps now we are starting to understand the science behind the link. I look forward to more research in to this link in the future.