Challenging the Greenhouse Effect Specification and the Climate Sensitivity of the IPCC

Antero Ollila *

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (Emer.), School of Engineering, Aalto University, Espoo, Otakaari 1, Box 11000, 00076 AALTO, Finland.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


The greenhouse effect concept has been developed to explain the Earth’s elevated temperature. The prevailing theory of climate change is the anthropogenic global warming theory, which assumes that the greenhouse (GH) effect is due to the longwave (LW) absorption of 155.6 Wm-2 by GH gases and clouds. The actual warming increase to 33°C of the Earth’s surface temperature according to the present GH effect definition is the infrared downward LW radiation of 345.6 Wm-2 emitted by the atmosphere. The atmosphere’s temperature is the key element behind this radiation. According to the energy laws, it is not possible that the LW absorption of 155.6 Wm-2 by the GH gases could re-emit downward LW radiation of 345.6 Wm-2 on the Earth’s surface. In this study, the GH effect is 294.5 Wm-2, including shortwave radiation absorption by the atmosphere and the latent and sensible heating effect. This greater GH effect is a prerequisite for the present atmospheric temperature, which provides downward radiation on the surface. Clouds’ net effect is 1% based on the empirical observations. The contribution of CO2 in the GH effect is 7.3% corresponding to 2.4°C in temperature. The reproduction of CO2 radiative forcing (RF) showed the climate sensitivity RF value to be 2.16 Wm-2, which is 41.6% smaller than the 3.7 Wm-2 used by the IPCC. A climate model showing a climate sensitivity (CS) of 0.6°C matches the CO2 contribution in the GH effect, but the IPCC’s climate model showing a CS of 1.8°C or 1.2°C does not.

Keywords: Greenhouse effect, climate change, Earth’s energy balance, climate sensitivity, climate model

How to Cite

Ollila, A. (2019). Challenging the Greenhouse Effect Specification and the Climate Sensitivity of the IPCC. Physical Science International Journal, 22(2), 1–19.


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