AGW theory and Fukushima nuclear disaster

by Kyoji Kimoto 

The AGW theory of the IPCC was established by Dr. S. Manabe (NOAA GFDL in Princeton University) and Dr. J. Hansen (NASA GISS, Columbia University). It is theoretically failed due to the three Errors as shown below. Manabe and Hansen will be in a difficult situation when global cooling will occur with low solar activity and minus PDO index near future.

The central claim of the AGW theory can be expressed as follows, in which Planck response = 1.2K is the most basic assumption. In this essay, Planck response means no-feedback climate sensitivity obtained with the fixed absolute humidity.

Manabe & Wetherald (1967) with 1DRCM:

Climate Sensitivity=Planck response x Feedback effect (wv)

=1.3K x 1.8=2.4K

Soden & Held (2006) with fourteen 3DGCMs for AR4 of the IPCC:

Climate Sensitivity=Planck response x Feedback effects (wv, a, cl, lp)

=1.2K x 2.5=3K


  • wv: water vapor,
  • a: albedo,
  • cl: cloud,
  • lp: lapse rate

Japanese government used the AGW theory to promote nuclear power in this small country where huge earthquakes and tsunamis have occurred repeatedly. In 1998, it decided to promote 20 nuclear reactors increasing the share of nuclear power over 50 % of the energy for electricity to meet the 6% CO2 cut by Kyoto protocol in 1997. The Fukushima nuclear disaster occurred in 2011 under Government policy to avoid AGW with nuclear power.

The following is the history of the AGW theory and its use in Japan for the promotion of nuclear power. Errors in red character are explained afterwards.


  • Planck: Planck response
  • CS: Climate Sensitivity
  • 1DRCM: One dimensional radiative-convective equilibrium model
  • 3DGCM: Three dimensional general circulation model
  • NAS: National Academy of Sciences
  • AGCM: Atmosphere General Circulation Model
  • OGCM: Ocean General Circulation Model


  • 1967 Manabe: 1DRCM, Planck=1.3K. CS=2.4K (Error 1)
  • 1975 Manabe: 3DGCM, CS=2.9K (averaged), CS=7~9K (high latitude area)
  • 1976 Cess: Planck=1.2K based on his modified Stefan-Boltzmann equation (Error2)
  • 1978 Mercer: Based on Manabe (1975), sea level rise is 5m when CO2 doubling.
  • 1979 NAS meeting: Manabe (CS=2K), Hansen (CS=4K), Charney decided CS=3K.
  • 1981 Hansen: Planck=1.2K, CS=2.8K, Heat is rapidly mixed in the ocean. (Error3)
  • 1988 Hansen testified the hot summer came from global warming in 99% certainty.
  • 1991 Manabe began the notorious flux adjustment to combine AGCM and OGCM.
  • 1992 Manabe was honored with 1st Blue Planet Prize from Asahi Glass foundation.
  • 1997 Kyoto protocol
  • 1998 Japanese government decided the promotion of 20 nuclear reactors for CO2 cut.
  • 2010 Hansen was honored with 19th Blue Planet Prize from Asahi Glass foundation.
  • 2011 Fukushima accident occurred under Government policy to promote nuclear power.

Error 1

Manabe & Wetherald (1967) utilized the fixed lapse rate (temperature decrease with height) of 6.5K/km for 1xCO2 and 2xCO2. The lapse rate of 6.5K/km is defined for 1xCO2 in the U.S. Standard Atmosphere (1962). On the contrary, the lapse rate for 2xCO2 is a parameter which needs a sensitivity analysis as shown below in Fig. 1. Since Planck response greatly changes with a minute variation of the lapse rate for 2xCO2, it is concluded that Manabe & Wetherald (1967) is theoretically meaningless.

Fig. 1. Plank response for 2xCO2 for different lapse rates.


Error 2

In 1976, Cess obtained -3.3(W/m2)/K for Planck feedback parameter λ0 utilizing the following procedure, which gives Planck response of 1.2K with the radiative forcing of 4W/m2 for 2xCO2 at the tropopause [Cess.1976].

OLR (Outgoing Long wave Radiation at the top of atmosphere) = Eeff σ Ts4

Planck feedback parameter λ0 = -dOLR/dTs = -4 Eeff σ Ts3

= -4 OLR/Ts = -3.3(W/m2)/K

Planck response = Radiative forcing/-λ0 = 4(W/m2)/ 3.3(W/m2)/K = 1.2K


Eeff: the effective emissivity of the surface-atmosphere system

σ: Stefan-Boltzmann constant


OLR= 233W/m2


Cess’s procedure has been followed by many researchers including the IPCC AR4 as shown in Soden & Held (2006), furnishing the basis of IPCC’s claim that Planck response is 1.2K.

However, this procedure is apparently a mathematical error since Eeff is not a constant. Furthermore, the combination of Ts=288K and OLR=233W/m2 is not in accordance with Stefan-Boltzmann law as pointed out in Kimoto (2009).

The following Fig. 2 is the energy budget of the earth adapted from Trenberth et al. (2009).

Fig. 2. Energy budget of the earth adapted from Trenberth et al. (2009).


Based on Fig. 2, Climate Sensitivity (CS) for 2xCO2 is 0.15-0.5K as shown below.

Natural greenhouse effect:          289K – 255K = 34K

Natural greenhouse energy:         Eb – Es = 333 – 78 (W/m2) = 255 (W/m2)

CS factor:                          34K/255(W/m2) = 0.13K/ (W/m2)

Radiative forcing at the tropopause:  3.7(W/m2)  [Kiehl & Ramanathan (1982)]

CS at the tropopause:               0.13K/(W/m2) x 3.7(W/m2) = 0.5K

Radiative forcing at the surface:         1.1 (W/m2)   [Kiehl & Ramanathan (1982)]

CS at the surface:                     0.13K/(W/m2) x 1.1(W/m2) = 0.15K

Error 3

Physicist Hoyt pointed out IR radiation can only penetrate the skin of 15 microns over the ocean, being reflected to the upper atmosphere. It escapes to space through the IR window of greenhouse gases absorption.

Oceanographer Stevenson pointed out heat is dissipated to the upper atmosphere by evaporation.

Newell & Dopplick (1979) stated the same idea as Stevenson that the sea surface temperature does not increase due to evaporation when CO2 doubling.

In the orthodox AGW theory, heat is accumulated in the upper atmosphere instead of the ocean raising the temperature at the effective radiation height (5~8km) to recover the energy imbalance there as shown by the following figure from Fig.4 in Mitchell (1989) and Fig.1 in Held & Soden (2000).

Fig. 3. Orthodox AGW theory shows heat is accumulated in the upper atmosphere instead of the ocean raising the temperature at the effective radiation height (5~8km) to recover the energy imbalance. From Fig.4 in Mitchell (1989) and Fig.1 in Held & Soden (2000).


The AGW theory of the IPCC was established with the bold computer simulation by Manabe and Hansen, lacking in the cautious evaluation of computed results with self-criticism mind. It has caused the following evil things to the world.

  1. Fictitious science utilizing GCMs having more than 100 tunable parameters.
  2. Serious economic damage.
  3. Excuse for Japanese government to promote nuclear power in this small country where huge earthquakes and tsunamis have occurred repeatedly, resulting in the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Solar activity has been the main driving force of climate change. It produced the Climatic Optimum (+2.5K), the MWP (+1K), the LIA (-1K) and the warm 1930’s (+0.5K) according to the following article:

D. Dahl-Jensen et al., 1998: Past Temperatures Directly from the Greenland Ice Sheet. SCIENCE, Vol.282, 268-271

Global cooling might occur due to low solar activity and minus PDO index near future.

Manabe and Hansen will be in a difficult situation at that time.


Cess, R.D., 1976: Climate Change: An Appraisal of Atmospheric Feedback Mechanisms Employing Zonal Climatology. J.Atmospheric Sciences, Vol.33,1831-1843

Hansen, J. et al., 1981: Climate Impact of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, SCIENCE VOL.213, 957-966.

Held, I.M. and Soden, B.J., 2000: Water vapor feedback and global warming. Annu. Rev. Energy Environ. 25, 441-475.

Kerr R.A., 2004: Three Degree of Consensus. SCIENCE Vol.305, 932-934.

Kiehl J.T. and Ramanathan V., 1982: Radiative Heating Due to Increased CO2: The Role of H2O Continuum Absorption in the 12-18 micron region. J. Atmospheric Sciences, Vol.39, 2923-2926.


Manabe S. and Wetherald R.T., 1967: Thermal Equilibrium of the Atmosphere with a Given Distribution of Relative Humidity. J. Atmospheric Sciences, Vol.24, 241-259.

Manabe S. and Wetherald R.T., 1975: The Effects of Doubling the CO2 Concentration on the Climate of a General Circulation Model. J. Atmospheric Sciences, Vol.32, 3-15

Manabe S. et al., 1991: Transient Responses of a Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Model to Gradual Changes of Atmospheric CO2 Part 1, J. Climate, Vol.4, 785-518.

Mercer J.H., 1978: West Antarctic ice sheet and CO2 greenhouse effect: a threat of disaster. Nature, Vol. 271,321-325 (26 January 1978).

Mitchell John F.B., 1989: The “ GREENHOUSE” EFFECT AND CLIMATE CHANGE, Reviews of Geophysics, 27,1/ 115-139.

Newell R.E. and Dopplick T.G., 1979: Questions Concerning the Possible Influence of Anthropogenic CO2 on Atmospheric Temperature. J. Applied Meteorology, Vol.18, 822-825.

Soden, B.J. and Held I.M., 2006: An Assessment of Climate Feedbacks in Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Models. J. Climate, Vol.19, 3354-3360


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