2011-02-04 10:41:18Forensic Assist Needed on Climate Denier Blog Post re CO2's Ability to Absorb Wavelengths
John Hartz
John Hartz

The following was posted on a Grist comment thread by its resident climate denier nut-job, Jack Enright. He of course wants everyone to believe that he wrote it. Does anyone recognize it and its source? Has it been rebutted in SkS? 

"It only takes a minute amount of CO2 to fully capture the energy at the resonant wavelength, and additional CO2 progressively captures energy that is further and further from the peak wavelength. At the 280ppmv CO2 preindustrial level used as reference in the forcing parameter, about 95% of the energy bandwidth that could possibly be captured by CO2 has already been captured. There is only 5% of this limited energy available within the confines of this potential capture band left to be captured. The greenhouse effect from CO2 is generally stated as 3°C, so an additional 100ppmv above the 280ppmv level is only capable of generating a maximum 5% increase or 0.15°C. The forcing parameter is based on a full 0.6°C which is four times the 0.15°C absolute physical limit of warming from CO2. Furthermore if this 0.15°C increase has used up the full 5% of the remaining possible energy as the concentration reached 380ppmv, there is zero warming possible from further increases in CO2. This is why the CO2 notch is virtually identical in the two spectra; the CO2 band was virtually saturated at the 325ppmv concentration level, so even nine times more CO2 has almost no appreciable effect. Unless all these points can adequately be addressed, the climate models based on this forcing parameter must be declared invalid, and all work based on these models as a reference for global warming mitigation must also be declared invalid."

2011-02-04 12:38:38

This is the argument that CO2's absorption of IR is "saturated". It comes from a misunderstanding of thermal radiation: Thinking that IR photons that stop moving after they're absorbed (like bullets); whereas they're more like bees: They change direction and keep moving.
2011-02-04 12:47:43Neal
John Hartz
John Hartz
Thanks for the insight. Do you happen to know who originated this particular piece of pseudo science?
2011-02-04 12:50:06Origin of the saturation argument
John Cook


This is possibly the very first skeptic argument, originating in the late 1800s:


2011-02-04 12:54:19nealjking
John Hartz
John Hartz
PS -- Do you have a handy citation for your statement.
2011-02-04 20:06:49
Mark Richardson

The guy's an idiot.

I mean, I can see why ignorant people would fall for this argument, but to repeat it like he's some kind of expert without actually checking is pretty thick.


Radiative transfer codes include the CO2 spectrum (at least, the line by line ones do). But they also include re-emission, which your clown hasn't bothered to calculate. (if he continues to bleat about it I can go check with a one of the authors of that paper, they're about a 5 minute walk away :P )

If CO2 can only cause 3.15 C of warming, why is Venus so hot?

2011-02-04 21:36:29
Ari Jokimäki


It might not hurt pointing out that the strong effect of CO2 has been measured from the differences in spectra (a technique slightly more advanced than eyeballing the images of the spectra):


Even if the central parts of the absorption band appears saturated, there's plenty of room in the wings, especially higher up in the atmosphere.

2011-02-04 22:05:44
Paul D


The source seems to be Norm Kalmanovitch, P Geoph Calgary Alberta Canada. As posted here by Louis Hissink:



Morano refers to him as a 'Professional Geophysicist Norm Kalmanovitch' which suggests Hissink was trying to make out he was a professor??


I can't actually find anything at the moment about Kalmanovitch. I'm guessing he probably works in fossil fuels.

He has posted a comment here:


 Sourcewatch has him down as a director of 'Friends of Science':


2011-02-04 22:38:33
Paul D


This is Jack Enrights home (same photo used at Grist)


He is : Author, Naturalist, Herbalist, Organic gardener, Environmental Health Scientist

He seems like a jerk, either that or the 'mystic/organic' front is a load of bull.

He has more blogs than you can shake a stick at:


This one might be of interest:


2011-02-05 01:28:09
Paul D


As it happens, this (saturation effect) is discussed on Home Planet on BBC Radio 4 (Mike Hulme and others answers the question):


Probably not available outside UK?

2011-02-05 02:24:55BBC Broadcast
John Hartz
John Hartz

The BBC broadcast referenced by The Ville is available outside the UK.

Perhaps The Ville's link should be added to the "The First Global Warming Skeptic" rebuttal?

2011-02-05 02:39:24Jack Enright & Resident Bloggers
John Hartz
John Hartz

Having engaged Enright in more than one comment thread on Grist, I do believe he suffers from a mental disorder. He can go from rational to absurd in the blink of the eye and has an extremely thin skin.

Many of the resident* climate denier bloggers that I encounter on comment threads will cut & paste statemdnts from websites like WUWT without putting the statments in quotes and without providing any reference or citation. They want to create the illusion that they understand the scientific issue being discussed.

*For the US media and blog sites, at least one climate denier will coninuously patrol and comment on all articles relating to climate change and/or clean energy. For example, Jack Enright is the resident blogger on Grist, the NETDR on USA Today, and Dahun on Politico.      

2011-02-05 02:41:07Muchos Gracias
John Hartz
John Hartz

Thanks to all of you for providing references and links. 

2011-02-05 03:25:24
Paul D


Hi Badgersouth, unfortunately the BBC take down audio and video recordings of broadcasts after about a week.
So it isn't worth making a permanent link.

Regarding copying and pasting.

I have actually got comments deleted on some local UK newspapers because the comment has been copied and effectively breaks copyright law (eg. a document has been copied). It doesn't always work, but some newspapers are aware that they are responsible for what gets displayed, so sometimes they will do something.
In the US you have 'fair use' laws which might mean you won't be successful.

2011-02-05 04:06:41
Paul D


I wasn't quite correct about Home Planet. It looks like the BBC are keeping the programmes online for at least a year. There is a total of 53 programmes that go back to 2009: