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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Promotes False Science

Updated on March 15, 2020
Robert Kernodle profile image

For years, I was a firm believer in human-caused global warming, but all this changed in 2009, when I started researching climate change.

Trusted Source of Scientific Information

Figure 1. IPCC logo non-reality satire photo by RG Kernodle
Figure 1. IPCC logo non-reality satire photo by RG Kernodle

For readers who might not be aware, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the organized body of the United Nations dedicated to providing objective, scientific information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of current concerns about worldwide climate catastrophe.

Company executives, city mayors, state governors, national leaders and other people who make rules or laws that govern many lives frequently refer to IPCC reports as a primary factual foundation for developing their organizational, city, state, national, and international policies.

A reasonable assumption, therefore, would be that the IPCC is worthy of such great trust, since decisions at every level of society seem to rely critically on its information. Ironically, though, this is not the case. Rather, the very foundation upon which the IPCC bases its scientific authority is wrong. This is a bold statement, perhaps coming as a shock to many readers, but it is a statement that lends itself to straightforward proof, as follows:

Fundamental Flaw

Figure 2. Highlighted photocopy of page 126 IPCC Climate Change 2013: "The Physical Science Basis"
Figure 2. Highlighted photocopy of page 126 IPCC Climate Change 2013: "The Physical Science Basis" | Source

The above image clearly shows that a main assumption in the "science basis" behind any IPCC climate forecast is that Earth's cold upper atmosphere adds heat to Earth's already warm surface.

The source of the image is Chapter 1, page 126 of IPCC 2013: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 1535 pp.

Red-highlighted text in the image reads as follows:

  • The longwave radiation (LWR, also referred to as infrared radi­ation) emitted from the Earth’s surface is largely absorbed by certain atmospheric constituents—water vapour, carbon dioxide (CO2), meth­ane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs); see Annex III for Glossary—and clouds, which themselves emit LWR into all directions. The downward directed component of this LWR adds heat to the lower layers of the atmosphere and to the Earth’s surface (greenhouse effect).

Notice the last sentence, which conveys the idea that radiation from a cold atmosphere adds additional heat to a warm surface -- a surface that is already warmer than the colder atmosphere supposedly adding more heat to it. Also notice the large gray arrow circled in red, which illustrates this same idea. Text inside the large gray arrow reads, Back Longwave Radiation (LWR).

The diagram in Figure 1.1, along with the supporting language in Chapter 1's body, clearly illustrates and explains a "greenhouse effect" whose mechanism involves the sun's heating Earth's surface and the cold atmosphere's recycling this heat to add more heat to the already heated surface.

Despite detailed explanatory language in other parts of Chapter 1, the language of the above quote, along with the above illustration, plainly shows that the IPCC supports a scientific principle that does not exist in any proper thermodynamics text or teaching.

The idea is obviously wrong, because it violates basic physics of heat transfer. Radiation from cold bodies cannot make warm bodies warmer -- heat moves from hot to cold. Blocks of frigid ice cannot add heat to blocks of warm concrete, and yet this is what the IPCC would have people believe.

Widespread Practice of Teaching the Fundamental Flaw

Figure 3. Chart showing academic acceptance of flawed physics, created by astrophysicist Joseph E. Postma
Figure 3. Chart showing academic acceptance of flawed physics, created by astrophysicist Joseph E. Postma | Source

In the previous Figure 2, underneath the red highlighted text, an IPCC diagram represents energy flow into and out of Earth's atmosphere.

Figure 3 (immediately above) proves that major educational institutions throughout the United States endorse related diagrams to teach beginning students about the so called "greenhouse effect". These educational institutions introduce beginners to the basic simple model appearing in the IPCC's "science basis". All these diagrams harbor the same wrong idea -- that a cold atmosphere can cause an already warm surface to become even warmer.

To repeat, the educational system of the United States teaches students of all ages that a cold atmosphere heats a warm surface, to make it even warmer. The educational system starts students on this journey of understanding with a false belief, an unrealistic belief, an absurd belief, in order to preserve a pervasive, confused, popular view that Earth's atmosphere acts like a greenhouse.

Regardless of how this beginning knowledge becomes re-configured into more advanced knowledge later, the underlying flaw still remains deeply embedded and embodied in a supposedly deeper understanding.

What's Wrong with the "Simple Model"

Figure 4.  Diagram showing what the math means in simple greenhouse theory, created by RG Kernodle
Figure 4. Diagram showing what the math means in simple greenhouse theory, created by RG Kernodle
Figure 5.  Diagram satirizing flat-Earth greenhouse physics, created by RG Kernodle
Figure 5. Diagram satirizing flat-Earth greenhouse physics, created by RG Kernodle

All simple models or diagrams of the "greenhouse effect" reduce to one cardinal error -- drawing the entire surface of Earth as a flat line and reducing incoming sunlight to one fourth of its power, spread over the entire flat Earth surface at once. This so-called average solar flux represents sunshine in places and times where sunshine never physically exists, diluted to the same quarter power everywhere.

Day and night do not exist in these diagrams. Rotation of the Earth does not exist in these diagrams. Rather, a static, perpetually and weakly illuminated, flat surface appears separated by a void of nothingness, above which a static, flat line stands for the entire volume of Earth's massive, spherically-encasing atmosphere.

This is a fantasy earth-atmosphere system, and it is a fantasy that the IPCC, in part, perpetuates.

In reality, at any given instant, sunshine does not exist on the dark side of Earth, as an input. It does not exist in time, as an input. It does not exist in space as an input. It does exist as input power to have real physical effects. The average here is, therefore, physically meaningless. The average has no power to produce the weather, which, in turn, has no power to dictate long-term patterns constituting the climate.

The math deriving the average, of course, is perfectly correct math. But the meaning of the math does not have a correct meaning for input power of the sun. Again, the emphasis here is on input -- one fourth sun power is not an input. One fourth power is not a representation of how sunshine enters the atmosphere on half an Earth sphere at time.

Sunshine power simply does not and cannot operate over the entire surface of the Earth at once, ... as input-power reduced to one fourth.

What this average does represent is a less-intense-energy output from Earth's entire sphere, after the more-intense-energy input on Earth's half sphere undergoes transformation via physical processes of the planet. What this average does represent is how Earth, as a whole, radiates energy in response to solar input energy on one side of the planet. It represents infrared Earth shine -- it does not represent sunshine.

This fatal, divide-by-four error of reducing solar power reduces the IPCC's "greenhouse effect" to fiction, and yet such fiction is what many policy makers embrace to support their decisions or actions that govern reality.

Climate Change the Pseudoscience Basis

Technical publications that guide society's leaders should be held to very high standards of research and proof, since policy decisions based on these publications determine how leaders spend tax money and set life's priorities. Information that fails to meet these very high standards can result in wrongheaded spending and wrongheaded goal setting on a mass scale. Even more, such questionable information could be considered fraudulent or negligent, at best, if it recklessly diverts attention in potentially harmful ways.

Consequently, the following image must be shown, in order to provide clear constructive criticism and vital disclosure of pseudoscience operating at the highest level of public trust:

Figure 6, Highlighted photocopy of page 181 IPCC Climate Change 2013: "The Physical Science Basis"
Figure 6, Highlighted photocopy of page 181 IPCC Climate Change 2013: "The Physical Science Basis" | Source

The above image is page 181 from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), AR5, Chapter 2 -- Observations: Atmosphere and Surface.

"AR" stands for "Assessment Report", making AR5 the fifth such report that the IPCC has produced over the years. This report serves as the premier technical reference guiding many current policy decisions today, which makes page 181 all the more disturbing.

The page clearly states the value of solar irradiance as approximately 1360 watts per square meter, but endorses dividing this quantity by four to give 340 watts per square meter, spread over the entire surface area of Earth at once -- a surface represented as a monotonically flat plane, beneath a monotonically flat atmosphere.

This flat atmosphere then contributes twice the power of the sun to the flat surface.

The atmosphere provides twice the power of the sun! This is what the words mean. This is what the math means. This is what the picture means. This is pseudoscience.

On one hand, the IPCC defers to complex computer programs that model Earth as a sphere divided into many cells. On the other hand, the IPCC clearly and unambiguously models Earth as a flat plane, where no rotation exists, no nighttime exists, which means that sunshine illuminates all locations simultaneously at only one fourth of its actual power, further requiring Earth to be located twice its actual distance from the sun.

This is the same cardinal error currently running rampant in the US educational system, where students of all ages learn that a sun of one quarter power shines on the whole Earth at once, with enough instantaneous power to produce the weather. And because of this weak sun, there needs to be another source of energy called "the greenhouse effect", provided exclusively by a small fraction of a percentage of Earth's atmospheric mass.

A Rational Model of Earth's Energy Dynamics

Figure 7, Model of Earth's thermodynamic energy budget by astrophysicist Joseph E. Postma
Figure 7, Model of Earth's thermodynamic energy budget by astrophysicist Joseph E. Postma | Source

Legitimate science represents sunshine entering as an amount of energy at full power over a half sphere, which undergoes air-and-water processes, to transform into another amount of Earth energy (of reduced power) that exits over the whole sphere.

The unit of measure denoted as "watts per square meter" is a rate of energy flow.

A watt is a "joule per second."

A watt per square meter, thus, is a "joule per second per square meter."

Sunlight enters a half sphere at an intensity in time and in space, in real seconds of time and in real square meters of space. This happens only on half the planet at a time.

The intense power of sunshine entering over the surface area of a hemisphere equals the less intense power of Earth shine (i.e., planetary emission) exiting over the surface area of a whole sphere.

An average amount of sunlight spread over the whole sphere at once, thus, is a non-physical quantity with no application to a real Earth. This average obeys the rules of mathematics, but it defies the rules of real meaning and sound reasoning.

All averages are not meaningful averages. Average solar flux is not a meaningful average -- it is a pseudo average.

A greater rate of energy moving onto the smaller surface area of Earth's half sphere, then, equals a lesser rate of energy moving away from the greater surface area of Earth's whole sphere. Equilibrium is, thus, preserved, without demolishing basic reasoning, defying reality, and propagating the false necessity for a superfluous "greenhouse effect."

A Rational Overview of Climate Data


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