A Note on Fourier and the Greenhouse Effect

If you missed ever reading this document, please do so now as it gives a really clean and concise overview and debunk of the idea that Joseph Fourier discovered the climate science “greenhouse effect”:


The document can be found on ArXiv as well:


Joseph Fourier in fact empirically refuted the climate science greenhouse effect, and he established that real greenhouses function by limiting convective cooling.

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42 Responses to A Note on Fourier and the Greenhouse Effect

  1. [[the top layer of the atmosphere must emit 239.7 W/m2 of infrared radiation to space (same amount of solar radiation that enters the atmosphere: what goes in must go out). The bottom layer of the atmosphere will emit an equal amount downward to the surface of the planet. Hence, for thermal equilibrium, the surface of the planet must emit enough radiation to balance not only the amount it receives from the sun (239.7 W/m2), but also what it receives in the form of downward infrared radiation from the atmosphere 239.7 W/m2). Hence, its emission must match 239.7+239.7 = 479.4 W/m2. Applying the Stefan-Boltzmann law: constant x T4= 479.4 W/m2.We thus calculate T = 303 K.”]]

    Zonk!There is almost no downward IR from the atmosphere, As measured by the
    Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (https://www.ssec.wisc.edu/aeri/). it’s in milliwatts per square meter not watts per square meter.That’s because gases can’t emit Planck radiation, or any radiation at all unless they’re polar, and that kind of radiation is photon by photon not a power-wavelength curve with a S-B T^4 integra like solds and liquids emitl.Any time you see a diagram of Earth’s atmosphere showing big arrows coming out of thin air, skip the page.

    Neither is there any radiation balance between the Earth and the Sun. How can there be when a good portion of solar radiation ends up being converted to kinetic energy then potential energy via convection? Plus, it’s totally illegitimate to try to equate the Sun’s energy that’s mainly in the visual range of 0.4-0.8 microns (6971C-3349C) with the surface’s energy that’s in the range of 12.986 microns (-50C) to 8.967 microns (+50C). The Earth’s atmosphere is a giant Carnot engine, which uses up solar energy to create winds and weather. Once used up, it’s gone, converted to potential energy. Anybody pushing the fake physics CO2 warming hoax that mentions radiation balance should be cancelled quick. If they are talking about the dead lifeless atmosphereless Moon, they can use the S-B Law all they want since there’s no convection to worry about.


    Learn real radiative physics from my cool free online course and fight the ignorance:


  2. boomie789 says:

    That’s a useful picture. The link for it is broken though.

  3. J Cuttance says:

    historyscoper your Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (https://www.ssec.wisc.edu/aeri/) data is a direct debunking od the GHG theory. The IPCC’s data doesn’t match the observations, case closed. What am I missing? Can anyone calculate the IR down flux from the aeri data? I could give it a try but I understand there are experts among us. This is the puzzle piece that has been missing for me since I studied chemistry (BSc chem ’91) but learnt about the greenhouse effect in an egregiously PC geography filler. I learnt it in that course, not the chemstry one, clearly because it wasn’t science. I’ve even used IR spectrometers quite a bit over the years, so this is an embarrassing discovery for me. Where did the warmists’ down flux data come from? …the CO2 sensitivity calcuation? Did they pull it from thin air?

  4. Marshall Rosenthal says:

    Out of this mess, we find ourselves embedded in the “Greenhouse Effect”!


  5. CD Marshall says:

    J Cuttance
    The problem with IR calculations is it isn’t measuring temperature increasing as much as just thermal energy that they (fill in the blanks) by claiming it is “forcing” an increased temperature.

    This they insert by claiming the basic conservation laws under entropy means the temperature must increase which is a direct ‘misdirect’ of the COE laws and entropy.

    Solar density flux determines ‘temperature’ of incoming solar energy. Outgoing or re-directing IR meets no such requirements to increase temperature.

    In other words, they measure a W/m^2 moving through the system and claim its forcing temps and is completely nonsensical sophistry as JP puts it.

  6. Pablo says:

    “Electromagnetic Radiation
    At the mean distance of Earth from the Sun, sunlight carries an energy flux of about 1,360 Watts per square meter (Wm-2). We are familiar with this flux, part of which warms us when we sunbathe at the beach on a cloud-free summer day. The flux at the top of Earth’s atmosphere varies a little bit over the year, since Earth’s orbit around the Sun is slightly elliptical. Earth is about 3.3% closer to the Sun in early January than in early July. Since solar flux decreases as the square of the distance from the Sun, the solar flux at the top of the atmosphere is about 6.7% or 91 Wm-2 greater in January than in July. ……………… for cloud-free temperate latitudes, doubling the concentration of carbon dioxide would decrease thermal radiation to space by about 3 Wm-2.
    To tell whether we really have a climate emergency (we don’t) numbers are more important than rhetoric and emotion. The representative decrease of clear-sky thermal radiation to space from doubling carbon dioxide concentrations, 3 Wm-2, is an important number to remember. Other important numbers are the mean solar flux, 1360 Wm-2 or the 91 Wm-2 change in this flux from summer to winter. If 3 Wm-2 sounds small in comparison, it is indeed very small. Great efforts are needed to concoct a “scientific” argument that 3 Wm-2 is worth worrying about.”

    William Happer

  7. Yes good point. They worry about a 1C change when the daily change is +-40C…3W/m2 when the yearly change is 91W/m2…etc.

  8. CD Marshall says:

    A degree increase in global surface temp’s in a century is not unusual and can be attributed to ocean cycle variations. Around 1920 the arctic warmed almost exactly a hundred years ago and it does raise the question does geothermal have cycles related to plate movement?

    Also I’m curious if anyone has studied any change in night temps in arid deserts, to see if any increase in CO2 is causing any change in nocturnal temperatures?

    I don’t see it happening. Inversion, lower surface pressure, would be the only means and inversion disperses in sunlight and as I understand only lasts a couple hours at most and primarily a result of pollution or particles near the surface.

    Any input would be appreciated to the contrary.

  9. CD Marshall says:

    …and not to be confused with atmopsheric blocking.

  10. Pablo says:

    Pollution is trapped by inversions as I understand It.


  11. Pablo says:

    “A subsidence inversion develops when a widespread layer of air descends. The layer is compressed and heated by the resulting increase in atmospheric pressure, and, as a result, the lapse rate of temperature is reduced. If the air mass sinks low enough, the air at higher altitudes becomes warmer than at lower altitudes, producing a temperature inversion. Subsidence inversions are common over the northern continents in winter and over the subtropical oceans; these regions generally have subsiding air because they are located under large high-pressure centres.”

  12. J Cuttance says:

    Thanks CD. I’ll have a good look at TL Winslow’s quora post when I get the chance. I’m also re-reading In the Cold Light of Day and doing the maths this time.

  13. CD Marshall says:

    You’re welcome J Cuttance.
    Pablo, thanks that actually clears that up perfectly.

  14. CD Marshall says:

    The inversion I was looking at was radiative inversion, which is above surface inversions that happen at night with the proper requirements and has nothing to do with “pollution” as so many sites I looked at claimed.

    I finally found the correct explanation in a Meteorology manual which went on to explain the inversion of the Stratosphere which is directly linked to the warming of the Ozone layer which is funny for they stressed warming was an incorrectly used nomenclature for the Stratosphere since it is still well below freezing.

    Which I find that a valid point. Warming is often misused isn’t it? A temperature variance does not mean “warming” in the truest sense of the word.

    Warm is typically used to indicate physical recognition in the humans senses and thus misappropriated by pop culture climate science.

  15. Pablo says:

    Two conflicting ideas.

    “The combination of solar and infrared radiation together “tries” to make the Earth’s surface extremely hot. But long before that temperature state is reached, the atmosphere becomes “convectively unstable”,…” in Climate Confusion by Roy Spencer

    “It might appear counterintuitive, but the tropical convection is driven by the radiative (clear sky) cooling of the atmosphere which together with warm sea surface temperatures or surface heating over land provides the necessary vertical destabilization of the troposphere for convection to occur.”

    Click to access Atmospheric_moist_convection.pdf

  16. Pablo says:

    oops … sorry it loaded more than the link and twice!!

  17. Pablo says:

    Another snippet from the above…
    “An analysis of the global energy cycle shows that convection is the main physical process that generates kinetic energy in the atmosphere (Steinheimer et al. 2008).”

  18. Reb says:

    historyscoper, the plots you posted from AERI have units of W/(m^2 sr cm^-1), not W^m^2. You must find the area under the curve to get W(m^2 sr), then multiply by 2 pi to try the energy flux in W/(m^2).

  19. CD Marshall says:

    Nice seeing you again, Pablo.
    That’s true about conduction (obviously we all know that) and it has been well known for a very long time. Yet science has to “prove it” again like climate science has digressed into children.

    Though semantics, he should have used the troposphere, not the atmosphere. KE is only viable in the troposphere.

    Theoretically, for whatever reason, if the tropopause were to disappear or decay, I wonder how that would effect the lower atmosphere (if at all).

    Below freezing is reached at 500 hPa/ 5500 m so I guess it would make little difference?

  20. Pablo says:

    Cheers CDM .

    Any thoughts on those two conflicting theories on atmospheric stability?…. its bugging me.

  21. What a retarded article…honestly.

  22. Barry says:

    No kidding,is this what we get from universities today. The same we are right so don’t actually ask for the proof or any real science. It is a lie and they know it’s a lie. I especially like the acorn won’t be able to grow in the concrete. A few years ago I had a person tell me we were running out of farm land,I asked him if he had ever flown over the Canadian prairies. Millions of miles of farm land with the odd dot of a city. A rational person can hardly comprehend how stupid the general public has become. There truly are only about 10 percent of the population that have any reasoning ability at all the rest just repeat what they are told.

  23. It’s a wasteland. A rational wasteland. If you could wear a pair of goggles that showed you the rational structures underpinning society around you, it would look like a nuclear-bombed wasteland. People cannot think without Cognitive dissonance.

  24. CD Marshall says:

    Pablo my 2 cents:
    “The combination of solar and infrared radiation together “tries” to make the Earth’s surface extremely hot. But long before that temperature state is reached, the atmosphere becomes “convectively unstable”,…” in Climate Confusion by Roy Spencer

    The comment by our priceless pop culture climate paragon sounds like he is alluding to the zero energy balance (ZEB) or trying to come up with a different explanation?

    Convection starts from conduction, advection is from that air moving around under the tropopause. Is he calling advection an unstable process? Solar is heating the surface, the surface heats the lower atmospherics. His comment is nonsensical as JP puts it.

    “What the ZEB diagram explains is that more solar energy is being absorbed on the planet near the equatorial regions, than is actually emitted by the planet in that region. Or in other words, this means that the planet isn’t getting as hot in the equatorial regions as it could be, given the actual power of Sunshine heating measured there. But then, once you get past about plus or minus (±) 35 degrees in latitude, where the point of ZEB is, then there is more energy leaving the planet than is coming in from sunshine.

    All meteorologists know that heat flows from the equator to the poles, and the ZEB diagram, which is based on real-world data, shows this. Given the most fundamental law of science, the Law of Conservation of Energy, we know that the solar energy which “goes missing” around the equators has to be equal to the energy which “shows up” near the poles, and we already know that heat flows from the equator to the poles.”

    “…a large amount of that energy is being transported by the latent heat of the molecule H2O. There are 3 phases that water exists in on the planet, and between them, from ice to liquid, and from liquid to vapor, are regions of latent heat where water will absorb or emit energy without changing its own temperature. The amount of energy which is stored in latent heat is incredibly large. The oceans contain about 121 years’ worth of solar energy trapped inside the latent heat of liquid, and the atmosphere has about 10 days’ worth of solar energy trapped inside the latent heat of vapor.” -JP

    The Fraud of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect Part 5: Zero Energy Balance and Latent Heat Trapping


    A stellar read I might add.

    The second comment:
    “It might appear counterintuitive, but the tropical convection is driven by the radiative (clear sky) cooling of the atmosphere which together with warm sea surface temperatures or surface heating over land provides the necessary vertical destabilization of the troposphere for convection to occur.”

    Overall it sounds correct but the added verbiage makes it a little confusing.

    Tropical convection is driven by radiative cooling of the troposphere. This is first approached by conduction of the land surface and the warming of the tropical ocean regions.

    Convection simply occurs because the surface was already heated. The troposphere does not need to meet any requirements; it is simply the recipient of the thermal energy transfer from the surface.

    What exactly is the point of the terms, “convectively unstable” or “destabilization” they are both trying to push?

  25. CD Marshall says:

    I’ve been hit with three trolls over at your site, one must have got another and that one another…lol over a 100 comments and they still haven’t actually used science to stand their ground. Just positions of authority in peer pal and sell outs like NASA.

    I’m actually leading them to comment on purpose, to build your algorithms up more so your videos can circulate. YT is based on how active the site is, trolls build that up. So if you want to help Joseph’s videos you need to comment more and more often. That’s just how the YT algorithms work, I learned that from Naomi Seibt, who even born in Germany, is not a Snowflake and has a very thick skin.

  26. Where is this? I haven’t got notifications.

  27. CD Marshall says:


    You pinned the comment started by Mike Heffernan the guy who kind of looks like Toombs from the Chronicles of Riddick.

  28. Pablo says:


    Convection (instability) usually occurs when the environmental lapse rate is greater than the adiabatic lapse rate, which can happen by various means e.g. cold air mass moving in over warm air or warm air moving in under cold air. The radiative options above apply only in calm cloud free daylight hours I assume.
    Could it be that the first occurs in dry air and the second in humid air?

    Click to access 2331_Lecture10_AtmosphericStability_W15.pdf

  29. CD Marshall says:

    I found that link and I’m going to read it, looks like it has a few questions answered I was looking for. I forget you’ve been doing this a long time.

    I’m not sure what Spencer’s deal is? Maybe he’s just losing it?

  30. CD Marshall says:

    I was just studying “reverse adiabatic lapse rate” in a climatology manual. I think that’s where amateurs/trolls get confused by claiming the adiabatic lapse rate doesn’t exist and auto compression is invalidated.

    You can’t treat the entire troposphere as one system in those regards, you have to consider individual parcels of air as a single system each and how that interacts with the environment. In that case, according to atmospheric thermodynamics, each parcel of air depending on the circumstances can be treated as an open system, closed or isolated.

    When doing that, the interactions of lapse rate, reverse lapse rate, compression/expansion/inversions etc makes a lot more sense doesn’t it?

  31. CD Marshall says:

    I’m curious a question to the climate veterans out there. Has Spencer always been like this or did he practice sound science at one point?

  32. CD Marshall says:

    The last time I asked for peer review on the GHGE they produced a paper on Enso. You remeber that one done by the MIT clowns years ago?

    I also snagged Potholer in comments, I’ve been refraining comments to check with you first and see if you want to comment instead. I’d love to see if he can exchange intelligent banter on sicence wth you?

    Too bad you don’t have pseudo account, so you can come in as an average “Joe”, pun intended. Hilarious if you used that as your user name.

    Comments are here… YT/watch?v=qEylCS6-hBE&lc=Ugyqrvgn182-v_upz3l4AaABAg.9J2X9xWVDkQ9J5G4L5nO_f

    Under CD Marshall

  33. Pingback: No Peer Reviewed Evidence for Climate Science | Climate of Sophistry

  34. S..K. Dodsland says:

    Here is evidence that confection drives the climate not lw radiation.https://principia-scientific.com/publications/Experiment_on_Greenhouse_Effect.pdf

  35. Pablo says:

    For what its worth here is my latest take on the “greenhouse effect”, as created by clear-sky water vapour content.

    It works in two ways:

    At night time, it slows down the cooling of the surface by radiation to space which prevents us from getting summer-time crop-killing ground frosts.
    In the day time, water vapour’s ability to slow down and accumulate upward infrared radiation at the sun warmed surface tends to create an environmental lapse rate greater than the adiabatic.
    This creates instability in the lower troposphere and convection begins.

    With no water vapour in our atmosphere, gravity and heat capacity of the troposphere would give us a dry lapse rate of 10ºC/km to a surface temperature of 37ºC., much hotter at the surface and much colder at the tropopause than with water vapour..

    The theoretical retention of infrared from the sun’s surface warming of 60ºC is what drives the convection that cools the surface by 33ºC.

    So strangely it appears that the “greenhouse effect” indirectly cools the surface by 33ºC in the day time.

    Evaporation with is latent heat to create a moist lapse rate of 6.5ºC/km takes the average surface temperature further down to the 15ºC average.

    Thoughts anyone?

  36. Joseph E Postma says:


    That’s good, close. But I would still always avoid the use of the term “greenhouse effect” since all of that process has nothing to do with greenhouses. The sophists love to intermix terms in meaningless ways, so best to avoid that altogether. They know what they’re doing.

    “At night time, it slows down the cooling of the surface by radiation to space”

    It not that though…avoid ANY use of the idea of “slowed cooling”. Because then the say that “slowed cooling” means higher temperature than the input, etc. It is simply latent heat release. Yes the air cools more slowly, because it is having latent heat released into it. Latent heat prevents frost because as you know latent heat is released at freezing, and this keeps the air from dropping below zero, hence no frost.

    And then in day time the reverse happens: latent heat absorption means that the air absorbs heat without increasing in temperature. At night it releases heat without dropping in temperature; at day it absorbs heat without increasing in temperature. That is, of course, as much as it could. Latent heat is like a shock absorber on your car’s suspension.

  37. Pablo says:

    Nice analogy. Thanks JP

  38. Pablo says:

    But cooling by radiation to a temperature below ambient is a thing.
    That”s why temperature drops so fast in dry deserts at night.
    Ice can form on water at night with an ambient temperature as high as 5ºC if the air is clear and dry, and the atmospheric window is wide open.


  39. CD Marshall says:

    Without latent heat what would we have? Extremely hot tropics and cold everywhere else. I’m not sure how reliable the Coriolis effect would be at heat transfer without the ocean cycles?

    Would the ZEB exist without oceans? I’m guessing it would not exist, since the water vapor is the cause of the phenomenon air is just part of the transit.

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