That was until he learned the details of a new theory of the greenhouse effect, one that not only gave far more accurate climate predictions here on Earth, but Mars too. The theory was developed by another Hungarian scientist, Ferenc Miskolczi, an atmospheric physicist with 30 years of experience and a former researcher with NASA's Langley Research Center.
After studying it, Zágoni stopped calling global warming a crisis, and has instead focused on presenting the new theory to other climatologists. The data fit extremely well. "I fell in love," he stated at the International Climate Change Conference this week.
"Runaway greenhouse theories contradict energy balance equations," Miskolczi states. Just as the theory of relativity sets an upper limit on velocity, his theory sets an upper limit on the greenhouse effect, a limit which prevents it from warming the Earth more than a certain amount.
How did modern researchers make such a mistake? They relied upon equations derived over 80 years ago, equations which left off one term from the final solution.
Miskolczi's story reads like a book. Looking at a series of differential equations for the greenhouse effect, he noticed the solution -- originally done in 1922 by Arthur Milne, but still used by climate researchers today -- ignored boundary conditions by assuming an "infinitely thick" atmosphere. Similar assumptions are common when solving differential equations; they simplify the calculations and often result in a result that still very closely matches reality. But not always.
So Miskolczi re-derived the solution, this time using the proper boundary conditions for an atmosphere that is not infinite. His result included a new term, which acts as a negative feedback to counter the positive forcing. At low levels, the new term means a small difference ... but as greenhouse gases rise, the negative feedback predominates, forcing values back down.
NASA refused to release the results. Miskolczi believes their motivation is simple. "Money", he tells DailyTech. Research that contradicts the view of an impending crisis jeopardizes funding, not only for his own atmosphere-monitoring project, but all climate-change research. Currently, funding for climate research tops $5 billion per year.
Miskolczi resigned in protest, stating in his resignation letter, "Unfortunately my working relationship with my NASA supervisors eroded to a level that I am not able to tolerate. My idea of the freedom of science cannot coexist with the recent NASA practice of handling new climate change related scientific results."
His theory was eventually published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in his home country of Hungary.
The conclusions are supported by research published in the Journal of Geophysical Research last year from Steven Schwartz of Brookhaven National Labs, who gave statistical evidence that the Earth's response to carbon dioxide was grossly overstated. It also helps to explain why current global climate models continually predict more warming than actually measured.
The equations also answer thorny problems raised by current theory, which doesn't explain why "runaway" greenhouse warming hasn't happened in the Earth's past. The new theory predicts that greenhouse gas increases should result in small, but very rapid temperature spikes, followed by much longer, slower periods of cooling -- exactly what the paleoclimatic record demonstrates.
However, not everyone is convinced. Dr. Stephen Garner, with the NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL), says such negative feedback effects are "not very plausible". Reto Ruedy of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies says greenhouse theory is "200 year old science" and doubts the possibility of dramatic changes to the basic theory.
Miskowlczi has used his theory to model not only Earth, but the Martian atmosphere as well, showing what he claims is an extremely good fit with observational results. For now, the data for Venus is too limited for similar analysis, but Miskolczi hopes it will one day be possible.
quote: "200 year old science" and doubts the possibility of dramatic changes to the basic theory.
quote: Of course....because no long standing theory has EVER needed to be changed.
quote: And don't forget plastics, a staple in our society, and an oil product.
quote: We're not even close to depleting the oil supply in the USA, much less the world. Raw supply isn't a problem.
quote: ...except that most practical forms of alternative energy solar, and wind, being the most touted are way more expensive than oil and coal...
quote: We import most of our oil form places other than the middle east such as canada and mexico among others.
quote: I have to disagree with you about the reason for the war in the middle east being about oil
quote: I am all for alternative sources of power, but at the moment they are cost prohibitive.
quote: carefully administered nationalized program
quote: Rising oil prices is driving a small bit of inflation
quote: There is nothing wrong with Fiat with strict inflation control policies and allowing and helping the market work.
quote: Anything you choose to represent value is fiat, even gold. The only reason gold is so valuable is because ppl see it as being a safe haven for wealth ie fiat, that gold is not REALLY needed.
quote: If you're serious with yourself, you'll realize that almost no one expects current gold prices to remain anywhere near where they are today.
quote: The price of food going up hasn't had anything to do with oil prices; it has had everything to do with crop failures and ethanol consuming food stocks.
quote: If it were true inflation, then why has prices in the core CPI not shown anything exciting?
quote: One would think that after ten thousand years we would get that in the end IT DOESN'T FREEKIN WORK.
quote: Oil and gas are the ownership of all the people of Iraq in all the regions and governorates.
quote: The compelling reason for the invasion and restructuring Iraq was to move terrorist activity off American soil.
quote: To remain passive and not send troops into the fray would have invited more attempts to kill Americans on our own soil.
quote: Our military has done an impressive job of making sure that the terrorists are so busy defending themselves that they cannot plan and execute terrorist attacks here. It is simple and incontrovertable. History shows this very clearly.
quote: When something better comes along, that does more than oil and is cheaper than oil, people will invest.
quote: We need to have a balanced rational discussion of the issues, not a biased, "presented to the masses because that what they want to read" propaganda.
quote: The "population bomb" movement was big in the 1960s. They all pretty much died out when all their dramatic predictions about impending starvation and people stacked up like cordwood turned out to be so much hot air.
quote: Interesting psuedo-fiction book on the subject is Michael Crichton's State of Fear.
quote: BTW, in the 70s scientists were warning about the coming ice age.
quote: Take a vacuum, Dyson figured out how to improve the motor that had been a STANDARD forever.
quote: We yearned to burn more than dung and sticks.Then Satan came along and said, ‘Hey, try lighting this.’He opened up the ground and showed us coal and oil.He said, ‘Come liberate some carbon. It’ll make your blood boil.’Liberated carbon, it’ll spin your wheels.Liberated carbon it’ll nuke your meals.Liberated carbon, it’ll turn your night to day.Come on and liberate some carbon, babe, it’s the American way.
quote: Or are you just unable to cope with the reality, that AGW is a political problem, not a scientific problem.
quote: The study is wrong
quote: Some valid and interesting ideas have been presented here, and despite all the scoffing by the critics, there wasn’t any group prayer, tobacco booths, or free cans of 10W-40 motor oil. It has been all about science, and science policy.
quote: It's also noteworthy that they can't get their theory published in major peer-reviewed journals.
quote: his theory sets an upper limit on the greenhouse effect, a limit which prevents it from warming the Earth more than a certain amount.
quote: Conventional theory states that, as CO2 rises and the earth warms, more water vapor is created, further warming the planet...the runaway grenhouse effect that, in theory, doesn't stop until the planet is hellishly hot.
quote: After studying it, Zágoni stopped calling global warming a crisis
quote: "Runaway greenhouse theories contradict energy balance equations," Miskolczi states. Just as the theory of relativity sets an upper limit on velocity, his theory sets an upper limit on the greenhouse effect, a limit which prevents it from warming the Earth more than a certain amount.How did modern researchers make such a mistake? They relied upon equations derived over 80 years ago, equations which left off one term from the final solution.
quote: You must be an Obama supporter?
quote: If we invaded Afghanistan to hunt for Bin Laden, why haven't we found him yet?