According to this article, the greatest cause of global warming would be from the waxing and waning of reflected radiation from the Sun. (Placing carbon emissions at 10-20%) So really, how much heat is generated from the process that stays on Earth? And would it really affect it that much?

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    $\begingroup$ The "science" in this "news" story, is not peer reviewed and has only appeared as a blog. The journalism here is either dire or corrupt. Apparently this is the kind of stuff that regularly appears in broadsheet Australian newspapers - shocking. $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Oct 4, 2015 at 9:16

1 Answer 1


The article doesn't go into specifics and appears, not to be written by Dr. Evans at all, but I'll pull some quotes.

When it is completed his work will be published as two scientific papers. Both papers are undergoing peer review


He has been summarising his results in a series of blog posts on his wife Jo Nova’s blog for climate sceptics.

He is about half way through his series, with blog post 8, “Applying the Stefan-Boltzmann Law to Earth”, published on Friday.

(footnote, I'm guessing in Australia, summarizing and skeptics are spelled differently than in the US, cause that's a copy-paste)

I've only read one of his summaries, and in Mathematics, you have to look at the details, which he's not provided, so, he's basically saying little more than "this is true, here's generally why, I've done the math, please take my word for it, I'll publish the numbers later". Now Michael Mann is also presenting non peer reviewed work to Paris, so, what's good for the goose is good for the gander I suppose.

Now, I'm just a guy who likes science, but my understanding is that ideas have been presented before they are finished or peer reviewed fairly often. Einstein did this in fact regarding general relativity and another scientist actually beat him to publishing the theory (though, the other scientist was gracious about it and gave Einstein full credit), so, I don't think it's necessarily bad to present a summary prior to peer review.

I think it is, however, unusual to post summaries of an idea on a blog saying "I figured it out, the majority of research on this subject is wrong". Dr. Evans is saying he has proof, but he's acting like a junk science blogger.

Dr. Evans "trust me I did the math" claim kind of requires that we look at his track record, and his track record isn't very strong, though he will say, he's being attacked by the establishment.

According to this site, he hasn't published anything peer-reviewed since the 1980s and he's on a their Climate Denier List. He's also on Skeptical Science's Climate Misinformers List.

And here's a list of debunked claims he's made (and if this list is accurate, he's not a scientist at all, just a guy on a fishing expedition. No good scientist would agree with pretty much every counter argument against climate change cause that's not how the scientific method works. You can disagree with something, that's fine, but to agree with every counter argument - that's silly. Here's another more detailed explanation of what he's gotten wrong, from 2011. Evans seems to be in this debate to disagree with it much more than he's in it to do scientific research.

It's pretty much impossible to make a true scientific argument against Evans "proof" without his specifics, and, that kind of proof/disproof can get a little long and complicated, but for now, disproving him is impossible. But should we listen to him?

It says above he's published 8 blogs related to his recent research. I'm not going to dig up all 8, but here's the most recent one. Applying the Stefan-Boltzmann Law to Earth. Now, I'm just a layman, but even I can see problems with his argument here (and he should too given that he's an engineer with a PhD). The Stefan-Boltzmann law is an approximation. It's a physical model to calculate radiation into space.

The problem with his approach is, the best way to measure how much heat/energy leaves the earth by radiation is to measure it directly, by satellite. The amount of energy that radiates from the Earth into space varies with temperature, snow cover, cloud cover, even humidity, and probably 1 or 2 other things I'm overlooking. If you try to calculate this energy leaving the earth into space by playing with with the Stefan-Boltzmann Law instead of relying on direct measurements, you're allowing yourself a lot of fudge factors and inviting a far greater error than direct measurements would give you.

On the quoted article, let me pull out an example:

Dr Evans has a theory: solar activity. What he calls “albedo modulation”, the waxing and waning of reflected radiation from the Sun, is the likely cause of global warming.

OK, so, which is it, solar activity or albedo modulation, cause they're not the same thing. The first takes place on the sun, the 2nd, the earth. This paragraph makes no sense to me.

He predicts global temperatures, which have plateaued, will begin to cool significantly, beginning between 2017 and 2021. The cooling will be about 0.3C in the 2020s. Some scientists have even forecast a mini ice age in the 2030s.

Now, this paragraph is particularly devious. El Nino's tend to warm the earth, La Nina's cool it. The effect is temporary and not huge, but enough to cause yearly variation. A strong El Nino drove the big spike in global temperature for 1998 and we're in an El Nino now (edited my answer, since 2014 they've been talking about entering an El Nino, I gather it's officially started now).

We had more La Nina years than El Nino 2006-2013 with the only small El Nino coinciding with 2010, which set records for temperature. A lot of the hiatus in warming that is often talked about is related to there being only 1 small El Nino over 7 years.

Predicting 2017 as the time when the cooling will "begin" is devious because that could be around the time the El Nino has ended and the oceans could switch back to a La Nina (which usually follows El Nino). This will create a temporary cooling for a year or two, which he, no doubt, will take credit for if it happens. Now, he also predicts 2021 which could go either way and he gives an amount, but that doesn't change the fact that he's making a prediction and hoping the El Nino of 2015 will end and make it prediction look good.

Real global warming or cooling can't be measured in 1 year anyway, unless, maybe, if it's ocean current and the occasional mega-volcano adjusted - then, maybe you can get some measure of warming/cooling based on one year, but it's still only one year. That's a really really short period to make any predictions on and not something I'd trust very far at all.

and on the "scientists have predicted a mini ice age in 2030", that's not actually true. There was a study on sun-spots and they predicted that we could see a sun-spot low period around 2030, perhaps similar to the Maunder Minimum that may have caused the mini ice age, but the scientists who predicted that were very clear that they were not predicting a new mini ice age, they said the effect would be smaller than the effect of CO2.

Here's the mini ice age prediction, which a few people made (but not the scientists who did the research).

Here's an article that explains why it isn't true.

So, there's a lot of bad and a handful of false statements in that article you quoted, which, granted, wasn't written by Dr. Evans himself, but still, it's hard for me to take it seriously.

Until he publishes his results, he can't be proved or disproved but based on what I've read, I find it hard to take him seriously. My hunch is, he's not trying to reach scientists at all, but he's trying to reach his target audience. Those who question climate change and he gives them a name and an alternate argument that they can stand on. An argument doesn't have to be correct, it only needs to sound correct and with that, you can usually convince a percentage of people to agree with you.

Not sure how much that helps, but that's my take and I went through and tried to clean up my long answer a bit. If you'll forgive me, it reminds me of the the old joke. How can you tell Dr. David Evans is lying? He's talking or writing. :-)

  • $\begingroup$ Pretty nice answer for "just a layman"! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Feb 5, 2017 at 2:05

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