I know this is going to go over a lot of people’s heads here. Thermodynamics is probably one of the most difficult subjects in the physical sciences. In my Nuke School Class it washed out about 1/2 the class. I got a top mark. That said – let me give you the short version. The temperature of the earth has nothing to do with the composition of the atmosphere. It only depends (for the most part) on the pressure of the atmosphere and solar heating. There are some short term complicating factors – like heat storage in the oceans. But the big effects are the atmosphere itself and solar heating.

Let me add that I twigged to this by reading the linked post at Tallbloke’s Talkshop – Cutting edge science you can dice with.

Unified Theory of Climate

Expanding the Concept of Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect Using Thermodynamic Principles: Implications for Predicting Future Climate Change

Ned Nikolov, Ph.D. & Karl Zeller, Ph.D.
USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins CO, USA

We present results from a new critical review of the atmospheric Greenhouse (GH) concept. Three main problems are identified with the current GH theory. It is demonstrated that thermodynamic principles based on the Ideal Gas Law must be invoked to fully explain the Natural Greenhouse Effect, which essence is the boost of global surface temperature above that of an airless planet exposed to the same solar irradiance. We show via a novel analysis of planetary climates in the solar system that the physical nature of the so-called Greenhouse Effect is in fact a Pressure – induced Thermal Enhancement (PTE), which is independent of the atmospheric chemical composition. Hence, the down – welling infrared radiation (a.k.a. greenhouse – or back – radiation) is a product of the atmospheric temperature (maintained by solar heating and air pressure) rather than a cause for it. In other words, our results suggest that the GH effect is a thermodynamic phenomenon, not a radiative one as presently assumed. This finding leads to a new and very different paradigm of climate controls. Results from our research are combined with those from other studies to propose a Unified Theory of Climate, which explains a number of phenomena that the current theory fails to explain. Implications of the new paradigm for predicting future climate trends are briefly discussed.