The Surface Temperature of the Earth
Author: Trevor Underwood (Clare 1962)
Publisher: Lulu Press, Inc.
This monograph comprises six papers on climate science written by Trevor Underwood, who studied theoretical physics at Cambridge University in the 1960s and returned to scientific research in 2008. This research originated from a chance encounter in a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale in December 2015 with a consulting engineer who had been involved in the 1973 construction of a sewage outfall through the coral reef off Hillsboro Inlet in Broward County, Florida. The author was kindly provided with a typewritten copy of a survey of the reef that was conducted before the trench was refilled. It noted a lack of any significant reef framework accumulation in the last 6,000 years, and attributed this to cooler water temperatures off southeast Florida during this period. The first paper reviews the evidence for this hypothesis, based on paleo sea surface temperatures derived from drilling cores at five locations spanning the North Atlantic and recent marine observations at the same locations. This data was insufficient to draw firm conclusions about the die-off of the Acropora palmata but showed a surprising lack of any significant increase in sea surface temperature between 1870 and 2015. The second paper provides a detailed re-examination of global land air, sea surface, and marine air temperature data between 1880 and 2010 on which recent global warming claims have been based. It identifies a divergence between land and marine surface temperatures, with estimated unadjusted and adjusted land surface air temperatures showing a warming of 1.0 °C and 1.2 °C respectively between 1880 and 2010, unadjusted and adjusted sea surface temperatures showing a warming of 0.6 °C and 0.4 °C, and unadjusted and adjusted marine air temperatures showing no change and a warming of 0.4 °C. Papers three and four review the physics underlying the Greenhuse Effect and the subsequent methodology on which current estimates of the impact of an increase in greenhouse gas concentrations on global warming, including by the IPCC, are based. The fifth paper draws on this analysis using physics-based relationships to calculate the change in surface temperature, instead of relying on climate model simulations. It shows an average climate sensitivity of around 0.3 °C/(W/m2), about one third of the climate sensitivity for CO2 of 1.0 °C/(W/m2) estimated by IPCC 2013. It also shows that climate sensitivity is a declining function of the greenhouse gas concentration. Using IPCC 2013’s estimate of radiative forcing of 2.83 W/m2 from the increase in greenhouse gases between 1750 and 2011, the calculated climate sensitivity is shown to correspond to an increase in surface temperature of around 0.85 °C, which agrees with IPCC 2013’s independent estimate of the increase in global average surface temperature over the same period, which IPCC’s sensitivity estimate does not. The final paper considers the evidence for an alternative source of global warming, an increase in solar irradiance.