Heat Streams One Way Not Two: How Greenhouse Gas Physics Fails

Written by John O´Sullivan

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) coined a new term that confounds the established laws of physics. This term is “back radiation” heating. It is a conjured up mechanism upon which a 21st Century international pseudo science is based – atmospheric physics. But whereas radiation goes where it likes, heat only streams one way – from warmer to cooler as per actual physical laws. Strict adherence to such laws is what distinguishes the science of Principia Scientific International from that of the IPCC and this is perfectly embodied in a telling new paper by Jef Reynen.



Wikipedia, ever among the least reliable references for anything, assures us that “Atmospheric physics is the application of physics to the study of the atmosphere.” Wikipedia’s entry on this issue makes no mention of latent heat and much mention of radiation. Critically, we see no mention whatsoever of conduction or convection, the predominant modes of energy transport in any gas. We have for decades been subliminally steered away from the abiding truth in science, that the miraculous element: water is the key to climate – not radiation. Water does this via latent heat, the true “trapping mechanism” of incoming solar radiation. But the IPCC hides that pea under the thimble and instead tells us there is a two-way energy stream called “back radiation” that is the key. However, you will find “back radiation” nowhere in any texts on thermodynamics. It doesn’t exist in real science.


Notwithstanding their oversight Dutch researcher Jef Reynen, in his new paper ‘Atmospheric absorption by IR-sensitive molecules,’ uses a parameter study to test how this obsession with “back radiation” stands up under closer examination. Inspired by Professor Claes Johnson, Reynen performs an experiment to see whether the IPCC’s “back radiation” model can possibly add to, or delay energy transit in Earth’s atmosphere. Applying MATLAB to solve the simultaneous equations Reynen analyzed the difference between one-stream heat flow by radiation formulation and the two-stream formulation, as is used by the IPCC. The findings are astonishing and his new paper is set to be another milestone in the inevitable march back to REAL scientific inquiry about our climate.


Reynen first identified that a ‘one slab’ model, with simple back-of-the-envelope algebra can be shown to be reliable, while any attempt to show a two-stream heat flow (the IPCC’s “back radiation” formulation) will give spurious absorptions, even though temperature distributions for the two formulations were the same.


He found that IPCC software (not real world data) relying exclusively on the two-stream formulation, points to huge absorptions and thereby huge values for back-radiation of heat from colder to warmer temperatures. Reynen analyzed the IPCC’s one-slab (two-stream) model and developed a multi-layer model based on the one-stream for heat flow by radiation formulation.


The Dutchman conceptualized such a model as a stack of grids – in appearance something like chicken wire. The model was given large holes with a normalized cross-section “1-f” and thin wires with a normalized cross-section ”f”, where “f” can be interpreted as an absorption coefficient.


Reynen determined that such a feasible model could be comprised of a stack of 50 layers, starting at the bottom with a first layer at 6 mm near the surface (where there is most incident energy) and building up to thicker layers towards the top of the atmosphere at a height of 10 km.


Besides this geometry of the mesh, Reynen showed a distribution of the thickness of the wire, acting as the absorption coefficient, to show how the IPCC had established their global and annual mean heat budget (but without their contrived back-radiation heating). By this construct Reynen proved that absorption by the atmosphere turned out to be an order of magnitude lower. Reynen reports, “A sensitivity analysis has been carried out and doubling of the concentration of CO2 results in a surface temperature increase of 0.08 C.”


Yes, you read that correctly. By modeling the atmosphere more closely to it’s true physical structure, we can demonstrate the IPCC erred by fudging the absorption coefficient in their analyses.


As such the IPCC wrongly identified CO2 as the climate villain. It is, in fact, the IPCC’s flawed two-stream formulation for heat flow that arbitrarily and capriciously conjured up “back-radiation“ heating, unknown to the laws of thermodynamics, and now employed as a contrivance to concoct warmer temperatures from cooler ones. As Jef concludes, “We could live with the misnomer back-radiation but we can not accept the huge numbers given to it.” Reynen’s experiment now stands as a stark challenge to those universities teaching ‘atmospheric physics’ to either abandon the IPCC’s bogus two-stream heat flow formulation or perform their own experiments to try to prove the Second Law of Thermodynamics wrong.