OUR understanding of the natural world does not progress through the straight forward accumulation of facts because most scientists tend to gravitate to the established popular consensus also known as the established paradigm. Thomas Kuhn describes the development of scientific paradigms as comprising three stages: prescience, normal science and revolutionary science when there is a crisis in the current consensus. When it comes to the science of climate change, we are probably already in the revolution state. In particular there is growing concern that some of the physics underpinning the IPCC climate models may be flawed. The work of Ferenc Miskolczi is a case in point.

Some years ago this Hungarian physicist, then working for NASA, discovered a flaw in an equation used in the current climate models. In order to progress this research Dr Miskolczi eventually resigned from NASA claiming his supervisors at NASA tried to suppress discussion and publication of his findings which have since been published in IDŐJÁRÁS, The Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Service.

In essence Dr Miskolczi showed that the solution to a differential equation for the greenhouse effect developed in 1922 by Arthur Milne, and central to the current paradigm, wrongly assumed an infinitely thick atmosphere. In re-solving this equation a new term and also a new law of physics have been proposed setting an upper limit to the greenhouse effect. Dr Miskolczi's theory indicates that any warming from elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide will eventually be offset by a change in atmospheric moisture content.

The idea that water vapour is a negative rather than positive feedback is consistent with the findings of other climate scientists undertaking independent research that is also challenging the current paradigm, for example the work of Dr Roy Spencer.

Meanwhile another Hungarian Physicist, Miklos Zagoni, has provided the following summary of the new controversial theory:
THE findings of Dr Miskolczi can be set into two groups.

First, really for the first time in the greenhouse literature, he published a global average infrared optical depth (the exact measure of the greenhouse effect) for the Earth's atmosphere. This calculation was a distillation of all his efforts. He published his empirical estimate for tau, , as 1.87 (a dimensionless quantity, describing the optical thickness of the atmosphere - a technical term meaning the climatologically appropriately weighted global average number of times that a statistically typical longwave photon, emitted by the earth's warm surface, is absorbed and re-emitted on its way through the atmosphere while escaping into outer space).

The second group of Miskolczi's findings was two new correlations of measurements. Analyzing all of the fluxes in the atmosphere in all possible relations, he noticed that, in global average, the upward emitted atmospheric infrared radiation is nearly equal to half of the surface upward longwave radiation. And, within the clear atmosphere, he also noticed that the downward radiant emittance is about the same as the atmospheric absorbed radiant flux density upwards from the land-sea surface.

These newly discovered relations surely have their theoretical explanation. But here I do not want to entangle myself in theory, explanations and interpretations of how these relations come about. I just want to stay with the simple facts.

As it happens, these new relations supply a profound new understanding of the old, well-known set of energy balance conditions. Substituting them into the old equations, Miskolczi recognized that a new overall global energetic constraint applies to the atmosphere. This was a principled understanding of why the normalized clear-sky greenhouse factor of the Earth takes the remarkably neat value of g = 1/3 precisely. The Miskolczi relations provided an explanation of how this value represents a critical natural balance. The Earth's greenhouse effect works dynamically to maintain the value g = 1/3 precisely. Miskolczi recognized that his relations occur in nature on any planet that has an ample ocean of water and a solar heating anywhere near that of the Earth. And, looking to the greenhouse literature, for example to the 2006 Cambridge University Press book Frontiers of Climate Modeling by Kiehl and Ramanathan, we can see that according to those authors, the earth's clear sky normalized greenhouse factor as a strictly empirical fact is 0.334, or 1/3.

That is to say, the Earth's atmosphere dynamically keeps its greenhouse effect right at its critical value, regardless of our continuing CO2 emissions, regardless of any change in atmospheric CO2 concentration in the past ten thousand years. Miskolczi's dynamic constraint keeps the greenhouse effect "climatically saturated": emitting CO2 into the air cannot increase the normalized greenhouse factor g because any impact of human addition of CO2 is dynamically countered by about 1% decrease of the main greenhouse gas, water vapor (moisture) in the atmosphere. This effect is shown in Miskolczi's recent presentation based on the NOAA 61 year global atmospheric database.

And finally, putting together his new findings, one can have an ultimate theoretical equation for tau, (the global average infrared optical depth) value and the numerical solution is 1.86756093941252 ... .

Now recall: in 2004, by his computer calculations on the TIGR radiosonde empirical measurements, Miskolczi found an observed estimate of 1.87. In 2007, theoretically he derived 1.8676... . And in 2009, on the NOAA 61 year global average database, he found another empirical estimate = 1.86875. According to this database, the atmosphere's moisture content during 61 years from 1948 to 2008 in global average decreased by about 1%. This amount was the climate process's automatic dynamic response and was enough to counter the impact of any CO2 and methane increase.

Let us be clear that these results recognise that the surface climate temperature can rise or fall. Of course it can, as it is driven by changing external radiative sources. It is driven mostly by the sun, but also in smaller measure by other natural or human energy sources such as geothermal energy from the interior of the earth or industrial heat generation.

But, remarkably and surprisingly, these results say that the ratio of the surface temperature to the sum of the incoming energies is fixed at a critical value; the ratio cannot be altered by adding a greenhouse gas such as CO2. The climate temperature is fully sensitive to real changes in the external drivers that increase the energy input. But it is not at all sensitive to addition of greenhouse gases such as CO2 to the atmosphere.
Greenhouse effect in semi-transparent planetary atmospheres, by Ferenc M. Miskolczi.
IDŐJÁRÁS, Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Service. Vol. 111, No. 1, January - March 2007, pp. 1 - 40. (Link)