RE-Branding the Greenhouse Effect

Canadian Geophysicist Norm Kalmanovitch writes:
With the latest IPCC SPM moving the official end of global warming from 16 years to 15 years to hide the fact that global warming had already ended before the 1997 Kyoto protocol was even initiated, the IPCC now exposes itself for fraud in claiming global warming over the past 15 years when now it states that no such warming occurred! 
The fundamental issue in support of climate change is the claim that CO2 emissions from fossil fuels have enhanced the greenhouse effect causing the Earth to warm. I did the unthinkable and actually calculated the greenhouse effect and found that there was a slight decrease in greenhouse effect since 1980 rendering fraudulent the claim that the 70.9% increase in CO2 emissions since 1980 had enhanced the greenhouse effect.


By  Norm Kalmanovitch (From the Minority Report)

The Greenhouse effect is defined as the temperature difference between the surface temperature of a planet and what that temperature would be if it was calculated from Total Solar Irradiance, albedo, and σ, the Stefan Boltzmann constant according to the formula.

Temperature = [Total Solar Irradiance (1-Albedo)/4σ]1/4

This proper scientific definition of the greenhouse effect was known to Hansen who stated it as “Ts – Te is the greenhouse effect of gases and clouds” and defined Te according to the same formula Te = [So(1-A)/4σ]1/4
(Hansen, J., D. Johnson, A. Lacis, S. Lebedeff, P. Lee, D. Rind, and G. Russell, 1981: Science, 213, 957-966, doi:10.1126/science.213.4511.957.)

Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.

If ‘climate change’ was actually an issue of science, before any attribution of observed global warming was made to increased CO2 emissions as Hansen did with his computer model projections, we should first calculate the greenhouse effect according to the formulas provided by Hansen to determine whether it is gases or clouds that is the primary driving agent for the observed warming.

The gases have most of their effect on the thermal radiation leaving the Earth while cloud cover affects both incoming and outgoing energy in more or less the same proportion. Since incoming energy only affects half the globe at a time while outgoing energy is radiated from the entire Earth surface the same proportional change in cloud cover will have twice the effect on incoming energy than on outgoing energy providing a signature to distinguish the effect of cloud cover from the effect of gases in influencing global; temperature.

A decrease in cloud cover will allow more energy to come in causing the Earth to warm but will also allow more energy to leave causing the Earth to cool. Since the incoming effect is over twice the outgoing effect the net result from decreased cloud cover will be warming. Since the greenhouse effect is essentially a measure of atmospheric insulation a reduction in cloud cover will be seen as a reduction in atmospheric insulation and manifest itself as a reduced value for the calculated greenhouse effect.
On the other hand if there is no change in incoming energy and observed warming is strictly due to increased atmospheric insulation from atmospheric CO2 concentration increases, the greenhouse effect calculation will show an increase commensurate with any observed warming that was caused by this increased insulation from CO2.

This graph of global temperature Anomaly from NCDC shows 0.4°C of warming since 1980.

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Climate 1
The trillion dollar question is whether this 0.4°C of observed warming is simply due to a net decrease in cloud cover or if in fact the IPCC is correct and this has resulted from the 70.9% increase in global CO2 emissions justifying the trillion dollars spent on initiatives dictated by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change.

The formula Te = [So(1-A)/4σ]1/4 provided by Hansen in his 1981 paper shows that only So and A need to be input to calculate the greenhouse effect with σ being the Stefan Boltzmann constant of 5.670 x 10-8.

So is total solar irradiance (TSI) and we have continuous measurement of TSI from weather satellites since late 1978 as shown on this graph from the World Radiation Centre in Davos

This graph shows TSI to be 1366.6W/m2 in 1980 and at a lower value of 1365.8W/m2 in 2010.

Climate 2
According to the IPCC since TSI does not show the necessary increase to cause the observed warming; by default the only possible cause is increased atmospheric CO2 concentration resulting from CO2 emissions. This ‘attribution by default’ is the only IPCC rational for anthropogenic global warming but this default does not exist because of the second factor “A” in the greenhouse effect formula for Te presented by Hansen in his 1981 paper.

A portion of the incoming energy is reflected by the Earth’s atmosphere and surface and this is called albedo and represented by “A” in the equation.

TSI/4 minus the portion of the energy that is reflected away is equal to the outgoing energy as demonstrated by this energy balance diagram by Kiehl and Trenberth, 1997).

Climate 3

Figure — Details of Earth’s energy balance (source: Kiehl and Trenberth, 1997). Numbers are in watts per square meter of Earth’s surface, and some may be uncertain by as much as 20%. The greenhouse effect is associated with the absorption and reradiation of energy by atmospheric greenhouse gases and particles, resulting in a downward flux of infrared radiation from the atmosphere to the surface (back radiation) and therefore in a higher surface temperature. Note that the total rate at which energy leaves Earth (107 W/m2 of reflected sunlight plus 235 W/m2 of infrared [long-wave] radiation) is equal to the 342 W/m2 of incident sunlight. Thus Earth is in approximate energy balance in this analysis.

The same weather satellites that provide the TSI measurement also provide a measure of outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR).

TSI/4 is equal to 341.65W/m2 for 1980 and 341.45W/m2 for 2010 and both these numbers are similar to the 342W/m2 used by Kiehl and Trenberth in their 1997 diagram.

This graph of OLR (from ) compiled from data available from NOAA at shows OLR to have increased from 231W/m2 in 1980 to 233W/m2 in 2010.

Climate 4
We can determine the albedo by simple subtraction of OLR from TSI based on the same energy balance as Kiehl and Trenberth 1997.

For 1980 the reflected energy was 341.65W/m2 – 231W/m2 = 110.65W/m2
For 2010 the reflected energy was 341.45W/m2 – 233W/m2 = 108.45W/m2

When less energy is reflected more energy comes in and the decrease in reflected energy of 2.25W/m2 is more than adequate to account for the 0.4°C of observed global warming between 1980 and 2010 without invoking any effect from CO2; leaving the IPCC “attribution by default” with no validity.
The unequivocal (and inconvenient for Al Gore) truth comes to light when we portray albedo as a decimal as required for the calculation of Te and the greenhouse effect according to the Hansen et al 1981 mathematical formulas.

Albedo is the percentage of incoming energy reflected giving values
A = 110.65/341.65 = 0.323869 for 1980
A = 108.45/341.45 = 0.317616 for 2010

Using the formula Te = [So(1-A)/4σ]1/4
1980 Te = [1366.6(1-0.323869)/4σ]1/4  = 252.64 K
2010 Te = [1365.8(1-0.317616)/4σ]1/4 = 253.18 K

Climate 5
For simplicity if we equate 288 K to the zero reference on this NCDC temperature anomaly data, we get absolute temperature from which we can subtract Te to determine the greenhouse effect for 1980 and 2010.
1980 Ts = 288.2 K Te = 252.64 K greenhouse effect = 288.2-252.64=35.56°C
2010 Ts = 288.6 K Te = 253.18 K greenhouse effect = 288.6-253.18=35.42°C

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In 1980 CO2 concentration was 338.68ppmv and increased to 389.85ppmv by 2010 yet the greenhouse effect decreased by 0.14°C instead of increasing to match the 0.40°C observed increase in global temperature.

A reduction in greenhouse effect is essentially a reduction in atmospheric insulation so regardless of how much CO2 emissions increased the greenhouse effect; changes in cloud cover reduced the greenhouse effect by an even greater amount than CO2 emissions enhanced it.

Norm Kalmanovitch is a geophysicist with over 35 years of experience, and recently retired from Penn West, a Canadian oil and natural gas energy trust based in Calgary, Alberta. Norm is a member of Friends of Science, a Canadian group that plays the important role of conveying to the public the facts (as opposed to the legends) of global warming and climate change. 


  1. Carbon dioxide change has never had a significant influence on climate and never will. Find out what actually has driven average global temperature at

  2. I hereby nominate David Karoly to accept Norman Kalmanovitch's opportunity to show, in a public forum, any flaws in Mr Kalmanovitch's argument and conclusions.
    The rules of debate are to be agreed between the debaters beforehand. They are to at least include no resorting to superiority or consensus; the opponents' arguments are to be between two debaters and restricted to science (including mathematics) alone.
    In the event that David Karoly is unable or unwilling to accent Mr Kalmanovitch's challenge I nominate Will Steffen.
    The debate is to be one-on-one; either Karoly or Steffen versus Kalmanovitch.
    In the event that Karoly and/or Steffen are unwilling to accept the Kalmanovitch challenge whichever is unwilling to accept this challenge is to withdraw from public discourse and the public debate on this divisive and vexed scientific debate.
    Let Karoly or Steffen step forward to the challenge.

  3. CFC destruction of stratospheric ozone caused the earth to warm some 0.6C from 1966 to 2002. The stratosphere cooled some 1.7C over that time. The Montreal Protocol stopped CFC manufacture in 2000 in developed countries, and in 2002 the earth started cooling slightly see
    CO2 and all other gases cool the earth slightly, but the amount of CO2 produced by man is only some 12 ppmv, nature providing the rest, 388 ppmv. Why people studying the climate don't see this makes no sense to me.

    Kindest Regards,

    Bob Ashworth


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