Greenhouse Effect Physics

Before delving into the fourth and final installment of Miskolczi’s controversial theory of the greenhouse effect, below is a slide depicting the relationships covered so-far. The last part, on radiative equilibrium, binds warming as a function of optical depth (or concentration of greenhouse gases) and will be a bit technical.


Figure: The major relationships between fluxes in the description of Miskolczi’s atmospheric theory.

Each of the installments has dealt with a fundamental principle of physics. Below are the conroversial points that have been raised.

Conservation of energy. Here the magnitude and theoretical maximum to surface radiation (and hence surface temperatures) is shown through energy conservation equations.

Controversy: Is Fo=Su-Fo+Ed-Eu=OLR a valid conservation of energy equation?

The virial theorem. — Here the fraction of infra-red radiation absorbed by the atmosphere is shown to be 5/6 of the overall infra-red radiation from the surface.

Controversy: Is the identification of KE=Eu and PE=Su valid?

Kirchhoff’s law — Here the surface is shown to be in thermal equilibrium with the atmosphere, binding atmospheric absorbed and transmitted infra-red radiation.

Controversy: Can Ed=Aa be attributed to Kirchhoff’s law, or not?

Radiative equilibrium — To be done, quantifying the (small) effect of changes in optical depth such as the doubling of CO2 on surface temperatures. Interestingly, the theory describes is a niche model, a dynamic system bound in an energetic minimum defined by an optimal value of optical path length.

Controversy: Is Bo(τ), the shell temperature as a function of optical depth unimodal?

From the figure below, its clear that the main magnitudes of fluxes are defined by the global constraints introduced, except for the solar input Fo and the geothermal input Po. This is why Miskolczi states that current warming could not have been due to greenhouse gases, and if driven by anything, must be due to variations in solar input.

Keep in mind that my goal to this date has been to understand his theory and not to defend it. It seems like many people on the web are keen to attack without understanding first. While there have been some insightful doubts expressed about the theory, and about the way the theory is exposed, I have yet to see an objection that shows any of the relationships Miskolczi describes is wrong.

If and when a flaw is identified that materially affects the results, I will describe it in detail.


2002. Simulation of uplooking and downlooking
high-resolution radiance spectra with two
different radiative transfer models

Rolando Rizzi, Marco Matricardi, and Ferenc Miskolczi

2005. An inter-comparison of far-infrared line-by-line radiative
transfer models

David P. Kratza;∗, Martin G. Mlynczaka, Christopher J. Mertensa, Helen Brindleyb,
Larry L. Gordleyc, Javier Martin-Torresd, Ferenc M. Miskolczid, David D. Turnere

Greenhouse effect in semi-transparent planetary

Ferenc M. Miskolczi