If you want the detailed science go to this link

Perhaps the only bit of science you really need to ‘get’.

This, somewhat confusing chart from the IPCC, attempts to show the relative flows of energy in to and out of the Earth’s atmosphere (and surfaces). 

A key point to note is that whilst the incoming radiation is indeed equal to the outgoing radiation – the diagram itself makes no reference to the fact that the 235 watts (per square metre) of energy it shows as “Outgoing Long-wave Radiation” doesn’t leave immediately! It hangs around as ‘heat’ in the lower atmosphere for quite some time (and that is where we live – and where our weather is made!). It is this lingering infra-red (Long-wave) radiation that is causing climate change (or global warming, if you prefer). 

For reasons that are not entirely clear to me – the IPCC decided to use 342 watts as the measure of Incoming Solar Radiation. The actual figure (measured at the edge of space – the so called ‘solar constant’ insolation – is 1367 Watts per square metre. But then the directly reflected amount is also greater – to the extent that the lingering Infra-Red energy really is about 235 Watts or so.

Whilst this model is very much simpler than later IPCC models, which factor in things like Ocean currents, Rivers, Mountains, Cities, Snow and Ice, etc. it nevertheless enables us to predict Global warming as the result of lingering Infra Red energy – itself an inevitable consequence of the presence of so-called greenhouse gases (of which CO2 is the most prevalent – and is the one we make by burning stuff). 

The ‘greenhouse’ effect of CO2 was first noted in the early 1800’s by Jean-Baptiste Joseph Fourier – perhaps more famous for his Mathematics (Fourier Transforms). Awareness of it, and its consequences, was extended  by Tyndall, Arrenhuis and other sientists in the latter part of the 19th Century!  

So it would be a lie to say “we’ve had insufficient notice of the impending climate crisis”.  Politicians please note!

I fully empathise with Greta Thunberg’s anger in this regard.

Published by Malcolm Duffield

Malcolm Duffield provides advanced high-level sales coaching, ‘basic sales training’ and sales training for pre-sales and post-sales engineering staff. In ways markedly different to the typical classroom lecture approach. Like the game of ‘Go’ – selling is strategically complex, nuanced and more dependent on intuition than process. Sales – process alone is no guarantee of success because customers are humans, are fiendishly complex, intuitive and need to be met on their terms. Humans need to interact rather than merely transact. They have many needs, wants and aspirations – not all clearly stated. Having a proposal that is a good fit to the stated need is a start. Having a price that’s in the ball park will also help – but what will invariably make the difference between success and failure will be our ability to understand, connect with and provide value to the customer as a person. Focused primarily on IT sales, where solution and value, but above all human connection through respect, integrity and empathy, have to be brought together to win high-value deals - it would appear that other 'capital acquisitions' benefit from a similar approach. I have 30 years experience in such sales, and know what works and what doesn't work.