A fundamental assumption of the “Greenhouse Climate Change” theory is that the energy entering the earth from the sun is “balanced” by the energy emitted from the earth.
This illusion is assisted by the assumption that all energy exchanges are by radiation, and therefore are instantaneous. Without this assumption it would be impossible to claim that all “change” of climate is exclusively caused by increases of human-emitted “greenhouse gases”
The latest official presentation of this theory is by Trenberth K E, J T Fasullo and J. Kiehl (2009), Earth’s Global Energy Budget. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 90, 311-323. It is depicted in what is commonly known as the Kiehl-Trenberth diagram (or K-T energy budget: Fig 1 below)
Near the beginning this paper states:
“For an equilibrium climate the outgoing long wave radiation necessarily balances the incoming absorbed solar radiation.”
Then it goes on to admit that there are many reasons why this is not true. These include scattering and reflection of incoming radiation by clouds and aerosols, absorption by the atmosphere, transfer of absorbed heat to kinetic energy and latent heat. They also admit that energy may be stored for some time or be converted to other forms of energy.
The above diagram, which assumes constant values for all the assumed energy transfers, shows a global energy imbalance of +0.9W/sqm, presumably a result of the mentioned additional disturbing factors. If their figures are realistic this means that the earth is warming without increases in “greenhouse gases.”
A revision of this diagram, about to be launched by the Fifth Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and which I am not allowed to show you, complicates this still further. They change several of their chosen figures but they now admit that the figures chosen are more or less arbitrary choices from a range of published estimates which they now add to the diagram.