CO2 Contributes Less Than 2.5% Of The Greenhouse Effect

Contrary to all the BS being spewed by top climate scientists, their own models shows that CO2 has almost no impact on climate. The graph below shows the greenhouse effect during mid-latitude summer for three scenarios, calculated using RRTM – the model used by NCAR in their climate and weather models

  1. Current atmosphere
  2. No CO2
  3. Double CO2

ScreenHunter_3765 Oct. 17 01.45

(Note the mid-troposphere hot spot)

At the surface during mid-latitude summers, the amount of downwelling longwave radiation due to CO2 is less than 3%. Doubling CO2 would only increase the greenhouse effect by one third of one percent. Yet climate scientists blame mid-latitude summer heatwaves on this.

We constantly hear BS from people like Gavin claiming  that the CO2 contributes 20-30% to the greenhouse effect, but their own models show this is complete nonsense.

Call this scam off – there is no science behind it.

The effect is higher during high latitude winters, where there is very little water vapor.

[UPDATED] I added high latitude winters at Tallbloke’s request. The proportional effect is larger there, because of a shortage of water vapor.

ScreenHunter_3767 Oct. 17 07.40

In the tropics, the CO2 proportion of the greenhouse effect is less than 1.5% – and  a doubling of CO2 has almost no effect.

ScreenHunter_3768 Oct. 17 08.01


About stevengoddard

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58 Responses to CO2 Contributes Less Than 2.5% Of The Greenhouse Effect

  1. De Paus says:

    I see only a red line and a blue line, but no green line.

  2. there is no substitute for victory says:

    Look really really hard at the blue line and you’ll see the green line peeking out from behind the upper edge of the blue line like they were Siamese twins.

  3. tom0mason says:

    So even a better model can not see CO2 big effect. Funny that because people have had one heck of a time trying to find it and measure it.

  4. tallbloke says:

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    .OK, This is interesting. Allowing for the questionable use of the two stream approximation, what does this plot tell us?

  5. Peter says:

    Can you supply the link for the NCAR graph?

  6. Anto says:

    Oh, but it’s the feedbacks, don’t cha know?

  7. JWR says:

    When using a one-way formulation of heat, in a finite element program, I find a deltaT of 0.03 C
    for doubling CO2 concentration from 0.04% to 0.08%.

    Click to access Finite_Element.pdf

    The value 0.03 is obtained by assuming the influence of CO2 0.1% of the influence of 3,5% watervapor. If the influence of 0,04% CO2 would be 1% of that of watervapor the sensitivity becomes 0.3 C.

    • The paper linked makes some sense. I find three important statements which Chemical and Mechanical engineers know but seem to escape the understanding of those who call themselves scientists. 1/ the Stefan-Boltzmann equation applies to surfaces (gases do not have a surface) 2/ thermal energy flux or heat only occurs in one direction -from hot to cold and is zero when there is no temperature difference 3/ CO2 absorbs radiated energy only over a very narrow wavelength range and the amount of energy absorbed over the entire IR range is less than one tenth of that of water vapor (H2O gas) at the same partial pressure.
      One can go further. The S-B equation actually was formulated for radiation flux from surfaces in a vacuum. The MIT Professor of Chemical Engineering Hoyt Hottel found that for high temperatures gases (such as flames in a furnace) one could use a volumetric factor related to partial pressure and path length to give absorptivity and emissivity factors used with the S-B equation.
      IR instruments which rely on the S-B equation and do not have the correct calibration are useless and will give the wrong answer.

      • Derek Alker says:

        The Stefan Boltzman unphysical equation is only for a black body, which is also imaginary.

        Niether B/B or S/B should be applied to, or used to explain actual thermodynamic reality, because they are unphysical and therefore describe what we know is NOT happening in reality.

        By adhering to B/B and S/B “justified” explanations and descriptions “We” might as well be discussing how to cure a sick unicorn…..

  8. Craig King says:

    It is going to take a lot more than facts and evidence to stop this behemoth. Too many people have got too much invested in the CAGW construct for it to be stopped by the truth. Aye, theres the rub, money and power trumps the truth any day of the week.

    • tom0mason says:

      You are correct, the science and its refutation will never stop this ‘behemoth’.
      Besides this is not been about ‘the science’ it’s been about elitist power, control, and money, with a large mix of ego driven private politics, and distorted public persuasion.
      IMO it will take a courageous and bold leader to start the roll-back from the UN’s evident wish to control governments* as the UN elites see fit. Australia has shown the way, it is now up to the real leaders of the future to make the required changes. All the Western national leaders of today can not do it as they are all in this mire of consensus.

      *see here for more information

    • manicbeancounter says:

      You may be right about the power and money trumping the truth. But that power and money is fortified by a belief in CAGW. This in turn is based on “everybody” who is “anybody” agreeing with everyone else who is “anybody” and claiming that those who question what “everybody” who is “anybody” accepts is a nobody. But the source of the knowledge that “everybody” who is “anybody” agrees with is nobody.

  9. Mat Helm says:

    Renewable Energy Fails Protesters Calling for More Renewable Energy

  10. Truthseeker says:


    Thank you for giving more proof that there is no such thing as a “Greenhouse Gas”.

  11. BobW in NC says:

    “Call this scam off – there is no science behind it.” Totally agree!

    But—there’s big money behind it, and that’s why it won’t be going away. That and the loss of prestige and power it gives the supporters.

    Great data in this post to be able to cite when challenged by a warmista. Let’s not forget, either, that anthropogenic CO2 is a minor fraction of the total emitted.

  12. doug Proctor says:

    We sure could use an alarmist to explain what obvious error we are making ….

    • TomP says:

      Goddard’s claim is based on a long discredited misunderstanding of how the greenhouse effect works. He should be looking at the upward radiation at the top of the atmosphere.

      • ROFl – you guys are the ones talking about the surface heating. Did you just debunk yourself?

        • TomP says:

          Steven, the radiative transfer equations for the atmosphere have been well understood for the best part of half a century. The planet loses 80-90% of the radiative energy from the top of the atmosphere, not the surface. Your analysis of downward radiation from CO2 at various pressure altitudes is simply misleading and irrelevant to understanding what is happening.

        • Climate alarmism is based on surface warming. Discrepancies in temperature from the mid-troposphere on up are interesting, but academic,

        • This is TomP’s definition of the radiative transfer equations for the atmosphere being “well understood”:

          “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”


      • doug Proctor says:

        Thanks. The ideologues and social politicos stand by the Precautionary Principle; I don’t agree but I understand the nature of our dispute. It is the dispute of the technically knowledgeable that vonfounds me.

        Steven, is this the case, that you and the others disagree on a fundamental view of energy transference in the atmosphere? If so, all arguments outside of this issue are irrelevant.

        • There is no fundamental disagreement as far as the behavior goes, rather a matter of focus . He says we should be looking at at the TOA, and I’m saying we should be looking at the surface

        • There would seem to be a disagreement about whether there is a hot spot? With one side relying on measurements to say there isn’t, and the other relying on model output to say there is?


        • That is true. Satellite observations do not find the mythical hot spot. The lapse rate is linear through the troposphere.

      • Where are the other team members?

  13. Owen says:

    I’ve used arguments like the one presented above for years to try and dissuade people that Climate Change/global warming was BS. For the most part no one accepted my argument. They said I didn’t know what I was talking about, or I was a nut, or a liar, or a fool, or . . . They’d rather believe what they hear from scummy, lazy, Climate Lying journalists on television then examine for themselves the truth of the matter. People are completely brainwashed. This scam will only end when the fascist greens have wrecked the economy, ruined democracy, and destroyed millions of lives. Then people will wonder what the hell happened to the good old days. Hopefully I will be around to tell them, but more than likely I’ll be a ‘guest’ in a climate change concentration camp or dead from execution.

  14. Citing, as support for our conclusions, model output for which we don’t have the code or valid input data is, in my humble opinion, absurd. How do we even know the model does exactly what they say it does? These are the people who blatantly falsify experimental data by the gigabyte, and don’t even try to cover it up.

    What would we say if they “redo” the model and suddenly “find” a huge effect? Would we then argue that this finding is all wet because model output is invalid as a scientific source? We would look like complete hacks and losers!

    No, I cannot go along with any of the graphs I see here, nor the arguments that imply they mean anything. There are plenty of other, valid reasons for rejecting the warmist drivel.


  15. AlecM says:

    None of these models is correct. There is no enhanced GHE because there is near zero net surface IR in all self-absorbed GHG bands. There is no atmospheric Hot-spot either.

    This because the models use typically twice real low level cloud optical depth, about 35% increase in albedo, about the same reduction in ‘forcing’ as the increase since the last glacial maximum.

    The Hot-spot is the result of a perpetual motion machine in the models, about 40% increase of atmospheric heating over reality, and they cheat covertly to match past temperatures!

  16. Coldlynx says:

    And do it the other way around. Upwelling as function of pressure.
    Note the total outgoing radiation have to be constant.

  17. wayne says:

    Tony, hope you happen across this comment, I’m rather late getting it written and checked. Great digging on that in your post.

    Want to cut everything the IPCC is saying by three and a half it seems, at least three and a half, by their own equations? Look into this matter, you have both the knowledge and the computer-calculation power to follow and check this logic below…. slowly.

    Using 289.81 K and set for ease so the total ‘P’ (radiance power) by an integration of Planck’s equation is 400 W/m², emissivity one, for the complete spectrum exactly, the segment of co2 absorption between 12.75 μm and 14.4 μm the ‘P’ there is 35.46 W/m². Take ½ of that for it is only half absorbed in that segment and you have 17.73 W/m². Same for segment from 15.5 μm and 18 μm taking half of the ‘P’ and you have 19.36 W/m². The segment between those two, 14.4 and 15.5 μm, is completely absorbed and its ‘P’ is 10.33 W/m². It seems that 17.73+19.36+10.33 is 47.42 W/m² of the 400 W/m² setting of CO2’s contribution to be 11.85% (47.42/400) and not the 42.56% the IPCC uses to derive that ΔF = 5.35 ln (C/C0) equation that you see so often mentioned implying the rise in temperature with a doubling of CO2. See link below. It should be more like ΔF = 1.49 ln (C/C0) at most according to what a highly detailed 1000 ft horizontal spectrum indicates.

    So anytime they claim something like +1.5°C per doubling, divide it by 3.6. If we see any further rise it is either natural or in adjustments or a combination of the two. In other words we are already covered for a concentration rise to 4×280 ppmv since they are claiming that a 0.8 °C rise has already occurred.

    See the derivations in for the long list of assumptions made and the erroneous factors used. Most don’t realize that there are feedbacks already built within that equation and they keep trying to pile more on top. The only factor I have found I can blindly agree with is the 0.6 factor you seen used in that paper and it must actually be the operational global emissivity (238 W/m² / 396 W/m²) which is 0.60 and you see that clearly in derivation 2 right next to that 0.4256 factor.

    Derivation two near the bottom is easier to follow for derivation one has many figures coming from nowhere unless you have access to all of the reference books and papers below. Would like to know if the references are correct on those factors. Bet there are holes there too.

    So how did they even get that 0.4256 factor? It is, as they state, taking 100% absorption from 550 cm-1 to 1015 cm-1 (9.85 μm to 18.18 μm) and integrating Planck between the two edges at full power and emissivity (ε) of one. I get basically the same answer, 0.4266 between those two boundaries but I’m calculation at a slighly higher temperature than they.

    This whole ‘climate’ fiasco is so dishonest!

  18. gallopingcamel says:

    The CO2 nonsense (non-science) comes from a paper by Arrhenius (1896) that says:
    ““The selective absorption of the atmosphere is……………..not exerted by the chief mass of the air, but in a high degree by aqueous vapor and carbonic acid, which are present in the air in small quantities.”

    It was BS in 1896 and now it is the “Piltdown Man” on steroids.

    The Greenhouse Effect is caused by the “Chief Mass of the Air” with a minor boost from “Aqueous Vapor and Carbonic Acid”.

    • wayne says:

      gallopingcamel, I too don’t think there is even a measurable sensitivity to trace IR gases but tearing down their wall by showing where their own equations that they base all of their beliefs on are themselves invalid, sure wouldn’t hurt and actually might be the fastest route to refute. That was my to call attention to that above. Don’t think I brought it up to give it any credence, not so.

    • Roger Clague says:

      gallopingcamel says:
      October 18, 2014 at 4:52 am

      The Greenhouse Effect is caused by the “Chief Mass of the Air” with a minor boost from “Aqueous Vapor and Carbonic Acid”.
      Lapse Rate = T/h = g/c
      T =temp.
      h = height
      g = gravity
      c = specific heat

      c(N2/O2) = 1.0J/kgK
      c(H20) = 2.0J/KgK

      g/c(N2/O2) = 10K/km
      g/c(H2O) = 5K/km
      measured Lapse rate range 5-6.5K/km

      I think these results suggest aqueous vapour is causing LR ( GHE) not the mass of air ( N2/O2)

  19. Ned Nikolov says:

    We are getting close to the actual truth, which is that the chemical composition (e.g. CO2) of the atmosphere has ZERO impact on climate. Not 2.5%, but ZERO! The ‘magic’ of generating warming with increasing CO2 concentration in climate models results from a decoupling of radiative transfer from convective heat exchange. This decoupling is artificial and does not occur in reality. In produces a non-physical solution in the models … So, the projected temperature increase with rising ‘greenhouse’ emissions is a model artifacts caused by what amounts to an algorithmic error in ALL climate models!

  20. Big Merv says:

    OK Move on here. Nothing to see.

  21. CO2 ‘absorbs’ in three incoming solar spectrum bands, but Earth only gets hot enough to emit in one CO2 absorption band. Absorption lasts a billionth of a second, transfers some kinetic energy, then a photon, with longer wavelength and lower energy is emitted. Radiation from the same, or lower temperature cannot raise a body’s temperature. You cannot warm yourself with your reflected mirror IR energy. Water vapor absorbs in 50,000 spectrum lines of incoming solar, and is responsible for reducing solar input at the surface by 30%…which is COOLING. There is NO phantom back radiation warming, or greenhouse “magic” gas. Climate alchemy is the worst science since the world was flat.

  22. Cohenite says:

    Even Ramanathan thinks the ‘effect’ of CO2 is 2.5 times less than H2O based on OLR:

  23.  Physicist  says:

    CO2 actually causes Earth’s surface temperature to be very very slightly cooler, whilst water vapour has a significant cooling effect of about 10 to 12 degrees. This is because their radiating properties reduce the magnitude of the gravitationally-induced temperature gradient that is the state of thermodynamic equilibrium which the Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us will evolve spontaneously as entropy approaches a maximum.

    On all planets temperatures in any troposphere get hotter as you approach the base of that troposphere, whether or not there is a surface there, whether or not solar radiation reaches the lower troposphere and quite regardless of whether there is carbon dioxide or water vapour in the planet’s atmosphere.

    There is absolutely no empirical evidence and no valid physics that you can produce which supports the ludicrous concept that radiation from colder regions in the troposphere produces more thermal energy to be transferred by radiation into a planet’s surface than entered the atmosphere at its top. But that is precisely what the K-T and IPCC energy diagrams claim to be the case on Earth.

    Believe it if you’re that gullible!

  24. TomP says:

    Steve Goddard is using the RRTM tool incorrectly, which is the reason for his meaningless results. He appears to be looking at the contribution to downward surface radiation from CO2, whereas the contribution of CO2 to the greenhouse effect is the change in outgoing radiation at the top of atmosphere.

    • D o u g C ot tt o n says:

      It’s nothing of the kind and you cannot prove what you write with any valid physics. All climate change is natural and very closely correlated with the 934 year and 60 year cycles in the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and all the planets. Radiative imbalance at TOA is merely a consequence of natural climate change which has nothing what-so-ever to do with carbon dioxide. Water vapour cools: it does not make rain forests 30 degrees hotter than dry deserts at similar latitudes and altitudes.

    • Surface heating is determined by downwelling radiation, but thanks for the pointless FUD.

      • TomP says:

        Steven, everybody knows that the downward radiation from CO2 at the surface is very small compared to the downward radiation from water vapor. So what? The planet’s energy budget is determined by the outgoing radiation at TOA.

        • The modeled variation in upwards flux is caused by differences in the radiative behavior of the non-existent mid-troposphere hot spot. Why should I care about that?

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