Thermodynamics and the greenhouse effect

There is an exciting new post on here, that discusses a new paper on thermodynamics and the greenhouse effect.  In addition to Gerlich and Tscheuschner and the new paper Hertzberg, et al. (2017), the recent paper Kramm and Dlugi (2011) is interesting.

Yes, indeed, all objects radiate energy if their temperature is above absolute zero.  No question about it.  But, if you place an object that is radiating at 101 degrees C next to an object radiating at 100 degrees C, they will both soon be radiating at 101 degrees C, not 201 degrees C.  A cooler object cannot warm a warmer object, it does not happen, sorry.  The second law of thermodynamics does apply. Continue reading

False and misleading “fact check” about Connolly, et al., 2021

By Andy May

Dr. Ronan Connolly and his co-authors respond to obvious false claims, in a supposed “fact check” about their latest paper on how solar variability may be affecting the climate. We applaud Dr. Ronan Connolly, Dr. Willie Soon, and Dr. Michael Connolly for rapidly and publicly calling out this fraudulent fact check. Misinformation and opinion articles disguised as fact checks are all too common and when they receive support in the left-wing social media, the situation just gets worse.

Their response follows:

Continue reading


Roger Revelle

By Andy May

Roger Revelle was an outstanding and famous oceanographer. He met Al Gore, in the late 1960s, when Gore was a student in one of his classes at Harvard University. Revelle was unsure about the eventual impact of human carbon dioxide emissions on climate, but he did show that all carbon dioxide emitted by man would not be absorbed by the oceans. For an interesting discussion of Revelle’s work in this area see this post on “The Discovery of Global Warming,” by Spencer Weart (Weart, 2007). The original paper, on CO2 absorption by the oceans, published in 1957 by Roger Revelle and Hans Suess, is entitled: “Carbon Dioxide Exchange Between Atmosphere and Ocean and the Question of an Increase of Atmospheric CO2, during the Past Decades” (Revelle & Suess, 1957). This meant that human emissions of carbon dioxide would accumulate in the atmosphere and that the CO2 atmospheric concentration would increase, probably causing Earth’s surface to warm at some unknown rate. This is not an alarming conclusion, as Revelle well knew, but Al Gore turned it into one.

Continue reading

Fact checking Steven Koonin’s Fact Checkers

By Andy May

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published a review of Steven Koonin’s new book Unsettled on April 25, a little over a week before it went on sale. A blog called “Climate Feedback” published a “Fact Check” of the book review on May 3rd, the day before the book came out. This so-called fact check was used by Facebook to attempt to discredit the WSJ review and the book itself whenever a post linked to the book review.

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board objected to this practice with a strongly worded editorial. They pointed out the so-called “fact check” was not checking anything, but simply arguing against Koonin’s analysis. Arguing with Koonin is fine, arguing is an important part of science, but don’t call it a fact check. The “fact check” blog post doesn’t contradict or challenge anything in Koonin’s book. Koonin provides a rebuttal in today’s WSJ here.

Continue reading

Nature promotes frivolous lawsuits

By Andy May

A Dutch joke*:

“The Judge asks an attorney pleading his case: ‘Am I ever to hear the truth?’

The attorney responds: ‘No, my Lord, only the evidence.'”

It is safe to say that no evidence exists that man-made climate change has harmed anyone. Further man-made climate or climate change has never been observed or measured. Climate-related and extreme-weather-related deaths, whether natural or man-made, have declined 93% since their peak in the 1920s and 1930s. Extreme weather events have declined and their impact on humans has declined even faster. Deaths due to climate change (man-made or natural) reached their lowest point in recorded history in 2019.

Continue reading

Climate Sensitivity to CO2, what do we know? Part 2.

By Andy May

In Part 1, we introduced the concepts of climate sensitivity to CO2, often called ECS or TCR. The IPCC prefers a TCR of about 1.8°C/2xCO2 (IPCC, 2013, p. 818). TCR is the short-term, century scale, response of surface temperature to a doubling of CO2, we abbreviate the units as “°C/2xCO2.” In these posts we review lower estimates of climate sensitivity, estimates below 1°C/2xCO2. In parallel, we also review estimates of the surface air temperature sensitivity (SATS) to radiative forcing (RF, the units are °C per W/m2 or Watts per square meter). The IPCC estimates this value to be ~0.49°C per W/m2.

The previous post discussed two modern climate sensitivity estimates, by Richard Lindzen and Willie Soon, that range below 1°C/2xCO2. Next, we review climate sensitivity estimates by Sherwood Idso, Reginald Newell and their colleagues.

Continue reading

Facts and Theories, Updated

By Andy May

In 2016, I published a post entitled “Facts and Theories.” It has been one of my most popular posts and often reblogged. I updated the post extensively for my new book, Politics and Climate Change: A History. This post is a condensed version of what is in the book.

Sometimes people ask climate skeptics if they believe in evolution or gravity. They want to ridicule our skepticism by equating human-caused, aka anthropogenic, climate change to evolution or gravity. Evolution and gravity are facts and anthropogenic climate change is a hypothesis. Equating “climate change” to gravity or evolution is valid, as all three are facts. Climate changes, gravity holds us to Earth’s surface and species evolve.

Continue reading

Sea Level Model Fail

From a post by Arnout Jaspers at

In 2016, a headline grabbing study said that the Antarctic ice sheet is much more unstable than [previously] estimated.  As a consequence, projected sea level rise in 2100 would double. Computer modelers from Deltares and KNMI scrambled back to their drawing boards to upgrade their prognoses for the Dutch coastline. Have these prognoses survived the climate news cycle?

Rarely has a scientific publication, whose authors said that the results ‘should not be considered actual predictions’, had such a profound impact outside science.

The model was unrealistic and made little sense but was none-the-less splattered across the media in The Netherlands and elsewhere and the Dutch were told their children would not even have a country when they grew up due to sea level rise.

It was refuted by a 2018 paper in Science, that showed the base of the Antarctic ice sheet was much more durable than assumed in the earlier paper. Even in the unrealistic RCP8.5 IPCC scenario, the sea level rise due to melting Antarctic ice, was modest. Of course, this later paper was ignored in most of the media. As noted in the post:

Nevertheless, the extreme two to three metres of sea level rise in 2100 from the Deltares report is still reigning free in the public debate. This is a recurrent phenomenon in climate reporting: the most extreme prediction is readily accepted and promoted as the new normal, which can no longer be falsified by later research. And then, it is a matter of waiting for the next level extreme prediction that the media will promote to being the new normal.

As usual, the media makes wild extremes seem real and ignores reality. The full post can be seen here.

Can we predict long-term solar variability?

By Andy May

This post is a result of an online conversation with Dr. Leif Svalgaard, a research physicist at Stanford University. Leif knows a great deal about the Sun and solar variability and can explain it clearly. Our disagreement is over whether long-term solar variations could be large enough to affect Earth’s climate more than changes due to humans – or not. Thus, we are arguing about the relative magnitudes of two sources of radiative forcing (RF) that are not known accurately. The IPCC estimates that the total RF, due to humans, since 1750, is 2.3 W/m2 (IPCC, 2013, p. 696). This number is unverifiable and likely exaggerated, but we can accept it for the sake of this argument.

I’ve written on this topic before here. This post is an update and will not cover the same ground. Some readers will want to read the first post before this one.

Continue reading

Climate Sensitivity to CO2, what do we know? Part 1.

The first version of this post had an error in Figure 1. It has been fixed along with the associated text (7/5/2021).

By Andy May

The IPCC claims, in their AR5 report, that ECS, the long-term temperature change due to doubling the atmospheric CO2 concentration or the “Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity,” likely lies between 1.5° and 4.5°C, and they provide no best estimate (IPCC, 2013, p. 85). But their average model computed ECS is 3.2°C/2xCO2. Here, “°C/2xCO2” is the temperature change due to a doubling of CO2. They also claim that it is extremely unlikely to be less than 1°C. ECS takes a long time, hundreds of years, to reach, so it is unlikely to be observed or measured in nature. A more appropriate measure of climate sensitivity is TCR, or the transient climate response, or sensitivity. TCR can be seen less than 100 years after the CO2 increase, the IPCC claims this value likely lies between 1° and 2.5°C/2xCO2, their model computed average is 1.8°C/2xCO2 (IPCC, 2013, p. 818).

The CO2 climate forcing, or the net change in radiation retained by Earth’s atmosphere associated with these scenarios is 3.7 W/m2 (IPCC, 2007b, p. 140). Using these values, we can calculate a surface air temperature sensitivity to radiative forcing (RF) of 1.8/3.7 = 0.49°C per W/m2. These values are inclusive of all model-calculated feedbacks.

Continue reading