Absorption Spectra are not Greenhouse Effects

In this presentation I debunk another sophistical pseudoscientific claim that supposedly “proves” that the Earth is flat, that the radiative greenhouse effect is real, and that climate alarm is true.

Gallery | This entry was posted in Fraud of the Greenhouse Effect and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Absorption Spectra are not Greenhouse Effects

  1. jimmy_jimmy says:

    Round earth physics is physics – not skepticism. I am not skeptical that the climate is changing – it is. I am not skeptical that the earth is warming due to man burning fossil fuels – it is not. Just think about this rhetorical question – If CO2 is such potent insulator (and re-emitter) why have we not designed our homes (attics or even ceilings) to take advantage of this mystical CO2 property.

  2. AfroPhysics says:

    The blackbody curve grows as temperature increases. How does absorption by GHGs gases grow Earth’s surface BB curve?

    Sounds like they want a bigger cake from eating it.

    So obvious now. Thanks JP.

  3. Yes, exactly! Downstream absorption doesn’t have an effect on the source.

  4. squid2112 says:

    Another EXCELLENT presentation … Thanks Joseph !!! … keep’em coming !! .. 🙂

  5. Truthseeker says:


    The way I have seen spectra used to justify the RGHE is when they show a plot of incoming radiation from the Sun by frequency and outgoing radiation from the Earth taken from above the atmosphere and the outgoing radiation has a gap or “bite” at the frequencies related to water vapour and CO2 (mostly water vapour).

    What is the best way to counter that argument?

  6. markstoval says:

    Thanks for all you do, Joe. History will record that in this “dark age” of “science” there were men still willing to do honest work and to speak out against the crowd.

    Hell, thanks to all the slayers for that matter.

  7. Thanks guys.

    @Truthseeker: Indeed, that’s exactly what this presentation is about. Just because the atmosphere, a cool gas, creates an absorption spectrum as the IR light from the surface passes through it, does not mean that the cool atmospheric gas is heating the warmer surface. How would it heat the warmer surface, you say? Well, they say with “backradiation”. And that mechanism is debunked in this presentation and in the 1st one.

    There are two ways to increase an object’s temperature in thermodynamics (and there is no other method outside of thermodynamics): via work, and heat. Backradiation does no work since work is a mechanical process like friction or like an adiabatic change, and so, backradiation would therefore have to function as heat if it were to cause the warmer surface to become warmer still; backradiation can not function as heat since heat can only flow from hot to cold, and cannot reverse and flow from cold to hot. Heat flow is irreversible and thermodynamics textbooks go on at great length about that.

    As to the alternative sophistical argument which tries to avoid and skirt around the fact about heat flow, i.e., that backradiation “slows heat flow from the surface, thus leading to it to become warmer”, well, this is simple sophistry. Heat flow is not a conserved quantity and indeed goes to zero, tends to zero, automatically seeks zero, as thermal equilibrium is approached and achieved. The conserved quantity is energy, and energy is not always heat, but heat is always energy. Remember that: energy is not always heat, but heat is always energy. Look at this diagram:

    The two source curves are energy, but only their difference is heat, which means that neither of the source curves are fully heat. Either source curve is fully energy, but neither source curve is fully heat; only their difference is heat, and this difference goes to zero as the heat flow from the warmer one to the cooler one warms the cooler one to bring it to thermal equilibrium with the warmer one.

    Remember the basic radiant heat flow equation:

    Q = P2 – P1

    where P is the power from two different objects, and Q is the heat flow. Q goes to zero to achieve thermal equilibrium, and so is not a conserved quantity, but both of the P’s still fully exist and are still emitting their full value.

    Therefore, the warmer one is not emitting less energy, and therefore “having to increase in temperature”. The warmer one is always still emitting its energy, it is simply that its energy doesn’t transfer as heat to the cooler one once the cooler one warms to equilibrium. The value of the heat flow is not the conserved quantity.

    Perhaps you can distill that.

    But look…thermodynamics is the most poorly widely understood field of physics. Either these people are so bad at science and physics that they just can’t help but to create sophistry with their attempt to do science, like a bull in a China shop…it just ain’t gonna work out, or they’re actually really evil despicable people that are happy to have people believing in flat Earth physics and inversions of thermodynamic theory, etc etc.

  8. I think I’ll do the next presentation on that comment…the difference between energy & heat etc.

  9. Matt in Frisco says:

    Nice vid JP. Good explanation for the general public I think.

    Sadly, I have had some doofus try to tell me that Bier-Lambert was evidence of the rGHE myself. At that point, I just told him he didn’t know what he was talking about and walked away. Sometimes stupid can’t be helped. You can quite literally show them the paradoxes and they still won’t or can’t resolve that something they “believe” in is incorrect.

  10. Truthseeker says:


    Thank you for the reply. It brings together all of the content from your previous posts together very nicely.


  11. @Matt – God, that is the stupidest thing ever. A remarkable and uncannily consistent and reliable thing I have discovered with these people, is that they attempt to invert and utilize the very physics and arguments which debunk them. It got to a point where I began simply thanking them outright for such good arguments against the rGHE, as they attempted to come up with new arguments for the rGHE!

    The rGHE debunk is one thing…but the other thing which stands out as much more strange, as much more “queer”, as much more boggling, is how these people can be so consistently stupid and erroneous, and what it is that drives them. If it was true stupidity, it wouldn’t be so consistent. In the end I had to conclude that treachery and stupidity amount to the same thing.

    Anyway, yes, as light is attenuated passing through an absorbing medium, this makes the light source hotter and brighter…and thus makes the light brighter as it is being attenuated! LOL


  12. AfroPhysics says:

    Please delete this, if you find this inappropriate.

    I was debating this retard …

    “Holy crap. I actually spent a few minutes to investigate this paper/the author as i wanted to figure out where this “physicist”. You realise that this guy Joseph E. Postma, who you seem to worship and clearly have done no research on, isn’t even a physicist haha he did his degree in Astronomy AKA he is a fucking moron. The only person who would publish that article was set up by a climate science denier. “Joseph E Postma has published NO peer-reviewed paper in any legitimate science journal on climate science”. He is literally complaining about a basic undergrad concept that is taught in first year for basic approximations. Did you just read this once and then not research the problems and massive errors this guy has made? Your fairly good use of the english language made me assume you would have gone that far. I would suggest checking your sources. The paper you are referencing isn’t peer reviewed, so this guy just got it published without anyone else with a lot more experience (he has one year of school on this topic FYI) I just called someone from the faculty of the university of calgary and he isn’t allowed to teach anything higher than first year. LOL you are referencing someone who teaches one maybe two first year courses a semester as a sessional prof. man i am literally laughing out loud. I knew when i reviewed it it seemed wrong and felt like he didn’t take so many things into account. I also read his only other publication and it is a little better, not by much… so your main source is on a climate denying web page, from someone who has 1 year of education with an undergrad in astrology who isn’t even allowed to teach passed first year uni courses. I found 4 or five web pages very quickly where his paper was torn to pieces and the mistakes hes made are right in your face. Doesn’t get much better than that. So Eat Shit man! you are so dumb i am loving this, you came out with so much confidence, and you have not even looked into your source. I was going to leave this but I just so happened to google him and i had to call someone from the university of calgary anyways so good. I knew you were dumb when you said “because of this basic ass first year model for the greenhouse effect you believe in flat earth” . that statement alone was mind boggling. Before you respond, because you are going to be triggered for sure, do more research, spend some time looking at reviews and other scientists views and what they can blatantly point out as bullshit in this paper. (with lots of examples of simple experiments that will prove his paper to be garbage.) I will leave you with the summary of part one of one of the reviews of his paper which was written by a much much more educated and qualified scientist and researcher. Chris Colose.
    “To summarize Part 1, Joseph E. Postma did not like a simple model of Earth’s radiative balance where we approximate the Earth as a sphere with uniform solar absorption. Of course, this is never done in climate modeling or in more detailed analyses appropriate for scholarly literature, so it is more an exercise in complaining about undergraduate education than an attempt to correct what he calls a “paradigm” in climatology. Nonetheless, the 0-D energy balance model is a useful approximation on Earth when coming up with an average emission temperature (~255 K), since air circulations and oceans tend to even out the diurnal temperature gradient on Earth, in addition to the thermal inertia provided by the system.”

    In the future please try to do more research before spamming the internet with your garbage. you don’t know how to research. you don’t know math. and i truly do hope you have a lot of close family who can help you wipe your ass, you are clearly too stupid to do it yourself. This is just one of many many reviews of this paper that point out many flaws and problems.

    I would encourage anyone to look do your own research, especially if someone posts a paper that was not peer reviewed, or ever published in an academic journal. Like the moron who posted it here in the youtube comments without ever researching his source. Continue to live blind Bob you sad sad human.

    Thanks for the laugh though, you had two academics in stitches for a good twenty minutes. good stuff. Keep trying though! you’ll get there one day! PEACE”

    The ignorance level is too amusing.
    What would be your response?

  13. arfurbryant says:

    My response would be that it is the realm of the intellectual coward to attack the person or the qualification rather than what the person said. You’ll ”notice that your ‘debating’ opponent did not, at any time, try to give evidence as to why he believed Joseph was wrong.

    I would prefer if, just once, the ‘believers’ would try to debate the physics instead of the individual.

    It is truly pathetic but it is the way the ‘groupthink’ mob work…

  14. Yes, that’s all they have. If you had that encounter recently, most of that comment is copied from some origin that occurred years ago. That’s what I’ve been dealing with for years.

    Few comments: it’s their “0-d model” not mine. It’s where the rghe originates. It doesn’t matter what “d” it is…the mechanism of backradiation heating/slowed cooling is the phenomenon and this mechanism violates thermodynamics, and doesn’t exist.

  15. AfroPhysics says:

    I know how you feel, Joe.
    I’ve been trying to explain to mathematicians for years that the derivative of a^x is not a^x * ln(a)

    For example, consider 2^x

    x = 1,2,3,4,5
    2^x = 2,4,8,16,32
    delta 2^x = 2,4,8,16,
    delta(delta 2^x) = 2,4,8

    clearly the derivative of 2^x is 2^x, not 2^x * ln 2

    Euler made a mistake, but Euler can’t make a mistake, so I must be wrong. Then 98% of dimwitted sophists attack. They don’t refute me. They just dismiss and regurgitate “theory”.

    I got great respect for you, Joseph. We will prevail.

  16. That’s very cute Mark. But given the context here, I don’t find it funny.

  17. AfroPhysics says:

    I don’t know who Mark is. Sorry. You got me all confused now.

  18. Your dx is quite large.

  19. AfroPhysics says:

    I can’t understand what you’re saying. Maybe I am stupid.

    Look at the last diagram:


    They really do claim the cake grows from eating it. The bite causes the rest to bulk out. Is this pure 100% bullshit? or is this measured?

  20. Your argument about the derivative thing is incorrect because your dx is too large. With large dx then the approximation to a true infinitesimal derivative is poor. Your unique example with large dx has nice round numbers. As dx becomes smaller, the approximation to a true infinitesimal derivative becomes better. Rework your example with 5 numbers, starting at 1, but incrementing by 0.1, 0.01, 0.0001, and see what happens (instead of incrementing by 1). Answer: the numerical derivative approaches the infinitesimal derivative of axln(a).

    Yes, they make the same error there in that pdf as everywhere else: just because there is an absorption spectrum does not mean that heat can reverse flow from colder atmosphere to warmer surface, or that the surface itself is restricted from emitting energy as per the Stefan-Boltzmann Law. The energy which needs to go to space is then emitted by the warmer atmosphere instead of the surface. Note that when a gas warms from radiant absorption and forms an absorption spectrum, that this is not talking about the radiative greenhouse effect underlying climate science and climate alarm. Yes, the atmosphere would warm from radiant absorption and the creation of an absorption spectrum, but this is not the radiative greenhouse effect and it doesn’t require that the surface become any warmer. Even in this case, the signature expected from this legitimate type of warming (which, again, is not the radiative greenhouse effect), called the “tropospheric hot-spot”, is also not found or observed.

    Yes, the absorption spectrum is measured, but it is not a radiative greenhouse effect.

  21. AfroPhysics says:

    I agree with your explanation. Thank you. Would you agree with the following:

    co2 is a radiative coolant
    co2 slightly blocks convection
    co2 slightly adds to atmo mass/pressure/heat capacity
    co2 climate sensitivity is ~0.01C

  22. nabilswedan says:


    You are hiding behind a screen name because you are not confident of what you are talking about. Apparently you are a climate activist. Listen, there is no such a thing as radiation between atmospheric air layers or “atmospheric slabs” which is the basics of the radiative model. Between air layers there is only convection for they are in intimate contact with each other. There is no need for a PhD or peer-reviewed paper to tell you that you’re wrong and your model is wrong. Just ask a high school kid and will tell you that you’re way too wrong-There is no radiation within the atmospheric air mass. If the basics of your science is so wrong, then imagine how many peer-reviewed and published paper are wrong out there. A published paper is not necessarily science. Only after it has passed the test of 7.4 billions will it be called science. A reviewer or two can be wrong, but the public can never be wrong. The public has spoken about your science and it is not worth the ink in which it is typed.

  23. nabilswedan says:


    co2 is not a radiative coolant
    co2 does not blocks convection
    co2 does not add appreciably to atmo mass/pressure/heat capacity

    Climate sensitivity is not a demonstrated climate parameter for the effect of carbon dioxide is time dependent, and climate sensitivity as defined is time independent. Climate sensitivity thus is not equal to 0.01C; it is variable depending on emission time.

  24. “co2 is a radiative coolant”

    If it emitted then it would have higher emissivity than the other main atmospheric gasses O2 & N2 which don’t emit, and thus, this would make CO2 an atmospheric coolant. This is part of the entire inversion of logic and physics of the RGHE postulate, where CO2 emission is claimed to cause heating, rather than the cooling which it would actually produce if it did emit. I don’t know what the emissivity of CO2 is at STP, and neither do I know the emissivity for O2 and N2 at STP. Difficult to find those quantified numbers. But I do know that O2 & N2 are poor emitters and have low emissivity, and that this fact makes these gasses hold on to their thermal energy. If CO2 had higher emissivity than them, then it effectively would be an atmospheric coolant. If it had lower emissivity, then it would be an atmospheric warmer. In either case, the question of CO2‘s emissivity itself debunks the inverted RGHE physics which says that high emissivity leads to warming, which is opposite of physics reality.

    “co2 slightly blocks convection”

    Have never heard that before. Mixed in the atmosphere it is part of the convective mass. I suppose that CO2 has a molecular mass of 40, and N2 is 28 and O2 is 32, so CO2 is a bit heavier. If that’s what you mean. But it is still such a tiny fraction of the atmospheric mass, weighted for population.

    “co2 slightly adds to atmo mass/pressure/heat capacity”


    “co2 climate sensitivity is ~0.01C”

    Unmeasurable, if it is.

  25. AfroPhysics says:

    Then we pretty much agree. I was using the explanations and conclusions found in these two papers:



    Well, nothing is measureable. We can’t even calculate Earth’s temperature without an atmosphere, as the superhot surface will evaporate ocean water to form a new atmosphere. I think 0.01C is a sensible number. We can concede that for fun, just to not be fully contrarian.

  26. AfroPhysics says:

    nabil, where did you get the idea that I’m a climate activist? I’m a skeptic who is sampling the marketplace of ideas. I’m removing my own doubts by asking tough questions, and JP has done a good job of answering them.

  27. Gary Ashe says:

    You are the guy with the NPR recollection, aren’t you Afro ‘, was it pudgy little Micky Mann or Hansen ?.
    Interesting story, any way to dig up the young reporters piece ?.
    You an engineer Afro ?.

  28. AfroPhysics says:


    You got me, Gary. I posted someone’s nasty comments directed at me for making him read Postma’s “An absence of …” . Before this I had no idea Postma was so vilified by the climate cult.

    Here was my reply to him:

    “​​​Aw, the poor climatard can’t refute the science, so he attacks a messenger. How typical. Colose was refuted for his strawmen, red herrings, and lies by others. Of course climatards don’t care about substance, only empty words. Did you not bother to read the exchange between Postma and Colose? Colose ran away after being exposed for being a pathological lying sophist. Colose didn’t even describe Postma’s arguments correctly.

    The funny thing is, none of your rubbish actually refutes the fact that the climate cranks you worship do in fact use a flat-earth/cold-sun model. The mistake of diluting the sun’s energy to the dark side of earth, is there for all to see – including students learning it for the first time. The radiative greenhouse effect is a FUDGE FACTOR between flat-earth assumption and reality (-18C vs. 15C … 33C GH effect).

    “you don’t know math”
    No proof, eh? All you have to do is disprove Postma’s math. You didn’t do it. Colose didn’t do it. You must have missed that. You paid too much attention to the strawmen and lies. You flat-earthers may believe the sun shines on both sides of Earth simultaneously, but it doesn’t. Oops my bad, there is no “other side” in your reality.

    “thanks for the laugh”
    No, thank you for the laugh!

    Like all turd-flinging monkeys, you launched an attack with no substance!

    Also thanks for pretending to call U of Calgary, while actually copying and pasting lies verbatim from alarmist blogs (skepticalscience, etc). Hilarious!

    Silly flat-earth climate cranks never learn, but they sure do fake a lot.”

  29. geran says:

    Joseph, I’m glad you thought to do these videos. You actually seem to have a knack for doing them.

    I would agree to keep them short–less than 20 minutes. And remember, more than half of your viewers do not have a solid background in physics. So, your clear explanations help. A beneficial teaching aid is to explain things 3 times, in different ways. You want folks to understand as clearly as possible.

    Teaching why something is “pseudoscience” is a good way to teach actual science. Many people are afraid of science, but revealing a hoax becomes mentally interesting. It becomes fun to those folks that always thought science was too “nerdy”.

    Keep up the great effort!

  30. Will keep on. Cheers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s