No video re­cord­ing was made of this lec­ture, but I made an aud­io re­cord­ing, and Prof. Happer gen­er­ous­ly sent me his Pow­er­point slides, which I com­bined into a usable video.  -DAB

Department of Physics and Astronomy


September 8, 2014 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

William Happer, Princeton University

“Why has there been no global warming for the past decade?”
The temperature of the Earth’s surface has not changed by more than 0.1C since the year 2000, and it may even have cooled slightly. Most computer models predicted that the increase of CO2, from about 370 to 400ppm during that period, should have caused a warming of around 0.3C. There are many possible reasons for the failure of the models, but one may be insufficient careful attention to important and often neglected details of how CO2 molecules really absorb and emit radiation in the Earth’s atmosphere. Some of the physics in question is related to early work by Princeton’s Robert Dicke on collisional line narrowing.

Photo of Prof. Will Happer

This video is Prof. Happer's slides combined with the audio recording of his lecture:
(or old version: w/ unenhanced audio)

In most modern browsers, while playing it you can move your mouse cursor over the video and then click the "gear" icon to adjust the speed.

I made the audio recording of this lecture with my mobile phone, while sitting in the audience. I took the middle seat in the front row, to try to get the best sound quality I could manage, but it's still mediocre. Sorry! The sound level is a bit low, too, but if you turn up the volume it's un­der­stand­able.


  Name Last modified Size Description         

[ ] UNC-9-8-2014.pptx 12-Sep-2014 07:14 8.2M  Powerpoint slides
[VID] UNC-9-8-2014_movie_640x480.mp4 29-Jul-2015 07:07 127M  Video: audio recording + Powerpoint slides (640x480, 80 minutes)
[VID] UNC-9-8-2014_movie_enh_640x480.mp4 02-Dec-2015 17:31 127M  Video: audio recording + Powerpoint slides (640x480, 80 minutes), enhanced audio
[VID] UNC-9-8-2014_movie_720p.mp4 29-Jul-2015 07:07 149M  Video: audio recording + Powerpoint slides (960x720, 80 minutes)
[VID] UNC-9-8-2014_movie_enh_720p.mp4  (try this one first) 02-Dec-2015 17:13 149M  Video: audio recording + Powerpoint slides (960x720, 80 minutes), enhanced audio
[VID] UNC-9-8-2014_movie_1080p.mp4 29-Jul-2015 07:07 183M  Video: audio recording + Powerpoint slides (1440x1080, 80 minutes)
[VID] UNC-9-8-2014_movie_enh_1080p.mp4 02-Dec-2015 14:45 183M  Video: audio recording + Powerpoint slides (1440x1080, 80 minutes), enhanced audio
[SND] 14-09-08-16-02-49.mp3 12-Sep-2014 07:07 27M  Audio recording (80 minutes)
[SND] 14-09-08-16-02-49_1p4x.mp3 12-Sep-2014 07:12 20M  Same audio recording, at 1.4x speed (57 min.)
[SND] 14-09-08-16-02-49_lossless.flac 12-Sep-2014 07:07 88M  Same audio recording (80 minutes) - lossless (.flac)
[SND] 14-09-08-16-02-49_lossless.wav 12-Sep-2014 07:07 152M  Same audio recording (80 minutes) - lossless (.wav)
[ ] email_reply_2014-09-10.pdf 12-Sep-2014 07:40 156K  email from Prof. Happer
[ ] 2012_Wilson_AJP-simple_model_CO2_greenhouse_effect.pdf 12-Sep-2014 07:16 1.0M  email attachment: Wilson & Gea-Banacloche, Am. J. Phys. 80, 306 (2012), doi:10.1119/1.3681188
[ ] Another_question.html 13-Nov-2014 13:56 26K A follow-up email conversation, about how CO2 works as a GHG

This is the Feynman video clip which Prof. Happer played at the end of his lecture:

“It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it disagrees with experiment, it's wrong.”  - Richard Feynman

At noon the same day, Prof. Happer delivered a less-technical lecture at the John Locke Foundation, in Raleigh, NC:
Watch this video   (or here)
If neither link works, or if only the sound plays, try a different web browser. Opera works well.

Five weeks later, on October 15, 2014, Prof. Happer delievered another lecture, at the George Marshall Instiute. You may view it here:

Three months after that, in January, 2015, the Locke Foundation did a follow-up interview with him:
Friday Interview: The Myth of Carbon Pollution
Princeton's Happer pokes holes in conventional climate wisdom

Shortly after that, Prof. Happer wrote a short essay for entitled,
The Costly, False, Futile Climate Crusade.

He also wrote this book chapter, which has a lot of overlap with his UNC lecture.

He also wrote this paper on the subject:
doi: 10.1142/S0217751X14600033.

There have also been some exceptionally educational discussions on WUWT about the physics of the so-called (but misnamed) “greenhouse effect.” Here are three of them:

1. Visualizing the “Greenhouse Effect” Emission Spectra, by Ira Glickstein, PhD / March 10, 2011

2. Refutation of Stable Thermal Equilibrium Lapse Rates, by Robert G. Brown / January 24, 2012

3. A First Look At SURFRAD, by Willis Eschenbach / November 25, 2014
Especially illuminating were several comments by Physics Prof. Robert Brown ("rgbatduke"):
  rgbatduke November 25, 2014 at 5:39 am
  “On the other side of things (escaping photons) you have the same problem, only even more complex as pressure broadening means that heat leaks out along the edges of the lines as they sharpen at lower pressures at higher heights, narrowing the absorption bands above the emission bands below.”
...and this one:
  rgbatduke November 26, 2014 at 9:00 am

If you're hungry for more, this textbook comes highly recomended:
A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation, by G.W. Petty