Greenhouse-warming theory assumes that heat, radiated by Earth, is absorbed by greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere, thereby causing mean global surface temperature to rise in one way or another. This rise is thought to be a few degrees Centigrade when the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is doubled. In other words, greenhouse-warming theory assumes that the Earth-atmosphere system is warmed by absorbing Earth’s radiation.
But this is not physically possible. No body of matter can be warmed in any way by absorbing its own radiation. If that were possible, bodies of matter could spontaneously heat up—something we all know does not happen.
A simple experiment: Take two bodies of matter at the same temperature—each potentially absorbing radiation from the other. Nothing will get hotter, nothing can get hotter, no matter how long you wait. Heat is what a body of matter must absorb to get hotter. Heat is well-observed to flow only from a body with higher temperature to a body with lower temperature. Furthermore, the rate of flow of heat is well-known to be proportional to the difference in temperature. Zero difference in temperature means zero flow of heat, which means zero change in temperature. Both bodies can lose temperature to cooler surroundings, but neither body can become warmer by absorbing radiation from either body. A body of matter can only be warmed by absorbing radiation if that radiation is emitted by a hotter body of matter.
High-energy visible and ultraviolet radiation emitted by Sun is observed to pass down through Earth’s atmosphere with little absorption. Lower-energy infrared radiation emitted by Earth, however, is observed to be partially absorbed by greenhouse gases when passing up through Earth’s atmosphere. Greenhouse-warming theory assumes that air is warmed by these greenhouse gases, forming, in effect, a blanket around Earth that causes Earth to get warmer. We use blankets every day to slow the cooling of a body of matter, but it is physically impossible for a blanket to cause the temperature of the body under the blanket to increase. Otherwise we would have free sources of new thermal energy by placing blankets over hot things.
Another simple experiment: Take a body of matter and measure the rate of cooling. Then cover the body with a blanket. The rate of cooling will decrease, but the temperature of the body under the blanket will never increase—can never increase, unless it absorbs heat from a hotter body such as Sun.
Not physically possible: These two simple experiments are sufficient to demonstrate conclusively that greenhouse-warming theory is not physically possible—that heat does not and can not flow in the ways assumed. In 1900, Knut Ångström, a physicist who studied radiation in detail, reported an experiment in the field and another in the laboratory that convinced physicists at the time that greenhouse-warming theory could not be correct. But greenhouse-warming theory was resurrected from the trash heap of history in 1938 by a steam engineer and decades later by geochemists and others who never questioned the mistaken physics. Ångström, in 1900, was the last physicist to think critically in print about the actual physics assumed. To this day, greenhouse-warming theory has never been verified by experiment, a clear breach of the scientific method. See JustProveCO2.com for more detail.
Conclusions: Thus, greenhouse-warming theory is mistaken. Reducing greenhouse-gas emissions will clearly not decrease observed global warming. There is no physical basis to support climate models that predict major global warming in the next few decades. The world has warmed approximately one degree Centigrade since 1970, but this was not caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, There is no physical basis to predict, using greenhouse-warming theory, that Earth will get much warmer. We can burn fossil fuels safely provided we minimize pollution.
A fundamental misunderstanding: Since 1798, heat has been thought of as a quantity, an amount, of some undefined substance flowing through air and space between two bodies of matter. The more heat a body of matter absorbs, the hotter the body is thought to become. From this point of view, if greenhouse gases absorb heat, the atmosphere must get hotter. If Earth loses less heat per second to space, Earth must get hotter. Both assumptions seem logical, but heat in Nature simply does not behave in this way, as shown by these two simple experiments. Given the well-observed laws of thermodynamics, heat simply cannot flow in the ways assumed by greenhouse-warming theory.
So, what is this undefined physical thing that we think of as heat? What is thermal energy? How does thermal energy propagate through air and space?
By 1900, numerous physicists were documenting in the laboratory that the bonds that hold atoms of matter together to form molecules are not rigid. Think of these molecular bonds as tiny springs with an atom at each end. The distance between the atoms is observed to oscillate back and forth from shorter, to longer, to shorter, to longer, at rates typically as high as trillions of cycles per second—that is millions of millions of cycles per second! Extensive studies in the laboratory show: the higher the temperature of a piece of matter, the higher the frequencies of oscillation, the higher the energies of oscillation, and the higher the amplitude of oscillation at each and every frequency of oscillation.
Hotter bodies of matter contain higher frequencies, amplitudes, and energies of oscillation. To make a body hotter, you must increase the frequencies, amplitudes, and energies of oscillation. This is normally done by absorbing thermal radiation from a hotter body of matter, which has higher frequencies, amplitudes, and energies of oscillation. We all know from personal experience that any amount of radiation from Sun will make us feel much hotter than any amount of radiation from Earth, whose temperature is 20-times cooler. In this way, radiation from Earth is not hot enough to make Earth warmer.
A second fundamental misunderstanding: Each of these tiny molecular oscillators on the surface of matter is observed to transmit its frequency of oscillation through air and space in the same way that a radio transmitter transmits the frequency of oscillation of its specific radio station. We tune our radio receiver to resonate at that specific frequency, which allows our radio receiver to pick that specific frequency out of all the frequencies out there, amplifying that signal enough for us to listen to the program.
Resonance is where to two oscillators, oscillating at the same frequency, interact in such a way that, under the best of conditions, they average their amplitudes of oscillation, effectively transferring half the difference in amplitude from the oscillator with the higher amplitude of oscillation to the oscillator with the lower amplitude of oscillation.
Resonance is observed to transfer amplitude of oscillation only from higher amplitude to lower amplitude, which laboratory data show clearly is from higher temperature to lower temperature. Resonance occurs between a discrete molecular oscillator on the surface of the emitting body and a discrete molecular oscillator on the surface of the absorbing body. Radiant heat travels through air and space when resonance occurs simultaneously between different pairs of oscillators at each and every frequency of oscillation of all the molecular oscillators on the surface of matter.
Resonance is all around us. You experience resonance most clearly when you push a child on a swing. If you push at exactly the same frequency as the swing is swinging, the amplitude of the swing will increase. You tune radio and television receivers to resonate at whatever frequency your preferred station is transmitting. Your cellphone is tuned to resonate with the different frequencies of transmission and reception used at a local cell tower. Individual hair cells called cilia in the cochlea of our ears resonate with sounds in air, sending signals to our brain, allowing us to hear. Visible colors, which are frequencies of oscillation between 400 and 789 trillion cycles per second, resonate with cells in the cones of our eyes that send signals to our brain, allowing us to see.
For centuries, scientists have argued whether heat, in the form of electromagnetic radiation, travels through space as waves or as particles. Waves and particles, however, describe how the energies of motion of physical pieces of matter are visualized as traveling. But heat, is not physical matter. Heat is simply a broad spectrum of frequencies of oscillation. Each discrete molecular oscillator on the surface of the emitting matter resonates with a discrete molecular oscillator on the surface of the absorbing matter, radiating each frequency component of heat simultaneously by resonance.
Conclusions: Greenhouse-warming theory is based on mistaken assumptions about what heat is and how heat travels that are still widespread in physics today. Greenhouse-warming theory is not physically possible. There is no evidence that reducing emissions of greenhouse gases will have any perceptible effect on reducing observed global warming.
A graphical explanation of temperature and heat for those who want more detail: In 1900, Max Planck, one of the fathers of modern physics, wrote an equation, by trial and error, that calculates the observed amplitude of oscillation (B) at each frequency of oscillation (ν) as a function of temperature (T) of the radiating body. These plots with linear frequency on the x-axis (left) and log frequency (right) show Planck curves filled in with green for Earth, yellow for the filament of a tungsten light bulb, and red for Sun. Note that the higher the temperature of the emitting body, the higher the amplitude of oscillation at each and every frequency of oscillation.
These Planck curves show the broad spectrum of frequencies and amplitudes that a body at a given temperature is observed to radiate. They also show the broad spectrum of frequencies and amplitudes that must be oscillating on the surface for the body to actually be at that temperature. To make a body of matter hotter, you must increase the amplitude of oscillation at each and every frequency of oscillation. Such warming can be done by absorbing radiation only if the radiation comes from a body that is hotter.
Heat is what a body of matter must absorb to raise its temperature. The area shaded yellow, including the visible spectrum, describes the net physical properties of heat that must be absorbed by Earth to raise its temperature to 3300K. Heat clearly is a spectrum of values, not a single number for amount in watts per square meter as currently assumed.
The vertical black lines on the right show the frequencies of oscillation absorbed by carbon dioxide. These frequencies make up less than 16% of the frequencies required to constitute heat. Greenhouse gases do not absorb heat. They simply absorb the resonant frequencies of the bonds holding the molecules of each type of greenhouse-gas together. Absorbing just these frequencies has no direct effect on temperature of a gas and cannot physically warm Earth.
A 20-page scientific paper A Most Inconvenient Reality — Greenhouse Gases Cannot Physically Explain Observed Global Warming submitted to the Journal of Geophysical Research on May 28, 2018, that describes these issues in more detail.