Publications About the Ozone Depletion Theory of Global Warming

Ward, P. L., 2017, Experimental evidence for why greenhouse gases cannot be the primary cause of global warming : in review. [PDF]Global mean surface temperatures warmed >1 oC since 1950, and warming from 1969 to 1998 may well have been caused by humans, but there are numerous reasons to question whether greenhouse gases can physically be the primary cause. Greenhouse-warming theory has never been verified by experiment, a cornerstone of the scientific method. This paper describes a simple, reproducible experiment showing that air containing more than 23 times normal CO2 concentrations is warmed by absorbing infrared radiation only slightly more than normal air. Infrared radiant energy is absorbed into the bonds that hold each molecule of CO2 together. This energy must then be converted by collision to translational velocity and partitioned among 2500 other gas molecules to increase air temperature. The efficiency and effects of such conversions have never been determined.

Ward, P. L., 2016, On the Planck-Einstein Relation: in review. [PDF]The Planck-Einstein relation (E=hν), a formula integral to quantum mechanics, says that a quantum of energy (E), commonly thought of as a photon, is equal to the Planck constant (h) times a frequency of oscillation of an atomic oscillator (ν, the Greek letter nu). Yet frequency is not quantized—frequency of electromagnetic radiation is well known in Nature to be a continuum extending over at least 18 orders of magnitude from extremely low frequency (low-energy) radio signals to extremely high-frequency (high-energy) gamma rays. Therefore, electromagnetic energy (E), which simply equals a scaling constant times a continuum, must also be a continuum. We must conclude, therefore, that electromagnetic energy is not quantized at the microscopic level as widely assumed. Secondly, it makes no physical sense in Nature to add frequencies of electromagnetic radiation together in air or space—red light plus blue light does not equal ultraviolet light. Therefore, if E=hν, then it makes no physical sense to add together electromagnetic energies that are commonly thought of as photons. The purpose of this paper is to look at the history of E=hν and to examine the implications of accepting E=hν as a valid description of physical reality. Recognizing the role of E=hν makes the fundamental physics studied by quantum mechanics both physically intuitive and deterministic.

Ward, P. L., 2016, The physics of global warming: in review. [PDF] Temperature at the stratopause, 50 km above Earth, is maintained ~50oC warmer than temperature at the tropopause, 7 to 20 km above Earth, primarily by ultraviolet-C solar radiation dissociating oxygen, which makes up 21% of Earth’s atmosphere. Dissociation turns bond energy efficiently into atmospheric temperature by causing molecular pieces to fly apart at high velocity. Gas temperature is proportional to the average velocity of all gas molecules squared. Absorption of infrared radiation, however, by carbon dioxide, making up only 0.04% of the atmosphere, has yet to be shown experimentally to actually warm air the 0.7oC observed globally since 1945.
The ozone layer, primarily 15 to 30 km above Earth, normally absorbs most ultraviolet-B solar radiation energetic enough to dissociate ozone, keeping the lower stratosphere warm. When total column ozone is depleted, more ultraviolet-B radiation is observed to reach Earth, cooling the lower stratosphere and warming Earth. This radiation dissociates ground-level ozone pollution, warming near surface temperatures, and penetrates tens of meters into oceans causing observed increases in ocean heat content.
By the late 1960s, major increases in the manufacture of chlorofluorocarbon gases (CFCs) led to an increase in global warming. The Montreal Protocol, effective in 1989, mandated major cutbacks in CFC production. By 1993, increases in CFCs stopped. By 1995, increases in ozone depletion stopped. By 1998, increases in global temperatures stopped. Ozone is also depleted by effusive basaltic volcanic eruptions, the largest of which since 1783 occurred in 2014-2015 causing global temperatures to rise sharply again.

Ward, P. L., 2016, Problems with the physics of greenhouse warming: submitted. [PDF] The world is warming, but are we absolutely sure that greenhouse gases are the culprit? Planck’s law shows us that temperature in matter is the result of a very broad continuum of frequencies of oscillation of the bonds holding matter together. Greenhouse gases absorb only a very small part of this continuum. The thermal energy absorbed by greenhouse gases increases the internal energy of the bonds; its effect on the temperature of air has yet to be measured experimentally. Energy in radiation is equal to frequency times a constant meaning ultraviolet-B radiation reaching Earth when ozone is depleted is 48 times more energetic than infrared absorbed most strongly by carbon dioxide. The higher the thermal energy, the higher the temperature to which the absorbing body can be raised. Current climate models assume that energy is additive, overestimating infrared energy and underestimating ultraviolet energy. Ozone depletion provides a much clearer, more direct, and more complete explanation for the details of observed changes in warming since 1945 and throughout Earth history.

Ward, P. L., 2016, Radiant thermal energy is not additive: submitted. [PDF] There are at least 16 different types of energy. Macroscopic types, usually described by classical mechanics, are associated with net linear displacement or deformation of matter, are a function of the mass or extent of the system under study, and thus have extensive physical properties that can typically be added together. Microscopic types of energy, on the other hand, studied most often using quantum mechanics, are typically associated with microscopic oscillations of all the bonds that hold matter together, are pervasive throughout the system, and thus have intensive physical properties that typically cannot be added together. Recognizing that microscopic energy is proportional to the frequency of oscillation of these bonds and is not proportional to the amplitude of oscillation or to mass, helps us understand why climate models currently overestimate the energy absorbed by greenhouse gases and why quantum mechanics is so physically unintuitive.

Ward, P. L., 2016, Ozone depletion explains global warming: Current Physical Chemistry, v. 6, no. 4, p. 275-296. [PDF]. Background: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concldes that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of observed global warming. Depletion of the ozone layer by manufactured chlorofluorocarbon gases and volcanic eruptions, however, provides a much more detailed and precise explanation for changes in climate observed since the industrial revolution and throughout geologic history. Climate models currently calculate that infrared thermal energy absorbed by greenhouse gases is greater than ultraviolet thermal energy reaching earth when ozone is depleted, yet we all know we get hotter standing in ultraviolet sunlight than in infrared radiation welling up from earth at night.
Objective: To understand the physics of how ozone depletion could be a better explanation for observed warming.
Method: Recognizing that thermal energy is the oscillations of all the degrees of freedom of all the bonds holding matter together, that energy of each atomic oscillator is equal to the Planck constant times the frequency of each oscillation, and that this energy is an intensive physical property that is therefore not additive, we examine from first principles how thermal energy flows via electromagnetic radiation.
Results: Radiant thermal energy is not a function of bandwidth as currently calculated. It is a function only of frequency of oscillation. The higher the frequency, the higher the temperature to which the absorbing body will be raised. Intensity and amount of radiation only determine the rate of warming.
Conclusions: Ozone depletion provides a more precise explanation for observed global warming than greenhouse-warming theory.

Ward, P. L., 2015, Chapter 54. The ozone depletion theory of global warming: International Conference on Geoscience and Environmental Engineering, Shenzhen, China, November 16-17, in Chan, K., ed., Future Communication Technology and Engineering: Proceedings of the 2014 International Conference on Future Communication Technology and Engineering (FCTE 2014), Shenzhen, China, 16-17 November 2014, CRC Press, p. 253-259. [PDF] [Book online] [Book] Mean global surface temperatures have remained essentially constant since 1998 while carbon-dioxide concentrations continue to increase. Record high temperatures and drought were common in North America during 2012-2013, while record rains flooded England. Here we show that ozone depletion caused by anthropogenic chlorofluorocarbons and small, effusive volcanic eruptions explains these and other climate anomalies clearly. The highest-energy ultraviolet-B radiation from the sun is normally absorbed by the ozone layer in the lower stratosphere. When ozone is depleted, as observed since 1970, more ultraviolet-B energy is measured reaching Earth. Greenhouse-gas theory underestimates the thermal effects of ozone depletion be-cause it assumes electromagnetic radiation propagates as waves in space. Radiation transfers thermal energy as frequency, not wavelength. The thermal energy in ultraviolet-B radiation is 48 times the thermal energy in infrared radiation absorbed by greenhouse gases. There simply is not enough thermal energy absorbed by greenhouse gases to cause observed global warming.

Ward, P. L., 2010, Understanding volcanoes may be the key to controlling global warming: Society of Vacuum Coaters Bulletin, Summer, p. 26-34. [PDF] I was invited to give the Plenary Address on April 18, 2010, opening the 2010 Technical Conference of the Society of Vacuum Coaters with the agreement that I would provide this paper for their summer Bulletin.

Ward, P. L., 2009, Sulfur dioxide initiates global climate change in four ways: Thin Solid Films, v. 517, no. 11, p. 3188-3203, doi:10.1016/j.tsf.2009.01.005. [PDF] [Table S1 PDF] [Table S1 XLS] [References PDF] This paper compiles a wide variety of data on volcanic activity and climate in the last 100 years, during and since the last ice age, and throughout the past 542 million years. These data are the primary contribution of this paper and are still the most detailed compilations available. Increases in sulfur dioxide and increases in warming are roughly contemporaneous in many cases. Thus I suggested a possible causal relationship. In retrospect I wish I had made this more of a question. Soon after this paper was published, as I tried to understand any causal relationship better, I realized that sulfur dioxide simply provides the footprint of volcanism, a rough measure of how much volcanism occurred per unit time. Meanwhile I began to explore in detail why the lowest levels of total column ozone ever observed occurred in 1992, the year following the major eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines and in 2011, the year following the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland. It is now clear, as explained in the 2014 paper and on this web site, that ozone depletion caused especially by effusive volcanism leads to global warming, that ozone depletion due to anthropogenic chlorofluorocarbons caused recent global warming primarily between 1970 and 1998, and that the increases in anthropogenic sulfur dioxide from 1935 to 1975 occurred too early to have caused the warming.

Presentations and Posters

2017, February 10, Fourth Santa Fe Conference on Global and Regional Climate Change, Ozone Depletion Appears to Play the Dominant Role in Global Warming Throughout Earth History [Abstract] [Slides]

2017, February 8, Fourth Santa Fe Conference on Global and Regional Climate Change, The footprints of climate change throughout the geologic record [Abstract] [Poster]

2017, January 23, American Meteorological Society, Volcanoes Drive Climate Variability By Emitting Ozone Weeks Before Eruptions, By Forming Lower Stratospheric Aerosols, By Causing Sustained Ozone Depletion, and By Causing Rapid Changes In Regional Ozone Concentrations Affecting Temperature and Pressure Differences Driving Atmospheric Oscillations [Abstract] [Poster]

2016, December 12, American Geophysical Union, Volcanoes drive climate variability by emitting ozone weeks before eruptions, by forming lower stratospheric aerosols, by causing sustained ozone depletion, and by causing rapid changes in regional ozone concentrations affecting temperature and pressure differences driving atmospheric oscillations [Abstract] [Poster]

2016, September 26, Geological Society of America, How variations in the rates of effusive basaltic flood volcanism versus aerosol-forming explosive volcanism have driven climate change and rates of mass extinction throughout Earth history and how humans have modified this interaction [Talk] [Abstract] [Slides]

2016, September 8, New Dawn Of Truth: London Climate Change Conference, Climate change throughout Earth history warms suddenly and cools slowly in erratic sequences that are not cyclic [Talk] [Abstract] [Comment] [Slides]

2016, September 6, Geological Society of London, Geologic evidence for how volcanoes have driven climate change throughout Earth history [Talk Part 1] [Talk Part 2] [Abstract] [Slides]

2016, June 15, American Association for the Advancement of Science Pacific Division Society, How Explosive Volcanic Eruptions Cause Global Cooling While Effusive Basaltic Eruptions Cause Global Warming [Abstract] [Slides]

2016, January 12, American Meteorological Society, Mario Molina's research not only led to the solution for the Antarctic ozone hole, but it led to the solution for global warming caused by humans since 1960 [Talk] [Abstract] [Slides]

2015, Dec 18, American Geophysical Union, Climate throughout geologic time was cooled by sequences of explosive volcanic eruptions forming aerosols that reflect and scatter ultraviolet solar radiation and warmed by relatively continuous extrusion of basaltic lava that depletes ozone, allowing more solar ultraviolet radiation to reach earth [Abstract] [Poster]

2015, November 1, Geological Society of America, Climate throughout geologic time has been controlled primarily by the balance between abrupt warming caused by voluminous effusive eruptions of basaltic magma over months to hundreds of thousands of years and abrupt cooling caused by major explosive eruptions of evolved magmas over hours to days [Talk] [Abstract] [Slides]

2015, October 28,TEDx Wilmington, Volcanoes: A Forge for Climate Change [Talk] [About the event] [Slides] Dr. Peter Langdon Ward worked 27 years as a geophysicist with the United States Geological Survey, being featured on Good Morning America and winning two national awards for explaining science to non-scientists. Nine years ago, while in retirement, he found reliable data suggesting that volcanic eruptions not only cool the earth for a few years, something that is well known, but also can warm the earth substantially. How could this be? Realizing the importance of figuring this out, he set off on a full-time quest trying to understand in detail how volcanism has controlled climate throughout Earth history, throughout the evolution of our species, throughout written history, and why 2015 is the hottest year on record.

2015, May 21-23, Geological Society of America Rocky Mountain Section, Climate throughout geologic time has been controlled primarily by the balance between cooling caused by major explosive eruptions of evolved magmas typical of island arcs and warming caused by voluminous effusive eruptions of basaltic magma typical of subaerial ocean ridges, island chains, and continental flood basalts [Abstract] [Talk]

2015, April 12-17, European Geosciences Union, General Assembly, The basic thermodynamics of Earth’s radiation budget [Abstract] [Poster]

2015, January 5, American Meteorological Society, The global warming hiatus is explained quite directly by the ozone-depletion theory of global warming [Abstract] [Poster]

2014, December 18, American Geophysical Union, Climate throughout geologic time has been controlled primarily by the balance between cooling caused by major explosive eruptions of evolved magmas typical of island arcs and warming caused by voluminous effusive eruptions of basaltic magma typical of subaerial ocean ridges and island chains [Abstract] [Poster]

2013, December 9, American Geophysical Union, How volcanism controls climate change [Abstract] [Poster]

2012, December 7, American Geophysical Union, The effects of volcano-induced ozone depletion on short-lived climate forcing in the Arctic [Abstract] [Poster]

2011, December 5, American Geophysical Union,  Voluminous Icelandic basaltic eruptions appear to cause abrupt global warming [Abstract] [Poster]

2010, December 13, American Geophysical Union, The world’s largest experiment manipulating solar energy input to earth resumed in 2003 [Abstract] [Poster]

2010, April 18, Society of Vacuum Coaters,  Understanding volcanology may be the key to controlling global warming [Abstract] [Presentation]

2009, December 16, American Geophysical Union, Large volcanic eruptions affect climate in many more ways than just cooling [Abstract] [Poster]

2008, December 17, American Geophysical Union,  Holocene concentrations of methane in the atmosphere are in part proportional to concentrations of sulfur dioxide and inversely proportional to the oxidizing capacity of the atmosphere [Abstract] [Poster]

2008, October 6, Geological Society of America,  How the rate of volcanism initiated the medieval warm period and controlled its periods of drought [Abstract] [Presentation]

Press Releases

2016, February 11, PR Newswire: Supreme Court's Stay of EPA Carbon Rules Gives Time to Get the Climate Science Right [Press release]

2016, January 11, PR Newswire: Reducing Greenhouse Emissions Unlikely to Reduce Global Warming; A More Likely Cause Is Ozone Depletion, According to Longtime US Geophysicist [Press release]

2015, December 15, PR Newswire: Paris Climate Accord, an Important Step Forward, But Are We Solving the Right Problem? [Press release]

2015, November 12, PR Newswire: Whistle-Blower U.S. Geophysicist Issues $10,000 Challenge [Press release]

2015, January 5, American Meteorological Society [Press release]

2014, December 16, American Geophysical Union [Press release]

2014, November 18, Initial announcement [Press release]

Not Published

I have written several papers and submitted them for publication. Most were not published not because of any complaint about the science presented, but because the journals concerned would not submit them for review. These papers provide clear documentation of the development of my ideas over time. The papers are listed, most recent first, along with key elements of the editors' responses.

Ward, P. L., 2015, The thermodynamics of climate change, submitted to Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics on 5/17/15 [PDF]     Editor's decision and discussion. When you stand in sunlight, you feel hot, but when you stand outside at night, you feel cool, even on a warm night. Why? Because Sun emits ultraviolet radiation that is hot enough to burn your skin, while Earth emits infrared radiation that is, on average, 21°C cooler than your body. Computer models based on greenhouse-gas theory have this backward. They calculate that Earth is heated more by its own infrared radiation than by Sun's ultraviolet radiation. Your personal experience strongly suggests that these models are wrong. In this paper we show that thermal energy consists of the frequencies and amplitudes of oscillation of all the degrees of freedom of all the bonds that hold matter together. These frequencies and amplitudes of oscillation on the surface of matter transmit thermal energy through air and space as electromagnetic radiation. Climate models assume that electromagnetic radiation (EMR) travels as waves through space, but that assumption is unwarranted because the physical properties of EMR and mechanical waves in matter are very different. Observations of climate change can be explained quite clearly by ozone depletion. Ozone absorbs ultraviolet radiation from Sun, warming the ozone layer 20 to 30 km above Earth's surface. When there is less ozone, more of this hot ultraviolet radiation is observed to reach Earth's surface, warming Earth instead of the ozone layer.

The ozone depletion theory of global warming submitted to Nature on April 7, 2014. [PDF] Nature: April 10, 2011: As you may know, we decline a substantial proportion of manuscripts without sending them to referees, so that they may be sent elsewhere without delay. In such cases, even if referees were to certify the manuscript as technically correct, we do not believe that it represents a development of sufficient scientific impact to warrant publication in Nature. These editorial judgements are based on such considerations as the degree of advance provided, the breadth of potential interest to researchers and timeliness. In this case, we do not feel that your paper has matched our criteria for further consideration. We therefore feel that the paper would find a more suitable outlet in another journal, and I am sorry that we cannot respond more positively on this occasion. Nature Climate Change: April 11, 2014: We receive many more papers than we can publish, which means we must decline a substantial proportion of manuscripts without sending them to referees, so that they may be sent elsewhere without delay. Decisions of this kind are made by the editorial staff when it appears that, even if certified as being technically correct during peer review, there would not be a strong case for publication in Nature Climate Change. Among the considerations that arise at this stage are the immediacy of interest for the wider climate research community, the degree of advance provided, and the like. In the current case, I am reluctant to sound as though we are merely repeating my colleague's assessment of your submission to Nature - Nature Climate Change is editorially independent of Nature, and its editorial decisions have no bearing on our own. I regret, however, that we are unable to conclude that the paper meets our criteria for further consideration. We therefore feel that the present paper would find a more appropriate outlet in another journal, rather than Nature Climate Change.

On the link between ozone depletion and global warming submitted to Science on Febrary 24, 2014. [PDF] March 5, 2014: Although your analysis is interesting, we feel that the scope and focus of your paper make it more appropriate for a more specialized journal. We are therefore notifying you so that you can seek publication elsewhere. We now receive many more interesting papers than we can publish. We therefore send for in-depth review only those papers most likely to be ultimately published in Science. Papers are selected on the basis of discipline, novelty, and general significance, in addition to the usual criteria for publication in specialized journals. Therefore, our decision is not necessarily a reflection of the quality of your research but rather of our stringent space limitations.

Letter sent to the Editor of Science on March 7, 2014, to which there was no reply. [PDF]

Global warming can be explained by depletion of stratospheric ozone caused by human activities and by volcanism submitted to Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics on May 27, 2013. [PDF] June 28, 2013: We apologize that we were not able to find Editors ready to handle your manuscript through the regular Editor call procedure. Therefore, the Editor assignment process has been interrupted. If you would still like to have your manuscript reviewed and published in ACP, please contact directly the Editors covering the relevant subject areas. If one of them agrees to take the editorship for your manuscript, please let us know and we will assign it accordingly. An overview of all [150] editorial board members can be found at: http://www.atmospheric-chemistry-and-physics.net/general_information/editorial_and_advisory_board.html Please note that we try but are not always able to avoid such situations, which tend to occur mostly (albeit not exclusively) with manuscripts at the edge or outside the journal scope which is focused on studies with general implications for atmospheric science rather than investigations that are primarily of local or technical interest. We regret that we cannot be more positive at this time, and we hope for your understanding.

Ozone depletion enhanced by volcanism is a primary cause of global warming submitted to Nature November 22, 2012 [PDF] Nature: November 29, 2012: As you may know, we decline a substantial proportion of manuscripts without sending them to referees, so that they may be sent elsewhere without delay. In such cases, even if referees were to certify the manuscript as technically correct, we do not believe that it represents a development of sufficient scientific impact to warrant publication in Nature. These editorial judgments are based on such considerations as the degree of advance provided, the breadth of potential interest to researchers and timeliness. In this case, we do not feel that your paper has matched our criteria for further consideration. We therefore feel that the paper would find a more suitable outlet in another journal, and I am sorry that we cannot respond more positively on this occasion. Nature Climate Change: December 3, 2012: We receive many more papers than we can publish, which means we must decline a substantial proportion of manuscripts without sending them to referees, so that they may be sent elsewhere without delay. Decisions of this kind are made by the editorial staff when it appears that, even if certified as being technically correct during peer review, there would not be a strong case for publication in Nature Climate Change. Among the considerations that arise at this stage are the immediacy of interest for the wider climate research community, the degree of advance provided, and the like. In the present case, we have no doubt that your findings regarding the role of ozone in global warming will be of interest to fellow specialists. I regret, however, that we are unable to conclude that the paper provides the sort of conceptual advance in our understanding of contributing forces to climate change in our space limitations that would be likely to excite the immediate interest of researchers across the breadth of the climate community. We therefore feel that the manuscript would find a more suitable outlet in another journal, rather than Nature Climate Change. I am sorry that we cannot respond more positively, and I hope that you will understand that our decision in no way reflects any doubts about the quality of the work reported. I hope that you will rapidly receive a more favorable response elsewhere. Nature Geoscience: December 18, 2012: Among the considerations that arise at this stage are the likely interest of a manuscript to a broad readership of geoscientists, the pressure on space in the various fields of interest covered by Nature Geoscience and the likelihood that a manuscript would seem of great topical interest to those working in the same or related areas of the Earth sciences. In the present case, I regret that we are unable to conclude that the paper provides the sort of compelling conceptual advance in scientific understanding that would be likely to excite the immediate interest of researchers in a broad range of the geosciences.

Volcanism, ozone depletion, global warming, and the drought of 2012 submitted to Science on October 23, 2012 [PDF] November 7, 2012: Thank you for submitting your manuscript "Volcanism, Ozone Depletion, Global Warming, and the Drought of 2012" to Science. Because your manuscript was not given a high priority rating during the initial screening process, we will not be able to send it out for in-depth review. Although your analysis is interesting, we feel that the scope and focus of your paper make it more appropriate for a more specialized journal. We are therefore notifying you so that you can seek publication elsewhere. We now receive many more interesting papers than we can publish. We therefore send for in-depth review only those papers most likely to be ultimately published in Science. Papers are selected on the basis of discipline, novelty, and general significance, in addition to the usual criteria for publication in specialized journals. Therefore, our decision is not necessarily a reflection of the quality of your research but rather of our stringent space limitations.

The primary role of solar-ultraviolet-energy-absorbing gases in global warming submitted to Science on April 25, 2011 [PDF] April 28, 2011: Because your manuscript was not given a high priority rating during the initial screening process, we will not be able to send it out for in-depth review. Although your analysis is interesting, we feel that the scope and focus of your paper make it more appropriate for a more specialized journal. We are therefore notifying you so that you can seek publication elsewhere. We now receive many more interesting papers than we can publish. We therefore send for in-depth review only those papers most likely to be ultimately published in Science. Papers are selected on the basis of discipline, novelty, and general significance, in addition to the usual criteria for publication in specialized journals. Therefore, our decision is not necessarily a reflection of the quality of your research but rather of our stringent space limitations.


Last updated 29-Aug-2017    © 2015 Peter L. Ward. All Rights Reserved