We hope that you will find the information given on this site helpful in understanding the greenhouse effect and its contribution to climate change - one of the major concerns of present times
There are many and varied sources of information and discussion about climate change, some are highly technical and some are over-simplified. We have two main aims. One is the explanation of the greenhouse effect on as simple a level as is possible without being scientifically inaccurate. The second one includes advanced explanations with our 'translations' for general readers. Links to our own publications and to other signally important papers in the scientific literature for the more technically minded will be added.
The major questions that arise in the study of climate change are:
1. Are humans responsible for the increase in carbon dioxide [CO2] in our atmosphere that has occurred since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution?
2. Is this extra CO2 causing the world to warm up, and if so by how much?
3. Are other greenhouse gases such as methane [CH4] and nitrous oxide [dinitrogen monoxide, N2O] important contributors to climate change
4. What other mechanisms could possibly cause climate change?
Jack's ebook that used to be entitled: Aspects of the Greenhouse Effect has now acquired a new title: Global Warming: The Human Contribution and will still set you back £1.97 at www.Amazon.co.uk
Temperature Perspective (This is relevant to the spat between Lord Lawson and Sir Paul Nurse PRS)
Many criticisms of global warming theory are based on the observation that the mean global temperature since 1998 has shown a zero trend in spite of the increases in the atmospheric concentration of CO2. Fifteen years data should be viewed against those for the period beginning in 1850. The HADCRUT4 set of temperature anomalies is shown in the graph.
There is an underlying upward trend with obvious extra warming and cooling periods superimposed. Such variations are caused by the approximately 30 year phases of the two main cycles; the Atlantic and Pacific overturning cycles. Two periods of global cooling occurred between 1880-1910 and 1940-1976 with warming periods from 1910-1940 and 1976-1998. The current state of the climate is consistent with the possible effect of another cooling period that might continue for another 15 years before the next period of warming. Recent additional data, however, seems to indicate further warming taking place.
Viewed from the whole graph, the period between 1998 and 2012 is reasonably consistent with the idea of another cooling period, but is by no means a rebuttal of the generally accepted theory that increases in atmospheric concentrations of a greenhouse gas should cause the surface and the lower troposphere to warm up.
The gradual and continual build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere should produce a gradual and continual warming of the surface and lower troposphere. That the warming is not continual, but is affected by other causes does nothing to destroy the basic physics of the greenhouse effect. Very little, if anything, can be concluded from a consideration of any 15-year period in the 162 year's data. Viewed overall there is an underlying warming trend enhanced or enfeebled by natural causes, some of a ~30 year cycle and others of smaller duration that make the observed graph 'jagged'.