It pays to be skeptical of politicians who claim to be saving the planet.
The moment to be wariest of political enthusiasms is precisely when elite opinion is all lined up on one side. So it is with the weekend agreement out of Paris on climate policy, which President Obama declared with his familiar modesty “can be a turning point for the world” and is “the best chance we have to save the one planet that we’ve got.”
Forgive us for looking through the legacy smoke, but if climate change really does imperil the Earth, and we doubt it does, nothing coming out of a gaggle of governments and the United Nations will save it. What will help is human invention and the entrepreneurial spirit. To the extent the Paris accord increases political control over human and natural resources, it will make the world poorer and technological progress less likely.
The climate confab’s self-described political success is rooted in a conceit and a bribe. The conceit is that the terms of the agreement will have some tangible impact on global temperatures. The big breakthrough is supposed to be that for the first time developing and developed countries have committed to reducing carbon emissions. But the commitments by these nations are voluntary with no enforcement mechanism.
China (the No. 1 CO2 emitter) and India (No. 3 after the U.S.) have made commitments that they may or may not honor, depending on whether they can meet them without interfering with economic growth. If the choice is lifting millions out of poverty or reducing CO2, poverty reduction will prevail—as it should.
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Editorial Page Editor Paul Gigot on the agreement reached at the U.N. climate summit and President Obama’s political calculations. Photo credit: Gett Images.
No less than the supposedly true global-warming believers of Europe are also happy about voluntary commitments because Paris liberates them from the binding targets of the Kyoto Protocol of 1997. Germany’s high energy costs in particular have been driving companies offshore thanks to its renewable energy costs and mandates.
But no one is happier than President Obama, who would have to submit a binding treaty to the Senate for ratification. As we have learned from the Iran nuclear deal and so much else, Mr. Obama is not into winning democratic consent for his policy dreams. Mr. Obama plans to use Paris as a stick to beat Republicans even as he ducks a vote in Congress. We doubt the Paris climate deal would get 40 Senate votes once Democrats in Ohio, Colorado or North Dakota were forced to debate the costs.
Mr. Obama’s U.S. CO2-reduction targets are fanciful in any case, short of a major technological breakthrough. The President promises that the U.S. will reduce carbon emissions by 26% to 28% from 2005 levels by 2025, but the specific means he has proposed to get there would only yield about half that. And that’s assuming none of Mr. Obama’s unilateral regulatory policies are declared illegal by U.S. courts.
As for the bribe, rich countries in Paris bought the cooperation of the developing world by promising to send $100 billion a year in climate aid. So the governments of the West are now going to dun their taxpayers to transfer money to the clean and green governments run by the likes of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. We can’t wait to see New York’s Chuck Schumer make the case on the Senate floor for American aid to China so it can become more energy efficient and economically competitive.
Even if a Democratic Congress made these bribes politically possible, they would do little to ease the consequences of climate change. The world’s poor can best cope with climate harm if they are richer, which requires faster economic growth. Yet everything we know about economic development is that foreign aid retards growth when it expands the reach of Third World governments. Poor countries won’t be helped by subsidies for solar cells delivered through the World Bank.
The same lesson goes for the developed world, by the way. We still recall the George W. Bush economic adviser who told us in 2006 that subsidies for cellulosic ethanol were justified because a breakthrough was “just around the corner.” He said the problem was that Congress’s research grants were distorted by political earmarks.
Of course they were. Congress took Mr. Bush’s invitation and force-fed ethanol mandates into law despite the lack of available technology to meet them. A decade later cellulosic ethanol is still around the corner.
Which brings us to the development on the fringes of Paris that might do some good. Bill Gates is hitting up his fellow billionaires to pay for research into energy alternatives to fossil fuels. This is a tacit admission that the technology doesn’t exist to make alternatives cost-effective no matter how many subsidies governments offer. If carbon energy’s efficiency and wealth creation are going to be displaced, the world will need advances in battery storage and nuclear energy, among other things.
The grandiose claims of triumph in Paris represent the self-interest of a political elite that wants more control over the private economy in the U.S. and around the world. These are the last people who will save the planet.
In Paris, it’s easier to battle a climate crisis than confront jihadists on the streets.
Little children have imaginary friends. Modern liberalism has imaginary enemies.
Hunger in America is an imaginary enemy. Liberal advocacy groups routinely claim that one in seven Americans is hungry—in a country where the poorest counties have the highest rates of obesity. The statistic is a preposterous extrapolation from a dubious Agriculture Department measure of “food insecurity.” But the line gives those advocacy groups a reason to exist while feeding the liberal narrative of America as a savage society of haves and have nots.
The campus-rape epidemic—in which one in five female college students is said to be the victim of sexual assault—is an imaginary enemy. Never mind the debunked rape scandals at Duke and the University of Virginia, or the soon-to-be-debunked case at the heart of “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary about an alleged sexual assault at Harvard Law School. The real question is: If modern campuses were really zones of mass predation—Congo on the quad—why would intelligent young women even think of attending a coeducational school? They do because there is no epidemic. But the campus-rape narrative sustains liberal fictions of a never-ending war on women.
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Editorial Page Editor Paul Gigot on what to expect as global leaders meet to talk climate change. Photo credit: Getty Images.
Institutionalized racism is an imaginary enemy. Somehow we’re supposed to believe that the same college administrators who have made a religion of diversity are really the second coming of Strom Thurmond. Somehow we’re supposed to believe that twice electing a black president is evidence of our racial incorrigibility. We’re supposed to believe this anyway because the future of liberal racialism—from affirmative action to diversity quotas to slavery reparations—requires periodic sightings of the ghosts of a racist past.
I mention these examples by way of preface to the climate-change summit that began this week in Paris. But first notice a pattern.
Dramatic crises—for which evidence tends to be anecdotal, subjective, invisible, tendentious and sometimes fabricated—are trumpeted on the basis of incompetently designed studies, poorly understood statistics, or semantic legerdemain. Food insecurity is not remotely the same as hunger. An abusive cop does not equal a bigoted police department. An unwanted kiss or touch is not the same as sexual assault, at least if the word assault is to mean anything.
Yet bogus studies and statistics survive because the cottage industries of compassion need them to be believed, and because mindless repetition has a way of making things nearly true, and because dramatic crises require drastic and all-encompassing solutions. Besides, the thinking goes, falsehood and exaggeration can serve a purpose if it induces virtuous behavior. The more afraid we are of the shadow of racism, the more conscious we might become of our own unsuspected biases.
And so to Paris.
I’m not the first to notice the incongruity of this huge gathering of world leaders meeting to combat a notional enemy in the same place where a real enemy just inflicted so much mortal damage.
Then again, it’s also appropriate, since reality-substitution is how modern liberalism conducts political business. What is the central liberal project of the 21st century, if not to persuade people that climate change represents an infinitely greater threat to human civilization than the barbarians—sorry, violent extremists—of Mosul and Molenbeek? Why overreact to a few hundred deaths today when hundreds of thousands will be dead in a century or two if we fail to act now?
Here again the same dishonest pattern is at work. The semantic trick in the phrase “climate change”—allowing every climate anomaly to serve as further proof of the overall theory. The hysteria generated by an imperceptible temperature rise of 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880—as if the trend is bound to continue forever, or is not a product of natural variation, or cannot be mitigated except by drastic policy interventions. The hyping of flimsy studies—melting Himalayan glaciers; vanishing polar ice—to press the political point. The job security and air of self-importance this provides the tens of thousands of people—EPA bureaucrats, wind-turbine manufacturers, litigious climate scientists, NGO gnomes—whose livelihoods depend on a climate crisis. The belief that even if the crisis isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be, it does us all good to be more mindful about the environment.
And, of course, the chance to switch the subject. If your enemy is global jihad, then to defeat it you need military wherewithal, martial talents and political will. If your enemy is the structure of an energy-intensive global economy, then you need a compelling justification to change it. Climate dystopia can work wonders, provided the jihadists don’t interrupt too often.
Here’s a climate prediction for the year 2115: Liberals will still be organizing campaigns against yet another mooted social or environmental crisis. Temperatures will be about the same.
Kyoji Kimoto, a Japanese chemist, scientist, and fuel-cell computer modeler & inventor, has a new essay below explaining why the basic anthropogenic global warming hypothesis is wrong and leads to highly exaggerated climate sensitivity to doubled CO2. Kimoto finds climate sensitivity of only 0.14C, a factor of 21 times smaller than the IPCC canonical climate sensitivity estimate of ~3C per doubled CO2. See prior posts by Kimoto here.
The central dogma in anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory is that zero feedback climate sensitivity (Planck response) is 1.2~1.3 K. This gives climate sensitivity when multiplied by feedbacks (Hansen et al., 1984).
Until Kimoto (2009), theoretical discussions concentrated on the feedback issue. However, it is impossible to accurately determine the feedbacks caused by the variable nature of water in the perturbed atmosphere with CO2 doubling. This problem has resulted in speculative discussions for a long time.
However, rigorous discussions are possible for the zero feedback climate sensitivity (Planck response) based on mathematics and physics. The Planck response of 1.2 K for GCMs comes from one-dimensional radiative convective equilibrium models (1DRCM) that assume the fixed lapse rate of 6.5 K/km (FLRA) and use the mathematical method of Cess (1976), equation (3).
The work of the following eminent modelers are mainly concerned with the central dogma of the AGW theory.
Dr. S. Manabe:
Manabe & Wetherald (1967) used the FLRA for the CO2 mixing ratio of 300 ppm (1xCO2) and that of 600 ppm (2xCO2) in the atmosphere, and obtained the zero feedback climate sensitivity CS(FAH) of 1.3 K in their 1DRCM study. Regarding lapse rate, Manabe & Strickler (1964) wrote,
“The observed tropospheric lapse rate of temperature is approximately 6.5 K/km. The explanation for this fact is rather complicated. It is essentially the result of a balance between (a) the stabilizing effect of upward heat transport in moist and dry convection on both small and large scales and (b), the destabilizing effect of radiative transfer. Instead of exploring the problem of the tropospheric lapse rate in detail, we here accept this as an observed fact and regard it as a critical lapse rate for convection.”
In the farewell lecture held on October 26, 2001, in Tokyo, Manabe told about his research,
“Research funds have been 3 million dollars per year and 120 million dollars for the past 40 years. It is not clever to pursue the scientific truth. Better way is choosing the relevant topics to the society for the funds covering the staff and computer cost of the project.”
Dr. J. Hansen:
(a) Hansen obtained the zero feedback climate sensitivity CS(FAH) of 1.2 K with the FLRA for 1xCO2 and 2xCO2 in his 1DRCM study.
(b) Although Hansen alarmed society about tipping points of catastrophic AGW many times, he showed no confidence in his model studies:
“The 1DRCM study is a fudge because obtained results strongly depend on the lapse rate assumed.”
Schlesinger was an AGW denier in the early 1980s as shown by Gates et al. (1981) which calculated a climate sensitivity of 0.3 K when the sea surface temperature is held in climatological values for 2xCO2. In order to get plentiful funds, he has become the top alarmist of catastrophic AGW. He calculated the central dogma of AGW theory as follows:
(a) He obtained the zero feedback climate sensitivity of 1.3 K with the FLRA for 1xCO2 and 2xCO2 in his 1DRCM study (Schlesinger, 1986).
(b) Unfairly, he utilized the Cess method without referring to Cess (1976) to obtain his equation (6) for the Planck response of 1.2 K (Schlesinger, 1986). Kimoto (2009) pointed out that it is only a transformation of Cess equation (4) as shown in Section 3.
However, his calculation contains a mathematical error as shown in Section 4.
2. Failure of the fixed lapse rate assumption of 6.5 K/km (FLRA)
Modern AGW theory began from the 1DRCM studies with fixed absolute and relative humidity utilizing the FLRA for 1xCO2 and 2xCO2 (Manabe & Strickler, 1964; Manabe & Wetherald, 1967; Hansen et al., 1981).
Table 1 shows the climate sensitivities for 2xCO2 obtained in these studies, where the climate sensitivity with the fixed absolute humidity CS (FAH) is 1.2 to 1.3 K (Hansen et al., 1984).
Schlesinger (1986) confirmed these results by obtaining the CS (FAH) of 1.3 K and the radiative forcing of 4 W/m2 for 2xCO2 in his 1DRCM study.
The ratio of the climate sensitivity with fixed relative humidity CS (FRH) to the zero feedback climate sensitivity CS (FAH) is water vapor feedback WVF by (1), which is 1.6 ~ 1.8 as shown in Table 1.
CS (FRH) = CS (FAH) x WVF=CS (FAH) x 1.6 ~ 1.8 (1)
In the 1DRCM studies, the most basic assumption is the FLRA. The lapse rate of 6.5 K/km is defined for 1xCO2 in the U.S. Standard Atmosphere (1962) (Ramanathan & Coakley, 1978). There is no guarantee, however, for the same lapse rate maintained in the perturbed atmosphere with 2xCO2 (Chylek & Kiehl, 1981; Sinha, 1995).
Therefore, the lapse rate for 2xCO2 is a parameter requiring a sensitivity analysis to check the validity of the modeled results as shown in Fig.1. In the figure, line B shows the FLRA gives a uniform warming for the troposphere and the surface. Since CS (FAH) greatly changes with a minute variation of the lapse rate for 2xCO2, the results of the 1DRCM studies in Table 1 are theoretically meaningless.
Further, Fig.1 shows the failure of the FLRA in 1DRCM studies, which were initiated by Manabe & Strickler (1964) who used an invalid assumption about how doubling CO2 perturbs the atmosphere, shown in Section 1.
In IPCC’s AGW theory, the CS (FAH) of 1.2 ~ 1.3 K is called as Planck response (Bony et al., 2006). The FLRA in the 1DRCM is extended to the Planck response of 1.2 K with the uniform warming throughout the troposphere in the GCMs studies (Hansen et al., 1984; Soden & Held, 2006; Bony et al., 2006). Climate sensitivity for 2xCO2 is expressed by (2) in the 14 GCMs studies for the IPCC AR4 as the extension of (1) (Soden & Held, 2006; Bony et al., 2006).
Feedbacks are water vapor, ice albedo, cloud and lapse rate feedback.
The theoretical 1DRCM studies with the FLRA have failed, as shown in Fig. 1. Therefore, the canonical climate sensitivity of 3 K claimed by the IPCC is theoretically meaningless since it is used the 1DRCM studies in Table 1 in its GCMs.
Therefore, the cause of the AGW debate for the past 50 years is the lack of the parameter sensitivity analysis in the 1DRCM studies by Manabe & Wetherald (1967), Hansen et al. (1981) and Schlesinger (1986). Such sensitivity analysis is a standard scientific procedure to check the validity of the obtained results.
If sensitivity analysis were performed in the above studies, the result would show AGW will cause no huge economic loss. Also, the Fukushima nuclear disaster might not have occurred without the Kyoto protocol that promoted nuclear power.
3. Mathematical error in Cess (1976)
In 1976, Cess obtained – 3.3 (W/m2)/K for the Planck feedback parameter utilizing the modified Stefan-Boltzmann equation (3), which gives the Planck response of 1.2 K with the radiative forcing RF of 4 W/m2 for 2xCO2 as follows (Cess, 1976).
OLR (Outgoing long wave radiation at the top of the atmosphere) = 233 W/m2
: the effective emissivity of the surface-atmosphere system
: Stefan-Boltzmann constant
Ts: the surface temperature of 288 K
Coincidently, the Planck response of 1.2 K in (5) is the same as the zero feedback climate sensitivities of 1.2 to 1.3 K obtained from the 1DRCM studies in Table 1. Therefore, many researchers followed the Cess method. Their results are in the 14 GCMs studies for the IPCC AR4. AR4 shows the theoretical basis of IPCC’s claim that the Planck response is 1.2 K (Schlesinger, 1986; Wetherald & Manabe, 1988; Cess et al., 1989; Cess et al., 1990; Tsushima et al., 2005; Soden & Held, 2006; Bony et al., 2006).
However, the above derivation is apparently a mathematical error since it is not a constant enabling us to differentiate (3) as shown in (4) (Kimoto, 2009). Schlesinger (1986) proposed a different equation (6) to give the Planck response of 1.2 K, which is only a transformation of (4) as follows (Kimoto, 2009).
– 1/= = Ts/ (1 – ) S0 = 0.3 K / (W/m2) (6)
surface albedo = 0.3 and solar constant S0 = 1370 W/m2.
At the equilibrium,
OLR = (S0/4) (1 – )
= – 4OLR/Ts = – 4x (S0/4) (1 – )/Ts
– 1/= = Ts/ (1 – ) S0
Further, the combination of Ts=288 K and OLR=233 W/m2 is not in accordance with Stefan-Boltzmann law in (4) (Bony et al., 2006; Kimoto, 2009). Since (3) can be rewritten as
is the ratio of OLR to the radiation flux at the surface. There are, however, fluxes from evaporation and thermal conduction in addition to the radiation flux at the surface in Fig. 3. Therefore, (3) cannot be a theoretical basis of the AGW theory because it is against the physical reality of nature.
Randall shows the following equation series in his lecture.
(1 – )S a2 = ( Ts4) 4 a2
(1 – )S = 4 ( Ts4)
0 = 4( ) ( Ts4) + 4 (4 Ts3 Ts)
Ts = – (Ts/4) ( /)
( Ts4) = 240 W/m2
( ) ( Ts4) = – 4 W/m2
This is a mathematical error as shown below.
/ = – 4/240
Ts = 288 K
Ts = – (Ts/4) ( / ) = (- 288/4) (- 4/240) = 1.2 K
The following equation is obtained when Cess’s eq.
OLR = ( Ts4
is differentiated with CO2 concentration C.
OLR/ C = ( / C) ( Ts4) + 4 ( Ts3) ( Ts/ C)
Radiative forcing is 4 W/m2 when C is 2xCO2.
– 4 W/m2 = ( Ts4) + 4 ( Ts3) Ts
Randall lecture (2011) neglects the second term to obtain the tricky equation above.
5. Physical reality of the response to 2xCO2
In the orthodox AGW theory based on the radiation height change by Mitchell (1989) and Held & Soden (2000), the radiation height increases from point a to point b in Fig. 2 due to the increased opaqueness when CO2 is doubled. This decreases the temperature at the effective radiation height of 5 km which causes an energy imbalance between the absorbed solar radiation (ASR) of 239 W/m2 and the outgoing long wave radiation (OLR) in Fig. 3.
In order to recover the balance of energy, the radiation temperature increases from point b to point c. A 1 K warming at the effective radiation height is enough to recover the energy imbalance caused by the radiative forcing of 3.7 W/m2 for 2xCO2 from Stefan-Boltzmann law as shown in Fig.2. Under the FLRA, the surface temperature increases in the same degree of 1 K from Ts1 to Ts2 in Mitchell (1989) and Held & Soden (2000). However, it is erroneous since the FLRA failed in Section 2.
In reality, the bold line in Fig.2 shows the surface temperature increases as much as 0.1~0.2 K with the slightly decreased lapse rate from 6.5 K/km to 6.3 K/km. Since the zero feedback climate sensitivity CS(FAH) is negligibly small at the surface, there is no water vapor or ice albedo feedback which are large positive feedbacks in the GCMs studies of the IPCC. The following data support the above picture.
(A) Kiehl & Ramanathan (1982) show the following radiative forcing for 2xCO2.
Radiative forcing at the tropopause: 3.7 W/m2.
Radiative forcing at the surface: 0.55 ~ 1.56 W/m2 (averaged 1.1 W/m2).
The surface radiative forcing is greatly reduced by the IR absorption overlap with water vapor plentifully existing at the surface. This denies the FLRA giving the uniform warming throughout the troposphere in the 1DRCM and the GCMs studies.
(B) Newell & Dopplick (1979) obtained a climate sensitivity of 0.24 K considering the evaporation cooling from the surface of the ocean.
(C) Ramanathan (1981) shows the surface temperature increase of 0.17 K with the direct heating of 1.2 W/m2 for 2xCO2 at the surface.
(D) The surface climate sensitivity is calculated from the energy budget of the earth in Fig. 3 and the surface radiative forcing of 1.1W/m2 as follows.
Surface climate sensitivity: 0.13K/(W/m2) x 1.1 (W/m2) = 0.14 K
Four eminent modelers formed the central dogma of the IPCC AGW theory. Their theory claims the zero feedback climate sensitivity (Planck response) is 1.2 ~ 1.3 K for 2xCO2. When multiplied by the feedback factor of 2.5, this gives the canonical climate sensitivity of 3 K claimed by the IPCC .
However, this IPCC dogma fails due to the lack of parameter sensitivity analysis of the lapse rate for 2xCO2 in the one dimensional model (1DRCM). The dogma also contains a mathematical error in its derivation of the Planck response by Cess (1976). Therefore, the IPCC AGW theory and its canonical climate sensitivity of 3 K for 2xCO2 are invalid.
This study derives a climate sensitivity of 0.14 K from the energy budget of the earth.
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