In his recent book, Rex J. Fleming asserts that "CO2 has no impact on climate change", or, as he summarizes on his website:

There are now over a dozen books available on Amazon.com that point out the various fallacies of the CO2 climate theory – but none of these have zeroed in on the heart of the issue – the failure of the Schwarzschild radiation integrations to maintain the CO2 longwave radiation intensity achieved in the surface warming by H2O and CO2. The resultant Planck radiation intensity is severely depleted in the upper atmosphere. The result is the CO2 molecules merely pass their remaining small residual heat to space un-impeded. CO2 has no impact on climate change.

This claim seems to contradict some basic physics.

Is Fleming correct that the "failure of the Schwarzschild radiation integrations to maintain the CO2 longwave radiation intensity" means that "CO2 has no impact on climate change"?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not enough of a physicist to be certain, but I'm fairly sure that that summary has about as much connection to real physics as Star Trek technobabble does. Also, I'm disappointed in Springer for publishing that book. $\endgroup$ Jul 31, 2019 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ @SemidiurnalSimon Yeah, listening to him being interviewed is scary. He seems to think climate scientists are all socialists out for a buck, and is explicitly either ignoring or is unaware of critical recent work using high resolution data establishing historical lags between CO<sub>2</sub> and temperature increases. $\endgroup$
    – orome
    Jul 31, 2019 at 17:31
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    $\begingroup$ @Semidiurnal Simon: Less connection. Much less. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Jul 31, 2019 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ He has his own theory of radiation in the atmosphere section 6 but I can't see where he says how the accepted theory goes wrong. $\endgroup$ Jul 31, 2019 at 21:45

1 Answer 1


Talk of Schwarzschild radiation integrations negating the effect of CO2 in atmospheric warming is just mumbo jumbo on a par with creationism, but there is a danger of going too far in the other direction. Carbon dioxide forms 0.0325 percent of the atmosphere, and although a slight increase has been recorded in the past 100 years and attributed to human activity, this increase is infinitesimally small. Whenever I say that climate warming began 12,000 years ago it is always very unpopular, but it nevertheless happens to be a fact. There is unanimous agreement among scientists that the small amount of CO2 in the atmosphere helps to warm the Earth, but where there is less agreement is on the question of whether the minute increase since the industrial revolution has measurably accelerated the climate warming which had already been underway for 12,000 years. Another unpopular idea which also happens to be a fact is that increased atmospheric CO2 causes plants to grow more vigorously, so to some extent increased CO2 content is self-correcting, but only up to a point. It could easily be overwhelmed if the CO2 increase is too rapid.

  • $\begingroup$ "climate warming began 12,000 years ago" Do you have a reference? $\endgroup$ Jul 31, 2019 at 20:44
  • $\begingroup$ Any knowledgeable person on Earth Sciences will tell you that the ice sheets began to melt about 12,000 years ago. Only creationists dispute it. $\endgroup$ Jul 31, 2019 at 20:52
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    $\begingroup$ I could say "climate warming began after Snowball Earth", but I wouldn't because that is not what people understand by "climate warming". It has been cooling for the last 8000, as in other interglacials. $\endgroup$ Jul 31, 2019 at 21:16

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