How Climate Feedback is Fubar

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by George White

Feedback is the most misunderstood topic in climate science and this misunderstanding extends to both sides of the debate. This is disturbing because the theoretical support for substantial warming cause by man’s CO2 emissions depends exclusively on the ability of positive feedback to amplify something small (3.7 W/m2 of forcing from doubling CO2) into something large (a 3C surface temperature rise).

What makes a 3C temperature increase relatively large compared to the forcing asserted to cause it is the difference between the equivalent emissions of a black body surface at the approximate average temperature of the planet (287K) and the equivalent emissions of a surface 3C warmer. Based on the Stefan-Boltzmann Law, the difference in equivalent emissions exceeds 16 W/m2 and for that surface to emit this much more, it must be receiving an equal amount. Independent of the specific origin of the…

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