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I’m a professional infrared astronomer who spent his life trying to observe space through the atmosphere’s back-radiation that the environmental activists claim is caused by CO2 and guess what? ... The whole theory of a CO2 greenhouse effect is wrong yet the ignorant masses in academia have gone to great lengths trying to prove it with one lie and false study after another.

Starting at 13 we get CO2 absorption but that wavelength corresponds to temperatures below even that of the south pole.

The name of the retired IR Astronomer is Mike Sanicola. Mike Sanicola nailed it, "The whole theory of a CO2 greenhouse effect is wrong."

There is so much mis- and disinformation here that it hard to know where to begin.

But let me start by saying that the constraints imposed by the atmosphere on the infrared astronomy are different from those affecting the emissivity of the Earth. Water vapor absorbs diffusely and broadly across the infrared spectrum, making it the bane of infrared astronomer. In many parts of the infrared spectrum, the atmosphere would be transparent if not for water vapor. In contrast, CO2 absorbs in a very well-defined band between 13 and 18 microns in wavelength. Within that band, the absorption is strong, and the atmosphere is essentially opaque, so astronomy from the ground is impossible. Outside that band, CO2 absorption is basically unimportant. So where you can do astronomy, CO2 is not important. Where CO2 absorption is strong, you can't do astronomy from the ground. So it's never an issue for infrared astronomers, in the way that water vapor is. With water vapor, infrared astronomer are always trying to remove the haze of water vapor lines in order to correct the observations to what would be observed at the top of the atmosphere. This is (almost) never done for CO2 for the reasons mentioned.

The focus is quite different when considering infrared radiation emitted by the Earth escaping to space. Ajax's (and Saincola's) claim is just wrong: in fact, the 13-18 micron CO2 bands lie near the peak of the Earth's blackbody emission spectrum. Take a look at this figure, reposted by WUWT:

The smooth curves labelled by numbers (300, 280, 260, ...) in this figure are the blackbody emission curves for those temperatures (in K). The spectrum shown is that of the infrared Earth as seen from space. The prominent "bite" out of the spectrum between wavelengths of 13-18 microns [top scale] is due to CO2 absorption. Contrary to the claim made by Ajax and Mike Sanicola, the Earth's emission peak for a surface temperature near 290 K essentially coincides with the CO2 absorption band feature. That's why CO2 is an important greenhouse gas. *If* there was no overlap between the emission spectrum and the CO2 absorption bands, then CO2 wouldn't be a greenhouse gas. But as you can see for yourself from the WUWT figure, that simply isn't the case -- and therefore CO2 is a significant greenhouse gas.

This figure comes from an a guest post on WUWT by Ira Glickstein on visualizing the greenhouse effect, and is well worth a read (it's better than the standard fare on WUWT).

There is also a more technical article on this subject by Raymond Pierrehumbert published in Physics Today in 2011:

Finally, I'm an astronomer and been around quite a while, and I've never heard of Mike Sanicola so I did a little checking. He is not in the American Astronomical Association directory (very unusual for a professional U.S. astronomer), nor is he one of the 10,727 astronomers worldwide listed in the International Astronomical Union (IAU) directory of professional astronomers. The link associated with his name in Goddard's post takes you to the GE (yes, that's General Electric) home page, where there is absolutely no mention of a Mike Sanicola. There are *no* papers in the Astrophysics Data System by anyone named "Sanicola", and this source indexes all papers that appear in the significant astronomy journals and conference proceedings. A Google search finds no reference to a Mike Sanicola, astronomer, other than to the same Steve Goddard article that Ajax quotes. I don't think Mike Sanicola exists, or if he does, he is not a professional astronomer.

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